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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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