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Thu, 22 Jun 2006, 11:39 AM

IHRA eMax Drag Racing Series Heads to Edmonton
Courtesy of IHRA Communications

Castrol Raceway Hosts CARS RV & Marine & Motorsports Rocky Mountain Nationals


Clay Millican
After defeating Doug Foley in the final of the Rocky Mountain Nationals last season in Edmonton, five-time defending IHRA Knoll Gas - Torco Pro Nitro Top Fuel World Champion Clay Millican said he expected the facility, now named Castrol Raceway, to be even better in 2006.

"I love coming up here," Millican said, who'll race at the track during the upcoming CARS RV & Marine & Motorsports Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Race Fuels, June 23 - 25. "No matter how bad the weather is the grandstands are always full. All the people, (track owner) Rob Reeves and everyone involved with this track, do an incredible job. The track is better this year than it was the year before and I know next year it will be even better than this year."

In 2005 Millican shattered the Top Fuel track record in Edmonton, posting a 4.540 run at a blistering 325.69 mph. When he defeated Foley in the final, it was his fifth consecutive national event victory to open the 2005 IHRA season.

The Top Fuel class will get plenty of attention, but it will not be alone as for the first time in 15 years, IHRA is bringing another nitro-powered class to the party. The Knoll Gas - Torco Racing Fuels Pro Nitro Funny Car class has been a smashing success so far during the 2006 eMax Drag Racing Series and the nitro floppers will compete in Edmonton for the first time ever as a sanctioned IHRA class at Castrol Raceway.

Jim Halsey captured his first career IHRA Knoll Gas - Torco Pro Modified national victory in Edmonton last season, topping Canadian Carl Spiering in the final to take home the Ironman. Last year, parity defined the Torco Race Fuels Pro Modified class. When Halsey won in Edmonton, the fifth stop on the 2005 IHRA schedule, he became the fifth different winner in the class. The same is expected this season as the cars are as close time-wise as ever. Alberta fans can watch for Calgary-native Glen Kerunsky. He won the season-open in San Antonio, and heads to Edmonton with the points lead.

In Knoll Gas - Torco Pro Stock, Frank Gugliotta will be the man to beat at Castrol Raceway. Gugliotta won the Ironman in Edmonton last season and seems to be the strongest-running Pro Stocker in '06. He won the season opener in San Antonio and has been tearing up the exhibition circuits as well in his first year driving for Charlie Taylor. However, Gugliotta could again face last year's event runner up Tony Gillig, who currently sits atop the Pro Stock point standings, 32 points ahead of Gugliotta.

Finally, Alcohol Funny Car is wide open. Three-time defending World Champion Rob Atchison won in Edmonton last season on his way to his third world title. Atchison has found the going a bit tougher this season. Mark Thomas defeated Atchison in the final in San Antonio and Atchison failed to advance to the final round at the spring Rockingham race. He will look to get things going on Canadian soil at Castrol Raceway.

The CARS RV & Marine & Motorsports Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Torco Race Fuels kicks off June 23 - 25, at Castrol Raceway, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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