Englishtown Funny Car notebook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS FUNNY CAR NOTEBOOK *Rapid rise: Randy Anderson climbed from a tie for 15th to third in the NHRA Winston point standings with victories in two ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

MOPAR PARTS NATIONALS FUNNY CAR NOTEBOOK *Rapid rise: Randy Anderson climbed from a tie for 15th to third in the NHRA Winston point standings with victories in two consecutive national events in late April and early May in the Parts America Pontiac Firebird. *Join the club: The spoils of success just keeping pouring in for Randy Anderson. Two weeks after earning his first win in a Funny Car, Anderson became the ninth member of the Castrol 4-Second Club for Funny Cars with a pass of 4.963 seconds in the Parts America Pontiac Firebird at the Lone Star Nationals in Dallas. Anderson, from Ontario, Calif., earned a $1,000 bonus from Castrol. He also went on to win the race. *Hot foot: Gary Densham used more than his head while driving during a fire in the shutdown area at the Lone Star Nationals earlier this month at Dallas. Densham steered his car to safety with his feet while climbing out of the roof hatch on his NEC Communications Dodge Avenger. The fire destroyed the car's body in the first-round loss to Cruz Pedregon, but the team will have a new body and a repaired chassis in time for the Mopar Parts Nationals, team spokesman Al Liebmann said. Densham, an auto shop teacher from Bellflower, Calif., was runner- up to John Force last year at the Mopar Parts Nationals. *Back in the saddle: Al Hofmann was back behind the wheel of his Pontiac Firebird Funny Car at the Pennzoil Nationals presented by Trak Auto in late April near Richmond, Va., for the first time since his frightening final-round fire and crash at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in early March. Hofmann missed two national events due to a broken right arm and cut left hand suffered in the accident. Despite feeling the pain of his broken arm, Hofmann is convinced that he had to return at Richmond. "To me the crash was not as bad as watching (substitute driver) Jeff Arend drive my car," Hofmann said. "Jeff did the best he could, but it was time for me to come back." Hofmann lost in the first round at Richmond and at the Lone Star Nationals in early May at Dallas. Before Hofmann's return, crew chief Jimbo Ermalovich installed a bigger handle on the brake lever and towed Hofmann around the pits in order to make sure he was comfortable, and could operate all the controls. "I'm still pretty sore in a couple of places, but once I get in the car, adrenalin takes over and I feel fine," Hofmann said. "Considering what I went through, I suppose I'm lucky to even be racing again." *Quite a rookie race: It looks like there might be a strong race for NHRA Winston Rookie of the Year honors after all. Top Fuel driver Gary Scelzi appeared to be an overwhelming favorite for the award early in the season after winning the first two races of the season in the Team Winston Dragster. But Funny Car rookie Randy Anderson also has emerged as a strong candidate with two victories and a rapid climb to third in the NHRA Winston point standings. *Variety show: No Funny Car driver has earned consecutive victories at the Mopar Parts Nationals since Kenny Bernstein won in 1986 and 1987. *Wired: Funny Car drivers Del Worsham and Jerry Caminito each have joined the growing numbers of NHRA competitors with home pages on the World Wide Web. Worsham's site, located at http://www.delworsham.com, features race reports, statistics, biographies, schedules, merchandise, a photo gallery, and fan club and e-mail information. Worsham was 10th in the NHRA Winston point standings after six races this season in the Checker/Schuck's/Kragen Dodge Avenger. Caminito, from Jackson, N.J., has hit the Web at http://www.bluthunder.com. The site has information about Caminito, his racing schedule, souvenirs and collectibles, and much more. Caminito hasn't competed in an NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series national event this season in the Blue Thunder Oldsmobile Cutlass. *Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 3 p.m. May 16 and continues at 7 p.m. that evening. Qualifying ends with sessions at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. May 17. Final eliminations start at 11 a.m. May 18. DuPont Automotive Finishes Pro Stock Challenge rounds are scheduled for 1 p.m., 3:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. May 17. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 10 a.m. May 15. *Tickets: Tickets are available for the Mopar Parts Nationals. Call Old Bridge Township Raceway Park at (908) 446-7800. Tickets also are available at Ticketmaster outlets. Call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171, (201) 507-8900, (914) 454-3388 or (516) 888-9000. *On TV: The Nashville Network (TNN) will televise 90 minutes of live, final-round competition from the Mopar Parts Nationals at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) May 18. TNN also will show one hour of live, first-round racing during its "NHRA Today" show at 11 a.m. May 18. TNN will show one hour of live, final-round competition from the DuPont Automotive Finishes Pro Stock Challenge at 5 p.m. May 17. *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 and driver biographies. -30- 5/6/97-EJ3-071

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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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Al Hofmann , Del Worsham , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham , Jeff Arend