Countdown update: Keeping up with the Joneses

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					                                                               update: fellow Pro Stock with the widely
                                               Countdown reminded hisKeeping updrivers why he’sJoneses
                                                   ickie Jones

                                               R        regarded as one of the most feared NHRA drivers on the Tree at the
                                                        30th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
                                               One day before his 23rd birthday, the driver of the Elite Motorsports Pontiac
                                               GXP used two holeshot wins — including in round one (.001 to .078) against points leader Mike Edwards — to
                                               reach his second final at his 43rd race. Though he came up short of a first Wally when he lost to Jeg Coughlin
                                               Jr. in the final, he had a huge day. The Galesburg, Ill., native began in 13th place, 44 points behind Shane
                   presented by
                                               Gray, and he left Atlanta in 10th, 15 points ahead of Gray. Also moving into the top 10 was Mohegan
                                               Sun/Vroom Racing Buell rider David Hope, who jumped from 11th to a tie for seventh with his run to the
                                               semi’s. In Funny Car, John Force Racing had a monster weekend. Ashley Force Hood and Robert Hight met in
                                               the final after beginning the weekend in fifth and sixth place, respectively, and finished in second and third.
Elite Motorsports partnership                  Perhaps the more important move in Funny Car came from Bob Tasca III, who gave himself and the
                                               Motorcraft/Quick Lane team serious breathing room with a run to the semi’s. He improved from 10th to
Richie Stevens Jr. will partner with Elite
                                               eighth and extended his margin over 11th-place Jeff Arend from 92 to 151.
Motorsports and join fellow young gun
Rickie Jones for at least four races this
season, beginning at the O’Reilly Auto                                                              Lucas Oil event rescheduled
Parts NHRA Summer Nationals presented           Three more events
by Castrol GTX in Topeka. Denver, Indy,                                                             Inclement weather in Oklahoma and an
and Dallas are also confirmed venues, and       Bob                                                 extended forecast for more rain and
more events may be added. The duo will          Vandergriff Jr.,                                    storms forced Division 4 officials to
utilize Elite’s in-house engine program,        who made his                                        postpone the recent NHRA Lucas Oil
headed by Jimmy Oliver. Marty                   Top Fuel season                                     Drag Racing Series event at Tulsa
Robertson of MAALT Transport, who has           debut at Atlanta                                    Raceway Park. The event will be contested
worked with Elite Motorsports on                Dragway, has                                        June 25-27. “We apologize for the date change, but unforeseen
mountain-motor ride-and-drive programs,         secured funding                                     problems — including parking issues, track seepage, and the
has moved his interests to the support of       to run three of                                     forecast — have forced us to make this decision,” said NHRA
500-inch competition. The Fort Worth,           the four NHRA                                       Division 4 Director Craig Hutchinson and track owner Dan
Texas, transport company, which                 Full Throttle                                       Guterman in a joint statement. The track is planning a test ’n’
primarily serves the oil and gas industries,    Drag Racing                                         tune Thursday, as was scheduled for the original date.
will be the major sponsor on Stevens’           Series events in
ride. Elite Motorsports also brings its         June. With
team of sponsors, which includes Safety
Kleen, Chariot Motorcoaches, and Marc
                                                backing from
                                                C&J Energy Services, which sponsored
                                                him in Atlanta, Vandergriff will compete in
                                                                                                                  TUNE-UP
                                        
				
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Description: Rickie Jones reminded his fellow Pro Stock drivers why he's widely regarded as one of the most feared NHRA drivers on the Tree at the 30th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
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