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IHRA Heads to Norwalk Raceway Park for the 28th Annual Skull Gear World Nationals presented by PPG The date that every racer circles on the calendar is rapidly approaching. The Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series returns to Norwalk Raceway Park...

IHRA Heads to Norwalk Raceway Park for the 28th Annual Skull Gear World Nationals presented by PPG

The date that every racer circles on the calendar is rapidly approaching. The Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series returns to Norwalk Raceway Park for the 28th Annual Skull Gear World Nationals presented by PPG August 25-28. The event, widely considered as the premier race on the IHRA circuit, has seen some of the most storied names in drag racing history competing for an Ironman. The race attracts nearly a thousand entries from across the country all trying to make some history of their own.

In Top Fuel, Clay Millican (Drummonds, Tenn.) heads to Norwalk with a sizable lead over second place Doug Foley (Sewell, N.J.), but Foley hasn't thrown in the towel yet. Millican sits 159 points in front of Foley, and his victory at U.S. 131--his sixth of the year--puts him as the favorite to win at NRP. There looks to be another stout field in the class, as Torco sponsored T.J. Zizzo (Round Lake, Ill.), who made a lot of noise during the Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals, and Dale Creasy Jr. (Beecher, Ill.) bring their Top Fuel dragsters to try their luck at the venerable track. Add to the mix the ever dangerous Bruce Litton (Indianapolis, Ind.) and everybody's favorite underdog Bobby Lagana (Scarsdale, N.Y.), and the bump--which was a blistering 4.836 at U.S. 131--could dip into the 4.70s.

In Torco Pro Modified, Carl "Big Dog" Spiering (Jordan Station, Ont.) won the Torco Pro Modified Shootout, but Mike Castellana (Westbury, N.Y.) fired back and won the event, his second victory of the year. Shannon Jenkins (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) is quietly putting together a championship season with his consistency, but Castellana's win puts him only four points behind his teammate Jenkins. Jim Halsey (Street, Md.) sits in third, and Spiering's recent successes have moved him up to fourth place, with Ed Hoover (Gilbert, S.C.) in fifth.

In Funny Car, Rob Atchison (London, Ont.) looks for his seventh win of the season coming into Norwalk. Atchison and his Erickson Manufacturing Pontiac have been heads and shoulders above the competition for most of the season as he and his team continue their quest for their third consecutive world championship. Jim Sickles (Caledonia, N.Y.) has emerged as the most serious threat to Atchison's title hopes, but every time Sickles lays down a low ET, Atchison fires right back. Atchison currently leads Sickles by 146 points, with Mark Thomas (Louisville, Ohio) in third, Thomas Carter (Cuero, Texas) in fourth, and Terry McMillen (Elkhart, Ind.) in fifth.

In Torco Race Fuels Pro Stock, Steve Spiess (Manhattan, Ill.) continues his methodical march to the championship. Spiess took home his third victory of the season at U.S. 131, and is poised as he heads to Norwalk to extend his lead and leave the competition behind. But Robert Patrick (Fredericksburg, Va.) isn't done yet, and he is looking to put his Purvis Ford Mustang back into the winner's circle. Spiess leads Patrick by 122 points, with Dan Seamon (Bellevue, Ohio) in third, Tony Gillig (Lake Bluff, Ill.) in fourth, and Frank Gugliotta (Mt. Airy, Md.) in fifth.

-ihra-

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Clay Millican , Robert Patrick , Ed Hoover , Shannon Jenkins , Jim Sickles , Doug Foley , Jim Halsey , Steve Spiess , Frank Gugliotta , Terry McMillen