Epping: Series preview

IHRA and New England Dragway bid farewell with huge Nitro Jam this weekend Longest running Nitro Jam event to feature biggest show yet EPPING, N.H. (September 7, 2010) -- It is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the International...

IHRA and New England Dragway bid farewell with huge Nitro Jam this weekend
Longest running Nitro Jam event to feature biggest show yet

EPPING, N.H. (September 7, 2010) -- It is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the International Hot Rod Association's Nitro Jam schedule and in just a few short days the IHRA will be saying farewell to New England Dragway for the final time.

And to commemorate two long decades of championship drag racing in New Hampshire the Nitro Jam series and NED will be saying farewell with one of the biggest nitro parties in the northeast and one of the biggest races of the year this Saturday and Sunday at the North American Nitro Jam in Epping.

Nearly two dozen nitro-burning dragsters and funny cars will be on the property, in addition to the world's fastest sleds, the northeast's first and only look at the side-by-side jet truck showdown, wheelstanders, FanFest, fireworks and more.

Nitro Jam will kickoff Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with FanFest followed by the Fastest Show on Earth beginning at 7 p.m. On Sunday FanFest will kickoff the race day at noon and Nitro Jam will begin at 1:30 p.m.

"They've changed their format quite a bit and geared it towards the fan even more," said track general manager Joe Lombardo in a recent article. "They've brought the funny cars back and New England has always been funny car territory."

The North American Nitro Jam represents the single longest ongoing race currently on the Nitro Jam schedule with the first event taking place in 1992 before becoming a permanent fixture on the schedule beginning in 1998.

Dozens of former champions have graced victory lane at the historical track in southern New Hampshire including the winningest driver in New Hampshire history, seven-time IHRA champion Clay Millican. Millican won at New Hampshire three times in a row from 2001-2003.

Now, after 12 years of traditional IHRA drag racing, the new Nitro Jam series comes to New England Dragway with its all new show, all new format and all new classes. Debuting at the season opener in West Palm Beach, Fla. back in January, the new Nitro Jam format has been a hit across the country and now the world's most exciting motorsports spectacle comes to New England Dragway for the final time.

Chalked full of new classes, new rules and an exciting new format, the brand new Nitro Jam will be unlike anything fans have ever seen before. From the rush of 300 mile-per-hour Top Fuel Dragsters, to the 100-percent nitro powered Pro Fuel Dragster class and the new fan favorite Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, the new Nitro Jam promises to give fans the nitro rush they have been waiting for.

Also on tap for this unique event is the New England debut of side-by-side jet trucks as the Shockwave jet semi battles the Super Shockwave '57 Chevy in a showdown between 60,000 horsepower machines.

And that's not all. The two-day event will also feature wheelstanders, the Harland Sharp Elite 8 Top Sportsman and Top Dragster showdown, two days of sportsman racing, FanFest, an incredible fireworks display and much more.

During FanFest fans will have an hour or more to explore the pits and see everything Nitro Jam has to offer. Along with meeting the drivers and crews, several stations will be set up in the pit area for fans to interact with the event. Included in the list of fan activities is a chance to sign fan-favorite Bobby Lagana's Top Fuel dragster moments before he makes a 300+ mph pass, a coloring contest where fans can design their own Top Fuel dragster with the winning picture being used as an actual wrap on a dragster later in the season, a reaction time tournament with an actual IHRA tree and a chance to be the race director for a day as fans are selected to draw the first-round pairings of the professional rounds.

FanFest will come to a close with Nitro Thunder as nearly two dozen nitro vehicles warm up at the same time, creating an experience unlike any other. And if it's more pyrotechnic entertainment you're seeking, each day's action is capped by an awesome fireworks display.

And FanFest is only a small portion of what is new for 2010.

Along with new show elements, the new Nitro Jam will also feature a brand new format that puts an emphasis on entertainment and excitement to go along with the side-by-side nitro racing. Instead of two days of qualifying, fans will now see two full days of racing with a winner each night.

Racing will kick-off at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday with immediate racing and eliminations. Each class will run twice each day with the quickest winners from round one meeting up for the championship later in the show.

After one round of nitro racing, fans will see each of show elements including the jet trucks, wheelstanders and additional entertainment pieces followed by a brief intermission. After a quick cleanup racing will continue with all the cars returning to the track and a winner being named in each class. The show will come to a close with a huge fireworks display and the most amazing spectacle in racing as the Shockwave jet semi goes head-to-head against the Super Shockwave jet truck.

More than anything the new format allows fans to enjoy an evening or afternoon of racing without much "downtime" in between. From the beginning of the show to the end fans will see everything Nitro Jam has to offer and more.

Along with the debut of the new format, the North American Nitro Jam will also act as the next-to-last race of the 2010 season as the championship hopes of hundreds of drivers spanning 10 Nitro Jam classes will either be realized or dashed entering the season finale at Virginia Motorsports Park in October.

With this year being the final year for Nitro Jam championship drag racing at New England Dragway, the track and the IHRA promise one of the biggest shows ever put on at the facility.

In addition to a great show, tickets for this weekend's North American Nitro Jam are only $25 if purchased in advance and, as always, parking and admission to the FanFest pit party is free. The North American Nitro Jam will also feature a special military night on Saturday, September 11 to honor those who help serve this great nation.

For complete details check out the Nitro Jam website at www.nitrojam.com or call New England Dragway at 603-679-1955.

-source: ihra

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Series Drag
Drivers Clay Millican