HIGHT WANTS TO DOUBLE DOWN WITH 2nd WIN AND 200th ROUND WIN
LAS VEGAS, NV (March 30, 2011) — Robert Hight has opened the season with a win and a tough second round loss. The 2009 Full Throttle Funny Car champion is looking to regain some momentum at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“The win at the Winternationals was just what this Auto Club Ford Mustang needed after the way we ended the 2010 season,” said Hight. “Then at the Gatornationals we had to race John Force again which is always tough and we got the win but couldn’t seal the deal. I was thrilled to see (Mike) Neff get the win for JFR. We are in third place in the points but we want to go rounds and not race our teammates until the semis or the finals.”
“Qualifying will be the key. We need to get all our Mustangs in the top half of the field and preferably in the top four. That will be our goal heading into Las Vegas.”
Since the Gatornationals Hight has been back at the Yorba Linda, California shop coordinating the development of the John Force Racing Road Show but on the weekends he has been getting his fill of motorsports in two very different venues.
“The weekend after the Gatornationals I went to the March Meet in Bakersfield. Auto Club of Southern California has a big sponsorship up there and I love checking out the nostalgia cars and dragsters,” said the 2009 March Meet Grand Marshal. “Last year John (Force) went up there as the Grand Marshal but this year it was just me as a fan. I had a great time watching guys like Ron Capps and Del Worsham race. We are putting together some of John’s early Funny Cars for the Road Show so it was good inspiration for me to get those cars as perfect as possible.”
“Last weekend I went to Fontana for the Auto Club 400. I love going to NASCAR races and just walking through the garages. The crew guys on the NASCAR teams are great and I could talk with them all day. I’ve talked with the guys on Greg Biffle’s team a couple of times and I spent some time with Kurt Busch who was racing the Auto Club car at the race last weekend.”
As a former crew man on Force’s dominating Castrol GTX teams of the ‘90s Hight knows that it is the people behind the scenes that have a lot to do with his success on the track. That attitude and awareness is one of the reasons that Hight is so close with his team, particularly crew chief Jimmy Prock.
“When I first started driving I asked John for advice and the best tip he gave me was to make Jimmy my best friend. He did that with Austin Coil and they won 15 championships together. Jimmy and I talk all the time. He is always thinking about ways to make my Mustang quicker. We haven’t had any crew guys leave our team in over four seasons and that helps when it comes to setting up and tuning our Mustang.”
That consistency has paid off for Hight who has won twice at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Hight is just three round wins away from 200 career round wins. He was one of the quickest drivers to get 100 round wins needing only 94 starts to hit that mark. The 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals would be the Alturas, California native’s 138th start and a run to the finals would give him and even 200 round wins.
Hight is also looking to become a 20-time Funny Car NHRA national event winner a feat only accomplished by eight other Funny Car drivers.
CAREER BUILDER: McMahan Seeks Success in State that Launched his Career
Calistoga Speedway helped shape the California native’s path to World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series
CONCORD, N.C. – March 30, 2011 – Many drivers on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series tour can trace their passion for the sport back to a single track as they were growing up. Some dreamed of tackling the high banks of Eldora Speedway or holding the throttle wide open in front of a sold out crowd at Knoxville Raceway. For Paul McMahan , his path to The Greatest Show on Dirt can be tracked to Calistoga Speedway, a roomy half-mile oval in the picturesque wine country of Northern California.
McMahan and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series returns to Northern California this weekend for their first visit in series history to Merced Speedway on Friday and their first event since 2007 at Calistoga Speedway on Saturday.
“I remember going to Calistoga to watch my uncle race non-wing cars about 12 times a year,” said McMahan, 40, who pilots the #83 HR Cattle machine owned in a unique partnership by Californian Dennis Roth and Kasey Kahne. “We used to camp there all the time and I have a ton of great memories growing up there in the ’70s and ’80s.”
McMahan was raised in Elk Grove, Calif., but he has lived in Nashville, Tenn., for several years. He rejuvenated his career in 2010 after being chosen by Kahne to replace Cody Darrah, who was injured just hours before the first race of the season. McMahan’s performance in the #91 car was one of the most impressive accomplishments of the season, and it earned him another shot with Kasey Kahne Racing this season. McMahan, who has eight World of Outlaws main event victories in his career, would like nothing more than to take the checkered flag either Friday night at Merced or Saturday at Calistoga, where he’ll no doubt have many friends and family in attendance at the place where so many of his childhood memories were shaped by not only the racing but also the culture that surrounds the fairgrounds.
