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Fri, 12 Aug 2016, 18:22 PM

IHRA World Championships on the Line
Courtesy of IHRA Communications





NORWALK, Ohio --

The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Drag Racing Series will wrap up the 2016 season with four championship titles yet to be determined in the final event of the year at the Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan on August 12 - 13, 2016.

The Pro Modified class and Nitro Motorcycle class champions will be determined during qualifying rounds on Friday, August 12. Billy Harper has a comfortable 178-point lead over second-place driver Ruben Tetsoshvili in Pro Modified. If Harper, enters the event he will automatically clinch his first-ever IHRA World Championship title. The Paducah, Kentucky resident made his return to full-time racing this year after taking some time off since his 2008 ADRL Pro Nitrous championship. Harper has driven his '00 Dodge Viper to two wins this season at the Good Vibrations Texas Nationals and the Mopar Canadian Nationals.

2015 IHRA Nitro Motorcycle World Champion Jay Turner is looking to defend his title against Bob Malloy. The Julian, North Carolina native currently has a 114-point lead over Malloy as they head into the Northern Nationals. Turner needs to advance into eliminations in order to secure IHRA Nitro Motorcycle back-to-back championships. The title would mark Turner's fifth professional drag racing championship. He has tallied three wins during the 2016 season - Good Vibrations Texas Nationals, Mopar Canadian Nationals and Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals.

The Pro Stock class will be a battle between veteran driver and back-to-back IHRA World Champion Cary Goforth and driver Trevor Eman. Goforth has a narrow three-point lead over Eman going into the season finale in Martin, Michigan. Goforth has two wins with his AMSOIL, Deans Casing and Black Diamond Motorsport team at the AMSOIL Nitro Nationals and the President's Cup Nationals. Trevor Eman landed in the IHRA winner's circle for the very first time at the Mopar Canadian Nationals with his 2011 Ford Mustang. Prior to the win, Eman and Team Aruba had back-to-back runner-up finishes.

The championship in AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car will come down to the final round of eliminations on Saturday, August 13. The AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car class is in the midst of a four-way battle for the top spot. Former champion Jason Rupert currently has an 18-point lead over second-place driver Shawn Bowen. The Yorba Linda, California native is looking to add three consecutive championships to his portfolio. Rupert garnered one win so far this season at the Good Vibrations Texas Nationals.

Second-place Shawn Bowen heads into the Northern Nationals with a "home field" advantage as he resides in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Bowen clinched consecutive DRO Nitro Funny Car Series championships in 2013 and 2014 and is currently seeking his first IHRA World Championship. He claimed IHRA wins at the AMSOIL Nitro Nationals and Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals this season.

Mike McIntire Jr. sits third in the AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car point standings and finds himself in familiar territory as the Mentor, Ohio driver has been in the top-three at the season finale every year since his Funny Car career started in 2014. McIntire Jr. has finished in the runner-up position in 2014 and 2015 and is looking for his first championship title. He has posted two runner-up finishes in 2016.

Mark "Mr. Explosive" Sanders is only 49 points behind Jason Rupert in the AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car point standings in the fourth position. Sanders, from Maple Valley, Washington, has become a major player on the nostalgia scene over the past few years, piloting the extremely memorable "Mr. Explosive" machine. He is in the hunt for his first IHRA World Championship at US 131 Motorsports Park next week. Sanders has one win in 2016 which came from the Mopar Canadian Nationals.

In addition to incredible, side-by-side competition that each professional class is known for, the Summit SuperSeries and Summit Pro-Am Tours remain in full swing with the World Finals scheduled to take place at Memphis International Raceway October 21 - 23, 2016.

The professional championship finale takes place at the Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park on August 12 - 13. Tickets are available online at www.US131MSP.com or for more information on the IHRA, visit www.ihra.com, www.Facebook.com/IHRAMotorsports or follow @IHRA on Twitter.





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