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Fri, 9 Dec 2005, 09:23 PM

2006 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule
Courtesy of IHRA Communication





NORWALK, Ohio -- The following is the combined 2006 MR. Gasket Pro-Am schedule, with a quick note about each division's schedule.

2006 Division 1 is Twice as Nice

IHRA has announced the schedule for Division 1 Patriots, and in keeping with this year's theme for the rest of the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour schedule, there will be two double event weekends, making Division 1 twice as nice. The double events will be held at Maryland International Raceway on the opening weekend of April 8-9 and Pittsburgh Raceway Park June 24-25.


"Both Maryland International Raceway and Pittsburgh Raceway Park are implementing this cost saving format with the double weekends," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco. "We think this way of approaching our schedule will further help reduce the cost of travel and time commitment. This gives the racers the best and most cost effective chance at racing for a championship."

Also new in 2006 is the return of New York International Raceway back into the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour on June 11. As a former national event track, the facility is an excellent place to hold one of the premier divisional races in the area.

"This is an excellent opportunity to show our support and give a little bit back to the racers in the greater Buffalo region and the surrounding area," said Director Of Competition and Technical Services Mike Baker.

The season closes out at Kanawha Valley Dragway on July 30, offering the chance for competitors living in the western part of the division greater flexibility. It was added as an in division claim for both Division 1 and 3, giving IHRA the chance to use its geographic location to benefit racers.

2006 Division 1 Patriots Schedule 
April 8 Maryland International Raceway 1/4
April 9 Maryland Interantional Raceway 1/4
June 11 New York International Raceway 1/4
June 24 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4
June 25 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4
July 30 Kanawha Valley Dragway 1/8 (in-division event for division 1 and 3)

2006 Division 2 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule takes Aim at Cutting Racers Travel Costs

The 2006 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Division 2 schedule will feature a new twist - the Triple Double. Normally reserved for basketball, this term will now be used to describe the three Division 2 events that will each feature two Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour events in the same weekend in 2006.


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"This move was simply an effort on our part to try and reduce the number of times Division 2 racers had to leave their driveway in order to compete for a Mr. Gasket Championship," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco. "The biggest per event cost involved in competing at this level is getting to the race and getting time off of work. We can't reduce the cost of gas or create new vacation days for our competitors, but we can make a significant financial savings for those competitors wishing to compete at multiple events by structuring the division in this fashion."

Division 2 Director Frank Kohutek added, "This format is not feasible in all of our divisions because of car counts, but those other divisions tend to have events that are geographically closer together to begin with. We realize that the Division 2 events are spread out among multiple states and the car counts are at a level that we can run this format and not create additional problems completing the events in a timely fashion."

The two event format was tried at Immokalee Regional Raceway this year after track owner Ralph Hester insisted he could make it work. Hester, seeing the benefits of the program for the racers, will again be the first to host a double as his uniquely popular Mr. Gasket event will kick-off the Pro-Am season February 10-12, 2006

The middle of the year will feature a double at the newly renovated Douglas Motorsports Park on May 26-28, 2006. New manager Tim Pafford hopes to quickly establish his facility as one of the premier stops on the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour. Many racers have already enjoyed the new management and changes to the infrastructure of the facility that Mr. Pafford has been working on since taking over the facility in 2005.

At the end of the 2005 season, Jeff and Angel Miles of Carolina Dragway helped the cause by trying the double again when they combined their event with the cancelled Hub City event and made a Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour double out of their popular Night of Fire weekend. With a new tower and a new Compulink timing system already in action, Carolina Dragway will look to repeat their successful weekend with a double on September 15-17, 2006.

"We realize that our competitors have a choice when they decide where to race. The double event format is our effort to provide an economical way for racers to choose IHRA in 2006 as well as be an avenue for the growth of Division 2," stated Director of Competition and Technical Services Mike Baker.

2006 IHRA Divsion 2 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
February 11  Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 mile 
February 12  Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 mile 
May 27       Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
May 28       Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
September 16 Carolina Dragway 1/8 mile 
September 17 Carolina Dragway 1/8 mile 

IHRA Announces Division 3 Schedule (Updated 12/06/2005)

IHRA has announced the 2006 schedule for Divison 3 North Stars, historically one of the strongest divisions on the Mr. Gasket Pro Am-Tour.


"We have proven facilities with strong car counts, especially in recent history," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco.

The biggest news for the division may be the addition of Kanawha Valley as a divisional race that counts as an in division claim for both Divisions 1 and 3. Geographically, it is in the middle of Divisions 1 and 3, making it a natural fit for this format.

