DIVISION 4
Thunder Valley Raceway Park
Noble, Okla., October 4-6

Results will be posted as soon as they are available.

Sunday Eliminations
Saturday Qualifying
Friday Qualifying
Event preview


Sunday Eliminations:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Schmeeckle, Gasparrelli get Noble wins

Competition for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park concluded with Ed Schmeeckle of Gothenburg, Neb., running unopposed in the Top Alcohol Dragster final after Larry Traugott was unable to make the call to the starting line. The Top Alcohol Funny Car final would have featured a battle of 2002 division champions, as Steve Gasparrelli of the Pacific Division and Tate Branch of the South Central were set to square off. Unfortunately, mechanical problems prevented Branch from racing in the final as well, forcing him to forfeit the event win to Gasparrelli. Both Gasparrelli and Branch clinched division championships with their performances here this weekend.

Branch of Artesia, N.M., clinched his second career division championship after defeating five-time South Central Division Champion Jackie Stidham in the semifinals.

"It was a lot of pressure, I just tried to concentrate and do my job," said Branch.

The South Central Division Top Alcohol Dragster championship was also clinched on Sunday as Lee Callaway of Channelview, Texas, took the title. Despite red-lighting in the first round, Callaway will make the drive home to Texas knowing that he has won his first division championship of his racing career. Shelly Howard of Tulsa, Okla., had an opportunity to repeat as division champion, but also left before the green light in the first round. Howard will finish in second place in the division standings.

"It takes a lot of luck to be successful at this level," said Callaway. "It doesn't matter if you have the best stuff, you still have to get a break."

Winners in other categories are Robert Freeman of Oklahoma City, Okla., in Comp; Ron Watson of Kennedale, Texas, in Stock; Jeremy Siffring of Fremont, Neb., in Super Comp; Frank Kohutek of Mesquite, Texas, in Super Gas; and Bryan Sandlin of Baytown, Texas, in Super Street. Brian Johnson of Runaway, Minn., also earned the win in NHRA Kerker Motorcycle Series competition.

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series will head next to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the final divisional event of the year, November 7-10. Thursday's race will feature the conclusion of Pomona Raceway's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event and time trials and qualifying for Vegas' race will begin on Friday.

NHRA 2Day and its staff were also in attendance at Thunder Valley Raceway Park Sunday to feature the track and its racers on the weekly show's "Sportsman Spotlight". The show is scheduled to air on November 3rd on ESPN 2.

The following are final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park:

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER 
Round 1 
1) Gene Snow, Fort Worth, Texas, 5.613, 234.55 def. 
8) James Thompson Jr., Vernon, Texas, 5.739, 249.23 

7) Larry Traugott, Woodward, Okla., 5.846, 243.50 def. 
2) Shelly Howard, Tulsa, Okla., 5.506, 256.26 

3) Alan Bradshaw, Odessa, Texas, 5.638, 255.24 def. 
6) Ben Marshall, New Carlisle, Ohio, 5.861, 230.82 

4) Ed Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.673, 249.23 def. 
5) Lee Callaway, Channelview, Texas, 8.893, 86.43 
  
Semifinal 
Schmeeckle, 6.179, 219.29 def. Snow, 13.101, 51.03 
Traugott, 5.750, 247.32 def. Bradshaw, 5.837, 249.93 

Final 
Schmeeckle, 6.879, 145.65 def. Traugott, no show 

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR 
Round 1 
1) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, '99 Firebird, 5.839, 241.09 def. 
8) Ron Morrison, Oklahoma City, Okla., '97 Camaro, 6.315, 227.79

2) Jackie Stidham, Chickasha, Okla., '00 Camaro, 5.824, 244.83 def. 
7) Scott Palmer, Nixa, Mo., '98 Achieva, 7.207, 132.58

3) Tate Branch, Artesia, N.M., '00 Avenger, 5.875, 241.74 def. 
6) John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '99 Firebird, 6.757, 167.41

5) Jimmy Jones, Cleburne, Texas, '98 Camaro, 6.165, 235.17 def. 
4) Richard Shaver, San Antonio, Texas, '99 Camaro, 6.127, 238.03

Semifinal 
Gasparrelli, 5.806, 248.34 def. Jones, 6.529, 163.96 
Branch, 5.883, 240.96 def. Stidham, 6.073, 233.46 

