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Keeping Pace

Champion Raceway will host NHRA Northwest Division Lucas Oil drag racing

The race is the last of seven in the region and will feature drivers in eight categories, including 250 mph Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, vying for late-season points leading to divisional and national championships.


Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

MEDFORD, Ore. – NHRA Northwest division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors will close out the 2009 season during the Northwest Championship, September 25-26, at Champion Raceway. The race is the last of seven in the region and will feature drivers in eight categories, including 250 mph Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, vying for late-season points leading to divisional and national championships. The division’s Auto Max USA Top Sportsman Series, Top Dragster Series and the Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley Davidson will also run in conjunction with the event.

Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Shawn Cowie is having a career season.  The Delta, B.C., resident is perfect in divisional-level competition, winning six out of six races (he is third in the national point standings, having gone to the semis five times at national events).  Cowie has won all the Northwest division Top Alcohol Dragster events as well as out-of-division races in Chandler, Ariz., and Las Vegas.  Defending division TAD champion Joey Severance of Spanaway, Wash., is in second place in the point standings after being runner-up to Cowie at Spokane (Wash.) County Raceway and Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash. 

Ken Webster, Red Deer, Alb., leads the Top Alcohol Funny Car points over reigning division champ Brian Hough of Junction City, Ore.  Webster got off to a bit of a slow start but scored the win at his fourth race, in Spokane.  After that he made it to the semis at Pacific Raceways and Woodburn (Ore.) Dragstrip and was runner-up at Yellowstone Drag Strip in Acton, Mont.  Hough has struggled off and on this season but earned the win at Mission (B.C.) Raceway Park.  He went to the semis in Spokane and at Pacific Raceways before suffering first-round losses in Woodburn and Acton.

Medford racer Steve Apted leads the division’s Super Comp contingent but the top five racers are only 32 points apart.  Apted won the season opener at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho, and went to the semis in Mission.  Michael Dalrymple, Sunnyside, Wash., and Eagle, Idaho‘s Geoffrey Hughes are 29 points behind Apted.  They squared off against each other at Yellowstone Drag Strip and Dalrymple came away with the win.  Hughes won at Mission Raceway Park.  Roseburg, Ore., racer Thomas Pappas is 30 points off the pace after earning a win in Spokane.  Just two points behind Pappas, Earl Cunningham of Bonney Lake, Wash., is still looking for his first final-round appearance of the year.

Although this is the last event on the Northwest division calendar, racers may continue to earn points at divisional races.  The final divisional race of the year is November 3-5 in Las Vegas.

Gates at Champion Raceway open at 8 a.m. both days.  Qualifying and time trials start Friday at 9 a.m. and continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Eliminations for all classes will start Saturday at 1 p.m.  Racers in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car will have three qualifying sessions on Friday, at 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m.  They will run first round of eliminations Saturday at 1 p.m.

WHAT: The Northwest Championship, a round of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where drivers earn points leading to divisional and national championships.  Categories include Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street.  The event is the last of seven in Northwest Division competition. The division’s Auto Max USA Top Sportsman Series, Top Dragster Series and the Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley Davidson will also run in conjunction with the event.

WHERE: Champion Raceway, Medford, Oregon.  Track is located at the Jackson County All Sports Park, at 6900 Kershaw Road, just outside White City and 15 minutes from downtown Medford. 

WHEN:  Friday and Saturday, September 25-26, 2009

SCHEDULE: Time trials and qualifying schedule for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series:

FRIDAY, Sept. 25 — Gates open at 8 a.m.  Qualifying and time trials begin at 9 a.m. Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying sessions are scheduled at 1, 3:30 and 6 p.m.

SATURDAY, Sept. 26 — Gates open at 8 a.m.  Final qualifying and time trials are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Eliminations in all categories begin at 1 p.m.  Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car will run first round at 1 p.m.

PURSE: The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors will vie for cash and contingency awards of $157,875, as well as a chance at a share of the year-end purse of more than $560,000.

2008 EVENT WINNERS: Joey Severance, Top Alcohol Dragster; Terry Ruckman, Top Alcohol Funny Car; Doug Lambeck, Comp Eliminator; Jimmy DeFrank, Super Stock; Hal Sorensen, Stock Eliminator; Brandon Yoder, Super Comp; Mike Ferderer, Super Gas; Dudley Gee, Super Street

BONUS PROGRAMS:  
NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES POINTS FUND — a $561,000 point fund from Lucas Oil, which will be shared by 2009 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional champions and national champions.  Divisional awards include $8,500 each to the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car champions; $3,000 to the champions in both Competition and Super Stock; $2,000 each to the champions in Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street.  The seven national champions will share a bonus of $135,000.

JEGS ALLSTARS: The best of the best from each of NHRA’s seven divisions will compete for a share of the $119,000 point fund from Jegs High Performance.  The 2010 Jegs Allstars event will culminate a year-long points battle between drivers in each of NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series’ eight classes as well as Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.  The top points earner in each category will qualify to represent his/her division at the 2010 Jegs Allstars.  Points are based on in-division races only. 

The winning division’s team will share $20,000 and individual awards include $7,000 each to the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car champions, $6,000 to champions in Comp Eliminator and Super Stock, and $4,500 to the Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street champions.  Winners in Top Sportsman and Top Dragster will each earn $5,000.  Runners-up in all categories will earn $2,000 apiece.  Each Allstars competitor will also receive a share of a $25,000 towing fund to get to the event.

Event sponsor, Jegs High Performance, is offering a “double up” bonus to Jegs Allstars participants.  Any 2010 Jegs Allstars champion who also wins the national event will have his/her Allstars prize doubled.

NHRA SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE SERIES presented by HARLEY DAVIDSON: The NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley Davidson, run in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, is an opportunity for competitors in NHRA’s Sportsman Motorcycle class to earn points toward divisional championships.  The $14,000 champions’ purse posted by Harley Davidson will be paid to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place points finishers in NHRA divisions that host Sportsman Motorcycles.

AUTO MAX USA TOP SPORTSMAN SERIES: The Auto Max USA Top Sportsman Series, run in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, is an opportunity for competitors in the Northwest division’s Top Sportsman class to earn points toward divisional championships.  The $3,500 champions’ purse Posted by Auto Max USA will be paid to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place points finishers.

NORTHWEST DIVISION TOP DRAGSTER SERIES: The Northwest Division Top Dragster Series, run in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, is an opportunity for competitors in the Northwest division’s Top Dragster class to earn points toward divisional championships.  The $3,500 champions’ purse will be paid to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place points finishers.


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