FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 WESTERN SWING GIVES ETCHELLS AN UNLIKELY CHANCE TO RELAX MORRISON, Colo. -- The annual, three-race Western swing of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series frays the nerves...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761
WESTERN SWING GIVES ETCHELLS AN UNLIKELY CHANCE TO RELAX MORRISON, Colo. -- The annual, three-race Western swing of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series frays the nerves and patience of many drivers, team owners and crews. It's the only stretch of the season in which national events are conducted on three consecutive weekends. Fatigue, low parts bins and extensive travel can spawn countless headaches as the tour moves to Denver, Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle in consecutive weeks. So it would only make sense that Chuck Etchells would find the Western trio of races to be among the toughest of the season. After all, Etchells is a busy guy. He owns and drives the Kendall Dodge Avenger Funny Car and also owns a thriving engraving business, Union Roto-Graving, based in his hometown of Putnam, Conn. Surprise, surprise: The Western swing is one of the most enjoyable times of the year for Etchells. He'll visit his manufacturing facility in the laid-back atmosphere of Mississippi between the Denver and Sonoma races, and fly with his wife and daughter to see a customer in the resort town of Kelowna, British Columbia, between the Sonoma and Seattle races. "If anything, it's more relaxing," Etchells said. "It's kind of kick-back." That relaxed attitude toward the most grueling stretch of the season could help Etchells win the 19th annual, $1,532,000 Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals, July 17-20 at Bandimere Speedway. The race is the 12th event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Etchells' record of success in the thin air of Denver also makes him a favorite. He was runner-up to John Force last year and in 1994, and beat Force in the final in 1992. "Denver is a whole different animal because of the altitude," Etchells said. "But I don't worry about it at all because we have a good combination. I go in there feeling pretty confident."
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