Firebird time trials notes of interest

2003 NHRA national time trials at Firebird Raceway. NHRA professional racing teams will be testing in preparation for the upcoming 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season, including the season-opening K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, at...

2003 NHRA national time trials at Firebird Raceway.

NHRA professional racing teams will be testing in preparation for the upcoming 2003 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season, including the season-opening K&N Filters Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, at Pomona Raceway, Pomona, Calif. Testing at Firebird also will prepare teams for the second event of the 2003 season, the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 20-23, also at Firebird International Raceway.

SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, Jan. 17
Testing sessions will run from 8 a.m. until dusk

SATURDAY, Jan. 18
Testing sessions will run from 8 a.m. until dusk

SUNDAY, Jan. 19
Testing sessions will run from 8 a.m. until dusk

PARTICIPANTS:
* John Force: The 12-time NHRA POWERade champion and the winningest driver in NHRA history (106 wins) begins his quest for a 13th series crown and his 11th in a row.

* Larry Dixon: Coming off his first NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship, the runner-up at last year's Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals scored nine victories in an NHRA record 14 final round appearances as he took the points lead after the first race of the season and never relinquished it.

* Tony Schumacher: The 1999 Top Fuel champion, and first driver to eclipse the 330-mph barrier (at Firebird in 1999) scored a pair of wins en route to a top three finish in the standings in his U.S. Army dragster.

* Brandon Bernstein: after his father's retirement in 2002 (Kenny), the younger Bernstein will assume the driving duties of the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster as he looks to join his father as the first-ever father/son series champs.

* Tony Pedregon: Force's teammate who was in the championship race until the semifinals of the last race of the year, losing to his boss and finishing in the No. 2 spot for the fourth time in his career.

* Del Worsham: The youngest veteran Funny Car driver on the circuit, the defending winner of the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Worsham is considered a serious contender for the 2003 championship.

* Johnny Gray: Worsham's teammate looks to improve on a career-best finish in 2002 and put the CSK Firebird on top.

* Whit Bazemore: Bazemore started 2002 off strong, but a mid-season downturn ended his championship hopes. A strong finish left him in the No. 5 spot in the overall standings and he will look to improve in 2003.

* Scotty Cannon: This mohawk-wearing Funny Car pilot is still seeking his first career win on the NHRA circuit. He showed signs of success last season after joining Whit Bazemore and Schumacher Racing with two No. 1 qualifying positions and two runner-up finishes.

* Gary Scelzi: This three-time Top Fuel champion returns to Funny Car competition after making only seven starts in the full-bodied car in 2002. Scelzi joins Whit Bazemore and Scotty Cannon on Schumacher Racing for 2003, giving them a formidable three-car team to try and challenge Force.

* Gary Densham: The 30-year veteran joined Force Racing in 2001 and since then has scored four career victories and established the national record for speed (326.87 mph).

For tickets call Firebird International Raceway ticket office at: (602) 268-0200 or contact Ticketmaster at (480) 784-4444.

GENERAL ADMISSION - General Admission tickets for Friday are $10, with Saturday and Sunday tickets priced at $19.

-nhra-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Gary Densham , Scotty Cannon , Brandon Bernstein , Johnny Gray
Teams CIP