Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Texas natives ready to rock Lone Star State this weekend

Kristen Dennis, John Hale ready for Nitro Jam spotlight

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 28, 2012) – You just don't mess with Texas.

Or its drivers.

While this weekend's San Antonio Nitro Jam will feature talented racers from across North America all vying for victory, for two drivers the race this Friday and Saturday at San Antonio Raceway means more. Much more.

John Hale will bring his Texas themed "Nitro Boss" Funny Car to Nitro Jam debut in San Antonio

"This is a hometown race for us," said Kristen Dennis, driver of the "Ladies First" Pro Fuel Dragster. "I have family, friends and even high school classmates coming out who have never seen me race. They have seen videos, but never in person.

"I love interacting with the fans. It is an all day event since we race at night so this is a great way for everyone to see the car, meet the crew and learn about what I do. The women are really excited to hear all about it and the men are amazed as well. I don't want to be called a woman driver, just a good driver. It doesn't matter who is in the other lane."

Dennis, from Magnolia, will join John Hale from Dallas who will be making his Nitro Jam debut behind the wheel of the "Nitro Boss" Camaro in the AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car class. Both drivers call the Lone Star State home and both will be looking to make a good impression at one of the biggest stops on the Nitro Jam tour.

Dennis is no stranger to the Nitro Jam stage. In her debut last year at the season finale in Martin, Mich. Dennis drove the "Ladies First" dragster to a huge victory over the 2011 series champion to pick up her first career Ironman. Now she returns to Nitro Jam looking to make it two in a row against the likes of fellow female competitor and last weeks winner Cherissa Smallwood in the "Nitro and Lace" dragster, Bill Evans in the "Black Pearl" and Robin Samsel in "Predator."

Pro Fuel racer Kristen Dennis won in her first career Nitro Jam start last season

"I want to do this Texas style. We don't want to go big, we want to go huge," Dennis said. "I have high expectations. We are going to Nitro Jam to win both nights. I have overcome so many obstacles to get here and I am going to make sure the job gets done. I have new tires, a bunch of new parts, a seasoned crew and we worked our tails off to get here. Now it is time."

Fellow Texas native John Hale will share the spotlight in San Antonio when he brings out his "Nitro Boss" Funny Car to compete in the biggest Prostalgia race of the season.

"We knew we wanted to do our own Texas theme and came up with the 'Nitro Boss.' The paint job was already spectacular and with the skulls, Texas Ranger badges, Texas flag and the special message on the back it has become a huge hit," Hale said. "We won our first race with this car in Kansas City and we are looking forward to running it at Nitro Jam."

As the 2011 DRO Funny Car champion, Hale is no stranger to tough fields. But even with one of the toughest fields he will see all season staring him in the face this weekend, as a defending champion, Hale is certainly not intimidated.

"We love racing against the best of the best and we wouldn't have it any other way," Hale said. "All of the cars at Nitro Jam are top notch and capable of getting the job done so we will have to be on top of our game to be competitive."

Dennis (left) will join fellow racer Cherissa Smallwood and more at the San Antonio Nitro Jam

But more than anything, Hale is thrilled to able to compete in his home state and bring his "don't mess with Texas" attitude to the San Antonio strip.

"Everyone on the team is excited about having a Nitro Jam in our great state of Texas. I have raced with some of these cars before and I am looking forward to racing with the ones that I haven't. They are all a great bunch of racers.

"Nitro Jam really puts on a good show for the fans and we look forward to being a part of it."

Hale will be joined at the San Antonio Nitro Jam by the last two Nitro Jam World Champions Peter Gallen in "Poverty Stricken" and Steve Nichols in "Mill Road Boys" in addition to Dale Pulde in "War Eagle", Tim Boychuk in "Troy Lee Designs", Mike Savage in "Candies & Hughes", the "Jungle Jim" Camaro and Brad Thompson.

In addition to the Pro Fuel and Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car classes, Nitro Jam will also feature professional competition in Fuel Altered and Nitro Harley in addition to exhibition acts including the Super Shockwave jet semi, jet dragsters, jet funny cars, wheelstanders, the monster truck drag race between Grave Digger and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and hundreds of local sportsman racers.

The San Antonio Nitro Jam is this Friday and Saturday at San Antonio Raceway. For ticket information visit