The season kicks off May 5-7 at Quaker City Raceway and ends August 18-20 at Tri-State Dragway. The Kanawha Valley event for both Divisions 1 and 3 is on July 30.

2006 Division 3 Mr. Gasket Pro Am Tour Schedule
May 7     Quaker City Raceway 1/4
May 28    US 131 Motorsports Park 1/4
June 18   Milan Dragway 1/4 
July 2    Mt Park Dragway 1/8
July 30   Kanawha Valley Dragway 1/8 (in-division event for division 1 and 3)
August 20 Tri-State Dragway 1/8

2006 Division 4 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule to Feature a Triple Double

IHRA's Division 4 Renegades, much like neighboring Division 2, is a division that has race tracks geographically spread out over a large distance within the division. Racers continually make sacrifices in the terms of travel costs and time off work in order to make the commitment to support the division and their IHRA facilities.


"Holding three events that each feature two Pro-Am races each weekend was simply an effort on our part to try and accommodate the Division 4 racers who want to be able to compete at multiple events or for a Division 4 championship without having to mortgage the house," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco. "It is not uncommon to hear of racers who have to drive a full day to get to a divisional race in this particular division. In an effort to attract new IHRA racers as well as current NHRA class cars, we needed to build in some efficiency for the participants. This structure should help encourage multiple event participation and give racers two shots at a win with one travel expense."

Division 4 and Division 2 Director Frank Kohutek stated, "These two divisions can execute this double race format and not create additional problems in completing the events in a timely fashion. We have tried this format a couple of different times and have received rave reviews from all of the racers who have participated at them."

The first of the three events will be at San Antonio Raceway on March 10-12. Friday will be a track test n tune day. Saturday there will be two time trials with the first Pro-Am immediately following the second time trial. Saturday night Todd Zampese is planning on having a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, open to anyone over the age of 21. Sunday morning there will be one time trial (time and weather permitting) and go right into our Second of two Pro-Am events.

The second of the three events will be hosted by Pine Valley Raceway Park on April 7-9. The same schedule that San Antonio used will be in play for this weekend. Bill and Lori Bailey are in just their second year of race track owners and have put together a really nice facility.

The third and final stop on the Division 4 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am tour will be at Tulsa Raceway Park. Dan Guterman and Denise McDaniel have really made a vast improvement of the facility since Guterman purchased it two years ago. Their event is scheduled for June 2-4 with the same format as the two previous stops on the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am tour.

2006 Division 4 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
March 10-12  San Antonio Raceway 1/4 Mile 
March 10-12  San Antonio Raceway 1/4 Mile 
April 7-9    Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
April 7-9    Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
June 2-4     Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
June 2-4     Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 

Mr. Gasket Division 5 Pro-Ams are Back "The Switch is On"

IHRA is proud to announce the return of Mr. Gasket Division 5 Pro-Am Series events to the Midwest. "The track operators that are hosting these events have really stepped up to the plate," said IHRA Vice President of Racing Operations Skooter Peaco. "The new Division 5 program is the strongest one yet," he continued. "This new program now suits the division perfectly."


The Division 5 Series is not business as usual, as major changes are in store for the 2006 season. First, the series will consist of a triple double--three weekends at three tracks featuring two races each weekend. Secondly, the payout has been dramatically increased. "We want to give the racers every opportunity to try our brand," said Pro-Am host track operator Scott Gardner. "With two races on one weekend and increased pay-outs, we are essentially decreasing the expense to race and increasing the opportunity to win big money," he concluded.

The Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Series will kick off at Cordova Dragway Park in Cordova, Illinois on April 29-30. "I know the racers will be chomping at the bit to hit the track," commented Gardner. The next stop will be at the "Playground of Power," Byron Dragway in Byron, Illinois on July 21-23. "This program was developed by racers for racers as their input was listened to and used to shape what we are doing," said host Operator B.J. Vangsness. "I truly believe the switch is on with two grand to win Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Quick Rod and Super Rod and fifteen hundred in Super Stock, Stock and Hot Rod plus the inclusion of Junior Dragsters. It's an unbelievable program," he concluded. The final stop on the Division Tour is at the "house of hook" Cedar Falls Raceway on August 18-20 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

"In the past, we designed a master template and applied it across the board to all Mr. Gasket Pro-Am divisions. We realized that in order to for events to be profitable for the host facility as well as desirable to the competitors, things needed to be modified. This change in format is yet another example of applying creativity to design programs for the benefit of our customers," stated IHRA Director of Competition Mike Baker.

