Driver and team appearances in advance of the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd Int'l Raceway are listed below.
Popular NHRA Funny Car pilot "Fast Jack" Beckman will be at the Brainerd Walmart supercenter (7295 Glory Road, Baxter, MN 56425) Thursday, Aug. 14. From 5 to 6:30 p.m., the 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car world champion will meet with NHRA fans for autographs and photos. Fans in attendance could also win tickets to the Brainerd event. The veteran California racer has 15 NHRA Funny Car titles. He qualified No. 1 the past two years in Brainerd and was runner-up in two final-round appearances (2008, 2010).
NHRA fans will have two opportunities to meet NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver Dave Connolly, a 24-time event winner in the class, Thursday, Aug. 14. Gray Motorsports driver Connolly and his 214-plus-mph Charter Communications Chevrolet Camaro will first make a stop at Cub Foods at 14133 Edgewood Drive in Baxter from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., Connolly and the car will be at the new Dondelinger Chevrolet location at 6720 Pine Beach Road in Baxter. Both events are free and open to the public, with fans invited to stop by for a signed Connolly Charter Communications autograph card, photo opportunity with Connolly and the car, free food and drink, games, contests, and free Charter-branded backpacks.
Jim Dunn is ready to get back to drag racing. The Jim Dunn Racing team and the Grime Boss Funny Car will return to action in Brainerd. Race fans can meet “Big Jim” and get up close to the Grime Boss Funny Car at the Menards in Baxter Thursday, Aug. 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jeff Arend, driver of the Grime Boss Dodge Funny Car, will also be at the second half of the appearance to meet fans and sign autographs.
“We want to thank all the fans and fellow racers for their support over the past few weeks. The flowers, cards, and the banners everyone signed during the Western Swing meant so much to my dad and our family,” said Jim Dunn Racing Business Manager Jon Dunn. “The team is excited to get back to the track and compete again. We’ve spent the last month preparing the car for our return to the NHRA Mello Yello Series. We are looking forward to a successful outing in Brainerd and welcoming new associate sponsor BZ Twisted Blend Custom Coffee.”
Serving Orphans Worldwide will join Elite Motorsports Pro Stock driver Richie Stevens as an associate sponsor for the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indianapolis.
"Serving Orphans Worldwide is thrilled that Elite Motorsports and Richie Stevens believe in the work we are doing globally," said Richard Baker, chief operating officer of Serving Orphans Worldwide. "We are honored to be forging this relationship with people who are as passionate about orphan care as we are."
Serving Orphans Worldwide joins Stevens Collision Center, Stevens Auto Parts, Valspar, and B-V Plumbing in backing Stevens' entry at the U.S. Nationals.
The partnership comes from Serving Orphans Worldwide's relationship with Tom Pierson, a longtime backer of Stevens. Pierson and Baker have been friends for some time.
"We hope to make a big impact in Indy, both on the racetrack and for Serving Orphans Worldwide," Stevens said. "They do a lot of great things for orphans all over the world, and I hope we can take them to Victory Lane."
Stevens is beginning a partnership with Elite at Indy that will continue through the Countdown to the Championship. He will be a teammate to wife Erica Enders-Stevens, who currently leads the points standings in the ultra-competitive class.
Serving Orphans Worldwide has a global footprint supporting 44 orphanages in 25 countries on five continents. The organization's main goal is to rescue struggling orphanages and help provide training to raise standards of care in homes and orphanages. In addition, they also provide the means for the orphanages to pursue self-sustainability.
Every penny donated to Serving Orphans Worldwide goes directly toward orphan care all over the world in a 100 percent approach. Donations are never spent on SOW's administrative costs because the board of directors and their affiliates have committed to underwriting all administration costs.
For more information, visit www.soworldwide.org
Kalitta Motorsports hosted the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Heroes of Horsepower Reception its shop in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Kalitta Motorsports hosted the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s Heroes of Horsepower Reception Aug. 5, at the team’s 50,000-square feet race shop.
The Heroes of Horsepower Reception was a prelude to the following day’s 26th annual Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremony at the Fillmore Theatre in downtown Detroit, about 35 miles from the Kalitta Motorsports facility. This year’s inductees are Ole Bardahl, Raymond Beadle, John Bishop, Ricky Graham, Arie Luyendyk, Marshall Teague, and Rusty Wallace.
Racing legends Wallace, Bobby and Donnie Allison, David Hobbs, Ed Pink, Johnny Rutherford, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Scott Parker, Jay Springsteen, Hershel McGriff, “Waterbed Fred” Miller, Doug Kalitta, and many others were in attendance for the reception which included a live auction of racing memorabilia and sculpture unveilings of inductee’s plaques.
Hobbs and Bob Varsha, acclaimed television racing announcer and personality, emceed the two-hour event.
Jim Oberhofer, vice president of operations for Kalitta Motorsports, said, “We were very honored to have the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s Heroes of Horsepower Reception at our race shop. It’s truly amazing to have all those racing greats all together at Kalitta Motorsports.”
Kalitta Motorsports has announced that Rusch Machine and Design, Inc. (RMD), a world-renowned designer and manufacturer of tube and pipe bending machinery, has signed on to be an associate sponsor on the team’s four 10,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled race cars.
Large RMD decals now adorn the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster driven by Doug Kalitta, the Optima Batteries/Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel dragster driven by J.R. Todd, the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Del Worsham, and the Patrón XO Café Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Alexis DeJoria.
The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series consists of 24 national events all across the United States.
“RMD has been involved behind the scenes with NHRA drag racing for years,” Chris Rusch, RMD owner and president, said. “Our many satisfied customers use RMD tube bending and notching machines to create custom chassis from the home bracket racers on up to the professional racers.
“Being associated with Kalitta Motorsports and nitro race cars is a big step for RMD. We are excited to see what the Team Kalitta engineers create in their chassis shop using RMD equipment. We are confident our RMD machines will give Kalitta Motorsports an extra edge, or bend, to win even more races.”
“We are very excited to add RMD to our Team Kalitta family,” Jim Oberhofer, vice president of operations for Kalitta Motorsports, said. “We know that the addition of RMD equipment will give us the proper tools we need as we move forward building our in-house chassis and fabrication shop.”