Final 
Gasparrelli, no time def. Branch, no show 

COMP ELIMINATOR 
Robert Freeman, Oklahoma City, Okla., '02 Cavalier, 7.492 seconds, 182.00 mph. def. 
Brian Self, Spring, Texas, '01 S-10, 7.545, 178.89

SUPER STOCK 
Anthony Bertozzi, Richmond, Va., '98 Grand Am, 9.433, 140.91 def. 
Gilbert Johnson, Lecompte, La., '91 Calais, 10.688, 125.15

STOCK ELIMINATOR 
Ron Watson, Kennedale, Texas, '79 Malibu, 12.328, 101.79 def. 
Bobby Roper, Toad Suck, Ark., '69 Camaro, 10.658, 117.08 

SUPER COMP 
Jeremy Siffring, Fremont, Neb., '01 Neil & Parks, 8.974, 152.98 def. 
Tony Gray, Moore, Okla., '02 Mondon, 8.937, 152.69 

SUPER GAS 
Frank Kohutek, Mesquite, Texas, '96 Grand Prix, 9.937, 139.53 def. 
Jeff Franklin, Grand Prairie, Texas, '69 AMX AMC, 9.876, 140.60

SUPER STREET 
Bryan Sandlin, Baytown, Texas, '78 Camaro, 10.881, 139.12 def. 
Doug Baumgardner, Wichita, Kan., '88 Mustang, 10.845, 130.71

NHRA KERKER MOTORCYCLE SERIES 
Brian Johnson, Runaway, Minn., '02 Suzuki, 9.140, 132.39 def. 
Gerald Jordan, Buda, Texas, '02 Suzuki, 10.149, 120.91 



Saturday Qualifying:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Former Top Fuel racer Snow leading field

Noble, Okla. - Competitors continued to arrive at Thunder Valley Raceway Park well into Saturday morning, pushing the car count to over 500 racers for the for the track's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race.

After the final day of qualifying, former Top Fuel and Funny Car racer Gene Snow will head into tomorrow's eliminations seeded number one in Top Alcohol Dragster. The Fort Worth, Texas, resident's A-fuel dragster posted the top three times in qualifying with 5.48, 5.49, and 5.48-second runs. This the first time in Snow's career that he has qualified number one in the racing category.

"I'm just amazed at how consistent we were, I don't know how to act," said Snow. "We found out that our compression was lower than it should have been. We made the adjustment and after that, the car just came alive."

Steve Gasparrelli of West Covina, Calif., wasn't qualified after Friday's session, but made amends by making the two quickest times in his class on Saturday. By qualifying for Sunday's eliminations, Gasparrelli has clinched the Top Alcohol Funny Car Championship for the Pacific Division.

In the battle for the South Central Division Top Alcohol Dragster Championship, the microscope will be on Lee Callaway and Shelly Howard tomorrow as the two drivers find themselves number one and two in the division point standings. Callaway needs to reach the finals to clinch the division, while Howard will need to take home a win at this event and hope that Callaway doesn't reach the final. Howard will have no direct impact on Callaway's performance tomorrow, as the earliest the two would face off would be in the final.

"I'm just focusing on the first round right now," said Howard. "Take it one round at a time and try to put the right combination together."

Top qualifiers in other classes are Greg Williams of Carthage, Texas, in Comp; Randall Klein of Lincoln, Neb., in Super Stock; and Robert Shaw of Sedalia, Mo., in Stock. Lisa Bennett of Plano, Texas, will also be the top qualifier heading into eliminations tomorrow in NHRA Kerker Motorcycle Series competition.

Tickets for the final day of racing at Thunder Valley Raceway Park's NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event is $20. Children ages 6-12 are $5 and 5 and younger are free. Gates open tomorrow at 8 a.m. and eliminations begin at 9 a.m. Round one of Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car is scheduled for noon. For more information, call Thunder Valley Raceway Park at (405) 872-3429 or visit www.okthunder.com.

