WORLD CHAMP KRAWIEC AND TOP ROOKIE ARANA JR. ANXIOUS TO START THE 2012 PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE SEASON WHERE THEY LEFT OFF IN 2011
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville isn’t only the traditional East Coast opener for the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, it’s also the season-opener for the NHRA’s two-wheel class, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Reigning world champ and defending event champ, Eddie Krawiec, hopes to do what few riders have accomplished, complete back-to-back-to-back wins of the same event. Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) join Krawiec as winners of last year’s event that will be telecast on ESPN2HD.
“Having the opportunity to be able to defend a possibility of a third win at the season-opener is a pretty cool thing,” Krawiec said. “It's not many opportunities you get to go back-to-back, but to try to do it three times in a row is definitely something that I'd love to do. Anytime you can start off the season with a win, it's a good thing.”
Krawiec earned his second-career Full Throttle world championship in 2011, outrunning his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson teammate and three-time world champ Andrew Hines, 2007 world champ Matt Smith and eventual rookie of the year Hector Arana Jr. during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. He will try to start this season the same way he ended last year.
“In years past, obviously as we all know, the competition has gotten greater and greater,” Krawiec said. “The only way that you can have that opportunity to defend your championship is you’ve got to improve and get better along with everybody else. I focus on one round at a time. You need to get round wins to get race wins, and race wins will get you championships.”
The 2011 Auto Club Road to the Future winner, Arana Jr., is also looking forward to firing up his Lucas Oil Buell at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. The second-generation rider not only earned the NHRA’s rookie of the year honors last year, he also claimed a runner-up finish in the championship battle and isn’t going to let any superstition ruin his chances of another successful season.
“I didn’t know about a ‘sophomore slump’ so I’m not going to even think about that,” Arana Jr. said. “I finally have some experience underneath my belt starting this year. So my goal is to qualify at Gainesville, which I didn't last year, and go some rounds, just start strong from the very beginning.”
Krawiec and Arana Jr. aren’t the only two riders to watch in the two-wheel class this season. Arana Jr.’s father, 2009 world champ Hector Arana Sr., GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer, 2010 champ LE Tonglet and NHRA newcomers Scotty Pollacheck, Anne Hansen and John Hall, as well as many other riders are focused on earning race victories, setting performance records and making the cut for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
* SCHEDULE: Full Throttle Drag Racing Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Friday, March 9, and 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 11.
* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com. For tickets, please call the NHRA Ticket Center at (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRATIX.com.
* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 4 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, March 11, with a re-air of the qualifying show following later that day at 5 p.m. (ET). ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three-hours of eliminations coverage at 6 p.m. (ET), also on Sunday, March 11.
* LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series gain experience. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 9 a.m. on March 8. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8 a.m. on March 9 and continue through March 11.
* ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
TIRE KINGDOM NHRA GATORNATIONALS presented by NAPAFilters.com FACT SHEET
WHAT: 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com, the third of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships.
WHERE: Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, Gainesville, Fla. The track is located on 11211 North County Road 225 in Gainesville.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, March 8-11
THURSDAY, March 8 - LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 9 a.m.
FRIDAY, March 9 - LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations at 8 a.m.
NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
SATURDAY, March 10 - LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations at 8 a.m.
NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES qualifying at 11 a.m. and eliminations at 1:30 p.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
SUNDAY, March 11 - Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Sunday, March 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 4 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, March 11, ESPN2 AND ESPN2 HD will re-air one hour of qualifying highlights at 5 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, March 11, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage starting at 6 p.m. (ET).
SATELLITE (Digital HD feed):
Friday, March 9, 6:30 – 7 p.m. (ET), SES 2 / Transponder 22C
Saturday, March 10, 7 – 7:30 p.m. (ET), SES 2 / Transponder 22C
Sunday, March 11, 7 – 7:30 p.m. (ET), SES 2 / Transponder 22C
(4140 MHz, vertical; Data Rate: 40.461470554 Mbp; Symbol Rate: 29.27 Ms; FEC: ¾; Bandwidth: 36 Mhz)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.
2011 EVENT WINNERS: Del Worsham, Top Fuel; Mike Neff, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle
MOST VICTORIES: Warren Johnson, 9, PS; John Force, 7, FC; Don Prudhomme, 5, FC; Joe Amato, 4, TF; Kenny Bernstein, 4, FC/TF; Larry Dixon, 4, TF; Don Garlits, 4, TF; Jason Line, 4, PS; Ed McCulloch, 4, FC; Tony Schumacher, 4, TF; Dave Schultz, 4, PSM; Terry Vance, 4, PSM.
Top Fuel - 3.797 seconds by Tony Schumacher, March ’10; 325.45 mph by Schumacher, March ’11.
Funny Car - 4.030 seconds by Matt Hagan, March ’11; 316.15 mph by Matt Hagan, March ’10.
Pro Stock - 6.495 seconds by Rodger Brogdon, March ’11; 213.57 mph by Erica Enders, March ’11.
PS Motorcycle - 6.777 seconds by Hector Arana, March ’11; 199.26 mph by Eddie Krawiec, March ’11.
Top Fuel - 3.735 sec. by Del Worsham, Oct. ’11, Reading, Pa.; 328.62 mph by Spencer Massey, Feb. ’12, Pomona, Calif.
Funny Car - 3.995 sec. by Matt Hagan, Sept. ’11, Charlotte, N.C.; 318.99 mph by Jack Beckman, Sept. ’11, Charlotte, N.C.
Pro Stock - 6.477 sec. by Jason Line, Oct. ’11, Reading, Pa.; 213.57 mph by Erica Enders, March ’11, Gainesville, Fla.
PS Motorcycle - 6.777 sec. by Hector Arana, March ’11, Gainesville, Fla.; 199.26 mph by Eddie Krawiec, March ’11, Gainesville, Fla.
TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available online at www.NHRATIX.com.
GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Thursday: Adult, $16; Friday: Adult, $36. Saturday: Adult, $58. Sunday: Adult, $58. Ages 12 and under free with paying adult each day.
RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) - Friday: Adult, $46. Saturday: Adult, $65. Sunday: Adult, $65. Ages 12 and under free with paying adult each day.
NHRA FULL THROTTLE DRAG RACING SERIES POINTS STANDINGS
GLENDORA, Calif. -- Points standings (top 10) following the second of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series:
Top Fuel: 1. Antron Brown, 212; 2. Tony Schumacher, 180; 3. Spencer Massey, 176; 4. Morgan Lucas, 143; 5. Shawn Langdon, 139; 6. Clay Millican, 126; 7. (tie) Steve Torrence, 89; Bob Vandergriff, 89; 9. (tie) Brandon Bernstein, 85; Doug Kalitta, 85.
Funny Car: 1. Mike Neff, 196; 2. Robert Hight, 154; 3. John Force, 150; 4. Jack Beckman, 137; 5. Ron Capps, 125; 6. Courtney Force, 124; 7. Todd Lesenko, 102; 8. Johnny Gray, 99; 9. Jeff Arend, 84; 10. Gary Densham, 83.
Pro Stock: 1. Greg Anderson, 209; 2. Jason Line, 208; 3. Mike Edwards, 147; 4. Rodger Brogdon, 125; 5. Jeg Coughlin, 122; 6. Vincent Nobile, 111; 7. Greg Stanfield, 103; 8. Allen Johnson, 93; 9. (tie) Erica Enders, 84; Shane Gray, 84. Larry Morgan, 84.