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Three ways to send in your team news, race results, or other information! Bits from the Pits presented by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • fax: (626) 335-4307 • mail: P.O. Box 5555, Glendora, CA 91740 Countdown update: Top 10 battles rage on TUNE-UP WEEKLYneed to know this week What you Upcoming events O f the dozens of drivers who entered the 21st annual O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals outside the top 10, only one, Pro Stock veteran Atco Raceway Warren Johnson, left with one of the coveted positions. The driver of the K&N Atco, N.J. (June 19-21) Filters Pontiac has had an up-and-down year, but he did just enough in Topeka — winning a round — to move around Johnny Gray and Larry Morgan and back Bandimere Speedway into the top 10. He is a scant three points clear of Morgan and Gray. Still, he is miles from the top. No Denver (June 19-21) class has as much disparity from top to bottom as Pro Stock, where three drivers in the top 10 already have 700-plus points and two drivers still haven’t accumulated 400. In Top Fuel and Funny Car, only Pacific Raceways first-place Tony Schumacher and Ron Capps have eclipsed the 700-point mark, and at the other end, Seattle (June 19-21) one has to drill down to 10th-place Joe Hartley (in TF) and 12th-place Robert Hight (in FC) to find a driver with less than 400 points. Summit Racing One of the more interesting moves in Topeka was made by Clay Millican, who pulled to within 45 Equipment NHRA Nationals points of Hartley for the 10th and final playoff berth in Top Fuel. But the real dogfight this summer Norwalk (June 25-28) figures to be in Funny Car, where two of the John Force Racing cars — Mike Neff’s Ford Drive One Mustang and Robert Hight’s Auto Club Ford Mustang — currently reside outside the top 10. It’s hard to This week on ESPN2 believe that either of those cars would miss the playoffs, but who are they going to replace? The first two cars standing in their way — Cruz Pedregon’s Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara and John Force’s United Association NHRA SuperNationals Castrol GTX Ford Mustang — have combined to win 16 of the last 18 Funny Car championships. June 13, 7-8 p.m. (qualifying); June 13, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (qualifying); June 14, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (eliminations); June 17, 2- 4 a.m. (repeat eliminations). Opening bell: NHRA, with more than a with Team Marines will help NHRA Race Day dozen sponsors/partners whose companies are generate additional marketing value June 14, noon ET traded on the New York Stock Exchange, for Thompson’s sponsors by has been invited to ring The Opening Bell at the providing associations with active- In next week’s National DRAGSTER NYSE on Wednesday, June 10. NHRA President Tom duty, retired, and future Marines and Pro results from Chicago; Sportsman coverage from Topeka Compton will be joined in ringing the bell by Coca- their families. The agreement will Cola/Full Throttle executives Bea Perez and Ben also help generate revenue for the Reiling and IMG President George Pyne. NHRA Wounded Warrior Project and the Upcoming birthdays drivers expected to participate in The Opening Bell Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, two programs that Rance McDaniel (69, June 19); Shirley Muldowney (69, June ceremony and/or the day’s Car Show/Fan Fest in provide support to those who serve and preserve our 19); Brian Self (35, June 19). front of the NYSE include Top Fuel racers Morgan freedoms. Sidelined for the first four races of the 2009 Lucas (Geico/Berkshire-Hathaway) and Antron season while searching for the proper funding, This week in history Brown (Matco Tools/Danaher Corp.), Funny Car Thompson has been making weekly appearances and drivers Bob Tasca III (Ford) and Tony Pedregon (Q displays with her Buell V-Twin Pro Stock Motorcycle In mid-June 1975, NHRA member tracks across North America Horsepower/Royal Dutch Shell), and Pro Stock while meeting with prospective marketing p
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