November 6, 2007

NHRA Awards banquet


Tony Schumacher, who became the first Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive POWERade Series world championship crowns by racing to victory at Sunday's season finale in Pomona, Calif., headlined the four world-championship winning drivers crowned Monday evening during the 2007 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Three other NHRA POWERade Series world champions - Tony Pedregon, Jeg Coughlin and Matt Smith -- also were presented checks and trophies for their achievements during the 2007 POWERade Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's first championship playoffs.

The evening featured two very moving tributes. The first to NHRA founder Wally Parks, who died Sept. 28 at age 94, after a lifetime dedicated to growing and nurturing NHRA to position it as a worldwide leader in motorsports; and the other to Funny Car driver Eric Medlen, who died March 23 from injuries received in a testing crash at Gainesville Raceway four days earlier. Medlen, 33, a team driver for John Force Racing, was one of the bright young stars in the NHRA POWERade Series.

Schumacher received a check for $500,000 from NHRA and POWERade, which also included a $100,000 Countdown bonus. It was Schumacher's fourth consecutive crown and his fifth overall, tying him with Joe Amato for most in the category. Schumacher drove his Alan Johnson-tuned U.S. Army dragster to six victories during the season, including a dramatic must-win performance at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, to steal the title away from "Hot Rod" Fuller at the last moment.

Pedregon earned his second series crown and first as a team owner by outlasting Robert Hight, Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps in the Countdown to 1. Pedregon raced to a victory in Las Vegas and then held on to win the championship despite losing in the first round at Pomona. Pedregon, who drove his Q Horsepower Chevy Impala SS to four victories in five final rounds during the season and set the national elapsed time record at Phoenix, earned $500,000 from NHRA and POWERade for the title, which included a $100,000 Countdown bonus.

Coughlin took his third Pro Stock world championship with a come-from-behind effort, driving his Chevy Cobalt to the win at the season finale and posting a runner-up effort at Las Vegas for a 7-1 eliminations record during the two-race Countdown to 1. The Delaware, Ohio driver was presented a $250,000 check from NHRA and POWERade, which included a $50,000 Countdown bonus. Coughlin won four times in eight final round appearances during the season.

Smith earned his first NHRA POWERade Series world championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle by winning the Auto Club Finals in a winner-take-all final round against Chip Ellis, who finished second in the series standings, six points back. Smith rode his Torco Race Fuels Buell to four victories during the season in nine final round appearances to take home the $75,000 payday from NHRA and POWERade, which includes a $25,000 Countdown bonus.

Funny Car driver Ashley Force won the $20,000 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which recognizes NHRA's rookie of the year. A distinguished panel of auto racing journalists selected Force, who two weeks ago in Las Vegas became the first female driver in NHRA history to advance to a final round in Funny Car. The 24-year-old second generation racer is only the 10th woman to compete in the 7,000 horsepower category. Other nominees included Justin Humphreys, Craig Hankinson and Matt Scranton in Pro Stock and Barry Henson in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

NHRA Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge season awards, recognizing the most consistently quick teams during qualifying throughout the year, were presented to Schumacher's U.S. Army Top Fuel team ($25,000) led by crew chief Johnson; Jack Beckman's Mail Terminal Services Funny Car team ($25,000) led by Phil Shuler; Greg Anderson's Summit Racing Pro Stock team ($15,000) led by Rob Downing; and Ellis' Drag Specialties S&S Buell Pro Stock Motorcycle team ($5,000) led by Ken Johnson and George Bryce.

Chevrolet won the NHRA Manufacturers Cup for the 16th time, an NHRA record. NHRA Pro Owner's Cups were presented to Don Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tony Pedregon (Funny Car); and Victor Cagnazzi (Pro Stock).

