PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE RETURNS TO ACTION IN ENGLISHTOWN: After a break in their 16-race schedule, riders in the two-wheel NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series class, Pro Stock Motorcycle will return at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, May 31-June 3, the ninth of 23 events in the 2012 season. Last season, Matt Smith, far lane, defeated Karen Stoffer in the final round to earn his first victory of 2011. So far this year, Vance & Hines has dominated, winning the first three events. Many other teams have been right on their tails, and that won’t stop when we get to Englishtown. For tickets, call (732) 446-7800 or log on to RacewayPark.com.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR TOYOTA NHRA SUPERNATIONALS: Old Bridge Township Raceway Park will host the 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, May 31-June 3, the ninth of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. Drivers are in the championship hunt and will provide fans with plenty of heart-pounding action in four categories: Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The 2011 event winners – Spencer Massey (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) – are poised to defend their victories at the event that will be televised on ESPN2HD. For tickets, call (732) 446-7800 or log on to RacewayPark.com.
FORCE AND HIGHT TO HONOR ELVIS IN BRISTOL: John Force and teammate Robert Hight will honor the legacy of the King of Rock 'n' Roll during the 12th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers at Bristol Dragway, June 15-17. In conjunction with Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. and Lionel NASCAR Collectables, John Force Racing will again feature Presley on its Ford Mustang Funny Cars. Each driver will be competing in a specially-designed Elvis 35th anniversary Ford Mustang Funny Car for this onetime special weekend. A number of fan promotions surrounding this event are also in the works. Lionel NASCAR Collectables will offer 1/24- and 1/64-scale diecast cars of both Force’s Castrol GTX High Mileage/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car and Hight’s Auto Club/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car. Each diecast is available for preorder at NHRAdiecast.com, home of the officially licensed diecast of the NHRA. For tickets to the event at Bristol Dragway, call (423) 989-6900 or log on to BristolDragway.com.
HE SAID, SHE SAID
BACK IN THE HUNT: Funny Car driver Jack Beckman has been through a lot since April at the Las Vegas race, including switching crews and car and even a DNQ, but it was all put behind him with his victory in Topeka. “It’s a big win for us. We’re right back in the hunt. So much has transpired since Las Vegas. We switched cars, we switched trailers, and we switched teams. It’s great to know that we have a car that we can win with again. That was my 13th win, and I try to appreciate every win because you never know when it can be your last.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
2,254: THE NUMBER OF DAYS BETWEEN WINS FOR TOPEKA TOP FUEL CHAMP GRUBNIC: David Grubnic, driver of the Candlewood Suites/Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster, earned his first win in six seasons at NHRA’s most recent event in Topeka, Kan., site of his first win in 2005. Grubnic outran points leader Spencer Massey en route to his third career victory and made sure to thank his Kalitta Motorsports team for all of his success.
DID YOU KNOW…
NHRA TOP FUEL DRAGSTERS TO OPEN PRE-RACE CEREMONIES AT COCA-COLA 600: Fox Sports TV motorsports analyst Jeff Hammond, a five-time Cup series champion as crew chief or crewmember, will be the official starter for the double Top Fuel dragster burnout on pit road before the start of the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Don Schumacher Racing’s U.S. Army team, with seven-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion Tony Schumacher, and teammate Antron Brown, with his Matco Tools team, will put on the powerful display on pit road at 5 p.m., about 90 minutes before the green flag drops to start the Coca-Cola 600 that will be broadcast on Fox. Hammond is the last component added to what certainly will be another of the track's renowned pre-race salutes to the U.S. armed forces before the Memorial Day weekend race.