The following are final qualifying results and first round pairings in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park:

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER 
1) Gene Snow, Fort Worth, Texas, 5.482 seconds, 252.10 mph 
2) Shelly Howard, Tulsa, Okla., 5.519, 259.21 
3) Alan Bradshaw, Odessa, Texas, 5.602, 258.54 
4) Ed Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.611, 253.44 
5) Lee Callaway, Channelview, Texas, 5.612, 257.36 
6) Ben Marshall, New Carlisle, Ohio, 5.683, 240.32 
7) Larry Traugott, Woodward, Okla., 5.770, 246.98 
8) James Thompson Jr., Vernon, Texas, 5.782, 246.17 
Not Qualified 
9) Brian Ratliff, Hulbert, Okla., 5.885, 248.27 
10) Chris Ricketts, N. Kansas City, Mo., 6.034, 220.21 
11) Gary Ormsby Jr., Granite Bay, Calif., 6.089, 211.36 
12) Mike Bowers, Plano, Texas, 6.303, 221.40 
13) Larry Becktold, Luther, Okla., 6.742, 222.99 

Round 1 pairings
1) Gene Snow, Fort Worth, Texas, 5.482, 252.10 vs. 
8) James Thompson Jr., Vernon, Texas, 5.782, 246.17 

2) Shelly Howard, Tulsa, Okla., 5.519, 259.21 vs. 
7) Larry Traugott, Woodward, Okla., 5.770, 246.98 

3) Alan Bradshaw, Odessa, Texas, 5.602, 258.54 vs. 
6) Ben Marshall, New Carlisle, Ohio, 5.683, 240.32 

4) Ed Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.611, 253.44 vs. 
5) Lee Callaway, Channelview, Texas, 5.612, 257.36 
  
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR 
1) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, '99 Firebird, 5.803, 246.03 
2) Jackie Stidham, Chickasha, Okla., '00 Camaro, 5.840, 246.98 
3) Tate Branch, Artesia, N.M., '00 Avenger, 5.907, 242.52 
4) Richard Shaver, San Antonio, Texas, '99 Camaro, 6.016, 240.32 
5) Jimmy Jones, Cleburne, Texas, '98 Camaro, 6.039, 238.98 
6) John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '99 Firebird, 6.039, 237.59 
7) Scott Palmer, Nixa, Mo., '98 Achieva, 6.121, 209.44 
8) Ron Morrison, Oklahoma City, Okla., '97 Camaro, 6.144, 236.84 
Not Qualified 
9) Kirk Johnson, Dallas, '98 Firebird, 6.235, 226.13 
10) Eddie McDow, Waco, Texas, '00 Camaro, 6.324, 226.24 
11) Bob Alberty, Muskogee, Okla., '97 Firebird, 6.491, 206.37 
12) Ronald Rice, Oklahoma City, Okla., '96 Daytona, 6.728, 201.97 

Round 1 pairings
1) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, '99 Firebird, 5.803, 246.03 vs. 
8) Ron Morrison, Oklahoma City, Okla., '97 Camaro, 6.144, 236.84

2) Jackie Stidham, Chickasha, Okla., '00 Camaro, 5.840, 246.98 vs. 
7) Scott Palmer, Nixa, Mo., '98 Achieva, 6.121, 209.44

3) Tate Branch, Artesia, N.M., '00 Avenger, 5.907, 242.52 vs. 
6) John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '99 Firebird, 6.039, 237.59

4) Richard Shaver, San Antonio, Texas, '99 Camaro, 6.016, 240.32 vs. 
5) Jimmy Jones, Cleburne, Texas, '98 Camaro, 6.039, 238.98 

COMP ELIMINATOR 
1) Greg Williams, Carthage, Texas, '02 Cavalier, C/SMA, 8.507 seconds, -0.623 under index 
2) Mike Trumble Jr., Pasadena, Texas, '01 Grand Am, A/SMA, 8.166, -0.584 
3) Fred Gross, La Crescenta, Calif., '98 Pontiac, G/A, 8.609, -0.581 
4) Robert Freeman, Oklahoma City, Okla., '02 Cavalier, C/A, 7.491, -0.579 
5) Sean Dodd, Lewisville, Texas, '01 Camaro, D/AA, 7.846, -0.554 
6) Buddy Nickens, Spring, Texas, '01 S-10, B/TA, 8.603, -0.547 
7) Roger Brogdon, Tomball, Texas, '02 Chevy, A/SM, 8.023, -0.537 
8) Bob Yonke, Burleson, Texas, '02 Cavalier, C/A, 7.552, -0.518 
9) Al Weiss, Wichita Falls, Texas, '32 Bantam, E/EA, 8.575, -0.515 
10) Edward Shalkowski, Hawley, Texas, '96 Frameworks, F/ED, 8.475, -0.515 

