Tony Schumacher leads Larry Dixon by a mere 47 points heading to the 9th Annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals to be held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations
EYES SET ON VEGAS: SCHUMACHER, EDWARDS LOOK FOR STRONG ‘SIN CITY’ PERFORMANCES AND POSSIBLE CHAMPIONSHIPS:
It was just one year ago that Top Fuel pilot Tony Schumacher entered
Las Vegas with a 212-point lead over the rest of the competition.
Schumacher needed only to qualify for the event to secure his fifth
consecutive and sixth overall NHRA Full Throttle world championship,
and after taking the No. 1 qualifier of the event, he had done so. He
went on to win the event and finish the season in Pomona
with a second-round finish. Now, one year later, ‘The Sarge’ enters the
ninth annual NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1, at The Strip At
Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the points lead yet again in the Top Fuel
category, but he needs a lot more help and needs to go a lot further
than just simply qualifying to lock up his seventh world championship.
Second-place driver Larry Dixon is 47 points behind the defending world
champion and hopes his Countdown to 1 playoff success will continue in Las Vegas and into Pomona for the season-ending 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 12-15, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. One driver that is looking to secure his first world championship in Las Vegas is Pro Stock’s Mike Edwards. Similar to Schumachers campaign in 2008, Edwards enters the Las Vegas
event with a 128-point lead over the competition. For Edwards, the
dream of earning his first NHRA Full Throttle world championship could
become a reality, if Lady Luck shines down on him in Las Vegas.
Edwards definitely has the stats to prove it. Since the Countdown to 1
playoffs began, Edwards has won two of the last four events, and earned
the No. 1 qualifier at every Countdown race. The two races that he
didn’t win, he walked away with nothing lower than a semifinal
appearance at each one. He’s got the numbers, but second-place driver
Greg Anderson has the experience at Las Vegas, that just might be enough to keep the first-place driver from clinching. Anderson
has six wins at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with three of
those being at this event. For the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing
Series, a season of competition all comes down to the final two races,
The NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway,
and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
NHRA VEGAS STYLE FAN FEST OCT. 29 ON FREMONT STREET:
NHRA Vegas Style Fan Fest, the official kickoff to the 2009 NHRA Las
Vegas Nationals, will take place Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6:00 p.m. to
8:00 p.m. on Fremont Street in Las Vegas.
NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series stars Antron Brown, Larry Dixon,
Tony Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, Bob Tasca, Jeff Arend, Jeg Coughlin,
Allen Johnson, Michael Phillips, Bob Bode, David Hope and others will
participate in the autograph session. The first 500 fans in the
autograph line will receive a free special-edition poster featuring
select drivers in the NHRA’s Countdown to 1 playoffs. The Fan Fest will
take place on the 3rd Street section of Fremont Street
near the Four Queens Hotel & Casino, FitzGerald Casino & Hotel,
and the Fremont Hotel & Casino. For more information, visit. NHRA.com.
NHRA ANNOUNCES FAN RELIEF PROGRAM FOR AUTO CLUB FINALS:
NHRA has announced that a limited number of $20 Race Fan Relief tickets
– a savings of up to $29 per ticket – will be made available for the
Nov. 12-15 Auto Club NHRA Finals, the climactic race in NHRA’s six-race
playoff, the Countdown to 1. The offer is available for advance
purchase only on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to
1,500 tickets for each day of the four-day event. To purchase
fan-relief tickets, enter the password “relief” on the appropriate
Ticketmaster page or call 800-884-NHRA (6472) and mention “fan-relief
offer.” NHRA has also partnered with Ticketmaster to eliminate service
and convenience fees on tickets purchased through Ticketmaster.com, via
Ticketmaster phone lines, or at Ticketmaster outlets. Fans purchasing
tickets through Ticketmaster may pick up their tickets at the ticket
office will-call window on race day or they may have their tickets
delivered for a fee. NHRA is also reaching out to families and fans in
the military: Children 12 and younger accompanied by a paying adults
will be admitted free on any of the four days of the event to
general-admission areas, and NHRA is offering any active U.S. military
personnel a free reserved-seat ticket on-site Friday, Nov. 13. For
tickets to the 45th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, call (800) 884-NHRA
(6472) or go online at ticketmaster.com.
NHRA LAS VEGAS NATIONALS, THE STRIP AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY, OCT. 29-NOV. 1: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads back to ‘Sin City’
for the penultimate race in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Cruz
Pedregon (Funny Car); Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock); and Chris Rivas (Pro
AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA NHRA FINALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, Nov. 12-15: The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and Countdown to 1 playoffs come to an end at this historical event in sunny Southern California.
Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Cruz Pedregon
(Funny Car); Greg Anderson (Pro Stock); and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock
HE SAID, SHE SAID
KEEPING FOCUSED: Pro Stock driver Mike Edwards on the possibility of clinching his first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing world championship in Las Vegas:
“I’m thinking (championship), but I don’t have it yet. It’s close, but
you’ve still got to stay focused. You’ve still got to keep your goals
ahead. Those two Summit
(drivers) are going to be burning the midnight oil to try and get back
up there with me. I’m not going to count my chickens yet before they
hatch. But I’m living my dream right now, and I’m real close to it.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
That’s the number of drivers who, after winning the NHRA Las Vegas
Nationals, have gone on to win the world championship, since the
addition of the race to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing schedule in
DID YOU KNOW…
…that Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Matt Smith and Angie McBride were married in Greensboro, N.C.,
Friday, Oct. 16. The two have known each other for seven years, after
meeting while they were both competing on motorcycles and were engaged
last year at the 2008 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series awards
ceremony. Smith will be competing in the upcoming NHRA Las Vegas
Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at The Strip At Las Vegas Motor Speedway.