Release from IHRA:
After a grueling wait and months spent staring at the April 30 date the drivers making up the 2009 Tournament of Champions have less than a week left before returning to Rockingham Dragway where the first champions under the new format will be crowned giving the IHRA its first ever sportsman champions decided via on-track competition.
Currently 170 of the best drivers from 2009 are gearing up for a trip to Rockingham Dragway to compete in an event several months in the making. Champions in IHRA’s seven sportsman classes were slated to be crowned in October of last year, but a vicious storm forced the postponement of the event to the Spring Nitro Jam this weekend at “The Rock.”
And on Friday hundreds of the sports biggest stars will descend on Rockingham Dragway to compete in the most exciting championship tournament in motorsports today.
“The field of returning racers is stout. This reminds me of a prize fight more than a drag race. You’ve got the big name sportsman stars and the names many folks probably have never heard of. We’ve got racers from the North, South, East and West ready to prove they are worthy of a championship based on pure on track performance,” said Skooter Peaco, VP of Race Operations. “How much money and where you live are yesterday’s excuses. Now it is all about proving yourself among the best in the country which at the end of the day is really what this whole IHRA Tournament of Champions is about.”
While the postponement of the inaugural event was certainly not ideal, the extra time has increased the anticipation of this weekend’s event as many of the drivers have, in some cases, had well over a year to think about this one race and the $10,000 prize, championship Ironman and bragging rights that goes along with it.
Fans have even gotten in on the action via an online poll predicting who they think will win the tournament this weekend. So far thousands have logged on to voice their opinion of who will be left standing Friday night.
Those drivers who have confirmed their return to Rockingham to take part in the inaugural Tournament of Champions – and possibly earn a spot in the 2010 edition with the Nitro Jam national event the following day – are:
Ricky Adkins, Gary Bingham, David Dwayne Dins, Ronnie Dodson, Allen Firestone, Bob Gulitti, Chris Gulitti, Gilmer Hinshaw, John Hochstedler, Mike Koontz, Rick McDonough, Mark Payne, Bob Phillips, Jeff Pittman, Steven Pym, Donn Rudd, Jeff Rudisill, Mike Sowards, Billy Thigpen, Bruce Thrift, Scott Wasko, Kamron Wright.
Ricky Adkins, J.R. Baxter, Chris Bermond, Rob Berschneider, Britt Cummings, Brian Folk, Travis Harvey, Jimm Huggett, David Johns, Jacky King, Tom Koenen, Russell Leach, Jason Lynch, Brad Marcotte, Vincent Musolino, Brett Nesbitt, Ed Pauley, Jim Rubino, Randy Scheuer, Steve Schmidt, Casey Spradlin, Dylan Stott, Chad Taylor, Donny Urban, Wes Washington, Danny Waters Jr., Troy Williams Jr., Steve Witherow,
Anthony Bertozzi, Jacques Blais, Gil Carty Jr., Mike Crutchfield, Larry Cummings, Slate Cummings, Bob Cupp, Pete D’Agnolo, Alex Denysenko, Nick Folk, David Hunt, Jerry Jennings, Byron Latino, Michael Lyons, David Mercer, Brandon Peterson, Bob Phillips, Missy Phillips, Scott Richardson, Tracy Robbins, Greg Rowe, David Simmons, Bryan Worner.
Aaron Allison, Michael Beard, Lisa Bolton, Michael Bolton, Slate Cummings, Brent Darroch, Wallace Dent Jr., Nick Folk, Gene Jordan, Adam Keir, Jeanne Linke, Bob Marshall, Craig Marshall, Jim Marshall, Mike Mayhew, Myron Piatek, Gale Pinkston, Don Pires Jr., Scott Richardson, Jody Simoneaux, Hillarey Sloan, Terry Taylor, Ronald Traupman, Michael Lee Truell.
Jay Bunce, Lisa Collier, Allen Constantine, John Dustin, David Elrod, Jacob Elrod, Ron Folk, Lauren Freer, Brendan George, Tony Helms, Jason Hoff, Pat Martin, Jeremy McCormick, Mark McKay, Steve Mikus, Steve Muller, Brett Nesbitt, E.J. Parker, Michael Pennington, Stuart Smith, Billy Ray Upton, Donny Urban, Matt Weston.
Joe Bauman, Calvin Butler, Shawn Carter, Robby Clarke, Tom Dimond, Jacob Elrod, Tony Elrod, Danny Estep, Jeffrey Estep, Brian Folk, Steve Furr, Dale Koncen, Richard Scott Lawton, Jim Lintner, Shane Maddox, Tommy Maedgen, Ben Massey, Lance Pinto, Billy Smith, Todd Thompson, Shannon Waycaster, Donald Webb.
Tim Anderson, Edward Bolton, J.J. Brock, Jay Bunce, Chris Carpenter, Tom Coonly, Chris Dean, Tony Elrod, Glenn Ferguson, Patrick Forster, Bryan Harris, Travis Harvey, Jeff Heilmeier, Chip Johnson, Nick Karas, Ray Knight, R.L. Koontz, Ken MacNicol, Keith Mayers, Mark McKay, Brian McLaughlin, Sidney Norwood, Bitsy Satterly, Kenny Underwood, Donald Webb, Tim Wilson, Doug Wood