If anyone doubted that New England has a strong fan base for drag racing, think again.
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – the sport’s top series in the U.S. – is making its first appearance at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., June 20-23, and ticket demand is extremely high.
The NHRA and the dragway announced Monday that several grandstand sections have been designated as reserved seating areas for the inaugural Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals.
New England Dragway general manager Joe Lombardo said in a statement:
“From all indications, this event is going surpass any preliminary expectations we had when we started this journey several years ago. We are very excited to bring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series to New England, and we are looking forward to the first pair of cars rolling onto the track on Thursday, June 20.”
The event will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
BUC-KAHNE-EERS: NASCAR Sprint Cup star Kasey Kahne paid a visit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers minicamp on Tuesday. The driver, in town to promote next month’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, even got to play catch with Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman.
Said Kahne, according to SportsTalkFlorida.com:
“It’s crazy how hard they work and how much they get beat up. I have a lot of respect for what they do. I like it.”
Kahne, of Enumclaw, Wash., is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan.
FORD ADDRESSES STRUGGLES: In an article posted Tuesday by Dustin Long of the Motor Racing Network, Ford Racing director Jamie Allison discussed the Blue Oval’s struggles this season in the Cup series.
“Clearly, we have not had the performance we expected coming out of the gate. There are opportunities to lead more laps. There are opportunities to be there at the end. There are opportunities to contend. Until all those are happening in our program across our teams … that will be the true measure of the strength and performance. We have work to do.”
While Carl Edwards is second to Chevrolet driver Jimmie Johnson in the Cup standings, Ford drivers have the fewest victories (two) of the three manufacturers in the series.