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CRAMPTON, DEJORIA, GRAY, KRAWIEC WIN 60TH CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE U.S. NATIONALS: Alexis DeJoria raced past 16-time Funny Car world champ John Force Monday to win the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious drag race. Richie Crampton (Top Fuel), Shane Gray (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were first-time winners at the tradition-rich NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, the last race of the regular season. DeJoria crossed the finish line in 4.038 seconds at 310.34 mph in the Patron XO Cafe Toyota Camry to defeat the current Funny Car points leader, who won the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout on Sunday. "It’s huge [to win the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals]," said DeJoria, wife of noted TV personality Jesse James and daughter of famed entrepreneur John Paul DeJoria. "I was just happy to make it to another semifinal; that was four in a row. To make it past the semifinals, that was huge, but to win this race just builds our confidence even more and in me especially."  For more on the story visit www.NHRA.com.

COUNTDOWN FIELDS SET:  The fields in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle have been set for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the championship that begins at zMAX Dragway, Sept. 12-14. John Force in Funny Car, Jason Line in Pro Stock, Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel secured the No. 1 seeds in their respective fields heading into the six-race playoffs to determine the championships. For more on this story visit www.NHRA.com.

COUNTDOWN KICKS OFF IN CHARLOTTE: The fastest motorsport on the planet, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, returns to zMAX Dragway, Sept. 12-14, for the first race of the 2014 Countdown to the Championship playoffs at the seventh annual Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals. The top 10 in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle points will all compete for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships in their respective categories over the next three months. Spanning six races, the Countdown to the Championship will separate the contenders from the pretenders as four drivers are headed for the ultimate glory while every other contender is sent into the offseason wondering what might have been. Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, a race that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. For more on this story visit www.NHRA.com.

He Said, She Said

"I’m a long way from where I grew up to where I’m at now. I remember sitting on the couch trying to read National Dragster to keep up on what’s going on in the NHRA. To get to drive such a great race car for a great family and great sponsors and roll into the water box and see all my heroes standing around, it blows my mind. The GEICO dragster has been running .70s all weekend long. It’s so much fun to drive right now." -- Richie Crampton on winning his first Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory. Crampton defeated Billy Torrence, Shawn Langdon, Tony Schumacher and Steve Torrence en route to his historic win.  

Inside the Numbers

3: Number of Pro Stock Motorcycle world championships racer Andrew Hines has in his career. The No. 1 seed in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series enters the six-race playoffs on the strength of four wins and one runner-up finish during the 2014 season. Hines missed the Top 10 last year and is using the sting of that season for motivation this year. "The guys here at Vance & Hines have been working on our Harleys nonstop to get us back to this point after the season we had last year," said Hines. "Last year I missed the cut completely.  I didn't even have a chance to run for the Countdown to the championship. We're obviously in a really good position right now.  I hope we can keep the momentum we've had going.  I don't think I've ever had this many wins heading into the Countdown. It's a nice place to be sitting with my V-Rod up front."      

Did you Know

SCHUMACHER WINS $100,000 TRAXXAS TOP FUEL SHOOTOUT; J. FORCE WINS FUNNY CAR SHOOTOUT: Tony Schumacher continued his succes at Lucas Oil Raceway when he raced to the Traxxas Nitro Shootout in Top Fuel for $100,000 over Richie Crampton. "We knew we would be racing a good car because Richie is tough", said Schumacher. “These are the eight best cars in the world. They are cars that have gone out, won races, and continuously found themselves in final rounds. It’s very satisfying." In the Funny Car Traxxas Nitro Shootout, John Force was able to defeat teammate and son-in-law Robert Hight for his second victory in the event. “It was a win-win situation. We couldn’t lose,” said Force. "I got to the final, and I was so drained going up there, then my granddaughter said, ‘Grandpa, I love you, but I hope Daddy wins.’ It’s bad enough racing Robert, but how do you get up for the granddaughter," said Force. "It was just mental, and I went into the zone. She said, ‘What I really want is that trophy,’ and that trophy weighs five times as much as her, but we got the trophy. I got her down there at the other end, and I gave the trophy to Autumn. Daddy didn’t win, but Grandpa did, so you got your trophy, and it’s a big one. I’ve got the one from two years ago."  

Utah Racers Take Home Wallys at RMR’s Night of Fire

West Valley City, Utah-September 28, 2014. After a rained-out event on Saturday night, Rocky Mountain Raceways was able to cap off its 2014 Young Kia Drag Strip season with the crowd-favorite Night of Fire, which included the Lucas Oil Divisional Series and jet cars.

Ralph Van Paepeghem, from Garden Valley, Idaho, won in Competition Eliminator, posting a 7.560 e.t. at 168.66 mph over Utah local, Alan Ellis’ 6.836 e.t. at 195 mph. Van Paepeghem parlayed a starting line advantage and held off Ellis’ hard-charging effort.

Utah locals, Ed Olpin and Doug Watts faced off in the final round of Top Sportsman. Olpin bested Watts for the win, running a 7.577 e.t. on his 7.57 dial-in at 182.62 mph. However, the race was over on the starting line as Watts red lit, ending his hopes of victory. Olpin took home the Top Sportsman Wally at this same event in 2013.

Doug Johnson, also from Utah, claimed the Top Dragster win over Barbara Burt, from Laramie, Wyo., running 7.417 e.t. on a 7.38 dial-in.

In the final round of Top Fuel Harley, Damian Cowden not only took home the Wally, but also set a new mile-per-hour track record, running

215.72 mph. The previous record of 212.41 mph was set on August 9, 2009 by Phil Schmidt.

Additional Lucas Oil Divisional winners included: Jimmy DeFrank (Super

Stock,) Mark Faul (Stock Eliminator,) Steve Casner (Super Comp,) Barry Willoughby (Super Gas,) John Dexter (Super Street,) Benjamin McEwan (Sportsman Motorcycle,)Bill Bentz (Pro Fuel Harley,) Lance Bonham (Pro

Gas,) Matt Bluett (Hot Street,) Larry Fore (Draggin’ Bagger,) and Edward Golson (Screamin’ Eagle Motorcycle.)

Drag Racing on the Young Kia Drag Strip will continue on Friday, October 3 with the Young Subaru Midnight Drag Bash. Participants are invited to bring their cars, trucks, and motorcycles to drag race from 6pm-midnight. This will mark the end of the Young Kia Drag Strip’s 2014 season.

Rocky Mountain Raceways

Entering its 18th season of racing, Rocky Mountain includes a short-track oval, quarter-mile drag strip, and a motocross park. For more information about Rocky Mountain Raceways’ schedule of events, please visit www.RMRRacing.com <http://www.RMRRacing.com>.  Photo Courtesy of Chris Dake, Creative Resource and Design