SUPER STOCK 
1) Randall Klein, Lincoln, Neb., '56 Nomad, SS/NA, 11.296, -1.154 
2) Bobby Dennis, Shorter, Ala., '95 Achieva, GT/KA, 10.648, -1.102 
3) Buz Post, Arlington, Texas, '98 Grand Am, SS/BM, 8.599, -1.101 
4) Tim Cole, Collierville, Tenn., '96 Corvette, SS/AX, 8.903, -1.097 
5) Steven Reynolds, Pasadena, Texas, '86 Monte Carlo, GT/MA, 10.989, -1.061 
6) Tyler Cassil, Belton, Mo., '66 Chevy, SS/K, 10.290, -1.010 
7) Terry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas, '96 Firebird, SS/JA, 10.305, -0.995 
8) John Schiess, N. Hills, Calif., '91 Cutlass, GT/FA, 10.107, -0.993 
9) Chad Guilford, Highlands Ranch, Colo., '84 Cougar, GT/EA, 9.974, -0.976 
10) Larry Schmidt, Grand Island, Neb., '55 Belair, SS/PA, 11.988, -0.962 

STOCK ELIMINATOR 
1) Robert Shaw, Sedalia, Mo., '85 El Camino, V/SA, 14.491, -1.309 
2) Ed O'Brien, Yorba Linda, Calif., '89 Chrysler, DF/SA, 14.442, -1.158 
3) RJ Sledge, Boerne, Texas, '67 Fairlane, F/SA, 11.009, -1.141 
4) John Hladky, Stuart, Neb., '66 Nova, G/S, 11.079, -1.121 
5) Ben Wenzel Sr., Freeland, Mich., '67 Camaro, E/S, 10.877, -1.073 
6) Steve Brack, Lawrence, Kan., '86 Chevy, I/S, 11.472, -1.028 
7) Gary Slaton, Liberty Hill, Texas, '94 Camaro, E/SA, 10.979, -1.021 
8) Jerry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas, '98 Firebird, G/SA, 11.304, -0.996 
9) Steven Hall, Sweeney, Texas, '68 Mustang, B/SA, 10.558, -0.992 
10) Jimmy Hidalgo, Donaldsonville, La., '97 Camaro, E/SA, 11.039, -0.961 


Saturday Qualifying:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series rolls through Thunder Valley

Noble, Okla. - Gene Snow in Top Alcohol Dragster and Jackie Stidham in Top Alcohol Funny Car are the top qualifiers in their respective classes after day one of qualifying at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park.

Snow of Fort Worth, Texas, made a 5.482-second, 252.10 mph pass during Friday's qualifying session to put him ahead of his competitors. While Chickasha, Okla., resident Stidham took the top spot with a 5.840-second, 246.98 mph run down the quarter-mile.

"We've done pretty well over the years here," said Stidham. "We set the track record here a couple years ago and we went on a stretch where we won four here in five years."

With this weekend's race serving as the final divisional event of the NHRA South Central Division, tension will be heightened as racers from across the country will be battling to improve their position in the national and divisional point standings.

"It's crucial. If I can win this race, I can finish in the top three in the nation," said Top Alcohol Funny Car racer, Steve Gasparrelli. "I can also clinch the Pacific Division championship here this weekend with a strong performance."

Several racers including Stidham in Top Alcohol Funny Car will also be able to clinch a division championship with an event win at Thunder Valley. Currently second in the South Central Division, the Chickasha, Okla., racer has won five division championships ('91, '93, '97, '99, '01) over his racing career.

In Stidham's path is Tate Branch of Artesia, N.M., the current points leader in the class. Branch has won three of five South Central Division races, losing to Stidham in the final round at the other two events.

"It's an awfully important race. We'll just stick to the game plan and everything should take care of itself," said Branch.

Also leading their fields after day one of qualifying are Greg Williams of Carthage, Texas, in Comp; Tim Cole of Collierville, Tenn., in Super Stock; and Robert Shaw of Sedalia, Mo., in Stock. In NHRA Kerker Motorcycle Series racing action, Lisa Bennett of Plano, Texas, is the top qualifier after posting a 0.500-second reaction time.

