FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 TOP PERFORMANCE COULD PRODUCE BIG PAYCHECKS AT ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- It's often said that cubic dollars help to drive a race team to victories in the NHRA...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761
TOP PERFORMANCE COULD PRODUCE BIG PAYCHECKS AT ENGLISHTOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- It's often said that cubic dollars help to drive a race team to victories in the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series almost as much as the cubic inches of an engine. If so, then the Mopar Parts Nationals should be one powerful event. The 28th annual, $1,695,050 Mopar Parts Nationals, May 15-18 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park offers plenty of riches for NHRA competitors. This race is the eighth event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. Besides the record purse, a variety of bonus programs and a lucrative special event will push NHRA competitors to their limits. This weekend is the richest of the season for Pro Stock, as a dominant Pro Stock driver could leave this event with approximately $170,000. The winner of the 13th annual DuPont Automotive Finishes Pro Stock Challenge special event May 17 will earn $50,000, and that driver will earn a $50,000 bonus from NHRA if he wins the event title the next day. The DuPont Challenge features the eight drivers who accumulated the most points during qualifying since May 1996. A variety of bonuses also are available in Pro Stock, including $25,000 from Speed-Pro for a driver who makes the first 200-mph run in NHRA Pro Stock history and $20,000 from MBNA for setting an elapsed-time national record. Don't be surprised if Pro Stock records fall at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, which has one of the strongest legacies of performance on the circuit. Kurt Johnson made NHRA history in 1994 at Englishtown with his run of 6.988 seconds, the first six-second pass by a Pro Stock. Riches and records also loom in Top Fuel and Funny Car. The escalating MBNA bonus for setting an elapsed-time national record could be $50,000 and $40,000, respectively, in Funny Car and Top Fuel, if no records fall in early May at the Lone Star Nationals near Dallas. The potential for records probably is greatest during the evening qualifying session at 7 p.m. May 16. The cooler air provides allows Top Fuel and Funny Car crew chiefs to put all 5,500 horsepower to the track without fear of losing traction. Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycles also thrive in the evening, as their normally-aspirated engines create more power in dense, cool air. Two national records were set in 1995 during the evening session at this event. Larry Dixon set an elapsed-time record in Top Fuel, and Al Hofmann set a speed record in Funny Car. This season, drivers have wasted little time setting national records. Seven of the eight NHRA national elapsed-time and speed marks in the professional categories were broken in the first four races of the season. Only John Force's Funny Car record of 4.889 seconds from July 1996 has been untouched this year. *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. -30- 4/24/97-EJ1-065
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