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Sat, 10 Dec 2011, 09:34 AM

Thunder Valley Ready to Rumble with Impressive 2012 Season Schedule
Courtesy of Wes Ramey

Thunder Valley Nationals, ADRL and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Events Highlight 2012



BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Campaign

Bristol Dragway officials today announced the 2012 Thunder Valley season schedule, a stellar line-up that includes the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals and the debut of the American Drag Racing League.

Exciting new events, the return of many fan-favorites and the thrilling action of the NHRA highlight what may be considered as one of the most wide-ranging dragway schedules in the country.

Fans should strap in June 15-17 as the stars of the NHRA come to Bristol for the 12th Annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by the Tri-Cities Area Ford Dealers. The Father's Day weekend event, which features nitro-burning, pulse-pounding excitement, is one of the most popular events on the NHRA calendar among both drivers and fans.

"Each year, we try to raise the bar at Bristol Dragway," said Jerry Caldwell, Executive Vice-President and General Manager. "I think we definitely have done that this year. Our flagship event, the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals, combines the most unique setting in drag racing with the most powerful machines on the planet and the most fan-friendly competitors in sports. All of that adds up to an unreal experience for all of our fans.

"Our ticket renewals for the event are strong, so fans should go ahead and pick some up as Christmas gifts. I guarantee the recipients won't be disappointed."

Bristol Dragway's crown jewel event provides an experience unparalleled in motorsports. Defending Top Fuel event champion Larry Dixon hopes to guard his title against all comers, as 2011 Funny Car winner Robert Hight seeks to guide his Ford through a tough field, including teammates John Force and Mike Neff. Pro Stock champion Jason Line will face off against Greg Anderson, 2011 Bristol champ Mike Edwards and local competitor Allen Johnson to determine who is tops in the ultra-competitive doorslammer division.

Bristol Dragway also will add the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series to its impressive schedule, with an event slated for Sept. 28-30.

"We are proud to say that we have something for everyone in Thunder Valley," continued Caldwell. "This season, we'll have our exciting Monster Truck Madness and Thunder Valley Mayhem thrill shows. We will host Fun Ford Weekend, Super Chevy Show and Mopar Thunder for muscle car fans, as well as our successful street-legal series, Street Fights, for anyone who wants to experience the exhilaration of drag racing.

"We also look forward to the debut of the American Drag Racing League, as well as the return of the All Harley Drag Racing Association, the Junior Dragster Eastern Conference Finals and a full calendar of bracket racing events. We make it our mission to host the greatest events in drag racing; 2012 is an example of that."

Bristol's inaugural ADRL event, the ADRL Spring Drags III, will take place Apr. 20-21 and will feature the nation's best eighth-mile drag racers in a battle for an important win at the historic track. ADRL events feature lightning-quick action in several categories, including Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Extreme 10.5, Pro Extreme Motorcycle and Extreme Pro Stock.

Bristol's Street Fights series gives anyone a chance to tackle the strip in legendary Thunder Valley. All street-legal vehicles, from muscle cars to minivans and motorcycles, are welcome to compete at Street Fights. The schedule is comprised of 15 Street Fights events, with the season opener scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 31. The majority of events take place on Thursday evenings, with selected Saturday events in 2012.

As always, Thunder Valley gives fans of every manufacturer the opportunity to come see their favorite classics in action. After a recent hiatus, Fun Ford Weekend presented by JE Pistons and Roush Yates returns to Bristol Dragway June 29-30 and is the perfect paradise for fans of the blue oval. Mopar Thunder rumbles in to Bristol, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, with Mopar muscle machines from yesterday and today.

Always home to some of the largest Super Chevy Show crowds, Bristol Dragway prepares for a flood of bowtie fans Sept. 21-23. After racing concludes at the Super Chevy Show on Saturday, Sept. 22, a spectacular lineup of extreme machines will put on an edge-of-the-seat thrill show during Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by Thompson Metal Recycling Services of Kingsport.

The kings of chaos invade the infield of Bristol Motor Speedway for Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness Saturday, July 28. Fans can expect radical racing, frantic freestyles and mountains of mashed metal as some of the nation's biggest monster truck names hit the track.

Two-wheel fans will want to make Thunder Valley their home in August. The action begins when the All Harley Drag Racing Association visits Aug. 3-4 for the Thunder in the Valley Nationals presented by 95.9 The Hog and FM 94. With several classes of high-speed competition, including the 200-mph nitro machines, the rumble of Harleys echoing in Thunder Valley makes this one of the most popular venues on the AHDRA circuit. One week later, Aug. 10-12, the Second Annual Thunder Valley Dragbike Shootout features the hottest drag bikes on the planet battling for big money and even bigger bragging rights.

DER Bracket Racing Series hosts its fourth season of popular grassroots racing in 2012. The DER Series schedule features nine weekends of racing with competition in categories ranging from Super Pro to Junior Dragsters.

In addition to the DER Series schedule, bracket racers have several chances to score big in 2012. The May 16-20 K&N Spring Fling 20's presented by Sparco will feature hundreds of drivers running all out for big money. The BTE World Footbrake Challenge VI takes place July 13-15 with some of the biggest names in bracket racing going head-to-head for $10,000-to-win each day.

For fans who want to see the future of drag racing, one of the biggest weeks of Junior Dragster competition in the world takes place in July. It kicks off with the July 21-22 Mike Bos Chassis Craft Jr. Dragster Nationals. The eleventh annual event is the perfect tune-up for racers in the July 23-28 NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals presented by Viperizer. The Eastern Conference Finals attracts more than 500 racers, ages 8-17, from all states east of the Mississippi River.

With a diverse slate of events, Thunder Valley is the place to race in 2012. For more information about Bristol Dragway events, please call (423) 764-DRAG or visit www.bristoldragway.com.

 2012 Bristol Dragway Schedule 

Street Fights Opener                                        March 31

Street Fights                                               April 5
Street Fights                                               April 12
DER Racing Series Test & Tune                               April 13
DER Racing Series                                           April 14-15
ADRL Spring Drags III                                       April 20-21
Street Fights                                               April 26
DER Racing Series                                           April 28-29

Street Fights                                               May 3
DER Racing Series Test & Tune                               May 4
DER Racing Series                                           May 5-6
Street Fights                                               May 10
K&N Spring Fling 20's presented by Sparco                   May 16-20
Street Fights                                               May 24
DER Racing Series Test & Tune                               May 25
DER Racing Series                                           May 26-27
Street Fights                                               May 31

DER Racing Series                                           June 2-3
Street Fights                                               June 7
Twelfth Annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals           June 15-17
DER Racing Series                                           June 23-24
Street Fights                                               June 28
Fun Ford Weekend presented JE Pistons and Roush Yates       June 29-30

Street Fights                                               July 5
DER Racing Series Test & Tune                               July 6
DER Racing Series                                           July 7-8
BTE World Footbrake Challenge VI                            July 13-15
Mike Bos Chassis Craft Jr. Dragster Nationals               July 21-22
NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Conference Finals
Presented by Viperizer                                      July 23-28
Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness at BMS                 July 28

AHDRA Thunder in the Valley Nationals presented
by 95.9 The Hog and FM 94                                   August 3-4
Street Fights                                               August 9
Thunder Valley Dragbike Shootout                            August 10-12
Mopar Thunder                                               August 31-September 2

Street Fights                                               September 6
DER Racing Series Test & Tune                               September 7
DER Racing Series                                           September 8-9
Street Fights                                               September 13
DER Racing Series                                           September 15-16
Super Chevy Show                                            September 21-23
Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by Thompson Metal           September 22
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series                           September 28-30

Street Fights                                               October 6





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