Tickets for day two of time trials and qualifying is $15. Gates open at 8 a.m. and racing begins at 9 a.m. Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car's qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1 and 5 p.m. For more information, call Thunder Valley Raceway Park at (405) 872-3429.

The following are Friday's qualifying result from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park:

TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER 
1) Gene Snow, Fort Worth, Texas, 5.482 seconds, 252.10 mph 
2) Shelly Howard, Tulsa, Okla., 5.531, 255.82 
3) Ed Schmeeckle, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.611, 253.44 
4) Ben Marshall, New Carlisle, Ohio, 5.683, 240.32 
5) Lee Callaway, Channelview, Texas, 5.759, 233.70 
6) Larry Traugott, Woodward, Okla., 5.770, 246.98 
7) Brian Ratliff, Hulbert, Okla., 5.885, 248.27 
8) Chris Ricketts, N. Kansas City, Mo., 6.034, 220.21 
Not Qualified 
9) Gary Ormsby Jr., Granite Bay, Calif., 8.854, 92.09 
10) Alan Bradshaw, Odessa, Texas, 9.051, 88.32 
11) Larry Becktold, Luther, Okla., 9.535, 86.71 
12) Mike Bowers, Plano, Texas, 9.861, 76.88 

TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR 
1) Jackie Stidham, Chickasha, Okla., '00 Camaro, 5.840, 246.98 
2) Tate Branch, Artesia, N.M., '00 Avenger, 5.969, 239.55 
3) Richard Shaver, San Antonio, Texas, '99 Camaro, 6.060, 228.25 
4) Scott Palmer, Nixa, Mo., '98 Achieva, 6.121, 209.44 
5) Jimmy Jones, Cleburne, Texas, '98 Camaro, 6.160, 233.88 
6) John Patton, Peoria, Ariz., '99 Firebird, 6.561, 165.56 
7) Kirk Johnson, Dallas, '98 Firebird, 6.658, 206.18 
8) Ron Morrison, Oklahoma City, Okla., '97 Camaro, 6.732, 209.44 
Not Qualified 
9) Eddie McDow, Waco, Texas, '00 Camaro, 6.870, 214.69 
10) Bob Alberty, Muskogee, Okla., '97 Firebird, 7.221, 133.57 
11) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, '99 Firebird, DQ 

COMP ELIMINATOR 
1) Greg Williams, Carthage, Texas, '02 Cavalier, C/SMA, 8.555 seconds, -0.575 under index 
2) Sean Dodd, Lewisville, Texas, '01 Camaro, D/AA, 7.846, -0.554 
3) Mike Trumble Jr., Pasadena, Texas, '01 Grand Am, A/SMA, 8.201, -0.549 
4) Robert Freeman, Oklahoma City, Okla., '02 Cavalier, C/A, 7.546, -0.524 
5) Brian Self, Spring, Texas, '01 S-10, PST, 7.599, -0.501 
6) Bob Yonke, Burleson, Texas, '02 Cavalier, C/A, 7.577, -0.493 
7) Roger Brogdon, Tomball, Texas, '02 Chevy, A/SM, 8.070, -0.490 
8) Fred Gross, La Crescenta, Calif., '98 Pontiac, G/A, 8.747, -0.443 
9) Scott Benham, La Grange, Texas, '99 Lumina, C/EA, 8.453, -0.427 
10) Steve Kalkowski, Ogauala, Neb., '00 Pontiac, B/A, 7.401, -0.399 

SUPER STOCK 
1) Tim Cole, Collierville, Tenn., '96 Corvette, SS/AX, 8.910, -1.090 
2) Bobby Dennis, Shorter, Ala., '95 Achieva, GT/KA, 10.685, -1.065 
3) Randall Klein, Lincoln, Neb., '56 Nomad, SS/NA, 11.401, -1.049 
4) Buz Post, Arlington, Texas, '98 Grand Am, SS/BM, 8.662, -1.038 
5) Tyler Cassil, Belton, Mo., '66 Chevy, SS/K, 10.349, -0.951 
6) Steven Reynolds, Pasadena, Texas, '86 Monte Carlo, GT/MA, 11.114, -0.936 
7) Jimmy De Frank, Tarzana, Calif., '89 Camaro, GT/HA, 10.444, -0.906 
8) Larry Schmidt, Grand Island, Neb., '55 Belair, SS/PA, 12.052, -0.898 
9) Jeffrey Miller, Pearland, Texas, '98 Grand Am, SS/BM, 8.805, -0.895 
10) Chad Guilford, Highlands Ranch, Colo., GT/EA, '84 Cougar, 10.068, -0.882 