The future stars of the sport, drivers in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, also were recognized as 2007 world champions: Bill Reichert (Top Alcohol Dragster); Frank Manzo (Top Alcohol Funny Car); Frank Aragona Jr. (Competition Eliminator); Darren Smith (Super Stock); Michael Iacono (Stock Eliminator); Shawn Langdon (Super Comp) and Sherman Adcock Jr. (Super Gas).

2007 NHRA POWERade National events

Speedzone coverage below

-Countdown to Eight -
47th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals Pomona, Calif.
23rd annual NHRA Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals Phoenix
38th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.
20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals Houston
Eighth annual NHRA Nationals Las Vegas
27th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals Atlanta
11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals St. Louis
Seventh annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol, Tenn.
19th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals Topeka, Kan.
10th annual NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway Chicago (PSM)
38th annual NHRA SuperNationals Englishtown, N.J
Inaugural NHRA Pontiac Performance Nationals Norwalk, Ohio
28th annual NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals Denver
20th NHRA Schuck's Auto Supply NW Nationals presented by Lucas Oil Seattle
20th annual NHRA FRAM-Autolite Nationals Sonoma, Calif.
26th annual NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals Brainerd, Minn.
23rd annual NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals Reading, Pa.

- Countdown to Four -
53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Indianapolis
20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Memphis, Tenn.
22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals Dallas
Second annual NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Nationals Richmond, Va.

-Countdown to One-
Seventh annual NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals Las Vegas
43rd annual NHRA Automobile Club of Southern California Finals Pomona, Calif.




2006 National events

Winterational's coverage is here (Pomona)
CSK National's coverage is here (Phoenix)
Gatornational's coverage is here (Gainesville)
O'Reilly National's coverage is here (Houston)
Summit National's coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Thunder Valley National's coverage is here (Bristol)
Southern National's coverage is here (Atlanta)
Pontiac Performance National's coverage is here (Columbus)
O'Reilly Summer National's coverage is here (Topeka)

CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Chicago)
K&N Filters SuperNationals coverage is here (Englishtown)
O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals coverage is here (St.Louis)
Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Denver)
Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Seattle)
Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Sonoma)
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Brainerd)
O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals coverage is here (Memphis)
Mac Tools U.S. Nationals coverage is here (Indy)
O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals coverage is here (Dallas)
Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Reading)
Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Virginia)
ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals coverage is here (Las Vegas)
Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals coverage is here (Pomona)

Final standings 2006

Top Fuel

1. Tony Schumacher 1,681
2. Doug Kalitta 1,667
3. Brandon Bernstein 1,565
4. Melanie Troxel 1,471
5. Rod Fuller 1,384
6. David Grubnic 1,285
7. Larry Dixon 1,151
8. J.R. Todd 1,105
9. Cory McClenathan 1,036
10. Hillary Will 1,035
11. Morgan Lucas 1,026
12. David Baca 908
13. Doug Herbert 865
14. Bob Vandergriff 753
15. Alan Bradshaw 445
16. Clay Millican 428
17. Scott Weis 294
18. Scott Palmer 236
19. Mike Strasburg 225
20. Troy Buff 159
21. Doug Foley 157
22. Joe Hartley 133
23. Luigi Novelli 132
24. Andrew Cowin 123
25. Steve Torrence 115

Funny Car

1. John Force 1,636
2. Robert Hight 1,524
3. Ron Capps 1,503
4. Eric Medlen 1,407
5. Tony Pedregon 1,370
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. 1,322
7. Gary Scelzi 1,204
8. Phil Burkart 1,034
9. Whit Bazemore 956
Cruz Pedregon 956
11. Del Worsham 929
12. Gary Densham 794
13. Mike Ashley 787
14. Tony Bartone 754
15. Scott Kalitta 748
16. Bob Gilbertson 703
17. Jim Head 673
18. Tim Wilkerson 610
19. Jack Beckman 329
20. Frank Pedregon 163
21. Terry Haddock 100
22. Jeff Arend 93
23. Bob Bode 91
24. Jack Wyatt 80
25. Paul Lee 60

