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Fri, 3 Dec 1999, 08:40 AM

Pro National Warm-up Scheduled for January 20-23 in Tucson
Courtesy of Mike Lewis

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) has scheduled its annual pre-season testing event January 20 - 23, 2000 at Southwestern International Raceway (SIR) in Tucson, Arizona. The event will offer all NHRA race teams the opportunity to test in preparation for the 2000 NHRA Winston and Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series. PRO membership will not be a requirement for participation.

"We're excited to present NHRA's best known race teams to the Tucson fans," said PRO President Bob Vandergriff, Sr. "SIR has a great race track and is making significant improvements to better accommodate our 300 MPH Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. We've opened the event to all NHRA race teams and the Tucson fans will be the first to see all the new 2000 cars in action."

The PRO organization represents over thirty NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams and has conducted pre-season testing events in Bakersfield, CA, Phoenix, AZ, and Tucson, AZ since 1991 The last PRO test in Tucson was a big hit in 1997.

"The Tucson event offers great exposure in a new market for our teams and their sponsors," added Vandergriff. "PRO has enjoyed our relationship with Charlie Allen and Firebird International Raceway for the past five years, but our members are excited to develop our pre-season testing program in Tucson."

Gary Scelzi, Kenny Bernstein, Joe Amato and Larry Dixon were among the Top Fuel drivers to test at SIR in 1999, and all four recorded impressive times in the 4.5 second range at speeds of 320 MPH. The SIR track surface has been hailed as one of the finest in the country. The installation of concrete guardwalls and the paving of additional pit spaces will bring the SIR facility up to NHRA National Event guidelines in time for the PRO National Warm-up.

Testing will begin on Thursday, January 20, with side-by-side testing scheduled in Top Fuel and Funny Car each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 21-23. NHRA Pro Stock, Pro Stock Truck and Pro Stock Bike teams are all invited, along with the eight NHRA Federal Mogul categories. The SIR test will be especially significant for the NHRA sportsman teams that will compete in the first ever NHRA Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series event at SIR on March 10 - 12, 2000.

NHRA officials will be on hand to conduct technical inspections and the NHRA Safety Safari will work with the SIR staff to assure the best possible track conditioning and emergency response efforts.

For more information on the PRO National Warm-up, contact Southwestern International Raceway at 520-762-9700.

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