STOCK ELIMINATOR 
1) Robert Shaw, Sedalia, Mo., '85 El Camino, V/SA, 14.491, -1.309 
2) Steve Brack, Lawrence, Kan., '85 Camaro, J/S, 11.571, -1.079 
3) RJ Sledge, Boerne, Texas, '67 Fairlane, F/SA, 11.146, -1.004 
4) Gary Slaton, Liberty Hill, Texas, '94 Camaro, E/SA, 11.012, -0.988 
5) John Hladky, Stuart, Neb., '66 Nova, G/S, 11.231, -0.969 
6) Ben Wenzel Sr., Freeland, Mich., '67 Camaro, E/S, 10.982, -0.968 
7) Frank Weaver Jr., Waco, Texas, '84 Trans Am, K/SA, 11.995, -0.955 
8) Jeff Hefler, Mansfield, Texas, '98 Pontiac, F/SA, 11.328, -0.822 
9) Jerry Davis, Santa Fe, Texas, '72 Duster, G/SA, 11.490, -0.810 
10) Larry Hill, Hickory, Ky., '71 Barracuda, A/SA, 10.494, -0.806 
Friday Qualifying:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NHRA South Central Division closes out Lucas Oil season at Thunder Valley Raceway

NOBLE, Okla. - Thunder Valley Raceway Park will host the final stop in NHRA South Central Division's 2002 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Oct. 4-6. The event will feature more than 450 drivers in eight racing categories including 260-mph Top Alcohol Dragsters and Top Alcohol Funny Cars.

TAD pilot Lee Callaway of Channelview, Texas, is currently leading the points and can lock up the championship with a win this weekend. However, if he does not make it to the final round Shelly Howard could pass him but the Registered Nurse from Tulsa, Okla., would have to win the event to take the lead.

In the division's last event, at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La., Callaway took the win over Howard. For Callaway, it was his third win of the year after winning two out-of-division contests in Scribner, Neb., and Earlville, Iowa. It was Howard's second consecutive runner-up finish to go along with an out-of-division win in Joliet, Ill.

James Copeland is still a contender in TAD as well, but he may have to win at Thunder Valley Raceway Park and an out-of-division race in Las Vegas. Copeland, a resident of Red Oak, Texas, has two wins this season. He won back-to-back events at State Capitol Dragway in Baton Rouge, La., and at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

Defending division TAFC champion Jackie Stidham has been doing battle with Tate Branch all season. Branch, of Artesia, N.M., currently has a slim 10-point lead in the standings. He has been to the final round of every South Central Division Lucas Oil event this year, winning three of them. Branch won the season opener at Memphis Motorsports Park in Tennessee and the second race on the schedule at the Texas Motorplex in Dallas, and then in Houston. Stidham, a resident of Chickasha, Okla., won at State Capitol Dragway and at No Problem Raceway. He also has two out-of-division wins; in Topeka, Kan., and Scribner, Neb.

Although this is the last event on the South Central Division's Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series schedule, drivers in all classes could opt to attend the last Lucas Oil race of the season in Las Vegas to earn out-of-division points.

Gates at Thunder Valley Raceway Park open at 8 a.m. each day and qualifying and time trials begin at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday. TAD and TAFC will qualify at 5 p.m. Friday, and at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations begin Sunday at 9 a.m. TAD and TAFC will begin eliminations at noon.

Adult tickets, including pit pass, are $15 Friday, $15 Saturday and $20 Sunday. A three-day pass is $45. Children 6 to 12 are $5 each day and kids 5 and under are admitted free.

The event is part of a 45-race, $6.5 million series contested across the country. Drivers are competing for a part of a $561,000 champions' purse. They will earn points leading to national and divisional titles as well as a berth on the team that will represent the South Central division at the 2003 Jeg's Allstar race.

