Waco, TX – Among the 2020 inductees into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame announced this week by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits and the Hall of Fame selection committee is Texas Funny Car driver and racetrack developer Billy Meyer who, in his career on the NHRA pro tour, appeared in 22 final rounds and hoisted the trophy 12 times and his IHRA career appeared in 13 final rounds and won 8 trophies. Meyer will share the podium at the March induction ceremonies in Gainesville, Fla., with fellow legends Lee Beard, Roy Hill, Larry Minor and Don Enriquez.
“This is quite an honor for me and everyone that supported me throughout my racing career, especially my wife Deborah,” said Meyer. “I fell in love with drag racing as a teenager and never looked back. Winning Indy (1982) was a career highlight and we chased the NHRA championship a lot of years (finishing second in 1980, 1982 and 1984). Winning the IHRA championship (1980) and working with Hal Needham and Burt Reynolds was also equally as thrilling. When I got out of the seat, I turned my attention to the Texas Motorplex wanting to assist in taking the sport to the next level. I have given a lot of my life to drag racing and I am honored to be recognized by the International Hall of Fame.”
AFTER EARLY SLIP REIGNING TOP FUEL WORLD CHAMP STEVE TORRENCE BACK ON TRACK HEADING TO AAA TEXAS NHRA FALLNATIONALS
ENNIS, TX – It was a shocking start to the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship for reigning Top Fuel world champ Steve Torrence. But the talented Texan has more than made up for it at the past two races, looking back in championship form as he heads to his NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series home track with another world title on his mind.
Torrence started the six-race playoffs with a first-round loss – his first opening-round loss since February and first in the Countdown to the Championship since 2016 – but those concerns immediately went by the wayside. He rebounded with a final round appearance in St. Louis and a victory on Monday in Charlotte, regaining the points lead in his 11,000-horsepower Capco Contractors dragster and putting Torrence back on track for a possible second straight title heading to Texas Motorplex for this weekend’s 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
“You have to go rounds and you need to win races,” said Torrence, who has nine wins in 2019. “I think we need to win two more races to be pretty solid and have an opportunity to win another championship. We’ll just do the best we can do. I’m looking forward to going to Dallas. It’s a good time right now having the momentum going back-to-back. We need to try to go there and carry this momentum and see if we can be successful.”
DALLAS, TX – Since its very first race in 1986, Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, has been bringing high speed and exciting motorsports action to North Texas. As the longest running major motorsports venue in the Metroplex Texas Motorplex continues to raise the bar on fan-friendly events as well as record setting performances. Racing action will begin on Friday October 17 and run through Sunday October 20 but prior to and during the event fans will be treated to additional festivities both on and off the track.
“We look at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals as one of the premiere motorsports events in the state. We have the quickest and fastest race cars and no one can compete with our fan access,” said Andy Carter, Texas Motorplex general manager. “Also with the Thursday night free FanFest in downtown Ennis featuring over 20 drivers and riders, including 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, two-time champion Robert Hight and reigning Funny Car champion J.R. Todd as well as our pit access you will not get a better fan experience.”
Featured Race Week Events Include:
Pre-Stage FanFest, October 17 – The City of Ennis and Texas Motorplex are partnering for the sixth annual Pre-Stage FanFest between 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. in Downtown Ennis. Main Street and Knox Street (200 NW Main Street) will be blocked off for fans to wander between NHRA pro and sportsman cars, food trucks, music and more. Professional racers will be available for autographs during the event from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.
ENNIS, TX – Three-time Texas Motorplex Top Fuel winner and 34-time Top Fuel NHRA national event winner Cory McClenathan will be honored at the upcoming 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals as the first recipient of the Texas Motorplex Legend award. McClenathan who announced he will race the final three NHRA Mello Yello Series national events of the 2019 season and then retire last appeared at the FallNationals in 2018. He has 18 starts, two No. 1 qualifiers, five finals, three wins and 32-15 record at the NHRA super-track located just south of Dallas. McClenathan will be racing a Top Fuel dragster owned by Dexter Tuttle and sponsored by Revchem Composites and Nordic Boats.