“The Speedway is located in a great part of the state,” said McMahan, who as an 11-year-old in 1981 was the national quarter midget champion and is the only driver to compete on the World of Outlaws circuit in cars owned by Kasey Kahne Racing and Tony Stewart Racing. “I remember the ladies used to get all dressed up and would go to wine tastings since all of the vineyards were near the track. Once everyone was done there, it was usually time to race so everyone just walked over to the speedway.”
Memories like that make McMahan, now a married father of two, eager to return to Calistoga. Plus, despite growing up in the Golden State, McMahan has never been to Merced Speedway and is looking forward to the series’ first visit to the quarter-mile bullring.
“Merced will be a fun event,” said McMahan, who has topped the field in qualifying three times already this season and set a historic record in February at Volusia Speedway Park when he turned a lap around the half-mile oval in 12.569 seconds. “Sprint car racing is always exciting and competitive anywhere you go in the state of California.”
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – For Funny Car points leader Mike Neff, the 2011 season is all about maximizing an unanticipated opportunity.
Right now, the driver appears to be doing just fine, thank you.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Austin Coil’s fingerprints are on every one of John Force’s record 132 NHRA tour victories.
Greg Biffle Victorious in Four-Wide Showdown with John Force, Matt
Kenseth and David Ragan Ahead of VisitMyrtleBeach.com Four-Wide
CONCORD, N.C. (March 29, 2011) – Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg
Biffle scored an upset victory in a four-wide battle of NASCAR stars
versus an NHRA legend today at zMAX Dragway during a race held to
promote the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals,
Defending VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Funny
Car champion John Force welcomed Biffle and fellow Roush Fenway Racing
drivers Matt Kenseth and David Ragan to his turf today for a four-wide
elimination battle in 2011 supercharged Ford Mustang GTs. Ragan, driver
of the No. 6 UPS Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was the driver
with the slowest time on the first pass and the first driver to be
eliminated. In an outcome that surprised everyone in attendance,
including media and visiting soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., Force was
eliminated with the slowest time on the second pass.
“They went out there and they did their job and they beat me,”
Force said. “I beat them on the tree but I tried to power shift the car
and I screwed up. It was pretty cool being out here with these NASCAR
kids, even though I lost big today.”
The final elimination pass left Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M
Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, battling fellow Roush Fenway
Racing driver Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and
driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford. The race was close, but Biffle
emerged victorious, winning the final round with an elapsed time of
13.284 on the world’s only four-lane, all concrete drag strip.
“I got lucky because I’ve drag raced in a Mustang before,”
Biffle said after his winning pass. “It was pretty neat to get a chance
to race against a 15-time champion like John Force. It feels good
beating him too. I had a lot of fun out there today.”
Fifteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion driver and 17-time champion
car owner Force was in Charlotte, N.C., today for the race and a media
tour promoting the VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
“I’m excited to come back to zMAX Dragway,” said Force. “There’s
only one place in the whole world to come see this four-wide racing and
that’s here. This is a family sport, with families out here racing, so
bring the family out and see the stars of the NHRA. I want to see a
packed house. Fans should get out of the house and come have some fun at
World of Outlaws Sprint Cars Focus on California Races at Merced, Calistoga
Weather forces officials to postpone make-up event at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway
CONCORD, N.C. – March 29, 2011 – Officials at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif., announced the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series makeup A-main scheduled to be completed on Thursday, March 31, has been postponed because the grounds are saturated following persistent rain in the area during the past week. The World of Outlaws officials are working with track and fairgrounds officials to find a new date to complete the event.
The event was originally scheduled for March 18, but as the A-main rolled onto the track that night following qualifying, heat races, the dash and the Last Chance Showdown, rain began to fall.
The Outlaws will now wrap up the California Spring Break with events on Friday at Merced Speedway and Saturday at Calistoga Speedway.
