Drag Racers to Invade Downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX (Feb. 11) -- The streets of downtown Phoenix will rumble to life with a different kind of traffic noise on Wednesday, February 24, when the fastest drivers in the world descend on Symphony Hall Terrace for an unprecedented midday party....

PHOENIX (Feb. 11) -- The streets of downtown Phoenix will rumble to life with a different kind of traffic noise on Wednesday, February 24, when the fastest drivers in the world descend on Symphony Hall Terrace for an unprecedented midday party. The best part is -- admission is free and everyone in the city of Phoenix is invited.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet many of the sport's top drivers and get a close up look at the cars these pros regularly drive to speeds in excess of 300 mph. The drivers will be in town preparing for the 15th Annual Checker Schucks Kragen Nationals presented by Pennzoil, which takes place at Firebird International Raceway Feb. 25-28.

The unique event at Symphony Hall Terrace (located on Monroe and Second) will open to the public at 11 a.m. with a two hour-long autograph session that will continue through the lunch hour. Then, at 1 p.m. sharp, the real thunder of drag racing will come to life when CSK Funny Car driver Del Worsham fires-up his 6,200 horsepower machine for a "live" engine display that's sure to rattle every window in downtown Phoenix.

The impressive list of professional drivers that will join Worsham at the event include: Eddie Hill, the pilot of the Pennzoil/Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster; Jim Head, the pilot of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Top Fuel Dragster; Cory McClenathan, the driver of the MBNA/Gumout Top Fuel Dragster; Cruz Pedregon, the driver of the Interstate Batteries/Gumout Funny Car; Mike Dunn, the driver of the Mopar Top Fuel Dragster; Chuck Etchells, the owner of the Kendall Motor Oil Funny Car; Whit Bazemore, the driver of the Kendall Motor Oil Funny Car; Mike Thomas, the driver of the Pennzoil Pro Stock Pontiac; Bruce Allen, the driver of the Outlaw Fuel Additives Pro Stock Pontiac; Shawn Collins, the driver of the Collins Racing Pro Stock Pontiac; and Richie "The Kid" Stevens, the driver of the Collins Racing/Valspar Refinish Pro Stock Pontiac.

Additionally, several of the sportsman-level classes will be represented. Car Craft Driver of the Year Mike Ferderer, the driver of both the Pennzoil Super Gas Pontiac and the Gumout Super Comp Dragster, will be joined by Bill Kent, the driver of the Pennzoil Competition Dragster and 19-year-old sensation Amanda Harbin, the driver of the Sun Country Super Gas Corvette. Harbin is a Phoenix native and local college student.

Organizers of the downtown event hope that bringing the real sights and sounds of the National Hot Rod Association directly to the people of Phoenix will produce an abundance of new drag racing fans. One thing is certain -- it will be a day this city will remember for a long time.

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