For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

C.J. Perry

IHRA Director of Public Relations

Rob Atchison Continues Early Season Dominance in Funny Car at the ACDelco Nationals presented by the Richmond Times Dispatch

The long Memorial Day weekend saw some great racing action at the 5th Annual ACDelco Nationals presented by the Richmond Times Dispatch. Funny Car saw Rob Atchison overtake Mark Thomas for the points lead as he took home his second win of the season.

In Funny Car, Atchison, from London, Ont., took home his second victory of the season against a familiar foe—Terry McMillen from Elkhart, Ind. The two had met in the final at the season opening Amalie Oil Texas Nationals presented by Ancira Cars, Trucks and RVs and the San Antonio Express News. The outcome was the same as the first race as Atchison clocked a pass of 5.881 seconds at 238.34 mph to McMillen’s 6.062 seconds at 235.35 mph. Atchison left Virginia Motorsports Park with a 48 point lead over second place Mark Thomas.

The next stop on the Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series is the Mopar Canadian Nationals presented by Castrol, June 10-12 at Grand Bend Motorplex.

The current IHRA points standings (wins in parentheses):

Funny Car
1. Rob Atchison (2) 292

2. Mark Thomas (1) 244

3. Terry McMillen 213

4. Thomas Carter 203

5. Jim Sickles 197

6. Chris Foster 194

7. Terry Munroe 168

8. Melinda Green King 156

9. Mark Poyser 94

10. Tony Bogolo 64
Submitted by: Shanna Snyder-Bell
Contact email address:

Snyder Has Second Straight Quarterfinal Finish

The Mick Snyder driven Top Alcohol Funny Car sponsored by TORCO Race Fuels participated in the Topeka O’Reilly Summer Nationals over this past Memorial Day weekend.

The Team began the weekend a little off pace of the pack due to technical issues but continued to get quicker every pass down the track. By eliminations they were right were they needed to be. After winning first round with a 5.77 at 247.02 mph, Snyder was ousted in round two when he ran a 5.76 at 247.07 mph.

“We continued to get quicker each pass this weekend,” said Snyder. “In the second round when everyone else slowed down a little we were still getting better. We are looking forward to going to Joliet in a couple of weeks.”

The Team heads back to DeMotte, Indiana to get ready for their next event, the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals in Joliet, Illinois. It is the first time Snyder will be returning to the site where he captured his first National Event win last fall.

The CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals will be held in Joliet, Illinois June 9th through the 12th.

Snyder is featured in this weeks National Dragster with the Sportsman Scrapbook. You can check out pictures of some of the events the Team encountered at the Atlanta Summit Racing Equipment Summer Nationals earlier this month.

Once again, the Snyder Motorsports Team would like to thank our major sponsor TORCO Racing Fuels and our associate sponsors Coan Converters, Design 500, Flatout Gaskets, Lencodrive Racing Transmissions, Long Printing, R & R Racing Products, Snyder Auto and Spitzer Race Cars for their continued support.

Please visit the Snyder Motorsports official website at

The Snyder Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car entry is sponsored by TORCO Racing Fuels. By logging onto...
Has anyone heard how he is doing after the fire at Red River? Who was the team member that was burned also? Are they both still in the hospital?
If so where, we would like to contact them. Anyone have any specifics on what happened?

Thanks, Angie Copeland and team
does any one know what happen to
Frank Manzo
Submitted by: Shanna Snyder-Bell
Contact email address:

Mick Snyder Heads to Topeka

The Snyder Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car sponsored by TORCO Race Fuels will head to Heartland Park Topeka to compete in the O’Reilly Summer Nationals this weekend. This is the fourth event of the season for driver Mick Snyder, the defending Division 3 TAFC champion.

The 23 year-old recent Purdue graduate is looking forward to the weekend, “I think we have a good shot at any race we attend, but we need all of the pieces to come together at the same time.

“We have a great crew that works very hard to make this car competitive, sooner or later we are going to get some luck on our side too. Then we will get to see all our hard work pay off.”

A couple of weeks ago at the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals, Mick and the crew were honored to be chosen as the focal point of the Scrapbook to be published in National Dragster. You can check out pictures of the Team’s weekend in an upcoming edition of the magazine.

Topeka the third of eight National events the team plans to attend in the 2005 season. Coverage of the O’Reilly Summer Nationals can be seen on ESPN2 June 5th at 12 PM ET.

