Indy ORP: Pre-event notes, schedule

56th ANNUAL MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS presented by Lucas Oil FACT SHEET WHAT: 56th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, 18th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and the first of six races in the NHRA Full...

56th ANNUAL MAC TOOLS U.S. NATIONALS presented by Lucas Oil FACT SHEET

WHAT: 56th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, 18th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and the first of six races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. The top 10 drivers in four categories - Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle - earn points leading to 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: O'Reilly RacewayPark at Indianapolis, Clermont, Ind. From I-465, exit Crawfordsville Road (Hwy. 136). Head west for four miles through the town of Clermont. The facility's main entrance is on the left, one-half mile past Raceway Road.

COURSE: Championship dragstrip; Track elevation is 700 feet above sea level; Track direction is south to north.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 6.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $2 million.

SCHEDULE:

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1

LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying, 8:30 a.m.

THURSDAY, Sept. 2

LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations, 8 a.m.

FRIDAY, Sept. 3 -LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations, 7:30 a.m.

GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4:30 p.m.

FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 5:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, Sept. 4

LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying and eliminations, 7:30 a.m.

GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 2:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 3and 6 p.m.

SUNDAY, Sept. 5

LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations, 7:30 a.m.

GET SCREENED AMERICA PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 2 p.m.; first round of eliminations at 5 p.m.

FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

MONDAY, Sept. 6

Pre-race ceremonies, 9:30 a.m.

FULL THROTTLE SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION:
Sunday, Sept. 5, ESPN2 HD will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 10 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 5, ESPN2 HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute magazine show at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 5, ESPN2 HD will televise two hours and 30 minutes of qualifying coverage at 11:30 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 5, ESPN2 HD will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 5 p.m. (ET).
Monday, Sept. 6, ESPN2 HD will televise five hours of eliminations coverage at 1 p.m. (ET).

2009 EVENT WINNERS: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; Ashley Force Hood, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin, Pro Stock; Hector Arana, Pro Stock Motorcycle;

MOST VICTORIES: Bob Glidden, Pro Stock, 9; Don Garlits, Top Fuel, 8; Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel, 8; Don Prudhomme, Top Fuel and Funny Car, 7; Warren Johnson, Pro Stock, 6; Dave Schultz, Pro Stock Motorcycle, 6; Ed McCulloch, Funny Car and Top Fuel, 6; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, 5; John Force, Funny Car, 4.

EVENT HISTORY: The most historic and prestigious event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil has been contested annually since 1955. Originally known as "The Nationals" and first held at an abandoned airstrip in Great Bend, Kan., the event made stops at Kansas City, Mo., Oklahoma City and Detroit before eventually moving to O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in 1961. Past winners include "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, an eight-time winner in Top Fuel; Shirley Muldowney, 1982 Top Fuel winner; Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, a seven-time winner and one of a handful of drivers to win the event in both Top Fuel and Funny Car; and Bob Glidden, the legendary Pro Stock driver who dominated the race by advancing to the final round in 13 consecutive seasons from 1977-'89. The Indiana native won the event a record nine times. It is the only major motorsports event to be contested on Labor Day. In 2004 the event celebrated its 50th anniversary in memorable fashion with spectacular racing witnessed by one of the biggest crowds in NHRA history. Once again this year there promises to be major drama at the event as it will be the kick-off for the Countdown to 1, NHRA's six-race championship playoffs in the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.

FAST FACTS: The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil is the first round of the six-race championship playoffs in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship... Tony Schumacher has advanced to the last eight Top Fuel final rounds at the event and is a 10-time U.S. Nationals finalist (winning eight)... Schumacher's first career NHRA start came at the U.S. Nationals in 1996 and the then rookie posted a runner-up finish to Cory McClenathan... Pro Stock phenom Greg Anderson has won the race five times in the past nine seasons... Seven female drivers representing three professional categories are pre-entered for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil. Ashley Force Hood, the 2009 Funny Car winner, joins Angelle Sampey, a two time winner in Pro Stock Motorcycle, and Shirley Muldowney, who won the race in 1982 in Top Fuel, as the only women to win the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil in a pro category... John Force, 14-time NHRA Full Throttle Series world champion and winner of a record 130 events and current points leader in Funny Car, has won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil four times, his last coming in 2002... "The Professor" Warren Johnson has six Pro Stock victories at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, but none this decade. His last victory at the event came in 1999 when he defeated his former crew chief Greg Anderson in the final round.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil is the first of six races which comprise the NHRA's championship playoffs, the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship... The top 10 drivers in each Full Throttle Series category enters this race with their championship points reset (first place holds a 30-point lead over second, and a 110-point lead over 10th place)... Tony Schumacher is seeking his record-breaking ninth Top Fuel victory at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals; with a win he will break his current tie with the legendary "Big Daddy" Don Garlits for most U.S. Nationals wins in Top Fuel... A victory would put Schumacher in a tie with nine-time Pro Stock winner Bob Glidden for most victories in U.S. Nationals history in any pro category... Three-time Pro Stock world champion Greg Anderson is seeking his sixth overall Mac Tools U.S. Nationals victory while legend Warren Johnson is seeking his seventh win at the prestigious race...Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, Ed McCulloch and Jim Head have won the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Top Fuel driver Antron Brown, a two-time winner of the event in Pro Stock Motorcycle, has the opportunity to become the fifth driver to win the race in multiple pro categories.

