Thursday, August 02, 2012


KENT, Wash. – Washington Governor Chris Gregoire raced down Pacific Raceways historic quarter mile in celebration of this weekend's 25th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries.  The governor was among many elected officials and media who participated in Wednesday's inaugural Pacific Raceways Rainier Cup.

The governor rode in a two-seated 160-mile per hour Super Comp dragster thanks to the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School. The dragster was piloted by NHRA Funny Car driver "Fast" Jack Beckman. Funny Car drivers Bob Tasca and Todd Lesenko also attended the event and offered pointers to the local dignitaries. 

Track owner Jason Fiorito was pleased with the turnout of eager participants, and emphasized the importance of events like the inaugural Pacific Raceways Rainier Cup to demonstrate the excitement and thrill of the drag races. Fiorito is confident that after today's event these elected officials will become drag race fans. 

In conjunction with Operation Ward 57, the event honored a wounded soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McCord in Tacoma.

Other local officials who turned out for this unique driving experience were Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis and Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke. The event was sponsored by Epic Seats, Griot's Garage, Columbia River Advisors, Parker Paint, AAA Washington, Scarff Ford, and Roundup Media.

The event was a prelude to this weekend's 25th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, Aug. 3-5, at Pacific Raceways. Qualifying begins Friday, with racing Saturday and Sunday. The entire event will be televised on ESPN2. Gates open at Pacific Raceways each day at 7:30 a.m.

Pacific Raceways is the 15th stop in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, the only major automobile racing series to run in the Pacific Northwest. It is also the third race in the grueling three-week Western Swing, that also included stops in Denver and Sonoma, Calif. The Full Throttle race features professional classes of Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and six sportsman categories in the Lucas Oil Series. Qualifying takes place on Friday and Saturday with final eliminations on Sunday.

Located on 320-acres in unincorporated King County, Pacific Raceways is the largest motorsports facility in the state. In addition to its national event drag strip, the raceway has a 2.25-mile road course, a karting facility, and a motocross track. The King County Council recently approved a pathway for the raceway's privately financed $130 million improvement and redevelopment plan. When approved, the revamped facility, including a world-class motorsports business park, will create up to 1,000 living wage jobs and an additional tens of millions of dollars in regional economic impact. Locally owned by the Fiorito family since 1960, Pacific Raceways is conveniently located off SR-18 at the SE 304th Street exit.


WHAT: 25th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries, the 15th of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Drivers in three categories - Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock- earn points leading to NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE:  Pacific Raceways, Kent, Wash. The track is located 10 miles east of Interstate 5 on Highway 18. From I-5, use Exit 142A (Auburn exit) and travel east 10 miles on Highway 18, following the signs to the track. From other points, use Highway 18 and exit S.E. 304th St. or S.E. 312th St.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, Aug. 3-5.

FRIDAY, Aug. 3- LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 9:15 a.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, Aug. 4- LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations begin at 9:15 a.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at noon and 3 p.m.

SUNDAY, Aug. 5- Pre-race ceremonies at 10 a.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 4, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise 90 minutes of qualifying coverage at 10:30 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Aug. 5, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage starting at 6 p.m. (ET).

SATELLITE (Digital HD feed):      
Saturday, Aug. 4, Midnight - 12:30 a.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 10C
Saturday, Aug. 4, 10 - 10:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 10C
Sunday, Aug. 5, 10:30 - 11 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 10C
(3720 MHz, horizontal; 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; Tim Wilkerson, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock.

MOST VICTORIES: John Force, 7, FC; Bob Glidden, 6, PS; Joe Amato, 5, TF; Tony Schumacher, 4, TF; Warren Johnson, 4, PS.

TRACK RECORDS:            
Top Fuel–3.802 seconds by Tony Schumacher, July '08; 322.19 mph by Schumacher, July '10.
Funny Car–4.056 seconds by Robert Hight, July '08; 308.85 mph by John Force, Aug '11.
Pro Stock–6.531 seconds by Jason Line, Aug '11; 211.69 mph by Allen Johnson, Aug '11.

Top Fuel - 3.735 sec. by Del Worsham, Oct. '11, Reading, Pa.; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April '12, Charlotte, N.C.
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.; 213.91 mph by Jason Line, April  '12, Charlotte, N.C.

TICKETS: For tickets, log on to; call (800) 884-NHRA or (253) 639-5927.


SONOMA, Calif. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 14th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. -

Top Fuel:  1.  (tie) Antron Brown, 1,174*; Spencer Massey, 1,174*; 3.  Tony Schumacher, 1,048*; 4.  Steve Torrence, 984; 5.  Doug Kalitta, 828; 6.  Morgan Lucas, 796; 7.  Shawn Langdon, 741; 8.  Brandon Bernstein, 734; 9.  David Grubnic, 684; 10.  Bob Vandergriff, 601.

Funny Car:  1.  Robert Hight, 1,112*; 2.  Ron Capps, 1,031*; 3.  Jack Beckman, 943; 4.  Mike Neff, 899; 5. Johnny Gray, 881; 6.  Cruz Pedregon, 761; 7.  Courtney Force, 740; 8.  Jeff Arend, 717; 9.  Bob Tasca III, 687; 10.  John Force, 674.

Pro Stock:  1.  Allen Johnson, 1,234*; 2.  Greg Anderson, 1,180*; 3.  Jason Line, 1,149*; 4.  Mike Edwards, 974*; 5.  Vincent Nobile, 940*; 6.  Erica Enders, 823; 7.  Shane Gray, 560; 8.  Ronnie Humphrey, 550; 9.  Ron Krisher, 527; 10.  Jeg Coughlin, 518.

Pro Stock Motorcycle:  1.  Eddie Krawiec, 842*; 2.  Andrew Hines, 774*; 3.  Hector Arana Jr., 655*; 4.  Hector Arana, 587*; 5.  Karen Stoffer, 450; 6.  Michael Ray, 387; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck, 381; 8.  LE Tonglet, 378; 9. Matt Smith, 342; 10.  Shawn Gann, 336.

*Clinched berth in NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs