NHRA racing enters its tenth season with ESPN kicking off with the 50th Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts Winternationals during the second weekend of February.
Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations
NHRA will launch its 10th anniversary season with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports television, with a prime-time telecast of the most highly anticipated Full Throttle Series race in many years at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona: the 50th Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, Feb. 14 from 8-11 p.m. ET. Highlighting the complete 2010 schedule is a commitment to consistent broadcast times for Sunday’s race day action with 17 of the 23 events scheduled in the coveted Sunday night prime-time slot on ESPN2. Once again, the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, will feature more than 10 hours of wall-to-wall coverage beginning with qualifying on Sunday, Sept. 5 and concluding with a five-hour broadcast on Monday afternoon, Sept. 6 from 1-6 p.m. In all, the network will dedicate more than 100 hours of original programming to the world’s quickest, fastest and most intense motorsport with live or same-day coverage of qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday. All broadcasts will be aired in high definition on ESPN2HD. Additionally, the popular pre-race show that debuted in 2007, NHRA Race Day presented by Lucas Oil, will be back in 2010, once again being produced on-site to allow fans attending the Sunday race a chance to watch – and participate – in the show. It will air on each of the 23 Sundays that the NHRA Full Throttle Series is racing and will be hosted once again by Dave Rieff and Mike Dunn. Paul Page returns to the broadcasting booth as host of race coverage alongside Dunn, who will provide expert analysis and insight on the racing action. Rieff and Gary Gerould will return as pit reporters. Veteran announcer John Kernan, who joined the NHRA broadcast team in 2007, will serve as a third pit reporter at select races. For more information, including a complete list of the television schedule, visit NHRA.com.
NHRA EXTENDS K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE CONTRACT: NHRA has signed a contract extension with K&N Engineering Inc., locking in the company’s sponsorship of the popular K&N Horsepower Challenge, a lucrative bonus event for Pro Stock competitors, through the 2012 event. The K&N Horsepower Challenge is a special race-within-a-race bonus program for the top Pro Stock drivers in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The K&N Horsepower Challenge is contested during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. The race features a special eliminations pairing with eight Pro Stock drivers in the field: seven who accumulate the most points in qualifying during the 23-race Challenge series and one who is selected to the starting lineup for the event via a special fan vote. As part of the K&N Horsepower Challenge, K&N will conduct a fan promotion during the running of the series and will present a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle to a lucky fan during the final of the K&N Horsepower Challenge. In the promotion, eight lucky fans will receive a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Summit Motorsports Park for the event, where one fan will be selected as the winner of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Each finalist will be paired with a K&N Horsepower Challenge driver during the pre-race ceremony and will be introduced on stage with the driver. The winner of the K&N Horsepower Challenge will earn $50,000, and the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will earn $3,000 each, and the four first-round finishers will receive $2,500 each. Last season, Jeg Coughlin claimed his third title in the prestigious race-within-a-race bonus event. Other past winners of the K&N Horsepower Challenge include Greg Anderson, Dave Connolly, Kurt Johnson, Warren Johnson, Darrell Alderman, Larry Morgan, Jim Yates, Bruce Allen and Bob Glidden. For more information on the K&N Horsepower Challenge, visit NHRA.com.
KRAGEN O’REILLY AUTO PARTS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS, AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, Feb. 11-14: The 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will kick off in sunny Southern California with the 50th anniversary of the Winternationals. Defending event winners include Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); and Jason Line (Pro Stock). For tickets, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or online at ticketmaster.com. For media credentials, please contact Director of Public Relations, Michael Padian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS, FIREBIRD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, Feb. 19-21: The traditional second stop on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing tour, competitors will head to the Valley of the Sun for the second race in the 2010 season. Defending event winners include Antron Brown (Top Fuel); Ron Capps (Funny Car); and Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock). For tickets, call (602) 268-0200 or online at ticketforce.com. For media credentials, please contact Media Relations Manager Zak Elcock at email@example.com.
NHRA GATORNATIONALS, GAINESVILLE RACEWAY, March 11-14: The traditional season opener for the Pro Stock Motorcycle category, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to this historic event in the swamp lands of Florida. Defending event winners include Larry Dixon (Top Fuel); Bob Tasca (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock); and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle). For tickets, call (800) 884-NHRA or online at ticketmaster.com. For media credentials, please contact Senior Communications Manager Scott Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
BIGGER THAN LIFE: Top Fuel pilot Cory McClenathan on what it means to earn a Wally, the trophy awarded at the end of each NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing event to the winners: “You feel bigger than life sometimes and (those are) the moments I cherish the most.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
7: That’s how many Winternationals wins legendary Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden has, the most of any Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driver in NHRA history. Glidden’s first win of the season-opener in Pomona came in 1975.
DID YOU KNOW…
…that there are only 10 days left until the official start of the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Do you have your ticket yet? For a complete list of the activities being held during the event, visit NHRA.com.