TRACK HISTORY: In 1958, led by Tom Binford, Frank Dickie, Rodger Ward and Howard Fieber, 15 Indianapolis-area businessmen and racing professionals invested $5,000 each to fund the development of what would become O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The group purchased a 267-acre farm about seven miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and developed a multipurpose auto racing facility. The original intention in creating O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis was to design a 15-turn, 2.5-mile road course. Nearly as an afterthought, and as an insurance measure against economic problems, the investment group decided to incorporate a quarter-mile drag strip into the long straightaway of the 2.5-mile road course design. Constructed with assistance from the NHRA, the drag strip was the first of the three courses to be completed, with the facility's first event held on the strip in the fall of 1960.During the 1960 U.S. Nationals in Detroit, a handshake agreement between Binford and NHRA founder Wally Parks promised that the event would move to O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis in 1961. The historic three-year pact was signed and sealed under a tree in Detroit Dragway's pits, and O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis eventually became the home of NHRA's biggest annual event.The NHRA purchased the entire facility in 1979. The first major improvement came in 1983 with the construction and dedication of ParksTower, the four-story drag strip tower. In 1998, new grandstands, suites and a tower complex on the front straightaway were completed at the oval track at a cost of nearly $2.5 million, which included the repaving of the entire oval surface as part of a three-phase facility improvement project. In 2001, NHRA and O'Reilly Raceway Park constructed a new drag strip racing surface, replacing the strip with a 660-foot concrete pad and laying new asphalt on the remainder of the track and shutdown area. Prior to the 2003 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, eight new luxury suites were added along the top of the west-side grandstands of the drag strip, giving fans a unique perspective of the action on the famed quarter-mile track. In 2006, new soft barrier walls were added to the oval. In 2007, the track announced its first track entitlement with O'Reilly Auto Parts. The track - formerly known as Indianapolis Raceway Park - is now known as O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. During the winter of 2008, a new main track office building was constructed near the track entrance.

DRIVER QUICK QUOTES:

Tony Schumacher, Chicago, U.S. Army dragster, eight-time Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Top Fuel winner: "I always look forward to the U.S. Nationals, but this year's race will be special for many reasons. First, the U.S. Army and Don Schumacher Racing will be celebrating 10 years together. We're looking forward to an enjoyable weekend with our Army Strong Soldiers. Of course, I'm going to try and set the record for most U.S. Nationals Top Fuel wins at nine. Should I be successful, it would clearly be a major career accomplishment. However, winning Indy again would also mean we're off to a good start in the Countdown. It's playoff time and we need to make a statement right out of the box."

Ashley Force Hood, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, 2009 Funny Car winner at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, one of only three women to win the U.S. Nationals in a pro category: "I am looking forward to the Countdown. Going back to Indy to defend my title will be big. We will have a lot of fans supporting us and I think this Castrol GTX Mustang is just about to turn the corner. I have a great team and a great car. Robert (Hight) showed last year that you can win the championship from anywhere you just have to be in the Countdown to have a chance. We are in the Countdown and we are ready."

Greg Anderson, Concord, N.C., Summit Racing Pontiac GXP, five-time Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Pro Stock winner: "Since day one, I thought it was the greatest thing on wheels, and that is how I treat it now that I race there in my Summit Racing Pontiac. I don't go to Indy trying to act like it's any other race - I got there like it's the U.S. Nationals, where it means the world to win."

Andrew Hines, Indianapolis, Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson, current Full Throttle Series Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader: "The U.S. Nationals is a very prestigious race with history that goes way back in all of the categories. To be racing a Harley-Davidson V-Rod at that event with the top riders in the world is still amazing to me. I remember growing up and hearing who won the event and thinking that someday I would just like to go to Indy. Now, I get to race there."

TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also are available online at www.NHRATIX.com.

GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Wednesday: Adult, $10, Junior (6-12 years), free; Thursday: Adult, $25, Junior (6-12 years), free; Friday: Adult, $35; Junior (6-12 years), $10; Saturday: Adult, $46; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Sunday: Adult, $49; Junior (6-12 years), $10. Monday: Adult, $49; Junior (6-12 years), $10; Child (5 years and under), free in general admission and pit areas each day.

RESERVED (includes pit pass) - Friday: Adult, $45; Junior (6-12 years), $20; Child (5 years and under), $10. Saturday: Adult, $58; Junior (6-12 years), $22; Child (5 years and under), $12. Sunday: Adult, $61; Junior (6-12 years), $24; Child (5 years and under), $14. Monday: Adult, $61; Junior (6-12 years), $24; Child (5 years and under), $14.

-source: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Shirley Muldowney , Antron Brown , Jeg Coughlin , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Greg Anderson , Bob Glidden , Don Garlits , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Ashley Force , Andrew Hines , Don Schumacher , Angelle Sampey