The California Swing kicked off on March 12 when Craig Dollansky captured the first round of the Golden State tour with a victory in the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico. After Mother Nature got the best of the Outlaws at Hanford, Joey Saldana held off 2010 World of Outlaws Series Champion Jason Meyers in an exciting duel on March 19 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare. All eyes this weekend will be on Meyers to see if he can pick up a victory in his home state. Also, can Steve Kinser continue his red hot start to 2011 or will Joey Saldana take over sole possession of first-place in the championship standings? Will Sammy Swindell add another victory to his total? Or will Donny Schatz break through and pick up his first victory of the season? Find out this weekend by going to Merced and Calistoga.
Friday, April 1, at Merced Speedway in Merced, Calif. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 2, at Calistoga Speedway in Calistoga, Calif. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
Merced Speedway is located 900 Martin Luther King Junior Way, Merced, Calif. Click here for directions.
Calistoga Speedway is located at 1435 North Oak Street, Calistoga, Calif. Click here for directions.
ABOUT THE TRACKS
Merced Speedway is a quarter-mile, semi-banked oval. This event will mark the first time the Outlaws visit Merced Speedway.
Calistoga is a half-mile, semi banked oval. Mark Kinser established the track record of 16.057 seconds on Aug. 29, 1997.
World of Outlaws A-Feature winners at Calistoga Speedway
2007 – Danny Lasoski on September 1 and 2
2006 – Craig Dollansky on September 3
2005 – Danny Lasoski on September 3
2004 – Donny Schatz on September 4
2003 – Danny Lasoski on August 31
2002 – Daryn Pittman on September 1
2001 – Jeff Shepard on September 2
2000 – Danny Lasoski on September 3
1999 – Sammy Swindell on September 5
1998 – Stevie Smith on September 6
1997 – Sammy Swindell on August 31
1996 – Dave Blaney on September 1
1995 – Steve Kinser on September 3
1994 – Jeff Swindell on September 4
1993 – Steve Kinser on September 5
1992 – Steve Kinser on September 6
1991 – Steve Kinser on September 1
1990 – Sammy Swindell on September 9
1989 – Jac Haudenschild on September 10
1987 – Steve Kinser on September 20
1986 – Doug Wolfgang on October 19 1978 – Rick Ferkel on June 10, Johnny Anderson on September 23
Turbo combination has Coughlin revved up for Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (March 28) — When Troy Coughlin is asked about his turbocharged JEGS.com Pontiac GTO, which he’ll be racing in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series at this weekend’s 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the veteran racer breaks into a wide smile.
“This car is incredibly fast,” said Coughlin, the only Pro Mod racer to qualify for every event in 2010. “It’s the quickest car I’ve ever driven. I feel like a kid again because I find myself thinking about it at random times. I can’t wait to get back to the track.”
Coughlin will compete in Sin City with new crew chief Jake Hairston’s racecar as he awaits delivery of his own Chevrolet Camaro, which is currently being built. The Hairston family won numerous West Coast races with the car, which is powered by a 396-cid turbocharged engine capable of five-second runs at more than 240 mph.
When Coughlin’s Camaro is completed, it will run the same engine combination.
“I think we’re going to see a time in the not-to-distant future when the turbos will run the same numbers as the supercharged cars at every event,” Coughlin said. “There won’t be great runs here or there; they’ll happen every round. We tried the turbo combination four years ago but the parts and pieces available back then weren’t reliable. Now they are, and we’re seeing record runs just about every race from a turbo car.
“It’s an animal to drive. The car pulls so hard and it really puts you back in the seat. You can feel it wants to run, and that’s exciting.”
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the perfect place for Coughlin to unleash his beast. The last time he was in town, at the fall event, he raced to the final four before bowing out to Melanie Troxel. One year prior, Coughlin’s son Troy Jr. won the event in his JEGS.com Super Comp dragster, his first national event victory. Coughlin’s brother Jeg has five Vegas trophies on his mantle.
“It’s a great track and it’s produced a lot of wonderful memories for our family,” Coughlin said. “I’d like to add another one this weekend.
“The best thing for a driver is to pull through the gates knowing you have a legitimate chance to win the race. With Jake and the guys, I know I have the best crew, and this turbo racecar is capable of being the quickest hot rod at the track. It’s a great feeling.”
