Formerly known as Firebird International Raceway, the newly-named Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona will host the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, race No. 2 on the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, Friday through Sunday, February 21st through 23rd. The event will feature the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock classes, along with the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
A number of Pro Stock teams tested at the facility recently, including last year’s event winner Erica Enders-Stevens, who has many family members living in the Phoenix area. The Elite Motorsports driver feels like she has a “home-field advantage” at the track.
“It is like a second home track for me as my dad is from there and I have a lot of aunts, cousins, uncles, nieces and my brother lives there,” said Enders-Stevens, the only female ever to win in Pro Stock. “Definitely a hometown crowd in a sense to come back after the success we had last year; we have a good team and we are working on jelling and getting a routine down and we are very excited.”
“I’m really excited to be out here; it is a great facility and the fact that they have put a lot of money into the facility and the changes that were necessary is really exciting for our entire industry,” Enders-Stevens continued. “We are excited coming here and the new changes should make it a really good event.”
2013 Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. also tested at the track, which has a new racing surface, new CompuLink timing, new public-address systems and new scoreboards.
“We saw Mike Edwards throw an arrow down through there, last season which was amazing,” said Coughlin Jr. of Edward’s track record pass of 6.498 seconds. “If we can have a track as good as we had last year we will be in good shape. If we get nice cool dry air, have 60 degree temps, and a good track, we can fly here.”
Don Schumacher Racing drivers Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) also picked u Wallys last year in Arizona. Last year’s runner-up Matt Hagan is looking forward to getting back on track after checking out the Pro Stock tests there.
“Anytime a facility sinks money back into a track it makes the racers happy,” said Hagan. “We run on a lot of great tracks, but it is great when the owners of the facility put money back into the track to make it better. I’m looking for good things here, I’ve never won here and I would like to put a win on the board here.”
Qualifying for the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begins Friday, February 21st with sessions at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. MT. Qualifying continues Saturday, February 22nd at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. MT. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 23rd. Tickets are now available at www.nhratix.com.
Keep up with the action at www.nhra.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.
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