Series Rockingham pre-event notes

Carolina Clash: New format, new classes headline Spring Nitro Jam Record crowds expected at Rockingham Dragway ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 13, 2010) -- In 2009 race fans at Rockingham Dragway witnessed a drag racing first when Monster Jam's ...

Carolina Clash: New format, new classes headline Spring Nitro Jam
Record crowds expected at Rockingham Dragway

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 13, 2010) -- In 2009 race fans at Rockingham Dragway witnessed a drag racing first when Monster Jam's biggest star, Grave Digger, took on the Super Shockwave jet truck in a battle of two of the most destructive race vehicles in existence today.

And after an event that appeared it couldn't be topped, Nitro Jam officials have worked hard to put together a program for 2010 that is sure to please fans of every form of motorsports entertainment and it all gets underway later this month at the Spring Nitro Jam at Rockingham Dragway.

With three nitro-burning classes including Top Fuel Dragsters and the debut of Pro Fuel Dragsters and Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, the wheelstanding "Cool Bus," the areas best doorslammer and dragster competitors and the Carolina debut of the side-by-side jet truck showdown, all of the acts at this year's Spring Nitro Jam are designed to provide fans with an experience unlike any other.

Fans were left in awe when the Shockwave (right) battled the Super Shockwave at the season opener in Florida.

"The new format and classes are all about having fun and enjoying yourself at the races -- a fact that has been lost by some over the past few years," said IHRA President Aaron Polburn. "We are bringing the fun and excitement back to drag racing with a full lineup of loud and over-the-top racing vehicles in a new family-friendly timeframe and atmosphere.

"I truly think the new Nitro Jam has what it takes to be the biggest thing in motorsports entertainment today."

While Rockingham has been a part of the Nitro Jam schedule for nearly 40 years, 2010 will mark the first race run under the new format and Rockingham Dragway owner Steve Earwood couldn't be more excited.

"With the realignment of the Nitro Jam series the Spring Nitro Jam is the only opportunity Carolina fans will have to witness this incredible show," Earwood said.. "Along with incredible sportsman racing one of the main attractions to our fans this year is the addition of two jet trucks running side-by-side. This, in addition to the nitro cars, is all offered at a very affordable price."

Along with new classes and new entertainment options the new Nitro Jam also features a new format that emphasizes entertainment and increases performance thanks to a race-only structure.

300+ mph Top Fuel Dragsters will once again highlight the Spring Nitro Jam.

Each of the three professional nitro classes will race in a new format that features a winner each night. With traditional qualifying out of the mix each and every pass during the weekend will determine points and payout creating some of the best racing ever in Nitro Jam competition.

"We have seen a tremendous response from the fans with our new format. With round after round of qualifying gone we can do what we do best -- get down to racing and putting on a show," Polburn said. "So far the new format is bringing out fans by the thousands to see a show that is all about entertainment as oppose to hours of sitting and waiting."

Along with a new race structure the event also features a new fan-friendly timeframe. Instead of spending a full day at the track fans can now come later in the day and watch the entire Nitro Jam event from start to finish in a shorter, more entertainment-friendly window.

Fans who wish to spend the entire day at the track can still watch an entire day full of exciting sportsman drag racing prior to the start of the Nitro Jam show creating a plethora of options for fans both new and old.

Nitro Jam's newest class, Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, has been a hit with fans.

Upon completion of the sportsman rounds racing action will be halted for FanFest, a designated time prior to the start of the professional rounds where fans can explore the pits and partake in activities while seeing the cars and stars of Nitro Jam up close and personal. FanFest will be capped off by the "Thunder in the Pits" as nearly two dozen nitro-powered vehicles warm up at the same time.

"FanFest is an exciting new addition to Nitro Jam. In the pits we have different stations set up for fans to interact with the series while others can explore the pits and meet the drivers. It is all capped off by the coolest thing I have ever seen at a racetrack -- the 'Thunder in the Pits,'" Polburn said. "One of the neat things about all of the changes is that we are bringing new fans to the sport. We are seeing more first-time drag racing fans and more families than ever before which tells me we are on the right track."

Immediately following FanFest the Nitro Jam main event will get underway with two rounds of competition featuring Top Fuel and Pro Fuel Dragsters, Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, the Elite 8 Shootout featuring the areas best Top Sportsman and Top Dragster drivers competing in a heads-up showdown, the "Cool Bus" wheelstanding school bus and the battle of the jet trucks -- a site that must me seen to be believed.

In addition to great racing fans are also treated to exhibitions such as the 'Cool Bus.'

For the second time in Nitro Jam history and for only the third time ever two jet trucks will go head-to-head in a showdown of jet-powered machines that produce a combined 60,000 horsepower, side-by-side "burn outs" spewing 40 foot flames and a race that will rumble the earth and literally bring down the house.

Headlining the jet powered showdown is Les Shockley's "Duo of Destruction" -- the Shockwave and Super Shockwave jet trucks.

The Super Shockwave has made numerous appearances at Nitro Jam events including last year where he took part in drag racing's first head to head race against Monster Jam's0x00ae very own Grave Digger0x00ae. The Shockwave has also made numerous appearances with Nitro Jam.

Now, two of the most impressive jet vehicles in the world will go head-to-head in a battle of the baddest trucks in the land.

Without a doubt the Shockwave is one of the most exciting jet trucks in existence today. A replacement for the original Shockwave which crashed at an air show two years ago, the new and improved Shockwave produces over 36,000 horsepower thanks to three Pratt and Whitney J-34-48 engines.

The Elite 8 Shootout provides heads-up doorslammer and dragster racing.

Run on diesel at over 120 gallons per run and weighing in at nearly 10,000 pounds, there are few machines that compare to the power and speed of the Shockwave.

In the other lane is the Super Shockwave, easily the word's fastest Chevy. Built around a 1957 Chevy body the Super Shockwave features two Pratt & Whitney J-34-48s producing over 25,000 horsepower and weighing in at roughly 5,000 pounds.

The Super Shockwave has been clocked at over 330 miles per hour at the half mile while the older bodied Shockwave holds the world record for full size jet trucks at 376 mph.

Combined the two machines produce roughly 60,000 horsepower and eat almost 200 gallons of diesel per run. With everything on the table the two machines represent well over $1 million in investment.

And all that power and speed will be on display at the Spring Nitro Jam May 1-2 at Rockingham Dragway.

-source: ihra

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