IHRA Budds Creek preview

The following is an advance release on the 6th annual Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals, to be held June 20-22, 1997 at the Maryland International Raceway, Budds Creek, Maryland. Thanks for your coverage of IHRA Snap-on Tools Drag...

The following is an advance release on the 6th annual Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals, to be held June 20-22, 1997 at the Maryland International Raceway, Budds Creek, Maryland.

Thanks for your coverage of IHRA Snap-on Tools Drag Racing.

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

IHRA performance records in jeopardy at President's Cup Nationals

BUDDS CREEK, Md. -- Maryland International Raceway has become widely regarded as one of the International Hot Rod Association's quickest dragstrips. Excellent track preparation, combined with superior air quality create this arena for speed and performance, tightly nestled in the farmlands of southern Maryland near the Potomac River. While professional drivers in Pro Stock, Pro Modified and Alcohol Funny Car categories will be focused on claiming category victories at the 6th annual Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals June 20-22 at MIR, they'll be looking to post some record performance numbers as well. If weather conditions cooperate, IHRA performance world records and MIR track records will be in jeopardy at the event, the third of eight national events for the IHRA Snap-on Tools Drag Racing Series. Drivers will have their best chance for record-setting runs during the Maryland Lottery Night of Fire, Saturday's last chance professional qualifying session. Among the list of title contenders for the event are defending winners Scotty Cannon (Pro Modified), Carlton Phillips (Pro Stock) and Jimmy Rector (Alcohol Funny Car). In Pro Mod, Cannon will have to record a pass quicker than 6.40 seconds if he's to eclipse his own elapsed time mark, set in 1996 at Darlington, S.C. Cannon also holds the Pro Modified mile per hour performance mark of 219 miles per hour, set last year at MIR. Cannon, five-time and defending IHRA Pro Mod World Champion, will have to hold off a host of victory-minded racers, including recent Winter Nationals champ Shannon Jenkins, Brad Jeter, Tommy Mauney and Johnny Rocca. The list of potential winners in Pro Stock goes deep. Last season the division was the most competitive in IHRA. A total of nine different event champions emerged from 10 national events. Leading the charge early in 1997 is '96 IHRA Rookie of the Year Richie Stevens, of New Orleans. The 18-year-old driver won the season-opening Winter Nationals at Darlington, S.C. Defending IHRA Pro Stock World Champion Jon Yoak, and a pair of two-time IHRA World Champions -- Doug Kirk and Billy Huff -- will be among the top contenders in the division. Four-time IHRA World Champion and former President's Cup winner Mark Thomas will lead the Alcohol Funny Car contingent to MIR. Thomas, aided by the tuning-wizardry of crew chief Rick Hickman, captured a season-opening victory at Darlington in his Ethanol Performs Dodge Avenger. Standing in the Louisville, Ohio racer's way is a trio of talented racers. Defending IHRA World Champion Von Smith, and 1996 title contenders Jimmy Rector and Jim Lape are all capable of 5.9-second runs. Special exhibition features at the event will include "Hell on Wheels", the wheel-standing tank, as well as 300 mile per hour jet dragsters "Chicago Rush" and "Damn Yankee." Eight classes of sportsman competition will complete the event. Maryland International Raceway is located on State Route 234, seven miles east of US 301. (-end-)


*Schedule: Gates open at 8 a.m. Friday, June 20 for the Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals. Sportsman qualifying will begin Friday at 10 a.m., while professional qualifying rounds will take place at 3 and 7 p.m. Sportsman qualifying will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, and will be followed by a 2 p.m. professional qualifying session. The Maryland Lottery Night of Fire will feature the final professional qualifying session, and is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Final eliminations will begin Sunday at 12 p.m. (noon).

*Tickets: Tickets are available for the 6th annual Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals. Advanced tickets are available for Saturday and Sunday $19 each; and a special advanced two-day pass is available $38. General admission prices for tickets purchased at the event include $16 Friday; $22 Saturday; $22 Sunday. There is also a special 2-day (Saturday/Sunday) pass $42. All tickets include pit pass. Children 7-12 $5 Saturday, 7-under free. Children 12-under free Friday and Sunday. For more ticket information call Maryland International Raceway at 703-791-8445, or IHRA at 423-764-1164.

*On TV: The Crane Cams President's Cup Nationals will be televised tape delay by ESPN2 on July 13, 1997 at 7 p.m. Sportsman coverage of the event will precede the professional telecast on July 13 at 6:30 p.m.

***IHRA Snap-on Tools Drag Racing***

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Series Drag
Drivers Mark Thomas , Johnny Rocca , Brad Jeter , Shannon Jenkins , Von Smith