Bristol Fall preview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164 August 28, 1997 Bristol Dragway to host inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals BRISTOL, Tenn. -- IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Anthony Vestal IHRA Director of Communications More information: (423) 764-1164

August 28, 1997

Bristol Dragway to host inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- IHRA Snap-on Tools Championship Drag Racing returns to Bristol Dragway Sept. 5-7 for the inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable. The race is the eighth of nine national events on the IHRA Snap-on Tools Drag Racing Series. Professional and sportsman drivers in 13 different IHRA categories will help the Bristol community end its annual two-week fall celebration -- the Autumn Chase Festival -- with the roar of high-powered engines. Many of those drivers are anticipating celebrations of their own once the smoke clears Sunday evening. The event is of utmost importance to drivers seeking IHRA Snap-on Tools World Championships. In Top Fuel, a three-way battle has developed over the course of the season. CARQUEST dragster pilot Paul Romine -- credited with Bristol's second-ever 'Blowover' during his last trip to Thunder Valley -- will look to add to his points lead with a victory. Defending IHRA World Champion Doug Herbert is making one of his patented late season charges, while the legendary Shirley Muldowney has her sights set on becoming only the third racer to claim Top Fuel titles in three different sanctioning bodies. Other top contenders in Top Fuel include Danny Dunn, Rhonda Hartman, Jim Bailey and Bruce Litton. Floyd Cheek and Richie Stevens lead the Pro Stock contingent. Cheek has two victories during the season, while Stevens boasts three final round appearances. Jon Yoak, Roy Hill, Tim Nabors, Angelo Alesci and Doug Kirk are all serious threats to win in Pro Stock. Pro Modified has also evolved into a three-way title battle. Tommy Mauney, the 1995 Pro Mod champ, has one win in three final rounds. Rickie Smith and Shannon Jenkins are well within striking distance of Mauney's points lead. Oak Ridge, Tenn.'s Von Smith has been the most consistent in Alcohol Funny Car, aided by a victory at Cordova Dragway Park and runnerup finish at the Mid-Michigan Motorplex. Four-time world champ Mark Thomas is looking for another title, while Jimmy Rector, Scott Weis, Jim Sickles and Jim Lape are capable of a victory. Nine classes of sportsman competition will complete the event. In addition to professional and sportsman competition, the inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals will also feature the powerful jet Kenworth of Bob Motz, as well as two jet dragsters for exhibition runs. Bristol Dragway is located on Hwy. 11 E between Bristol and Johnson City. GENERAL INFORMATION

* Schedule: Gates open daily at 8 a.m. Qualifying begins Friday at 8:30 a.m., with the first pro sessions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Qualifying resumes Saturday at 9 a.m., and culminates with the 8 p.m. Double Kwik Markets Night of Fire -- the final professional qualifying session. Final eliminations begin Sunday at 12 noon.

* Tickets: Tickets are available for the inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable. General admission prices are Friday $12; Saturday $30; and Sunday $30. A two-day pass is available for $50. Children 12-under are free. All ticket prices include free pit pass.

* On TV: The inaugural Autumn Chase Nationals presented by Marcus Cable will be televised on a tape-delay basis by ESPN2. Check your local listings for show times.

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Series Drag
Drivers Paul Romine , Mark Thomas , Shirley Muldowney , Bruce Litton , Scott Weis , Angelo Alesci , Shannon Jenkins , Rickie Smith , Jim Sickles , Von Smith