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Drag Racing: NHRA gearing for BIR

The 31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals returns to Brainerd International Raceway for the 16th of 23 events in the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.

From 15-time world champion John Force and rookie sensation Alexis DeJoria to returning event champ Antron Brown and Minnesota-favorites Jason Line and Greg Anderson, the best drag racers in the world compete at the NHRA Nationals scheduled for August 16-19.

In 2011, Brown (Top Fuel) and Johnny Gray (Funny Car) delivered event wins for the energetic Don Schumacher Racing team. Anderson (Pro Stock) and LE Tonglet (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined them in the winner’s circle in front of thousands of adoring fans. Drivers will be aiming to shatter some of the remarkable track records accomplished last year at Brainerd such as Spencer Massey’s amazing 323.04 mph run in his FRAM/Preston dragster, Ron Capps (Funny Car) record-breaking speed of 307.37 mph, Anderson reached 209.59 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP and Hector Arana Jr. powered his Buell motorcycle to an electrifying 6.881 second pass.

Following the demanding Western Swing through Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle, race teams are eager to return to Brainerd and collect their hard earned points before entering the Countdown to the Championship following the Mac Tools U. S. Nationals. Tony Schumacher is hoping to jump back on top as series leader in Top Fuel but he’ll have to tackle the hard-hitting young guns Spencer Massey, who has won four events, and Steve Torrence, who has picked up two Wally’s of his own. John Force Racing is like a pack of tigers ready to pounce on their prey on the track. So far, all four JFR drivers are in the Top 10 including Rookie of the Year contender and Force’s youngest daughter Courtney. In Pro Stock, Minnesota-natives Jason Line and Greg Anderson aim to stay on top of the series for the Summit Racing Equipment team. Harley-Davidson teammates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines will be pushing their way to the top but will have the super competitive father and son team, Hector Arana Sr. and Jr. to meet on the track.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. No other sport offer fans an up close and personal experience like NHRA. Fans can stand within several feet of the crews as they crank up their cars, sending the smell and burn of nitro fuel into the crowd. And bring a Sharpie for the readily available autographs and photo opps at every corner. On the Midway, manufacturers and sponsors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, and freebies.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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