The Team would like to thank our major sponsor TORCO Racing Fuels and our associate sponsors Coan Converters, Design 500, Flatout Gaskets, Lencodrive Racing Transmissions, Long Printing, R & R Racing Products, Snyder Auto and Spitzer Race Cars for their continued support.

Please visit the Snyder Motorsports official website at

The Snyder Motorsports Top Alcohol Funny Car entry is sponsored by TORCO Racing Fuels. By logging onto you can access their full line of innovative products including racing gasoline, additives, and clothing.
Plumbing Concepts Racing
Accelerated Motorsports
Media Relations

For Immediate Release May 23, 2005
Contact: Randy Fish

Taylor Races to Famoso Semi Finals

ANAHEIM, CA — Dennis Taylor used last Thursday to test some new power theories at Famoso Raceway in preparation for the third race in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. His Plumbing Concepts NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car seemed responsive to the subtle changes in the power combination.

In Friday’s first qualifying session the thermometer showed a favorable 71 degrees, while 17 Funny Cars lined up to make an attempt for the eight-car field. That demonstrates just how strong NHRA’s Pacific Division 7 is in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. When the dust had settled, Crew Chief Ora Vasquez’s changes netted a great 5.70-second run at 250.00 mph, which was good for the Number 2 spot. However, that run was costly, as the motor was hurt.

On Saturday, a new engine sat in the frame rails, but all was still not well. Gremlins were lurking. Teamwork paid off as each glitch was addressed and made right once again. With the mercury rising into the 80s, Dennis decided not to run the opening session and focused on making the Plumbing Concepts Camaro 100 percent. Taylor stated, “The warmer weather told us our Number 2 spot was secure, and our chances of running quick enough for the Pole were very slim. I feel we made the right call in sitting out the session since we weren’t rushed into a possible compromise.” During the late afternoon session, Dennis lit up the scoreboards with a 5.95 at just under 250 mph. All was good.

In Sunday’s first round, Taylor drew the Number 7 qualifier, Hannes Wernhart, and scored a victory at 5.89 seconds. Taylor said, “We dropped a valve at the end of the run and banged the blower. It was getting real hot in there, but all of a sudden I saw Hannes go by me in a blaze of fire. He definitely had his...
Bar's Leaks Motorsports
Branch-Etterman Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2005
Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications

Branch looking to stay on a roll in Shreveport

GILLIAM, La. - Former three-time NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Tate Branch will be looking to stay on a roll going into this weekend's NHRA Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Red River Raceway just outside of Shreveport, La. Branch enters the event hot off of two final round appearances, and hopes to put the Bar's Leaks Repair It/ Branch-Etterman Racing Camaro in the winner's circle on Sunday.

Branch, who is a Service Manager at Bull Dog Dodge in Artesia, N.M., when not racing, enters the event locked in a tight points battle with last year's Division 4 Champion, Jackie Stidham. Stidham won an out of division event last weekend in Division 5 in Great Bend, Kan. The win put Stidham only six points ahead of Branch, who has yet to run any out of division events this year.

"We knew it was going to be a battle for the points this year," said Branch. "And this year, it's not only us and Stidham, you got guys like Jimmy Jones who won in Dallas, Richard McClain, Kebin Kinsley and Steve Burck who have really stepped up. There is no room for error."

"We have four races in a row coming up," Branch continued. "So this next month can really make or break us. We're really hoping to improve our hot weather tune up this year. My crew chief Dave Scheelk has been working on some things, and it was pretty hot in Vegas, so hopefully we'll be ready for the heat this summer."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to for the latest news in alcohol racing.

For more information on the team, log on to the team's website,

Visit these...
Callaway Racing
media relations

For Immediate Release
May 20, 2005
Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications

Callaway set to do battle in Shreveport

GILLIAM, La. - Former NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Lee Callaway is set to do battle with the competition at this weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Red River Raceway just outside of Shreveport, La. With temperatures forecasted to be in the low 90's all weekend, Callaway and his Tejano Salsa/ backed team plan to take no mercy on the injected-nitro cars who have struggled in the heat this year under the new 98% rule.