Most notably McClenathan was the first driver to exceed 320 mph when his McDonald’s sponsored Top Fuel dragster blazed down the all-concrete track at a speed of 321.77 mph in 1997. That run was voted the Top 5 all-time Motorplex Moment. Ironically, McClenathan is recognized in the No. 9 all-time Motorplex Moment which was Don Prudhomme’s last professional victory as a driver. McClenathan was in the opposite lane against Prudhomme during that race in 1994.
“Cory McClenathan is a big part of the record setting history of Texas Motorplex and the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals,” said Andy Carter, Texas Motorplex General Manager. “We are thrilled he is closing out his amazing career with another race in Ennis. We are honored to recognize him as the first Texas Motorplex Legend award recipient. We will have a special presentation for him during opening ceremonies and he will forever be recognized in the Texas Motorplex Champion’s Club.”
ENNIS, TX – Brittany Force knows what a win at Texas Motorplex can do for championship aspirations. The Top Fuel standout performed well in the pressure moments of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship stop at the track two years ago, using that victory to HELP claim the first world championship in her NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career.
Right in the middle of the title mix through two of six playoff races in the 2019 season, Force will aim for her second win in Dallas at the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Oct. 17-20. She has enjoyed another banner year in her 11,000-horsepower Advance Auto Parts dragster, sitting just 48 points back of the lead heading to a crucial point in the season.
“If you look at the season, we’ve done well in cooler conditions or those prime conditions,” Force said. “But this team is always positive, even when we’ve had bad days. When you make a mistake, you use it to push harder and come back better. We’ve been in these situations before and been through the pressure, and come out on top. There’s no reason we can’t do it again.”
DALLAS, TX – In addition to offering NHRA race fans one of the best seats in the house adjacent to the starting line of the fastest motorsport on the planet the Texas Motorplex Champion’s Club will host top named drivers throughout the weekend. During the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals on Friday and Saturday NHRA stars including three-time Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown, reigning Top Fuel champion and Kilgore’s own Steve Torrence, two-time world champion Matt Hagan and Funny Car champions Ron Capps and Jack Beckman will be spending time with fans answering questions and signing autographs. The Champion’s Club will also welcome some of the top Pro Stock Motorcycle riders as well as Arlington-based Top Fuel racer and U.S. Nationals runner-up Kebin Kinsley.
“Having the Mello Yello Series racers come in and mingle with the Champion’s Club patrons is just one more added bonus for anyone that has Champion’s Club seats,” said Texas Motorplex General Manager Andy Carter. “We appreciate Steve, Antron, Ron, Kebin and all the drivers for taking some time to give our fans a special treat. Fans can enjoy a full-service bar as well as TVs and private restrooms throughout the weekend. The Champion’s Club is known for great seating, excellent food and its suite like feel.”
ENNIS, Texas – The biggest names racing for Mello Yello NHRA championships will be in downtown Ennis on Thursday, October 17 during the 6th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Pre-Stage FanFest. This free event will be highlighted by an autograph session with 16-time Funny Car champion John Force and two-time Funny Car champion Robert Hight as well as Pro Stock Motorcycle world champions Matt Smith and Jerry Savoie. The quartet of world champions are all vying for the 2019 Mello Yello NHRA championships and will be joined by Pro Stock world champions Greg Anderson, Jason Line and Bo Butner as well as Arlington-based Top Fuel racer and U.S. Nationals runner-up Kebin Kinsley, Top Fuel championship contender Mike Salinas, Pro Stock racer Shane Tucker, Rookie-of-the-Year front-runner Austin Prock and a host of Pro Stock Motorcycle racers.
“This event is once again a great way to kick-off the AAA Texas FallNationals,” said Texas Motorplex General Manager Andy Carter. “The City of Ennis has been a great partner and we will have race cars on display plus food, kid’s activities and music for fans. The highlight will be the driver autograph session and we are excited to have some of the biggest names in Funny Car from John Force to Robert Hight to future stars like Austin Prock and Jianna Salinas signing for our fans.”
The City of Ennis and Texas Motorplex are partnering for the sixth family-friendly Pre-Stage FanFest between 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. in Downtown Ennis. Main Street and Knox Street (200 NW Main Street) will be blocked off for fans to wander between NHRA pro and sportsman cars, food trucks, music and more. Professional racers will be available for autographs during the event from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.