:::::: News ::::::

LARSEN JOINS MORGAN LUCAS

Veteran crew chief Lance Larson has joined the Lucas Oil Racing
team after a recent realignment of crew personnel after the CarQuest
Auto Parts Nationals in Pomona.

Larson reunites with co-crew chief, John Stewart on the Lucas
dragster and will become a part of the two-car tuning operation of
teammate, Melanie Troxel with Richard Hogan.

“John Stewart and I have been good friends for a long time and we raced
over at (Dean) Skuza’s and showed some success,” said Larson.  “When he
called the other day and asked if I was interested in joining the team,
I was really excited about it, but at the same time I was kind of sad
and happy because of my relationship with car owner, Scott Griffin. 
Our personal friendship was so strong.  I just felt for myself and my
future the best place for me would be with Morgan Lucas Racing.” 

DOUG KUCH RETURNS TO FOLEY & LEWIS

 Roughly a week and a half after the resignation of the Foley &
Lewis Top Fuel team’s newly named crew chief, and after announcing that
tuning duties would be temporarily handled from within the team, a
familiar face is back on board.

Doug Foley announced today that Doug Kuch would once again be handling
the tuning duties for the Torco Mach Series Accelerator-sponsored team.

“After the Pomona race,” Foley said, “we did not want to rush into
anything before the next national event, and so decided to utilize the
talents we already have on our team. We have complete confidence in our
car chiefs, Scott Morell and Glenn Camp, but we’re real close to
debuting our second car with a new team driver and we couldn’t go too
long without filling the crew chief position. Fortunately for us, the
timing couldn’t have been better and when Doug Kuch’s services became
available, it was only natural that we re-hire him.”

ANOTHER BEARD IN RACING?

Following
in the footsteps of his father [Lee Beard], Zach Beard is on the fast track to carving his
own name in the racing world. Beard, 16, is in his third season of karting.

HERBERT AND KUCH SPLIT

Doug Herbert announced today that Doug Kuch will no longer be serving as crew
chief for his Snap-on Tools Top Fuel dragster.

“This was a mutual decision,” said
Herbert. “We talked and decided a change was needed. When you want a
championship like we do, sometimes things have to
change.”

SOX & MARTIN - MHOF INDUCTEES

NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, Indy car mechanic/team manager Jim McGee, 1960
Indy 500 king Jim Rathmann, and Goodyear and Indy Racing League executive Leo
Mehl will lead a class of eight racing greats into the Motorsports Hall of Fame
of America when the organization stages its annual induction ceremony on
Wednesday, August 15, 2007, at the State Theater in Detroit.

CARL SPIERING AND PSI TEAM UP

camaro_grass.jpg

Carl Spiering Motorsports and Performance Systems Inc. (PSI) superchargers will
be teaming up in 2007.

 
“We will be working very closely with Carl
Spiering and his ERD (Engine Research & Development) operation to develop
and design new products to enhance an already solid program,” said Roger Olander
of Performance Systems Inc. “The Eaton Road Warrior qualifies well at every
event with a steadiness and reliability that no other Pro Modified team
matched.”

MICKEY THOMPSON TIRES EXTENDS BENEFITS PROGRAM

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels is expanding and enhancing
the benefits associated with Team M/T Membership to provide greater support to racers
using Mickey Thompson tires. 

Mickey Thompson has expanded its internal racing staff, and will increase
service by sending their five big rigs to race events across the country. This
will enable Mickey Thompson to provide on-site technical support, tire
installation and service, answer questions, and collect important real-time
feedback from racers that can be used in future product engineering.

SMITH NAILS SGMP TRACK RECORD

To say Rickie Smith has experienced a positive day at South Georgia
Motorsports Park would be a great understand. The seven-time IHRA world
champion established a new SGMP track record on his second pass with a
6.309, 222.80 after nailing a 6.310, 222.70 with his Sonny's Racing
Engines-powered Jerry Bickel Chevrolet Cobalt. 

Could Smith dip into the 6.20s next month during the Eastern Spring Test Nationals presented by Torco's CompetitionPlus.com.

FIRST LOOK - RICK JONES PS MUSTANG

Rick Jones will campaign a new Ford Mustang sponsored by PiranaZ and Quartermax.

CANDID CONVERSATION - WHIT BAZEMORE

tn_DSC_0572.JPGTo no one’s surprise, Whit Bazemore
passed his much talked-about Top Fuel debut with flying colors. With a
career-best 4.507-second blast and a quarterfinal effort at the season-opening
Winternationals, Baze looked like a seasoned Top Fuel veteran behind the wheel
of his Lee Beard-tuned Matco Tools Iron Eagle dragster. Now the 20-time NHRA
Funny Car winner looks to become just the 14th driver in NHRA history
to card victories in both nitro categories. Never shy for words, Bazemore offers
his thoughts on adjusting to piloting a Top Fuel car, working alongside Rod
Fuller and Beard, and his fitness routine as he prepares for the second race on
the 23-race NHRA schedule near Phoenix, Feb. 23-25.

Q: After completing your first race in Top
Fuel, what are your thoughts?

BAZEMORE: My first thought is that
Pomona was
really good for me in terms of building my confidence as far as my ability in a
Top Fuel car goes and gaining more experience. It answered a lot of questions
for me. I was always very confident in the team and I’ve been incredibly
impressed by the guys on the team and how good they are. It’s virtually a
mistake-free organization and that’s something that’s hard to achieve. That’s
something that’s really hard to achieve. They’ve done tremendous throughout
testing and the first race. Even though we didn’t come away with a win, we came
way with the confidence and knowledge that we are capable of winning races and
we identified some areas that we’re going to work on in terms of both the
performance of the car and driver. That will make us a much stronger team going
forward.

Q: Is there any doubt that you can make
the Countdown for the Championship
and compete for the title this season after what you’ve seen so
far?

BAZEMORE: I wouldn’t say I have doubts,
but at the same time you have to acknowledge that it’s a challenge. Top Fuel,
like all the professional categories, is incredibly competitive and there’s no
room for error. You don’t want to say that you have doubts because we don’t, our
goal is to win a championship and we’re capable of doing that, but at the same
time you can’t take for granted that you’re going to be in the top eight because
there will be some strong cars that aren’t going to make the cut. You need to
work hard all season long to make sure you’re in the top eight come Indy time.

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