LAS VEGAS – The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will kick off its sixth annual NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals weekend (April 14-17) on Thursday, April 14 with a free NHRA driver autograph session from 7-8 p.m. at the ESPN Zone at the New York, New York Hotel & Casino.

Drivers who have agreed to participate include: Tony Schumacher, Morgan Lucas, 1992 Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon, two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jim Yates, Kenny Koretsky, Las Vegas resident and recently-licensed Top Fuel Dragster driver Rod Fuller, Ashley Force, Gary Densham, 2000 and 2002 NHRA Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. and David Baca.

The National Hot Rod Association twice each year delivers the biggest names in professional drag racing to The Strip at LVMS. The 52-year-old sanctioning body’s premier classes are Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car – both powered by supercharged, nitromethane-burning V-8 engines capable of producing more than 7,000 horsepower and speeds in excess of 320 mph.

Heading the list are two colorful veterans: reigning Top Fuel Dragster champion Tony “Sarge” Schumacher and 13-time Funny Car titleholder John Force.

Schumacher, a second-generation driver from Illinois, has won two NHRA Top Fuel Dragster championships (1999 and 2004) and is sponsored by the U.S. Army. His black “Army of One” dragster makes a powerful recruiting statement each time it thunders down the quarter-mile drag strip.

Force perhaps is the most colorful figure in the history of drag racing. Force has scored more than 100 NHRA Funny Car victories and has won 13 championships. His is perhaps the most sought-after interview in drag racing: simply hand him the microphone and he’ll take over, sometimes giving journalists more than they bargained for.

NHRA’s most competitive division is Pro Stock. Dubbed “factory hot rods,” these gasoline-burning, stock-appearing Chevrolets, Dodges and Fords routinely break the 200-mph barrier. The racing is extremely close and is not uncommon to see last week’s winner fail to “make the show.” It simply is that competitive.

Once you make your first visit to an NHRA national event, it is easy to understand the appeal of the sport. The thrills, sights, sounds and variety of professional drag racing captures new fans each time the NHRA comes to town.

To purchase tickets, please call the LVMS ticket office at (702) 644-4444 or log onto www.lvms.com.

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