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Tue, 17 Nov 2009, 06:56 PM

Tournament of Champions Rescheduled for Rockingham Nitro Jam Weekend



NORWALK, Ohio --

IHRA has announced that the Tournament of Champions sportsman runoff has been rescheduled for the Rockingham Nitro Jam event April 30-May 2 at Rockingham Dragway.

Weather forced the postponement of the originally scheduled Tournament of Champions at the IHRA World Finals in Rockingham last month. IHRA will now move forward with the new date and will crown the 2009 Sportsman World Champions at the third event of the 2010 season.

"I asked for competitor feedback on this rescheduling issue knowing there would be many different opinions on this. After reviewing the hundreds of emails and phone calls we received from drivers in the tournament we decided that running the event in the spring, while not ideal for everyone, is the option that satisfies the most people," said Skooter Peaco, VP of Race Operations. "The competitors felt very strongly that this event had to be run and decided on the track as originally scheduled without reverting back to a point system or drawing names. Second, after looking at the locations of the drivers in the tournament, Rockingham continues to be the logical place for this event to happen given where the competitors live and given that it isn't so early in the season that Northern racers are not ready.

"We realize that whatever decision we made was going to make some people unhappy, but in a sea of tough decisions, we are confident that this is the best solution for the most drivers to decide the 2009 champions on the track."

A third day has been added to the Rockingham Nitro Jam event on Friday, Aug. 30 to compensate for the Tournament of Champions. Sportsman drivers will get one time run and one qualifying run on Friday morning before eliminations get underway that afternoon. The Tournament of Champions will be run to completion before the nitro jam event begins for the other sportsman competitors.

Following the completion of the TOC drivers will then have the opportunity to take part in the Nitro Jam race May 1-2 with a chance at securing a spot in the 2010 Tournament of Champions, which will be held at Virginia Motorsports Park on October 15th.

The Rockingham Nitro Jam weekend will also have the rescheduled awards celebration honoring the 2009 TOC participants and the IHRA Sportsman World Champions.

"While we certainly had hoped to have our sportsman champions crowned as early as possible, the dynamic of the 2010 schedule and the vast area that the TOC competitors live in made rescheduling this event to suit everyone an impossibility. The spring Rockingham event gives us the best opportunity for the most drivers to return and decide a true world champion," Peaco said. "We also want to make sure we have a celebration worthy of the accomplishments of these talented drivers and that is exactly what we are going to have next year in Rockingham."





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