Pro Stock

1. Jason Line 1,787
2. Greg Anderson 1,664
3. Dave Connolly 1,451
4. Mike Edwards 1,265
5. Kurt Johnson 1,230
6. Allen Johnson 1,218
7. Jim Yates 1,115
8. Greg Stanfield 1,075
9. Richie Stevens 1,047
10. V. Gaines 1,029
11. Larry Morgan 1,021
12. Warren Johnson 838
13. Erica Enders 757
14. Ron Krisher 744
15. Tom Martino 630
16. Rickie Smith 438
17. Dave Howard 436
18. Max Naylor 420
19. Mark Pawuk 409
20. Tommy Lee 359
21. Dave Northrop 348
22. Tony Rizzo 230
23. Mike Thomas 213
24. Steve Schmidt 187
25. Shaun Carlson 172
26. Jeg Coughlin 139
27. Barry Grant 121
28. Kenny Koretsky 119
29. Ben Watson 110
30. Bob Panella 103

Pro Stock Motorcycle

1. Andrew Hines 1,099
2. Antron Brown 1,076
3. Angelle Sampey 999
4. Chip Ellis 892
5. Matt Smith 857
6. Karen Stoffer 814
7. Ryan Schnitz 771
8. Tom Bradford 721
9. Geno Scali 705
10. Craig Treble 675
11. Matt Guidera 665
12. GT Tonglet 654
13. Shawn Gann 575
14. Michael Phillips 558
15. Steve Johnson 532
16. Marco Andreano 322
17. Chris Rivas 290
18. Joe DeSantis 249
19. Mike Berry 226
20. Paul Gast 169
21. Wes Wells 131
22. Hector Arana 90
23. Connie Cohen 80
24. Scott Lewis 40
Buddy Robinson 40

Sept. 2, 2006

NHRA's new point system for 2007 press release posted during the US nationals ...............

.....and it seems to have taken away from the biggest drag racing event of the season.

The release below has certainly garnered opinions from almost every source, media and racer like and not too many have been positive. Jon Asher (competitionplus), Jeff Wolf (Las Vegas Journal) and Shirley Muldowny (competition plus, scroll down the page), all have the same negative outlook, but all three are quite different in their reasoning. Rod Fuller and Gary Scelzi are possibly being PC in their comments, but both say they are excited about the big change. With the biggest race of the year anticipated for many since the Western swing, to have this announcement prior to the race has taken much of the hoopla out of the "Big Go".

Here is the start of the silly season

Schumacher splits with Matco as primary....

INDIANAPOLIS -- Multi-team owner Don Schumacher today announced that Matco Tools, which has been a major primary and associate sponsor of Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series since 2001, will not return to the team as a major sponsor in 2007.
Matco Tools earned three NHRA world championships as a DSR sponsor: two with Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel and one with Gary Scelzi in Funny Car. Matco Tools was also the primary sponsor on the Funny Car driven by Whit Bazemore to two championship runner-up finishes. Bazemore has won 13 national events to date driving the Matco Tools flagship car.

"It's possible that Matco Tools may return with DSR in 2007 as an associate sponsor, but that remains to be determined," said Schumacher.

Bazemore's status with DSR for 2007 is unclear at this stage, Schumacher added. "I will not run that car without a sponsor. So, the first thing I need to do is find a new sponsor.

"I respect the fact that Matco Tools conveyed this information to me today at the U.S. Nationals. This will give me an opportunity to work aggressively through the rest of this 2006 season to replace them as a primary sponsor.

"We've had a long, rewarding relationship with Matco Tools since 2001, and I wish them continued success with their future motorsports programs," added Schumacher. "Matco Tools will continue as the tool of choice in the DSR camp for the time being."

Schumacher adds Valvoline.....