"The minute we realized that we couldn't continue to operate Division 5 as it had been going, we have been working on a creative solution to the problem," said Peaco. "It was never a matter of not believing we could do it, it was simply that we couldn't continue to justify the financial risk the tracks were taking. Once we ran our first successful double this year and got the racers' feedback, we knew this would be the answer we were looking for to bring Division 5 back."

Peaco, the IHRA Competition Department and the Division 5 tracks knew what the biggest piece of the puzzle was. "We just needed to work on the financial piece of the triple double to make it a win-win for everyone. For a division to be successful it has to work for the racers and the track operators. Now that all the pieces are in place, we are going to go back to work to give Division 5 another chance to succeed."

Peaco wanted to make sure that the competitors and track operators were not forgotten. "I want to thank the Division 5 racers for their patience while we worked on a better solution to resolve the challenges we faced. Also, I have to thank Scott, BJ and Ron Leek for their continued support of IHRA and going above and beyond to create a purse structure that should attract a lot of attention from the participants. If it wasn't for the owners willing to exhaust every option to make this work, we wouldn't be able to do this. I really hope this gets the support it deserves from both IHRA and NHRA racers in that area."

2006 Division 5 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule
April 28-30   Cordova Dragway Park 1/4 Mile 
April 28-30   Cordova Dragway Park 1/4 Mile 
July 21-23    Byron Dragway 1/4 Mile 
July 21-23    Byron Dragway 1/4 Mile 
August 18-20  Cedar Falls Raceway 1/4 Mile 
August 18-20  Cedar Falls Raceway 1/4 Mile 

2006 Division 9 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule

The Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Division 9 schedule will feature stops at familiar locations in 2006. The Raiders Division, in the heart of IHRA country, is hot off the heels of another successful season. The division placed 20 sportsman racers in the top 10 of the national points standings this year. In addition, Division 9 produced two sportsman world champions.


Traditionally the largest of the Mr. Gasket Pro-Am events and the closest of the points chases occur in Division 9. The proximity of each track to the other in the division is an ideal set-up for racers in that area to run all the events with a minimal amount of travel.

The race for the 2006 Mr. Gasket Championship will begin at Rockingham Dragway and conclude at Kinston Dragstrip. The division will feature 3 events in between, with stops at Farmington, Mooresville and Piedmont.

2006 Division 9 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
March 3-5         Rockingham Dragway 1/8 mile 
March 17-19       Farmington Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
March 31-April 2  Mooresville Dragway 1/8 mile 
May 5-7           Piedmont Dragway 1/8 mile 
September 1-3     Kinston Dragstrip 1/8 mile 

2006 MR. GASKET PRO-AM SCHEDULE 

Division 1 Patriots Schedule 
April 8 Maryland International Raceway 1/4
April 9 Maryland Interantional Raceway 1/4
June 11 New York International Raceway 1/4
June 24 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4
June 25 Pittsburgh Raceway Park 1/4
July 30 Kanawha Valley Dragway 1/8 (in-division event for division 1 and 3)

IHRA Divsion 2 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
February 11  Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 mile 
February 12  Immokalee Regional Raceway 1/8 mile 
May 27       Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
May 28       Douglas Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
September 16 Carolina Dragway 1/8 mile 
September 17 Carolina Dragway 1/8 mile 

Division 3 Mr. Gasket Pro Am Tour Schedule
May 7     Quaker City Raceway 1/4
May 28    US 131 Motorsports Park 1/4
June 18   Milan Dragway 1/4 
July 2    Mt Park Dragway 1/8
July 30   Kanawha Valley Dragway 1/8 (in-division event for division 1 and 3)
August 20 Tri-State Dragway 1/8

Division 4 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
March 10-12  San Antonio Raceway 1/4 Mile 
March 10-12  San Antonio Raceway 1/4 Mile 
April 7-9    Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
April 7-9    Pine Valley Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
June 2-4     Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 
June 2-4     Tulsa Raceway Park 1/4 Mile 

Division 5 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Schedule
April 28-30   Cordova Dragway Park 1/4 Mile 
April 28-30   Cordova Dragway Park 1/4 Mile 
July 21-23    Byron Dragway 1/4 Mile 
July 21-23    Byron Dragway 1/4 Mile 
August 18-20  Cedar Falls Raceway 1/4 Mile 
August 18-20  Cedar Falls Raceway 1/4 Mile 

Division 9 Mr. Gasket Pro-Am Tour Schedule
March 3-5         Rockingham Dragway 1/8 mile 
March 17-19       Farmington Motorsports Park 1/8 mile 
March 31-April 2  Mooresville Dragway 1/8 mile 
May 5-7           Piedmont Dragway 1/8 mile 
September 1-3     Kinston Dragstrip 1/8 mile 





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