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Sears Point: Fram Autolite Nationals Fact Sheet

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Sears Point: Fram Autolite Nationals Fact Sheet
Jul 28, 2000, 11:45 PM

NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals Fact Sheet WHAT: Sears Point Raceway will host the world's top drag racers at the NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 4-6. This marks the 15th event of the 23 race, $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing ...

NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals Fact Sheet

WHAT: Sears Point Raceway will host the world's top drag racers at the NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals, Aug. 4-6. This marks the 15th event of the 23 race, $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

WHERE: Sears Point Raceway, Highways 37 & 121, Sonoma.

WHEN: Gates open at 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Pro qualifying Friday, 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Pro qualifying Saturday, 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Final eliminations Sunday, 11 a.m. ALL TIMES PST.

MAIN CATEGORIES: Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock

COURSE: Quarter-mile drag strip.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $1.8 million.

ON TV: ESPN2 will televise NHRA Heat, a 30-minute event preview, on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 3:30 p.m. Two hours of qualifying highlights will be broadcast on ESPN2 on Saturday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. ESPN2 will televise two hours of final round coverage at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Final round coverage will be repeated on ESPN2 on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 1 a.m. One hour of Federal-Mogul eliminations will be shown on ESPN2 on Sunday, Aug. 27 at 11 p.m.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Doug Kalitta has won the last two NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals titles at Sears Point for Top Fuel and looks to become the first three-peat winner. He beat 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing champion Tony Schumacher in last year's final. Cory McClenathan, the 1997 winnner at Sears Point, should be a threat after winning the All-Star Showdown in Bristol (Tenn.). In Funny Car, Whit Bazemore hopes to duplicate his victory of a year ago. He earned his first Funny Car win of the year at the Mile High Nationals in Colorado (July 16). It was his seventh career win. John Force has won at Sears Point a record four times, the last coming in 1994. Frank Pedregon was runner-up a year ago. Two-time Winston Pro Stock champion Jim Yates achieved his only win of 1999 at Sears Point, edging Kurt Johnson in the final round. So far this year, Pro Stock has been dominated by Jeg Coughlin, who led the field by over 180 points at press time.

SEARS POINT CHAMPIONS: Top Fuel: Doug Kalitta (1999, 1998), Cory McClenathan (1997), Blaine Johnson (1996), Mike Dunn (1995), Scott Kalitta (1994), Eddie Hill (1993), Don Prudhomme (1992), Joe Amato (1991), Gary Ormbsy (1990), Frank Bradley (1989), Joe Amato (1988). Funny Car: Whit Bazemore (1999), Cruz Pedregon (1998), Ron Capps (1997), Cruz Pedregon (1996), Al Hofmann (1995), John Force (1994), Tom Hoover (1993), Force (1992), Force (1991), Force (1990), Don Prudhomme (1989), Mark Oswald (1988). Pro Stock: Jim Yates (1999), Warren Johnson (1998), Jim Yates (1997), Johnson (1996), Yates (1995), Darrell Alderman (1994), Rickie Smith (1993), Johnson (1992), Alderman (1991), Alderman (1990), Bob Glidden (1989), Harry Scribner (1988).

SEARS POINT RECORDS: Top Fuel (E.T. - Bob Vandergriff, 1999, 4.552; MPH - Tony Schumacher, 1999, 320.74). Funny Car (E.T. - Whit Bazemore, 1999, 4.876; MPH - Whit Bazemore, 1999, 310.20. Pro Stock (E.T. - Kurt Johnson, 1999, 6.898; MPH - Warren Johnson, 1999, 200.77).

NOTES: Warren Johnson had the first 200-mph plus run for Pro Stock in Sears Point history in 1999, covering the course at 200.77 mph.

* John Force is the winningest driver in NHRA history with 86 victories.

* It was a banner year at Sears Point in 1999 as records were set in all three pro divisions for elapsed time and mph.

* In addition to winning the Top Fuel title in 1996, Kenny Bernstein is also a four-time Funny Car champion. However, he has never won at Sears Point.

* In Federal-Mogul Drag Racing action, local favorite Rick Santos of Antioch is seeking his fourth national championship and fifth Division 7 championship.

TICKETS: General admission tickets are $30 Friday, $39 Saturday and $44 Sunday. A three-day pass is available for $90. Children ages 6-12 are $10 per day for general admission. Children 5 and under are free. Parking is free. For more information, call 800-870-RACE, or visit www.searspoint.com.

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