Qualifying rounds begin at 2 and 5:30 p.m. PDT, Friday, and continue with one final round at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. This event will air at 4 p.m. EDT, Saturday, April 9, on ESPN2.
Quarter-mile nitro racing is back at San Antonio Raceway
Five nitro classes, hundreds of sportsman to fill the lanes at San Antonio Nitro Jam this weekend
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 28, 2010) – It has been three long years since the sights, sounds and smells of the world’s fastest and most exciting motorsports event filled the lanes at San Antonio Raceway.But after a long wait, fans of nitro-powered drag racing entertainment are finally going to get what they have been craving when the IHRA Nitro Jam series returns to the Alamo City for two days of over-the-top drag racing April 1-2 at the San Antonio Nitro Jam right in the heart of racing country.
Armed with a brand new racing format, all-new classes, more nitro-powered drag racing than ever before and the only quarter-mile Top Fuel racing in the country, Nitro Jam is ready to put on show like never before with a Texas-sized lineup awaiting Nitro Jam fans this weekend.
“It has been way too long since we were last in San Antonio, but we are glad to be back for one of the biggest events of the year,” said Nitro Jam President Aaron Polburn. “San Antonio is a place that loves its racing and knows how to have a good time and we are thrilled to be back with our biggest and best show yet. Texas fans are in for a treat when we bring in five nitro classes, jets, the best sportsman racing in the country and of course Grave Digger for two days of unforgettable racing.”
Indeed, the San Antonio Nitro Jam will feature the largest and most diverse lineup of nitro cars anywhere in the country all competing on the quarter-mile at San Antonio Raceway. Featuring everything from 320 mile per hour Top Fuel and Pro Fuel Dragsters, to eight of the best Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars in the land, insane Nitro Harleys and out-of-control Nostalgia Fuel Altereds, the San Antonio Nitro Jam will have something for everyone.
While fans at San Antonio raceway are no strangers to the sights and sounds of the 8,000 horsepower monsters known as Top Fuel, the four additional nitro classes will all be making their San Antonio Nitro Jam debut the first of next month.
In addition to the incredible nitro racing, the San Antonio Nitro Jam will also showcase an incredible thrill show for the Texas fans including a battle of 300 mph jet dragsters, a wheelstander and the most anticipated matchup in Nitro Jam history – the 30,000 horsepower Shockwave jet semi versus the world-famous Grave Digger monster truck.Throw in hundreds of the best sportsman racers in the country vying for national event glory and a spot in the year-end Summit Racing Tournament of Champions and you get a weekend that can’t be missed April 1-2 at San Antonio Raceway.
Fans can also take part in another new Nitro Jam tradition known as FanFest. Just before the start of the professional show, fans can enter the pits and get up close and personal with the biggest names in drag racing. FanFest also features different stations in the pits designed to give younger fans a unique experience including coloring contests, balloons, a reaction time contest, a chance to sign Bobby Lagana’s Top Fuel Dragster and more.
FanFest will get underway both days beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the “Nitro Earthquake” as all five nitro classes warm up at the same time creating an experience not found anywhere else in motorsports as the ground literally shakes and air fills with the sweet smell of nitromethane.
Also new this year is the Nitro Jam format itself. Professional qualifying has been eliminated in favor of a more exciting race-only format that makes every pass down the track count and awards a winner each night of racing. No longer are fans left waiting for the racing to matter as every pass can mean the difference between winning and going home.
All of the professional nitro classes and the exhibition acts will run twice each night beginning at 7 p.m. Sportsman racing has remained unchanged with qualifying on Friday and racing on Saturday.
Gates open both days at 8 a.m. with sportsman racing throughout the morning and afternoon. FanFest will begin both days at 5:30 p.m. followed by two rounds of Nitro Jam beginning at 7 p.m.
NHRA Las Vegas Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Edition
John Force to Race Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan in
Four-Wide Exhibition Race Tomorrow at zMAX Dragway in Advance of the
VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
Tuesday, March 29, noon at zMAX Dragway
Defending VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Funny Car
champion John Force will race three of Roush Fenway Racing’s best at the
Bellagio of drag strips. Force will welcome three NASCAR stars, Greg
Biffle, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan, to his turf for a four-wide battle
in 2011 Ford Mustang GTs.