INDIANAPOLIS -- Iconic racing brand Valvoline has been named the "Official Oil" of Don Schumacher Racing, the 10-team operation that competes in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
"Valvoline has a long, storied and successful history in NHRA professional drag racing," said Don Schumacher, owner and president of Don Schumacher Racing, in an announcement made at the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis. "It is the goal of everyone here at Don Schumacher Racing to contribute to that success.

"The Valvoline arrangement with DSR will be much more than that of a supplier of lubrication products. Don Schumacher Racing looks forward to providing assistance to Valvoline in product development and product testing opportunities, as well as in their many marketing and promotional programs."

"Don Schumacher Racing is one of racing1s premier organizations," said Valvoline Director of Marketing and Motorsports, Bryan Emrich. "The addition of Don Schumacher Racing to Valvoline1s NHRA program means that we now sponsor top professional drivers in every pro class. And today1s announcement complements Valvoline1s already-strong support of NHRA Divisional racers."

As part of the overall program, Valvoline identification will appear on all Don Schumacher Racing race vehicles, transporters, hospitality and technology trailers, as well as on driver and crew uniforms. Valvoline will have primary sponsorship paint schemes with Don Schumacher Racing at several events during the 2007 NHRA season.

Matco leaves Shoe and heads to.....

STOW, Ohio -- Matco Tools will provide primary sponsorship to a 2007 Top Fuel dragster effort in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, it was announced today.
A leading manufacturer and distributor of quality professional automotive equipment, tools and toolboxes, Matco Tools will add a second team to the David Powers Motorsports stable, which currently fields a winning, Top Fuel entry driven by Rod 'Hot Rod' Fuller.

Matco Tools will provide primary sponsorship to a new David Powers Motorsports entry as well as major associate billing on Fuller's machine. The team is owned by Houston businessman and veteran drag racer David Powers. A former Top Fuel driver himself, he presides over David Powers Homes an award-winning homebuilding concern in the greater Houston area. The Powers race team was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in suburban Indianapolis.

Award-winning crew chief Lee Beard, who has amassed a stellar record of race wins in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories will oversee tuning of the new Matco Tools entry.

Though the driver for the Matco Tools Top Fuel Dragster has yet to be announced, expectation for the announcement of a high-profile, proven candidate is expected shortly.

"We are honored and delighted to announce Matco Tools as primary sponsor of the newest David Powers Motorsports Top Fuel team," said team owner, David Powers. "Matco Tools is a fantastic brand and one that has demonstrated enormous relevance and fan loyalty in drag racing. We've have always been impressed by the Matco Tools following, so it will be both exciting and an honor to have the opportunity to elevate that enthusiasm."

Global motorsports marketing leader Just Marketing International has been retained to assist Matco Tools in managing the sponsorship and its related activation.

"Our loyal distributors have wanted and deserved a full-blown presence in NHRA's most high-profile racing division," said John Torok, Manager, Motorsports Marketing, Matco Tools, Inc. "It's a great platform for them and their customers to see the Matco Tools Top Fuel car square-off against its tool-branded competitors. At-track hospitality will be a major component of this new program and we are very confident that David Powers Motorsports will provide our guests with a superior, up-close entertainment experience."

The King is back in the Saddle.... In a Flopper...


Kenny Bernstein
He's well-known throughout the motorsports community. He holds the unique distinction of being the only race team owner to have collected wins in each of Americas' three major motorsports series - NHRA drag racing, NASCAR and IndyCar racing. There's hardly a major NHRA award he hasn't won, and most he's won in multiples, but he's decided his collection is a little short.
Six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein announced today that he will partner with Monster Energy drinks to "Unleash the Beast" to stage a 2007 comeback tour in the Funny Car category.

"I thrive on competition and I still love the sport," said Bernstein. "I've been searching for the perfect opportunity and the perfect sponsor to field a competitive team to get back into the sport, and Monster Energy drinks provided the ideal scenario. I'm as excited as I was the first time I ever sat in a Funny Car."

