Blast Off! Nitro Jam makes Arizona debut this weekend
Nitro Jam Media
Mar 20, 2011
It is always good to be the first.
Whether that means being the first to accomplish a significant goal, or something as simple as being the first to win a race at a new track, everyone always wants to be remembered as the first.
And now, as the IHRA Nitro Jam series prepares to enter Arizona for the very first time for the inaugural Arizona Nitro Jam at Southwestern International Raceway, all eyes are focused on the drivers of the fastest cars in the world as they set out to be the very first winners of Nitro Jam’s debut venture into the west.
“This is going to be a great race. Many of the best drivers from all across the United States and Canada are going to be in Tucson for two days of great drag racing accompanied by a great show,” said Pennsylvania native Peter Gallen, driver of the ‘Poverty Stricken’ Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car. “This is one race you can’t miss.”
Gallen is one of over two dozen professional drivers in four nitro classes making the haul from their respective corners of the world to southern Arizona for the Arizona Nitro Jam March 25-26 at beautiful Southwestern International Raceway. The professional classes will be joined by a host of thrill acts including jet dragsters, a wheelstanding school bus and the battle of monster trucks as the world famous Grave Digger takes on the Shockwave jet semi.
Whether you are a fan of professional nitro racing at its finest, or of the thrill of flame-throwing, earth-shaking jets cars, the Arizona Nitro Jam has something for you. All of the classes will run twice both days with a winner in each class crowned at the conclusion of each race. Tickets start at just $25 if purchased in advance and includes free parking and free admission to the FanFest pit party where fans can meet the drivers, get autographs and see the world’s fastest machines up close and personal.
And headlining the two-day Arizona Nitro Jam are the unique and thrilling professional classes of the Nitro Jam series. Ranging from Top Fuel dragsters and Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, to Nitro Harleys and Nostalgia Fuel Altereds, the Arizona Nitro Jam has a wide variety of great nitro racing.
And the fastest of all these classes are the 320 mile per hour stars of Top Fuel Dragster.
Known as the “Battle of the World Champions,” the two Top Fuel machines of Bruce Litton and Bobby Lagana certainly put on a show at the first two events of the year with more of the same on tap for this weekend.
Lagana currently leads the standings entering Tucson with three wins already, but Litton found his groove at the most recent race in Baton Rouge and looks poised to once again challenge the defending champion.
While Top Fuel will certainly provide plenty of thrills, the most exciting competition of the weekend may very well lie in the Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car ranks. Eight of the world’s best Funny Car competitors will be bringing their championship machines to the Arizona strip to vie for the biggest prize of the year at the “Duel in the Desert” this weekend.
Coming off of a huge tune-up this past weekend in California, many of these drivers will be making the quick trip down to Arizona for what many are calling the biggest Prostalgia Nitro Funny car competition of the year.
Leading the pack is Pennsylvania native Peter Gallen, driver of the “Poverty Stricken” ’74 Vega. Gallen is currently leading the standings by 14 points over rival Mike McIntire and the “McAttack” crew entering this prestigious event. Gallen already has two wins this season.
Joining the two east coast competitors are a slew of drivers that call the west coast home including Washington native “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders piloting his 1970 Nova, Roger Garten in the “War Horse” machine, Dale Pulde’s “War Eagle” Trans Am and the fastest driver in all of nostalgia drag racing Tim Boychuk in the “Troy Lee Designs” ’77 Pontiac.
All eight drivers have the equipment and the ability to take home one or both Ironman trophies from the two-night race, it will all simply come down to who wants it more.
Rounding out the nitro field in Tucson is a pair of new classes to the Nitro Jam family. Headlining that list are the daredevils of the Fuel Altered division and the extreme riders of the Nitro Harley class.
In the 220 mph Nitro Harley class Steve Dorn has taken the series by storm with the consistent runs leading to two wins, a runner-up finish and an early lead in the standings. Dorn leads Mike Scott by 19 points entering the Arizona Nitro Jam. Randal Andras is third and Jay Turner, a former champion in the class, sits fourth.
Finally, the Fuel Altered division has made a big splash in Nitro Jam competition as these out-of-control vintage race machines fire off laps unheard of for cars with such a short wheelbase. And leading the new class is Chris Bennett, driver of the “Pure Heaven” Altered. Bennett has set the bar high for the class with two wins and some of the quickest laps in the classes short history.
Bennett holds a 36 point advantage over Arizona native Ron Maroney and the “Super Nanook” team. Jason Richey in “Pure Hell” sits third and Ron Hope and the “Rat Trap” Fuel Altered is fourth.
All four classes will be back in action at the Arizona Nitro Jam this weekend at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson. The four nitro classes will also be joined by a thrilling lineup of exhibition vehicles designed to challenge the senses with sights, sounds, smells and feelings never experienced before.
Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased online at www.nitrojam.com or by calling (520) 762-9700.