Atlanta: Valvoline/Eagle One preview

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT SOUTHERN NATIONALS Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga. May 3-5 Race 7 of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Series Funny Car: One More MaxLife Run for Worsham Del Worsham, currently third in the Funny Car standings, will race under...

SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT SOUTHERN NATIONALS
Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Ga.
May 3-5
Race 7 of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Series

Funny Car: One More MaxLife Run for Worsham

Del Worsham, currently third in the Funny Car standings, will race under the colors of Valvoline's MaxLife motor oil brand at Atlanta. It's the last of three scheduled events in the MaxLife Pontiac Firebird for Worsham, who won his eighth career Funny Car race earlier this season at Firebird Raceway. Valvoline is an associate sponsor of Worsham's Checker Schuck's Kragen machine and the agreement calls for the MaxLife car to be run at Houston, Bristol and Atlanta. Worsham won this event in 1991.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: Hines Has Hot Atlanta Record

Three-time bike champion Matt Hines has been a final-round regular at Atlanta Dragway. He rode the Eagle One Suzuki to victory in this event in 1998 and was runner-up in 1997, 1999 and again last season. He also was No. 1 qualifier in '98 and 2001.

Hines on what it takes to make the Eagle One Suzuki a winner: "Chassis development is still a big part of it. You've got to have your clutch right, and everything else on the bike right, to make it work. You can make one small change and it's going to throw the 60-foot (time) off a couple-hundreds (of a second). It's all about perfection."

Pro Stock: Krisher Comes Off Final-Round Appearance

Ron Krisher advanced to the championship round of last Sunday's Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., but lost to Warren Johnson. Krisher's Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier opened the ultra-competitive Pro Stock season with four consecutive No. 1 qualifying runs (career total nine), at Pomona, Firebird, Gainesville and Las Vegas. He won in Las Vegas at the SummitRacing.com Nationals. Krisher's Bristol performance moved Ron up to fourth in the point standings.

Krisher has now qualified for an impressive 53 consecutive Pro Stock events, going back to the year 2000 season-opener at Pomona. Pro Stock may well be the most competitive racing series in the world, with between 34-37 cars trying for the 16 qualifying positions in this season's first four races. Krisher was one of only four drivers to qualify for all 24 NHRA events in 2001.

Krisher owns his own drag racing engine development company, KRJ, located in Newark, Ohio. His company supplies engines to Pro Stock competitors Tom Hammonds and V. Gaines. Before entering Pro Stock, Krisher raced sports cars on road courses and sprint cars on dirt, and he's a self-made entrepreneur.

Top Fuel: Russell Last Year's Runner-up at Atlanta

Darrell Russell was the runner-up (to Mike Dunn, now an ESPN announcer) in last year's Southern Nationals. That effort helped him to NHRA Rookie of the Year honors. Russell saw results from his working relationship with new crew chief Wayne Dupuy, and an essentially all-new crew since Las Vegas, last weekend at Bristol. He advanced beyond the second round for the first time this year and made it all the way to the championship round. He lost to Larry Dixon, who has won four Top Fuel events this season, but jumped to seventh in points. "I can honestly say this is the first time this year racing has been fun," said Russell.

Continuing one of the most successful partnerships in modern motor racing, Valvoline returns in 2002 for the 19th season as a sponsor of Joe Amato's Top Fuel team. From 1984 through his retirement after the 2000 campaign, Valvoline's technical, product and financial support helped Amato to five Top Fuel championships and 52 victories, both NHRA records. Darrell Russell added to the record in 2001, with two wins, and NHRA Rookie of the Year honors in Amato's dragster. Bilstein Engine Flush is Amato Racing's new primary sponsor.

NEXT EVENT: Matco Tools SuperNationals, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, N.J., May 17-19.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Del Worsham , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds