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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164 July 28, 1997 Mauney back in championship form for CARQUEST Northern Nationals STANTON, Mich. -- Last year Tommy Mauney ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164

July 28, 1997

Mauney back in championship form for CARQUEST Northern Nationals

STANTON, Mich. -- Last year Tommy Mauney questioned his ability to win. After three straight final round appearances and one victory this season, he's found the answer. Mauney, the 1995 Pro Modified World Champion, will be looking for final round number four, and win number two, Aug. 8-10 as the IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing Series heads to the Mid-Michigan Motorplex for the 16th annual CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads. The race is the fifth of eight national events on the IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing Series. The success this season is helping Mauney forget a disastrous 1996 season, that he says fell apart right from the start. "It was awful," said Mauney, a resident of Shelby, N.C. "I didn't even win a round before June. I tried to run a new car and it just didn't click. It was fast but it wasn't consistent. I learned a lot from last season. Things like that can humble you real quick." Mauney debuted a brand new 1963 Corvette with a huge rear-wing in 1996, a setup that didn't produce the results Mauney thought it would. After winning three races and the championship in 1995 driving his familiar purple and white 1941 Willys, Mauney didn't make a final round appearance the next season behind the wheel of the Vette. This season Mauney has a combination in a brand new '63 Splitwindow that makes the grade: It's a quick bracket car. To his credit, he's been among the top two qualifiers at the last two national events. And heading into the CARQUEST Northern Nationals, he's moved ahead in the Snap-on Tools championship points chase. "The last three races have been a big confidence booster," said Mauney, who ended his winless drought by taking the Raybestos Summer Nationals in Cordova, Ill. "It got so bad last year that I didn't know if I could do this anymore. But now I'm sure I can. I've never felt as prepared to race than I do now." And he'll need a sense of confidence to continue his winning ways in the category. With as many as 52 cars trying for 16 spots on Sunday, one mental lapse could mean an early trip home. "It's as tough now as it's ever been," Mauney said. "You really have to be on your game and try not to beat yourself. First you've got to qualify. Once you do that, then you can start thinking about racing. Our fields this season have been separated by a tenth-of-a- second. It's been really close." Other contenders in Pro Modified include Rickie Smith, who earned victories at the prestigious Prolong Spring Nationals and the Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals; defending and five-time IHRA World Champion Scotty Cannon, who is overdue for a win this season in a new 1940 Willys; and Shannon Jenkins, who has also had some bad luck this season driving Mauney's old 1941 Willys. Other professional categories to be contested at the CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads include Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Alcohol Funny Car. Eight sportsman categories will complete the event. In addition to IHRA's 12 regular classes of competition, there will be special exhibition runs by jet dragsters and a wheel-stander both Saturday and Sunday. The Mid-Michigan Motorplex is located three miles east of Stanton on State Route 522, then two miles north on Wyman Road.

GENERAL INFORMATION *Schedule: Spectator gates open daily at 8 a.m. Sportsman qualifying begins Friday at 8:30 a.m., followed by two rounds of professional qualifying at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (There will be only one session of Top Fuel qualifying on Friday, at 4:30 p.m.). Sportsman and pro qualifying resumes Saturday, culminating with the CARQUEST Night of Fire -- the final professional qualifying session, starting at 8 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 12 noon on Sunday. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads. General admission tickets are $15 Friday; $30 Saturday; and $30 Sunday. A three day combo ticket is available for $60. All tickets include pit pass and free spectator parking. For additional ticket information call the Mid-Michigan Motorplex (517) 762-5043 or the IHRA office at (423) 764-1164.

*On TV: The CARQUEST Northern Nationals presented by Dart Heads will be televised tape-delay by ESPN2. Professional race coverage will be shown on Sept. 7 at 3:30 p.m., and again on Sept. 8 at 2 a.m. Sportsman coverage will be televised on Sept. 7 at 3 p.m., and again on Sept. 8 at 1:30 a.m.

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Series Drag
Drivers Scotty Cannon , Shannon Jenkins , Rickie Smith