CHAMPIONS HONORED IN WEST LOS ANGELES CEREMONY: A trio of multi-time world-championship winners, Tony Schumacher, Matt Hagan and Andrew Hines, were joined by first-time champ Erica Enders-Stevens as the headliners who were crowned Monday evening during the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in West Los Angeles. The four drivers were honored for their season-long achievements and presented with checks and trophies for winning 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship titles during the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs. For more on this story, visit www.NHRA.com.
ENDERS-STEVENS WINS HISTORIC FIRST PRO STOCK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: Erica Enders-Stevens made history Sunday by becoming the first woman to win an NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock world championship. Raised in Texas and now living in Louisiana, she secured the title with a victory at the 50th anniversary of the Auto Club NHRA Finals. "To get the shiny Wally [for the 50th anniversary] and the big one at the end of the year, we did it!" said Enders-Stevens. "I can't thank my guys enough. They're the ones that make this happen. I'm just the one who gets to hold the trophy and talk. They do it all. They work so hard, and I love them more than anything. I was just a little kid with a dream when I started racing at 8 years old. It's awesome to be part of this female movement in NHRA. I think it goes to show what we're capable of and what a great platform NHRA gives all of us girls to climb the ladder and to get to where we want to go." For more on this story, visit www.NHRA.com.
SCHUMACHER CLINCHES EIGHTH NHRA MELLO YELLO TOP FUEL TITLE: Tony Schumacher, the winningest driver in NHRA Top Fuel competition, locked up his eighth Mello Yello Top Fuel championship during qualifying at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Schumacher clinched the championship by qualifying for the event and nearest competitor Spencer Massey not earning enough bonus points in the final session to come within 100 points of Schumacher heading into final eliminations. "In the regular season, Kalitta had the car, a phenomenal car," said Schumacher. "We were all thinking that he’d be leading the points if he could maintain. Very seldom does a car lead from the beginning to the end, and that’s what we were hoping for. It’s just a long season with a lot of different changes and different conditions." For more on this story, visit www.NHRA.com.
“It’s just awesome to have this experience. what a lot of people don’t understand is it all comes down to this day, but it’s the five races before this and the preparation and all the points and all the drama and all the nerves that you’ve got to get through. This is a really special championship for me, so thank you and thanks all the fans. We came out there and stumbled a little bit on Friday, but [crew chief] Dickie Venables, he did a really good job recovering. He put a new fuel pump on the car, found a few mistakes that we made, and went out there and ran really strong and was able to keep the two rounds on John. It was a tough race down to the end. We gave these fans what they were waiting for and paid for. It’s just great to be in this experience and be a part of this. This is bigger than me, and I’m just glad to be associated with this whole family." -- Funny Car racer Matt Hagan on winning his second world championship with Don Schumacher Racing. Hagan clinched his championship when he defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semifinal round of competition at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Hagan put an exclamation point on the weekend when he defeated John Force in the finals for his fourth win of the season.
4: Number of championships Andrew Hines has in his 13-year career as a Pro Stock Motorcycle racer. With the fourth championship he moves past his brother Matt, Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec and John Myer who all have three world championships. Dave Schultz has the most championships in the Pro Stock Motorcycle category with six in his career. "I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to write ‘4x’ next to my name," Hines said. "It was nice to finally get it done. I appreciate everything my Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines team does for me; they make me look good. We struggled at times last year, but last winter, we went to work and turned our V-Rod program around. My brother, Matt [crew chief], and our team never stopped thinking of ways to make our program better. I’m also thankful for a great teammate in Eddie Krawiec. He’s a three-time champion, and he pushes me to better myself."
CRAMPTON WINS 2014 AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROAD TO THE FUTURE AWARD: Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton was named the winner of the $20,000 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which recognizes the top NHRA rookie performer of the year. Crampton raced to victories at the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis and the Toyota Summernationals at Englishtown, N.J. and earned a No. 1 qualifying position at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. He finished ninth in the points standings in the ultra-competitive category. The driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster received the award based on votes from a panel of the nation’s top motorsports journalists. "I am truly blessed and honored to be in this position. Of course, none of this would even be possible if the Lucas family and all those involved had not put their faith in me and given me this chance. I just want to give a huge thank-you to Forrest, Charlotte, Morgan, and Katie Lucas, who gave me the opportunity of a lifetime."
NHRA JR. DRAG RACING LEAGUE WESTERN AND EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS RACE BACK TO ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACEWAYS AND BRISTOL DRAGWAY IN 2015
GLENDORA, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2014) – NHRA announced today that the 2015 NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League’s Western Conference Finals and Eastern Conference Finals will return to Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City and Bristol Dragway in Tennessee, respectively.
The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals will visit Utah’s scenic Rocky Mountain Raceways for the second straight season, July 16-18, while the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Finals will return to Eastern Tennessee’s famed Thunder Valley, July 23-25.
“The Western and Eastern Conference Finals are where the future stars of NHRA Drag Racing will be showcased,” said Eric Lotz, director of field marketing, NHRA. “We are pleased that Rocky Mountain Raceways and Bristol Dragway are back again this year to provide a significant and critical platform.”
In 2015, both tracks will also be hosting activities and events throughout each of their respective race weekends in addition to the racing action that will occur on the track. Both will also host events earlier in the week leading up to the Conference Finals events.
“We are proud that the Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals once again will take place in Thunder Valley,” said Julie Bennett, vice president of Bristol Dragway. “Imagine the excitement of these kids knowing their first national event win could take place at a track with the history and tradition of Bristol Dragway. These drivers are our future, and we can’t wait to show them a good time here in Bristol.”
Bristol Dragway has played host to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004 and Rocky Mountain Raceways acquired the Western Conference Finals from Denver’s Bandimere Speedway last season.
“All of us here at Rocky Mountain Raceways are looking forward to hosting the Western Conference Finals again in 2015,” said Mike Eames, general manager, Rocky Mountain Raceways. “It is such a privilege hosting the racers and their families that are the future of our great sport. We learned a lot in our first year hosting the event and will continue to make it better.”
Nearly 1,000 kids compete for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Each winner will take home the NHRA Wally champion’s trophy as well as a share of the event purse.
Created in 1992, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League allows kids between the ages of 5 and 17 to experience the thrill of motorsports competition in a controlled environment at tracks in each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions. The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League creates family involvement in drag racing at an affordable level. Many of the league’s former participants have gone on to compete in other NHRA classes. Top Fuel racers Shawn Langdon (the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel world champion and a two-time Super Comp national champion in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series) and 2014 NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders-Stevens, are among the league’s most accomplished graduates, while 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil Stock national champion Joe Santangelo II and the 2010 Lucas Oil Super Stock national champion Ryan McClanahan are both former Conference Finals champions.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the NHRA Jr. Street program and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.