Dallas event overview

Event Overview Chief Auto Parts Nationals, Oct. 10-13 at Dallas. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 EXPECT CHAMPIONS TO BE CROWNED, BIG TIMES AND SPEEDS AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas -- There's a good chance...

Event Overview Chief Auto Parts Nationals, Oct. 10-13 at Dallas.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

EXPECT CHAMPIONS TO BE CROWNED, BIG TIMES AND SPEEDS AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas -- There's a good chance that The King will earn the right to wear the ultimate crown during the second weekend of October at Texas Motorplex.

Could there be a more fitting spot?

Bernstein, from Dallas, could clinch his first NHRA Winston Top Fuel championship before the home folks at the 11th annual, $1,496,900 Chief Auto Parts Nationals, Oct. 10-13 at Texas Motorplex. The race is the 18th of 19 events this season in the $27-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Clinching the title at Dallas would secure piece of NHRA history for Bernstein, nicknamed "The King of Speed." He would become the only driver to win season championships in Top Fuel and Funny Car. He won four consecutive NHRA Winston Funny Car titles from 1985-88.

Bernstein has won four races this season in the Budweiser King Dragster and held a 24-point lead over the late Blaine Johnson after 16 races. He led Larry Dixon, his closest active pursuer, by 149 points. Bernstein needs a 139-point lead over his closest pursuer after the Chief Auto Parts Nationals to secure the title.

Another champion could be crowned at this event, too. Jim Yates is zeroing in on his first NHRA Winston Pro Stock title in the McDonald's Pontiac Firebird.

Yates, from Alexandria, Va., led defending NHRA Winston champion Warren Johnson by 168 points after 16 races and has a career-best six victories this season. Clinching the title at Dallas would be the culmination of a tour de force in which Yates has led the NHRA Winston point standings since winning the season-opening Chief Auto Parts Winternationals in February at Pomona, Calif.

If Bernstein and Yates seal championships at this event, an annual rite of autumn will continue at Texas Motorplex. At least one driver has clinched an NHRA Winston season title at this event since 1991, and three championships were locked up last season at Dallas.

But this race is more than just a coronation ceremony. It's also one of the most eagerly-awaited performance playgrounds of the season.

Texas Motorplex is the only all-concrete dragstrip in the world, and that smooth surface can handle every bit of the horsepower created by skilled crew chiefs and engine builders. In fact, Texas Motorplex is one of just four tracks in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series where a 310-mph Top Fuel speed, a four-second Funny Car pass and a six-second Pro Stock pass all have occurred.

Every NHRA national record will be in jeopardy as championship drivers try to punctuate their superb seasons and other teams try to send a performance message that will intimidate rivals and impress sponsors as the offseason nears.

A prime candidate for records is Funny Car superstar John Force. He already clinched his sixth NHRA Winston title in early September and has nothing to lose by letting it rip at the Motorplex.

--Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. Oct. 11 and is followed by a night-qualifying session at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at noon and 4 p.m. Oct. 12, with final eliminations starting at 11 a.m. Oct. 13. Sportsman competition starts at 9 a.m. Oct. 10.

--Tickets: Tickets are available for the Chief Auto Parts Nationals. For ticket information, call (800) 668-6775, or (972) 878- 2641 in metropolitan Dallas. Tickets also can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets.

--On TV: ESPN will televise 60 minutes of same-day, final-round competition from the Chief Auto Parts Nationals at 9 p.m. (CDT) Oct. 13.

--On the Web: The NHRA home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.goracing.com/nhra/ offers more information about NHRA Winston Drag Racing, including qualifying and eliminations results, news, point standings, statistics, driver biographies and video clips. -30-

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Warren Johnson , John Force