In conjunction with Team Wilkerson, who will be competing at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Northwest Nationals with a special-edition car, Rottler Manufacturing has announced a series of Demo Days at their Seattle headquarters, for all racers and engine builders who will be in the area during the week preceding the Seattle race. The daily events will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day, from Tuesday July 29 through Friday August 1.
Rottler is a leading manufacturer of machines that are specific to the building and servicing of racing engines, and racers are invited to stop in during any of the open-house days to see a variety of machines in action. Rottler will have their latest 5th-axis head-porting machine running, their newest line of seat and guide machines, as well as valve refacers, a new true vertical stroke CNC cylinder honing machine, and both of Rottler's CNC block machining centers.
Racers arriving from Sonoma can take the Orillia St. exit off Interstate 5, then head east on Orillia. From there, turn left on S. 200th which then becomes S. 196th Street. Turn right on 81st Avenue South, and then right on S. 200th. Rottler is immediately ahead on the left side of the road. Racers can contact Rottler at 253-872-7050
A benefit fund has been established in the name of Valerie Bennett, a 15-year-old Ohio NHRA Jr. drag racer who committed suicide recently after being a victim of online bullying.
The fund was established to help her parents, Kim and Cartho, pay for the funeral expenses and for the establishment of a health services scholarship.
Valerie, whose home track was Summit Motorsports Park, is pictured, near lane, racing her brother, Brandon.
Contributions can be sent to:
Valerie S. Bennett Benefit Fund
1001 Sandusky Street
Perrysburg, OH 43551
A unique partnership was announced today that Western Technical College based in El Paso, Texas, has become the Official Technical College of Don Schumacher Racing's U.S. Army (Tony Schumacher), Battery Extender Powered by Schumacher (Spencer Massey), Valvoline/Infinite Hero Foundation (Jack Beckman), and Make-A-Wish Foundation (Tommy Johnson Jr.) teams.
Western Technical College's mission is to provide quality training and education in a caring, professional environment that prepares new students and working adults with the skills they need to succeed and advance in their chosen careers. Those objectives will be enhanced through a unique internship program with the largest professional drag racing team in NHRA.
"We're always looking to add skilled and ambitious people to the DSR organization," team owner Don Schumacher said. "We started our relationship with Western Tech through Matco Tools and we expanded it last summer during the Western Swing internship program for all parties involved. We see this as an opportunity to help facilitate the skill set of the students as they move into professional working careers. We hope that a few of these students can call DSR and Brownsburg (Ind.) home in the next few years."
In 2013, two students from Western Technical College joined Don Schumacher Racing for the three-week "Western Swing" as interns. Students Kody Throop and Josh Lerma, now graduates, joined DSR's U.S. Army and Matco Tools teams for races in Denver, near Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle.
As part of the partnership, DSR and WTC renewed and expanded the internship program beginning at the season's 10th event June 13-15 at Bristol, Tenn. Four interns have been mentoring with DSR's U.S. Army (Matthew Anderson) and Matco Tools (James Jones) Top Fuel teams, and the Valvoline/Infinite Hero Foundation (Melvyn McMinn) and Make-A-Wish (Michael Clemente) Funny Car teams. The students also have worked with the teams at the race shop in Brownsburg.
Clemente, Anderson and Jones have joined their respective teams in the winner's circle at the Bristol, Epping, and Chicago races.
DSR will host four more interns - Cedric Cole, Michael Darbonnier, Rachel Kirkendall and Adrian Samaniego - for the three-week Western Swing that begins July 18 at Denver and continues at Sonoma and Seattle. A third group of interns will join DSR for the first four races of the Countdown to the Championship playoff (Charlotte, Dallas, St. Louis and Reading, Pa.) that begins Sept. 12.
"It is the desire of every Western Tech Automotive, Performance Tuner, and Diesel Technology student to excel to the top of their chosen profession," said Jack Werner, Western Technical College Director of Automotive Technology, Heavy & Light Duty Diesel Technology and Performance Tuning. "Our partnership with Don Schumacher Racing provides our students the opportunity to train with the best of the best in the highly competitive world of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing. The students selected as DSR interns will apply skills learned at Western Tech in an environment that is a once in a lifetime experience. The teamwork, attention to detail and technical expertise learned by actively participating on a Don Schumacher team is training a student can't receive anywhere else in the world."
In addition to Western Tech branding on five DSR race cars, the school's logo will adorn the quarter panel of "Fast Jack" Beckman's Valvoline MaxLife/SynPower Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for NHRA races seven events including upcoming races at Sonoma, Seattle, Brainerd, Indianapolis and St. Louis.
John Force recently spent the weekend north of the border at St. Thomas Raceway Park as Grand Marshal of the Hardcore Horsepower Shootout. For the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion it was two days of telling stories, watching racing and reconnecting with Canadian fans. The event opened with a very special event following the national anthem as 5 year old Weslee from Wishes for Weslee met John Force and “raced” down the track in his own Mustang.
“This was an awesome weekend. The fans up here have been great. Getting to meet Weslee was really special. We have done two autograph sessions that both lasted over two hours and I have been having a great time. The Williams family has put on a great show and I am honored to be the Grand Marshal,” said Force.
Over the course of two days Force’s JFR Travelin’ Road Show was the hit of the event. The Road Show featured some of Force’s most famous Funny Cars and showed fans racing highlights as well as special videos produced by John Force Entertainment. Force was thrilled with the professional racing as well as the Jr. Dragster action on track at St. Thomas Motorsports Park.
“I loved seeing the Jr. Dragsters. I can’t wait to get back to California and get Autumn and Robert (Hight) out to the track in her Jr. Dragster. You see these kids out here having so much fun and that is the future of drag racing,” said Force, an excited grandfather.
“I also loved seeing the guys from England with the Living the Dream car, Rick ‘Hollywood’ Kopp’s AA Funny Car and the Ant Hill Mob Funny Car plus all the Pro Mods and fuel bikes. Their passion for racing is right up there with mine and their hot rods were awesome. I watched them every time they pulled up. They put on a great show for the fans and that is what this event was all about; the fans. Even though we had some rain on Sunday I was still signing autographs and having fun,” said Force.