The track is located off Highway 77 South, south of Highway 9E. From I-35 take exit 108A (Hwy. 9E) east to Highway 77 and go south. Follow the signs to the track. For more information call Thunder Valley Raceway Park, (405) 872-3429, or visit www.OKTHUNDER.com.

NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES: Fact Sheet

WHAT: NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where drivers earn points leading to divisional and national championships. Categories include Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. The event is the last of six in South Central Division competition.

WHERE: Thunder Valley Raceway Park, Noble, Okla. Track is located off Highway 77 South, south of Highway 9E. From I-35 take exit 108A (Hwy. 9E) east to Highway 77 and go south. Follow the signs to the track.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, Oct. 4-6, 2002

SCHEDULE: Time trials and qualifying schedule for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series:
FRIDAY, Oct. 4 -- Gates open at 8 a.m. Qualifying and time trials begin at 10 a.m. Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying sessions are scheduled at 5 p.m.
SATURDAY, Oct. 5 -- Gates open at 8 a.m. Final qualifying and time trials are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying sessions are scheduled at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
SUNDAY, Oct. 6 -- Gates open at 8 a.m. Eliminations begin at 9 a.m. Eliminations for Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car begin at noon.

TICKETS: GENERAL ADMISSION/PIT PASS -- $15 Friday, $15 Saturday, $20 Sunday. A three-day ticket is $45. Children 6 to 12 are $5 each day and kids 5 and under are admitted free with a paid adult. For more information please call Thunder Valley Raceway Park, (405) 872-3429.

PURSE: The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors will vie for cash and contingency awards of $156,450, part of the 45-race, $6.5 million series.

2001 EVENT WINNERS: Rick Santos, Top Alcohol Dragster; Todd Simpson, Top Alcohol Funny Car; Don Stratton, Comp Eliminator; Jimmy DeFrank, Super Stock; Steven Hall, Stock Eliminator; Shannon Brinkley, Super Comp; Jimmy Lewis, Super Gas; Steve Dominguez, Super Street

BONUS PROGRAMS:
NHRA LUCAS OIL DRAG RACING SERIES POINTS FUND -
- a $561,000 point fund from Lucas Oil, which will be shared by 2002 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional champions and national champions. Divisional awards include $8,500 each to the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car champions; $3,000 to the champions in both Competition and Super Stock; $2,000 each to the champions in Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. The seven national champions will share a bonus of $135,000.

SEALED POWER LOW QUALIFIER BONUS -- a $220,500 overall bonus fund from Federal-Mogul's Sealed Power brand to the low qualifiers at each of the 45 Lucas Oil events and the 23 NHRA national events: $1,250 each in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car; $400 each in Comp Eliminator and Super Stock; and $200 in Stock. (TAD and TAFC compete at 16 of 23 national events.)

JEG'S ALLSTARS: The best of the best from each of NHRA's seven divisions will compete for a share of the $100,000 point fund from Jeg's High Performance. The 2003 Jeg's Allstars event will culminate a year-long points battle between drivers in each of NHRA's Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series' eight classes. The top points earner in each category will qualify to represent his/her division at the 2003 Jeg's Allstars. Points are based on in-division races only.

The winning division's team will share $20,000 and individual awards include $7,000 each to the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car champions, $6,000 to champions in Comp Eliminator and Super Stock, and $4,500 to the Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street champions. Runners-up in all categories will earn $2,000 apiece. Each Allstars competitor will also receive a share of a $20,000 towing fund to get to the event.

NHRA KERKER MOTORCYCLE SERIES: Run in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the NHRA Kerker Motorcycle Series is an opportunity for competitors in NHRA's Sportsman Motorcycle class to earn points toward divisional championships. The $7,400 champions' purse posted by Kerker will be paid to first, second and third place points finishers in NHRA divisions that host Sportsman Motorcycles.

The top four riders from each division in the NHRA Kerker Motorcycle Series will be invited to compete in the NHRA Kerker King of the Coast competition. In 2002, the All-Star invitational will be run during the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in November. The rider who is crowned the Kerker King of the Coast will earn $1,000. The runner-up in the 16-bike field will receive $500.

Currently, Sportsman Motorcycles are run in NHRA's South Central, West Central, Northwest and Pacific divisions.

FEATURES: More than 450 drivers in the eight racing categories. Eight-car fields in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, featuring five-second, 260 mph side-by-side racing.




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