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SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS TO BE CONTESTED UNDER THE LIGHTS GLENDORA, Calif. -- The thrill and excitement of nighttime drag racing will be the main attraction at the third annual Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 24-26 at Gateway International ...

SEARS CRAFTSMAN NATIONALS TO BE CONTESTED UNDER THE LIGHTS

GLENDORA, Calif. -- The thrill and excitement of nighttime drag racing will be the main attraction at the third annual Sears Craftsman Nationals, June 24-26 at Gateway International Raceway.

The NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event near St. Louis will feature professional category qualifying and eliminations contested exclusively under the lights during three nights guaranteed to showcase a spectacular display of fire and speed.

The nighttime format will feature final eliminations for all pro categories contested on Saturday, instead of Sunday.

NHRA Senior Vice President for Racing Operations Graham Light said a variety of factors prompted the decision to change the event format, most notably the extreme heat that's typical of a midwest summer day.

"We wanted to make this event more enjoyable for both the spectators and the competitors," said Light. "During the last two events the temperatures during the day have entered the 100-plus range. We feel an all-night format will better serve this event."

Sears Craftsman Nationals qualifying will be held Thursday and Friday, with daytime sportsman sessions and evening pro sessions. Pro Stock, Pro Stock Truck and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying will begin at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Top Fuel and Funny Car will run at 5 and 9 p.m. Eliminations will start Saturday at 4 p.m.

Tickets for the Sears Craftsman Nationals are available by calling the Gateway International Raceway at (888) 827-7333.

BOUDREAU NEW NHRA DIRECTOR OF TICKETING AND CUSTOMER SERVICE GLENDORA, Calif. -- Don Boudreau has been named director of ticketing and customer service for the National Hot Rod Association, NHRA Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Peter Clifford has announced.

Boudreau, 36, comes to the NHRA after a distinguished career in ticketing for the Disney Corp., where he worked in a variety of ticketing capacities for several of Disney's major entities, including the Anaheim Mighty Ducks of the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball's Anaheim Angels.

Boudreau will be responsible for ticketing at all NHRA national events, as well as head of membership processing for National Dragster, NHRA's official publication. In addition, he will oversee NHRA's customer service department.

"I'm very excited about this great opportunity," Boudreau said. "I'm looking forward to all aspects of the job, but especially the challenge of handling customer service responsibilities. I plan to listen to each and every call and respond to all problems, no matter how big or small."

During 14 years with Disney Corp., Boudreau worked in ticketing, parking and attractions at Disneyland, served as ticket manager for the Queen Mary ocean liner for four years, ticket manager for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for five years and worked in ticketing and seating for the Anaheim Angels for two years.

"One of our strategic objectives is to continue to improve our customers experience with the NHRA," Clifford said. "Don Boudreau will play a major role in leading our new ticketing and customer service functions. His prior experience with the Disney company, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Anaheim Angels will be invaluable."

Boudreau, a resident of Santa Ana, Calif., received a bachelor of arts degree in history and social studies from Cal State Long Beach. He and his wife, Leslie, have two sons, Brett, 2, and James, 1.

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