"At Monster Energy we are all about going extreme in everything we do and NHRA Funny Car racing is about as extreme as it gets," said Monster Energy Drink president Mark Hall. "When we decided to get into the sport, we looked to partner with an athlete who fits our image and shares our competitive spirit. Kenny Bernstein is a fierce competitor with a proven track record of success. The fact that Kenny has a relationship with our new partner for distribution, Anheuser-Busch, was a bonus. We look forward to a long successful partnership with Kenny Bernstein Racing and are confident Kenny will be a great representative of the Monster Brand."

Bernstein, who is famous for building Budweiser brand identity in the motorsports community will now attack Monster Energy brand-building with the same zeal.

"NHRA drag racing will provide a tremendous amount of exposure for Monster," said Bernstein. "Monster does have a common ground and cross-over with Anheuser-Busch because Monster is distributed by many Anheuser-Busch wholesalers. It was a natural fit. We have a multi-year commitment and we will work in every market we visit along the way to try to increase Monster sales, using the same business philosophy my father taught me at a young age, the principles I've used through the years.

"Plus Monster aligns itself with extreme sports and there's nothing more extreme in motorsports than a 7,000 horsepower nitro car.

"It's been no secret that it's been difficult for me to sit on the sidelines. I've been in the cockpit for so many years that at first, I couldn't even find a comfortable spot to stand at the starting line. And I really missed the competitive side. I can't explain the rush and the kick you get from driving a 330 mile-per-hour nitro car down a quarter-mile, but that's a feeling you can't replace or find a substitute for. Thankfully, I've been blessed with good health and still feel that I can be very competitive."

Bernstein will run the Monster Energy Funny Car operation under Kenny Bernstein Racing, Inc.

"I will still be the owner and play a major active role in the Budweiser/Lucas Oil team as I always have," said Bernstein. "It will remain intact as you know it. We feel that adding a second car will strengthen our position."

Second generation driver Brandon Bernstein is pleased about his father's return to the cockpit.

"I know he still has the itch to drive," said Brandon, "and this is about the best scenario you could ever hope for because Monster is connected to Anheuser-Busch. He has coached me and helped me through the learning curve of driving the Top Fuel car and I talk to him after every run. I'm sure we'll have even more information to trade now that he'll be driving."

"Because we know how fast rumors spread," said Kenny, "we wanted to take a proactive approach to go on record to announce our partnership with Monster Energy drinks.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us to get ready for 2007, but we're energized and excited about getting back in the saddle. It will be fun mixing it up with John Force, Ron Capps, Gary Scelzi, and all the others in the Funny Car class."

Bernstein, known for his lightning-quick reaction times, dominated the Funny Car category for much of the 1980s, winning four consecutive championships from 1985 through 1988. His last year behind the wheel of the Funny Car was 1989 before he switched to Top Fuel in 1990.

Bernstein has amassed 69 career victories while driving for Budweiser, 30 in Funny Car and 39 in Top Fuel. Besides four Funny Car championships, he also accrued two Top Fuel championships, 1996 and 2001.

"We're happy for Kenny that he has an opportunity to climb back into the driver's seat. He's proven to be a great owner of the Budweiser team, but he's obviously a racer at heart and has a passion for driving," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "We're excited he's working with a mutual partner in Monster, and we agree with Brandon that sharing information between the two teams will only help the Budweiser team achieve its goal of winning a championship."

After retiring at the end of the 2002 season, he came back to finish the 2003 season after Brandon suffered season-ending injuries in a first round crash May 18 in Englishtown, N.J. Kenny competed in 15 races that season, winning four of the last five events, scoring six semifinal appearances, and accumulating enough points to finish an unbelievable sixth in the final point standings that year.

Bernstein climbs back into the cockpit of the Top Fuel car annually to make enough runs to keep his NHRA nitro license current.

He has made his mark, but his expertise goes far beyond wins and losses. He is first and foremost a businessman and he is focused on helping to build awareness and sales for Monster Energy drinks and Budweiser.

