VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 4 CATEGORY: Engineering & Energy POSTED ON: 6/3/2010
Top performance Top Fuel and Funny Car race teams applauded NHRA's interim decision to race to 1,000 feet, and the competition surely did not suffer as fans witnessed history throughout the latter half of the season, including eventual Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher's impressive 31-round unbeaten streak that culminated in his record sixth championship. Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. renewed its title sponsorship of the national event at scenic Maple Grove Raceway in southeast Pennsylvania, Holley Performance Products signed a three-year extension of its title-rights sponsorship of the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, and Lucas Oil Products was named the title sponsor of the 2008 Lucas Oil NHRA Super Nationals in Englishtown and also renewed its multiyear agreement for title sponsorship of the NHRA national event in Brainerd.
The year in review: Triumphs, tragedy, transition a season which old records Inplay and ainyear wherewere were broken in despite new rules that and outside experts worked together to examine what happened and analyze Drag Racing Series season after rising to the challenge of the new six-race Countdown to 1 format. Schumacher was voted third-quarter new alliances were possible changes. While Driver of the Year 2008 and is expected to be formed and old friends working with the racing named the overall 2008 Driver of the Year. were lost, NHRA community concerning the All of the drama was captured for home viewers Drag Racing rose to accident and its causes, as ESPN2/ESPN2HD presented 21 of the 24 races meet challenges NHRA changed the of the 2008 season in the coveted 7-11 p.m. ET both old and racing distance for Top prime-time viewing window. This year marks the new in a Fuel and Funny Car eighth consecutive year of NHRA’s exclusive remarkable classes to 1,000 feet broadcasting partnership with ESPN. season of instead of the traditional competition. 1,320 feet as an interim step, and NHRA Sportsman Racer Advisory Council Racers in the continued to analyze and determine whether changes NHRA also worked closely with the Sportsman Professional categories entered the season at the should be made to build upon the sport’s long- racing community in 2008, forming the Sportsman annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA standing safety record. Racer Advisory Council to provide a means for Winternationals in early February under a revised discussing and evaluating rules and regulations format for the popular Countdown to the Continuing safety enhancements pertaining to Sportsman racing at NHRA events. Championship and with new rules on varying NHRA formed a safety task force including degrees in all four classes, and yet they put on tight NHRA officials and Top Fuel and Funny Car crew to-the-wire racing — both on the track and on the chiefs to investigate, analyze, and determine ways points charts — for which NHRA has become famous. to implement initiatives aimed at enhancing The Countdown to 1 playoff portion of the season safety. A safety shutoff controller was was expanded to include 10 drivers instead of 2007’s implemented for Top Fuel and Funny Car vehicles, eight, and, given the significant impact weather and which can shut off fuel and ignition to the engine atmospheric conditions have had on qualifying in as well as deploy the parachutes when triggered by past seasons, NHRA modified its race-qualifying a variety of conditions, including depressing the procedure so that only the top 12 elapsed times in steering-wheel-mounted driver’s button, manifold each Pro category would be provisionally recorded burst-panel rupture, fire-bottle activation, excessive prior to the last day of qualifying, giving more teams oil-pan pressure, and dragster rear-wing failure. a chance to make the 16-car starting order during NHRA also worked with teams to discuss new the final day of qualifying. parachute materials and mounting locations, and leading manufacturers in the performance-parts The advisory council consists of four Technical changes industry worked with teams at the season’s end to subcommittees representing groups of categories test a variety of new brake systems for Top Fuel within the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series dragsters and fuel Funny Cars. NHRA mandated program. The first meeting of the SRAC was held the use of the Electrimotion Safety Shutoff March 14 during the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals
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