Etterman Racing 2006 preview

Etterman Racing looking for continued success in 2006 NEWAYGO, Mich - While the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team may have new things in store for 2006, notably new driver Jonathan Johnson, one thing remains the same -...

Etterman Racing looking for continued success in 2006

NEWAYGO, Mich - While the Bar's Leaks/Etterman Racing NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team may have new things in store for 2006, notably new driver Jonathan Johnson, one thing remains the same - their drive to succeed. Team owners George and Jane Etterman, who have fielded a variety of successful racecars since the late '70's, and have won events with past drivers John Powell, Marc White and most recently Tate Branch, feel that Johnson has the same drive that has been essential to the team's success.

Much of last year's team remains in tact. Branch, who left the team to drive Chris Russell's Top Fuel Dragster, leaves long-time Crew Chief Dave Scheelk, clutch specialist Dickie Harshey and 'Team Mom' Genie Harshey with the Etterman team. The team was in the thick of both the national and Division 4 points chase when a devastating fire sidelined the team for much of the year. With Branch moving up to the pro ranks, Etterman and Scheelk selected Johnson as their driver this season.

"We plan to hit two divisional events right off the bat," said George Etterman. "That will let him get his feet wet and get a feel of the car before we head to a national. The national events get hectic sometimes. That way when we get to our first national event in Houston, we'll be ready to rock and roll."

With Bar's Leaks back on board this season, the team will start a new chapter with Johnson behind the wheel. Johnson, a former Jr. Dragster standout and current Texas A&M student, is a graduate of Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School and reached the semifinals at his first national event in a Top Alcohol Funny Car at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas. Johnson is excited about the opportunity of driving for a team with a history of winning like Etterman Racing's.

"It's pretty exciting to begin the year with a team that has such a great history," commented Johnson. "I also know that I have some pretty big shoes to fill. I think we are all optimistic, but at the same time realistic and have not set our goals too high. I can't wait to roll into the gates Thursday morning and get the season started."

Team Crew Chief Scheelk is looking forward to molding Johnson into a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver.

"To give a young driver like Jonathan a chance to develop in this sport has given us a different and exciting look at the new season," Scheelk explained. "I know not seeing the eyes of Tate behind that helmet will be a little different for me, but to see the young and excited eyes of Jonathan ready to go, makes George and I very pumped about getting this year started."

Bar's Products is also excited about adding Johnson to their line-up of sponsored drivers.

"Bar's Leaks likes to work with up and coming drivers to help them grow in the sport and succeed with their goals," stated Clay Parks, VP of Marketing & Product Development. "Our NHRA Drag Racing involvement is complete from Jr. Dragsters to Funny Cars."

The team debuted their Bar's Leaks Transmission Repair 2006 Dodge Stratus at the Division 4 (South Central Division) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at No Problem Raceway Park just outside of New Orleans, this past weekend qualifying No. 2 and reaching the final round. The team will make their national event debut at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, Mar. 31-Apr. 2. Stay tuned to the team's website www.Etterman-Racing.com for the latest news on this Bar's Leaks sponsored team.

For more information on Bar's Leaks complete line of products for your car, visit them online at www.BarsLeaks.com

-er-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tate Branch , Frank Hawley , John Powell