National: Brian Thiel Las Vegas preview

Thiel hoping to win one for the kids in Vegas Las Vegas, Nev. -- The 2009 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is more than just a simple drag race for Pleasant Grove, Calif. rice farmer Brian Thiel. This is an opportunity...

Thiel hoping to win one for the kids in Vegas

Las Vegas, Nev. -- The 2009 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is more than just a simple drag race for Pleasant Grove, Calif. rice farmer Brian Thiel. This is an opportunity to win a race for Bruton Smith's Speedway Children's Charities at his track.

Flying the colors of Speedway Children's Charities this weekend, Thiel believes his 2002 Chevy Camaro Funny Car will not only make the tough 16-car field, but be a threat to take home the "Wally" in NHRA's tough Division 7 NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car classification. "This car has been thundering recently," noted Thiel. "At the D-7 race in Bakersfield it was one of the fastest cars out there and this new motor we have is producing some great numbers."

Thiel enters this weekend's race being tuned by his friend and team mate Divison 6 NHRA champion Brian Hough. Hough and Thiel both feel the conditions in Vegas will produce some stellar elapsed times. "The air in Vegas this time of year will be ripe for the pickings", Thiel stated. "I wouldn't be surprised to see a few 5.50's out of these cars this weekend. The car has been running great to half track recently and if we can fix our blower issues, the Speedway Children's Charities Camaro we will be a threat this weekend."

Making a difference in a child's life is the focus of Speedway Children's Charities. SCC strives to do this in collaboration with the non-profit organizations it supports nationwide. Individually, SCC's local chapters identify the needs of children in their communities and award grants to organizations that address them. Last December, the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities granted $314,000 to 67 local children's causes during its annual grant distribution ceremony. The charity also raised over $16,000 dollars at the Cards for Kids Poker fund raiser this past Wednesday night at the Cannery Casino and Hotel.

Thiel's team will have three attempts to crack the tough 16-car fields beginning on Friday at 11:00 am. The team will host over 20 children who were helped by the Speedway Children's Charities foundation in 2009 at 2:30pm on Friday afternoon.

-credit: btr

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Series NHRA