FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 WINSTON FINALS PRO STOCK NOTEBOOK *New deal gives spark to Yates: Reigning NHRA Winston champion Jim Yates has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Old ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
WINSTON FINALS PRO STOCK NOTEBOOK
*New deal gives spark to Yates: Reigning NHRA Winston champion Jim Yates has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Old World Industries Inc., which will sponsor Yates' Pontiac Firebird through its SplitFire Spark Plugs, Peak Antifreeze and Peak Premium Motor Oil brands.
The three-year agreement begins with the season-openingChief Auto Parts Winternationals in 1998, is the first major sponsorship involvement by Old World Industries in NHRA racing.
"Being involved with Old World Industries is a great opportunity for our race team," Yates said. "We're anxious to get the sponsorship program started and are looking forward to continuing our success under the SplitFire/Peak Racing team colors."
McDonald's, the primary sponsor of Yates' team since 1995, will remain as an associate sponsor.
*Mr. Versatility: Jeg Coughlin Jr. became the first driver in NHRA history to win in four racing categories during one season.
Coughlin, from Columbus, Ohio, won Pro Stock at the Matco Tools SuperNationals on Oct. 27 at Houston. He already has won this season in sportsman categories Competition, Super Stock and Super Gas in his Jeg's Mail Order entries.
"It's been an awesome season," Coughlin said, one of the understatements of the year.
*Phenom: Only one NHRA Pro Stock rookie has advanced to the final round quicker than Jeg Coughlin Jr., who won the Matco Tools SuperNationals in late October at Houston in just his second race in the category.
Bob Glidden was runner-up to Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins in his Pro Stock debut at the 1972 Supernationals at Ontario, Calif. That finish was the launch of a legendary career for Glidden, winner of a record 10 NHRA Winston championships and 85 national events before retiring in February 1997.
"I'm fortunate to be in a car capable of winning," Coughlin said. "My brother Troy put in a lot of time getting everything sorted out. I've learned so much from Troy, watching his driving skills during some of the up-and-down years as he sorted through all the problems."
There was nearly an all-Coughlin final round at Houston, as Troy Coughlin lost to Mark Osborne in the semifinals.
Troy and Jeg Coughlin should be a formidable Pro Stock team next season. Their driving skills will be complemented by the tuning and engine-building skills of Richard Maskin, who tuned Jim Yates to the NHRA Winston championship in 1996.
"That kid has the makings to be one of the best drivers this class has ever seen," Maskin said of Jeg Coughlin Jr. "With so little seat time, he has all areas of the driving down, from doing burnouts, to reaction, and hitting shift points. It is almost scary."
*First miss: Bruce Allen failed to qualify for the first time this season in the Slick 50 Pontiac Firebird, reaching only the 20th spot at the Matco Tools SuperNationals in late October at Houston.
Only four Pro Stock drivers have qualified for all 21 national events this season: NHRA Winston champion Jim Yates, Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson and Steve Schmidt.
*Last time for show: The exhibition NHRA Pro Stock Truck program will end at this event as Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford pickups will race against each other in exhibition passes for the last time before becoming the fifth NHRA professional category in 1998.
Longtime NHRA competitors Jerry Haas and John Lingenfelter will drive two Chevrolet S-10 trucks, Team Mopar Pro Stock drivers Darrell Alderman and Scott Geoffrion will drive two Dodge Dakotas, and Roy Hill and NHRA announcer Dave McClelland will drive two Ford Rangers.
Pro Stock Trucks will race for points and purses at 12 NHRA national events next season, including the season-ending Winston Finals. The trucks will use a unique qualifying system designed to ensure competition and equal representation between the manufacturers racing in the category.
Sixteen trucks will qualify for eliminations, but the first 12 spots always will consist of the four quickest Chrysler, Ford and General Motors trucks by their best qualifying time. The last four spots will be wild-card spots, filled by the four quickest trucks outside of the top 12, regardless of manufacturer.
The Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford trucks each are powered by a 358 cubic-inch, eight-cylinder engine. The minimum weight of the trucks with driver is 2,300 pounds.
*Schedule: Pro qualifying starts at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6, as this is one of only two events in which pro qualifying takes place Thursday. Qualifying continues with at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7 and ends with sessions at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 8. Final eliminations start at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9. Budweiser Classic rounds are scheduled for 11:30 a.m.., 1:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Nov. 8. Federal-Mogul competition starts at 8 a.m. Nov. 6.
*Tickets: Tickets are available for the Winston Finals. Call NHRA Ticketing at(800) 884-6472 for ticket information. Tickets also can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets.
*On TV: The Nashville Network (TNN) will televise 90 minutes of live, final-round competition from the Winston Finals at 4 p.m. (PST) Nov. 9. TNN also will televise one hour of live, first-round competition at 10:30 a.m. (PST) that day. TNN will show one hour of live, final-round competition from the Budweiser Classic at 4 p.m. (PST) Nov. 8.
*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-