Monster Energy was launched in 2002 and in just three short years has become the number two brand in the exploding energy drink category. Monster Energy provides consumers seeking a boost of energy to fuel their active lifestyle with a proprietary blend of vitamins, herbs and amino acids that packs a vicious punch with a smooth flavor that's easy to pound down.

Monster Energy supports the sport. Be it snow, surf, motocross, skate, BMX, name it, the athletes are rockin' Monster Energy more than anything these days. Check it out at

Jeggies back......


Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Three-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. announced Friday he will return to the POWERade Drag Racing Series full-time in 2007 behind the wheel of a second Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevrolet Cobalt. Coughlin, a 47-time national event winner, will be driving for Victor Cagnazzi.
"Our goal is to win championships," said the 36-year-old Coughlin, who won Pro Stock titles in 2000 and 2002. "We strongly feel we are capable of doing just that and I couldn't be more excited. Victor is a great guy, he's running a top-notch organization, and the talent he's assembled is second-to-none. I'm proud to become a member of the Slammer's Ultimate Milk Team.

"I've worked with a couple of his guys (Roy Simmons and Nick Ferri) in the past and I certainly know (chassis builder) Todd Bevis and (engine builders) Joe Hornick and Steve Johns. We've all seen what they've done with their cars and their current success with Evan Knoll's Torco Fuels/Skull Gear car driven by Dave Connolly. It's obvious they can put a competitive car on the racetrack."

"We couldn't be more excited to have a person like Jeg to represent Slammers Ultimate Milk," said Bravo! Foods Internationals CEO Roy Warren. "Slammers is 'Milk With An Attitude' and Jeg has a great winning attitude both on and off the track."

After running under the family's JEGS Mail Order umbrella for most of his career, Coughlin spent the 2005 season driving for Don Schumacher Racing, which was highlighted by a race win at the season finale in Pomona, Calif. Coughlin took this year off from Pro Stock but still managed to win several high-dollar bracket races around the country. He'll begin testing a custom-built Cagnazzi Cobalt next week at Virginia Motorsports Park.

"I got fitted for the car a few months ago and it's ready to run," Coughlin said. "We plan to test prior to running the last three national events this year in Richmond (Va.), Las Vegas, and Pomona.

"We've actually been talking about doing this for some time. I've been racer friends with Victor since the early '90s when he was the first guy I knew of to use his RacePak computer system with a laptop. I wanted to learn how to do that so I went to him then. We've been friends ever since.

"Victor knew I was taking a year off so it gave us time to put a deal together. Slammers and Bravo are having a record year and they attribute a significant portion of that to their racing program. The thought was that two cars will be better than one. I'm excited to enhance what they already have."

Coughlin said his family's company will be offering Slammers Ultimate Milk products through JEGS Mail Order's 1-800-345-4545 phone number and The system Slammers has to sterilize and bottle their product allows this milk to be stored and shipped without refrigeration through the JEGS distribution network. Customers will now be able to order a twelve-pack and have it in their hands within two days.

"We're excited about the partnership and I know the associates at JEGS will be happy," Coughlin said. "They like to watch us run on ESPN2 and do well.

"I've met with Roy Warren, Mike Edwards, Ben Patipa, and many others and I really like the family feel in their organization. I think that's a crucial element when you're going to spend as much time together as it takes to run this tour. Both Victor and Roy are solid guys and we've all gotten along so well throughout this process. It's been very exciting.

"The next step is to get up and running and get these two Slammers Ultimate Milk Cobalts in the winner's circle as often as possible."

August 30, 2006

Big changes to the NHRA National event championship points chase

GLENDORA, Calif. --

NHRA announced today a new multi-tiered "Countdown to the Championship" in all four professional categories of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Utilizing the final elimination round concept synonymous with the sport of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing, where winners move on and losers go home, the "NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship" features three distinct periods during the 23-race NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series when competitors will be eliminated from the championship hunt in a playoff-style format.
"The 'Countdown to the Championship' is an inclusive program whereby more competitors will have a chance to win an NHRA POWERade World Championship than ever before," said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. "This historic change in our championship point structure will add more excitement and drama to the entire season, and magnify the spotlight during the season's final six races, for our fans and the entire racing community."

