Nitro News 2000-03-30

** NHRA NITRO NEWS ** Vol. 5, Issue 11 March 29, 2000 NEW SPONSORSHIP PACTS ANNOUNCED It was announced earlier today that Castrol Consumer North America has reached a multi-year agreement with the NHRA to become the series...

** NHRA NITRO NEWS ** Vol. 5, Issue 11 March 29, 2000

NEW SPONSORSHIP PACTS ANNOUNCED

It was announced earlier today that Castrol Consumer North America has reached a multi-year agreement with the NHRA to become the series sponsor of the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League. In addition to becoming the title sponsor for the NHRA Castrol GTX Jr. Drag Racing League, Castrol also becomes the official motor oil of the Jr. Drag Racing League. Speaking of officials, it also was announced that Summit Racing Equipment, an industry leader in distribution of auto racing parts and equipment through catalogs and the Internet, has expanded its partnership with the National Hot Rod Association to become the official automotive mail-order catalog of NHRA.

JETER JUMPS CAMP TO PRO STOCK

In case you missed the week's big news on the track, Brad Jeter, who finished second for the 1999 Winston Pro Stock Truck championship, abruptly announced his departure from the Jerry Haas team and his replacement of Steve Schmidt as driver of Schmidt's Dynagear Pro Stock Pontiac at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. According to Jeter, the deal came together for a couple of reasons. First was Schmidt's willingness to climb out of the cockpit, which was helped along by a damaged rotator cuff in Schmidt's right shoulder that will probably require surgery. Second was Schmidt's distinguished 27-year career that includes four top 10 finishes and three national event wins as a Pro. For details, visit NHRA.com

VEGAS RACE READY TO ROLL

Drivers and teams are revving up for next weekend's NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, with lots of early arrivals to check out the new facility and spend a little time rolling the dice before they roll them for real on the new track. The NHRA web site will be revving up over the next week with pre-race reports from the top Pro teams as they turn their eyes toward The Strip. For updated photos of the track, visit the website at www.lvms.com.

LEE'S NEW CAR TO DEBUT IN VEGAS

Driver Cory Lee's Pro Motorsports Stores/Team Nasty Racing/Rat Fink Dodge Avenger Funny Car will be unveiled next Wednesday, April 5 at the Race Rock Cafe in Las Vegas. Lee, who will debut the car at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals the following weekend, will be available at the unveiling ceremony for autographs from 7 to 9 p.m., and Steve Harwell, lead singer of Smash Mouth, will be making an appearance to represent his newly formed alliance Team Nasty and their apparel line. Lee will also be at Fan Fest Night at Race Rock from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6.

CLAPSHAW READIES SPIRIT OF LAS VEGAS

Former Funny Car racer Gary Clapshaw, who finished eighth in Winston Funny Car points in 1995 on the strength of his only national event win in Memphis that year. The former resident of Battle Ground, Wash., out of racing since the 1996 season opener, is set to debut a '00 Brad Hadman-built Spirit of Las Vegas Top Fueler at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. Clapshaw has not yet crossgraded his Funny Car license, so Rocky Epperly has been slated to drive in Las Vegas.

PATRICK WILL HAVE MUSTANG IN LAS VEGAS

Ford fans will have a new Pro Stock body style to cheer for at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals when Robert Patrick pilots his '00 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra. Jerry Haas built the new-generation chassis and Hairy Glass did the body.

HAMMONDS SIGNS TWO NEW SPONSORS

Though he has yet to make a competitive lap in 2000, the Minnesota Timberwolves' Tom Hammonds continues to strengthen his effort for his planned debut at the Virginia Nationals, depending on the team's NBA playoff run. Hammonds has signed GM Performance Parts and American Racing Wheels to join standing backers Winnebago, Chevrolet, Mac Tools, and Kendall for the 2000 campaign. Hammonds plans to run Ron Krisher power.

THE RETURN OF CRUZ PEDREGON

Cruz will make it three Pedregons at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals as the 1992 Winston Funny Car champion returns after a DNQ at the AutoZone Winternationals caused him to skip the events in Phoenix and Gainesville. Five test runs in Tucson last weekend make him and tuner Dale Pulde feel ready to re-enter the fray.

NATIONAL DRAGSTER CLASS NOTEBOOKS

At the Mac Tools Gatornationals, Richard Beshore nearly joined National DRAGSTER columnist Jeremy Torstveit on the short list of national- event winners who are also cardiovascular surgeons. The Mason, Mich., resident has been a surgeon for more than 20 years. Read all about him in this week's Super Stock Notebook in National DRAGSTER. In this week's Stock Notebook, ND takes a look at the latest small-block Chevy - the all-aluminum LS-1 that is standard in new Corvettes, Camaros, and Firebirds - which may not be the Stock world-beater it was expected to be.

UP THIS WEEKEND: DIVISION 2 IN GEORGIA

The Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series moves this weekend to Georgia for the third event on the Division 2 calendar at Silver Dollar Raceway in Reynolds. NHRA Online will have nightly coverage of qualifying and eliminations.

-NHRA-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Robert Patrick , Brad Jeter , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds , Steve Schmidt , Cory Lee , Jerry Haas , Dale Pulde