Callaway, from Baytown, Texas, the last blown alcohol dragster left in Division 4, has never been one to back down from and opportunity to stir the pot. At his last event, Callaway and his team debuted their 'Battle Belts' - used blower belts with assorted 'messages' for the A/Fuel cars that his crewmembers carry to the starting line. With the hot conditions forecasted, Callaway hopes to put the Battle Belts in the winner's circle.

"Hopefully the weatherman is right about this weekend and it gets hotter than a firecracker," said Callaway. "This week I've been like a kid on Christmas morning every morning this week. You wake up and run to the computer to check the forecast, and depending on what you see is how happy you are. With summer coming, it's only going to get hotter. The A/Fuel cars got a little out of line earlier in the year running those 5.18's and 5.20's, so now we've had to pull our blower belts off. They better look out for our Battle Belts, because they'll be looking for them. This summer the Battle Belts may be coming to a track near you."

"We're hoping to get a handle on our clutch problems this weekend," Callaway continued. "We've changed a few components, and changed some elements of our tune-up. Summer is pretty much here, so we really have to make...

Dave Densmore
Denswood Sports

Mandie Yorio
John Force Racing, Inc.

Lori Anne Gola
BP Lubricants/Castrol Racing

Team Castrol Pre-Race Package/Ashley

For Immediate Release
Top Alcohol Points Leader Goes After First 2005 Win

SHREVEPORT, La. – It's been a rough ride this year for Ashley Force, the 22-year-old daughter of drag racing's biggest winner, but the former high school
cheerleader wouldn't have it any other way.

Tire shake, loss of traction, mechanical malfunctions: all have created situations that have forced the second year driver of the Castrol/Hot Wheels dragster to make adjustments in the cockpit, a major part of her training for an eventual ride in one of her father's 330 mile-an-hour Castrol-backed Ford Funny Cars.

Ms. Force, second oldest daughter of 13-time NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, brings the Castrol road show to Red River Dragway this week where she will challenge veteran Gene Snow for the Top Alcohol Dragster championship in a Lucas Sportsman Series regional event.

Although she still is seeking her first victory of the new season, Force comes in as the national points leader in the class after reaching the semifinals at last week's Summit Southern Nationals at Atlanta, Ga.

At Atlanta, the graduate of California State University-Fullerton had to use all her driving skills to overcome a No. 10 start. The car shook in all three rounds, forcing the second generation driver to employ a technique called "backpedaling" in which the driver feathers the throttle to try and regain traction.

"Everyone has said I'd be a great Funny Car driver because I've been pedaling my car and blowing up parts," Force quipped.

In fact, she's been making her famous father proud by...

McMillen Challenges Pro Teams To Adopt A Junior Dragster

May 18, 2005
Elkhart, IN - Hoosier Thunder Motorsports team owners, Terry and
Rhonda McMillen, announced today that the Amalie Oil InstiGator team
will become a sponsor for the Division 4 Junior Dragster team of Alesi
and Ayrton Gerthe. Sponsors for the InstiGator, which include:Amalie
Oil, TORCO Racing Fuels, Flatout Gaskets, NGK Spark Plugs, MSD,
Performance Graphics, Powershield Coatings and Crane Cams will support
McMillen in the effort.

Alesi, a 15-year-old Rockdale, Texas freshman and her
13-year-old brother Ayrton are excited about the announcement. "This is
the coolest thing; it's a big opportunity for my family and me. We're
thankful to Mr. McMillen and all of the sponsors," stated Alesi.

During the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals, McMillen had the chance
to meet the Gerthe family and spend time with Alesi, an aspiring Pro
Stock driver. "This family had an impact on our team," explained
McMillen. "After the race, we thought about how we might help young men
and women in our sport. We came up with a simple idea: "Adopt A Junior
Dragster". It's something we would like to challenge other professional
and sportsman teams to do also."

The "Adopt A Junior Dragster" program is designed to encourage
and support young drivers to excel in school, while at the same time
help them learn about all aspects of drag racing, sponsorship
development and communication. The program will also encourage young
drivers to take the lessons they have learned in school and utilize them
in "real world" situations. Program participants will sharpen their
reading, writing and communication skills, at the same time learning the
responsibility and commitment of running a racing organization.

"Sherrie Barbour (Special Programs Director for IHRA) and her
staff have done a great job developing the Junior Dragsters, commented
Rhonda McMillen. "Not only is it a great...