"After the grueling 17-race schedule, the field will be reduced to the top eight in the points standings, for a four-race playoff series to determine the field of four who will ultimately vie for NHRA POWERade World Championships. This format makes every race in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule that much more important," said Compton. "There is nothing in motorsports that rivals the traditional Sunday elimination brackets that have been a part of NHRA POWERade Drag Racing for years. By applying that elimination concept to determine the series points standings, we have by far the most intriguing and suspenseful battle for any championship in all of motorsports."

In the "Countdown to Eight," representing the first 17 races of the season, competitors in all four NHRA POWERade professional categories, Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, will battle each and every race to secure a position in the Top Eight in the points standings, with the final race to reach the "NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship" being the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Aug. 16-19.

Once set, the "Countdown to Four" begins at the most prestigious drag racing event in the world, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at historic O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend. The Top Eight in each category will have their points adjusted. First place in the standings will begin the countdown with 2,070 points; second place with 2,060 points and so on to eighth place starting with 2,000 points.

The "Countdown to Four," will consist of four races with the last race being the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park near Richmond, Va., Oct. 5-7. Following that race, the "Countdown to One" begins when the top four in each category have their points adjusted yet again. First place in the standings will begin the final two races with 3,030 points; second place with 3,020 points; third place with 3,010 points and fourth place with 3,000 points.

The final two races of the season, the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 18-24, followed by the season finale, the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Nov. 1-4, will see the final four competitors battling it out for the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing World Championship.

No team has ever come back from outside the Top Eight with six races remaining to win the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series World Championship under the current point system.

"Traditionally, prior to the final six races of the season only a few teams still have had a shot at winning a POWERade World Championship. Under this new program, eight teams in each of the professional categories will have a legitimate chance to win," said Compton.

Beginning in 2007, the NHRA POWERade World Champion in Top Fuel and Funny Car will receive a $100,000 Countdown Bonus making the total payout to win the POWERade World Championship $500,000 in each category. In Pro Stock, the POWERade World Champion will receive a Countdown Bonus of $50,000, making the total payout $250,000 and, in Pro Stock Motorcycle, the Countdown Bonus will be $25,000, making the total payout $75,000 to win the POWERade World Championship. In addition to announcing the POWERade Countdown to the Championship, NHRA will increase the total year-end payouts for the Top Eight in the four professional categories to more than $2 million.

The format at all 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national events will remain the same and feature competitors in the professional categories qualifying for spots in the 16-car fields for Sunday's elimination round.

The 2007 NHRA POWERade schudule is posted

47th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals Feb. 8-11 Pomona, Calif.

23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals Feb. 23-25 Phoenix

38th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals March 15-18 Gainesville, Fla. (PSM)

20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals March 30- April 1 Houston (PSM)

Eighth annual NHRA Nationals April 12-15 Las Vegas

27th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals April 26-29 Atlanta (PSM)

11th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals May 4-6 St. Louis (PSM)

Seventh annual O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals May 18-20 Bristol, Tenn.

19th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals June 1-3 Topeka, Kan.

10th annual NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway June 7-10 Chicago (PSM)

38th annual NHRA SuperNationals June 21-24 Englishtown, N.J. (PSM)

Inaugural Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals June 28-July 1 Norwalk, Ohio (PSM)

28th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals July 13-15 Denver (PSM)

20th annual Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals presented by Lucas Oil July 20-22 Seattle

20th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals July 27-29 Sonoma, Calif. (PSM)

26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 9-12 Brainerd, Minn. (PSM)

23rd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals Aug. 16-19 Reading, Pa. (PSM)

After Reading, the top eight teams in each pro category will battle for the season championship

- Start of the Countdown to Four -

53rd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Aug. 29- Sept. 3 Indianapolis (PSM)

20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals Sept. 14-16 Memphis, Tenn. (PSM)

22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals Sept. 20-23 Dallas (PSM)

Second annual Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals Oct. 5-7 Richmond, Va.

