Nitro Battles Rage As eMax Drag Racing Series Heads to Toronto Motorsports Park NORWALK, Ohio (July 13, 2006) -- The IHRA season is just heating up, and the Nitro classes are as tight as they could be heading into the IHRA Canadian Nationals...
Nitro Battles Rage As eMax Drag Racing Series Heads to Toronto Motorsports Park
NORWALK, Ohio (July 13, 2006) -- The IHRA season is just heating up, and the Nitro classes are as tight as they could be heading into the IHRA Canadian Nationals at Toronto Motorsports Park. With the season points chases as close as they are, expect each driver to look to get the most out of their 7,000 horsepower flame-spitting cars each and every round.
Dale Creasy, Jr. currently leads the Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car class on the strength of his two national event wins this season. Creasy sits on top of the standings with 386 points while Jack Wyatt, the winner in Rockingham, holds down second place with 336 points. They are not alone.
Vinny Arcadi is just five points behind Wyatt with 331 points while Gary Densham, a two-time winner in the IHRA circuit this season, is in fourth place with 322 points. Bob Gilbertson also remains very much alive in the points race with 308.
Creasy is looking forward to the battle down the stretch. He feels his crew has a good handle on the team's '06 Monte Carlo.
"So far what has put us where we are has been consistency," Creasy said. "We've been able to figure out some of the tracks and have had a lot of luck. We're moving forward and not thinking about the championship too much, but it's always in the back of your mind. The pressure is always there to win, but no matter who is near us the mindset has to stay the same."
Gary Densham, who won the Ironman in San Antonio and Milan, Mich., is a long-time NHRA veteran who crosses over at select IHRA events. He has been very impressed with the quality of competition IHRA has in the Nitro Funny Car class.
"This is a good group and, to be honest, I'm really surprised at the quality of cars they have as quickly as IHRA has done it," Densham said. "When they announced this class was coming back you knew they weren't going to get the John Force's and Don Schumacher cars the first year, yet you look at the quality of cars that are running this series right now, it's pretty impressive. And it is going to do nothing but get better. Thank God IHRA decided to do this and Evan Knoll threw his hat in the ring. I think it is going to be a great series. Look at the quality of dragsters IHRA has now. A few years ago there weren't many good ones. Now you have quality from top to bottom. Look at Clay Millican, for a long time he dominated over here...now he's struggling to even win a race. That's because the quality of cars has gotten so good."
Millican, the five-time defending Knoll Gas-Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Top Fuel World Champion, currently leads the season chase with 437 points, but he has company near the top of the standings.
Doug Foley, who finished second in the world last season, sits in second place with 347 points. Rick Cooper, Foley's teammate on the Foley/Lewis Race Team, is third with 345 points while Bobby Lagana, Jr., who won his first career national event in Grand Bend, is within striking distance with 322 points.
How close is the Top Fuel class? In five eMax Drag Racing Series national events this season there have been five different winners. Doug Foley claimed the season opener in San Antonio, Cory McClenathan captured the Ironman at the spring race in Rockingham, Bobby Lagana won in Grand Bend, Millican in Edmonton and Andrew Cowin at the Suzuki Motor City Nationals at Milan Dragway.
"Both Nitro classes have been amazing this season," IHRA President Aaron Polburn said. "It has been fun to watch some of these teams elevate their programs to the point where they are a threat at every race. Both classes have depth and that's all we could have asked for, especially in the Nitro Funny Car class. This is going to be a fun ride the rest of the way."
For more information on the IHRA Canadian Nationals, July 21 -- 23, at Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, Ontario, please log onto www.ihra.com.