-Countdown to One-

Seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals Oct. 18-21 Las Vegas (PSM)

43rd annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals Nov. 1-4 Pomona, Calif. (PSM)


Points after Topeka

1. Melanie Troxel 748
2. Doug Kalitta 652
3. Brandon Bernstein 608
4. David Grubnic 558
5. Larry Dixon 509
6. Rod Fuller 503
7. Morgan Lucas 498
8. Tony Schumacher 466
9. Cory McClenathan 423
10. Doug Herbert 399
11. Hillary Will 361
12. David Baca 350
13. Clay Millican 325
14. Bob Vandergriff 305
15. Scott Weis 181

Funny Car

1. Ron Capps 781
2. John Force 672
3. Robert Hight 552
4. Eric Medlen 528
5. Tony Pedregon 508
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. 478
7. Whit Bazemore 466
8. Del Worsham 438
9. Cruz Pedregon 433
10. Gary Scelzi 400
11. Phil Burkart 386
12. Gary Densham 349
13. Bob Gilbertson 297
14. Tony Bartone 295
15. Jim Head 272

Pro Stock

1. Greg Anderson 632
2. Jason Line 559
3. Jim Yates 543
4. Erica Enders 518
5. Dave Connolly 508
6. Mike Edwards 477
7. Larry Morgan 456
8. Kurt Johnson 451
9. Greg Stanfield 429
10. Warren Johnson 420
11. V. Gaines 417
12. Allen Johnson 373
13. Rickie Smith 367
14. Richie Stevens 335
15. Ron Krisher 324


NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series
2006 Schedule
February 9-12 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals
Results Pomona, CA
February 24-26 Checker Schuck’s Kragen NHRA Nationals
Results Phoenix, AZ
March 16-19 ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
Results Gainesville, FL
March 31-April 2 O’Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals
Results Houston, TX
April 6-9 NHRA Nationals
Results Las Vegas, NV
April 28-30 O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Results Bristol, TN
May 4-7 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals
Results Atlanta, GA
May 18-21 Pontiac Performance NHRA Nationals
Results Columbus, OH
May 25-28 O`Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals
Results Topeka, KS
June 8-11 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Chicago, IL
June 15-18 K&N Filters SuperNationals
Info Tickets Schedule Englishtown, NJ
June 23-25 O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Madison, IL
July 14-16 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Denver, CO
July 21-23 Schuck’s Auto Supply NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Seattle, WA
July 28-30 Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Sonoma, CA
August 10-13 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Brainerd, MN
August 18-20 O’Reilly Mid-South Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Memphis, TN
August 30-September 4 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Indianapolis, IN
September 14-17 Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Reading, PA
September 21-24 O’Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Dallas, TX
October 6-8 Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Richmond, VA
October 26-29 ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals
Info Tickets Schedule Las Vegas, NV
November 9-12 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Info Tickets Schedule Pomona, CA




February 2003 NHRA Zone
March 2003 NHRA Zone
April 2003 NHRA Zone
May archives are here
June archives are here
July/Aug archives here
Sept Archives are here
Oct archives are here
Nov/Dec archives are here



2004 archives

Jan.04 NHRA Zone

Feb 04 NHRA zone

Mar 04 NHRA zone

Apr 04 NHRA zone

July 04 and earlier NHRA zone

Nov and earlier (including the entire season results page)

Powerade TV Package


Everything on this site is copyright © Speedzone Magazine 2003. All rights reserved. Nothing can be reproduced in any way without written consent of the publisher or the individual copyright holders of images and/or text.