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Pacific Raceways NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Northwest Nationals - Event Preview

With less than one week to go before the start of the 24th annual Northwest Nationals, we've gathered all the information that's available so far. The entry list(s) are definitely shorter than in past years, highlighted (or low-lighted depending on how you look at it) by the EIGHT, yes, count 'em, EIGHT entries in Top Alcohol Dragster. Some of the other major categories aren't much healthier and the total car count as of Sunday, July 31st on the official list totals just 325.

Breaking that down by class reveals 16 cars in Top Fuel, 18 in Funny Car, 15 in Pro Stock, the aforementioned 8 in Top Alcohol Dragster, 15 in Top Alcohol Funny Car, 22 in Comp, 32 in Super Stock, 51 in Stock, 58 in Super Comp, 42 in Super Gas, and finally 48 in Super Street for that grand total of 325 competitors. In the "Major" group (Top Alcohol and up) we've got just 72 cars, then 105 in the "class" eliminators, and finally - padding the numbers - 148 cars in the "super" categories.

With an all-run situation in every eliminator below Comp, and only one over-subscribed field above it, the fact is that only TWO cars, nitro funny cars at that, are going home as non-qualifiers at this race. Not much drama going into eliminations, is there? On the bright side, considering the price of gas and diesel, and the still-shrinking economy, it's a bit of an accomplishment to get this many racers together at a location that's not exactly in the heartland of drag racing or near a group of really large population centres.

The Canadian quotient is a little thinner in some areas than in past years, and nowhere is that lack felt more keenly than in Top Alky dragster, with Shawn Cowie out of action for at least the balance of this season after his horrific road accident in Nashville in April, and Don St. Arnaud tending to his oil-patch business and Greg Sereda simply not here, it's up to Ashley Bart to be the canadian contender in this category. And she's had an eminently forgettable season so far. They did get the car untracked a few weeks ago at the Woodburn LODRS race and maybe they're back on track, performance-wise.

The Alberta presence will certainly be felt in Top Alky flopper, with no less than three entries, led by Roger Bateman in the YNot car, John Evanchuk in his Red Wolf entry and Ken Webster in the SynOil car. On paper, the odds on any of these cars winning the event are 5 - 1 and that's just about where I'd rank them too.

Comp Eliminator has the strongest Canadian representation, with 7 out of the 22 entrants hailing from north of the 49th parallel. Among them are two of the most dangerous competitors in the bracket - bar none. Jirka "First in the 5's" Kaplan from Calgary, and Rob Harrison of North Vancouver, the Winternationals winner earlier this year and Division Six All-Star rep last month at Joliet. Joining those two hitters are the 6-second cars of Alberta's Dale Giroux and lower mainland racers Bob Marshall and Terry Spargo. Rounding out the Canuck racers are two darkhorses: Casey Plazier from Edmonton and Mike McKeigue from Fort St. John, BC. The odds on a Canadian car taking home the Comp eliminator Wally are at least as high as the ratio of entries, with my guess being about 3 - 1 on one of them prevailing.

Below Comp eliminator, it's really just bracket racing once eliminations begin, and there certainly should be at least one Canadian winner in those categories, starting with Super Stock, as 10 of 32 entries are from north of the border, and continuing into Stock with 7 of 51, followed by 9 of 58 in Super Comp, 8 of 42 in Super Gas, and finally 7 of 48 in Super Street. The grand total of Canuck competitors in the event adds up to 52 out of the 325 cars entered. Sidenote: The slight majority (27 of 52) of those racers are from BC, and for the first time in... well, forever it seems, no one east of central Alberta is on the entry list.

The media machine won't kick into high gear until the Fram-Autolite Nationals at Sonoma, CA is complete and the NHRA traveling circus starts heading north to Seattle. Then we'll have some more material to add to this page. Until then, here's the entry lists for the top categories.

Top Fuel Dragster

1Larry Dixon JrIndianapolis IN'09 HadmanTFX 500AL-ANABI RACING
2Tony SchumacherLong Grove IL'11 DSRTFX 496U.S. ARMY DSR TF TEAM
4Antron BrownPittsboro IN'11 DSRTFX 500MATCO TOOLS/U.S. ARMY DSR
5Shawn LangdonBrownsburg IN'10 HadmanTFX 500LUCAS OIL / SPEEDCO
7Brandon BernsteinLake Forest CA'11 McKinneyTFX 500COPART TOP FUEL DRAGSTER
12Bob Vandergriff JrAlpharetta GA'08 HadmanTFX 500C&J ENERGY SERVICES DRAGSTER
22Doug KalittaYpsilanti MI'06 AttacTFX 496KALITTA MOTORSPORTS
34Morgan LucasBrownsburg IN'04 HadmanTFX 500GEICO / LUCAS OIL
44David GrubnicYpsilanti MI'06 AttacTFX 500KALITTA AIR
99Del WorshamChino Hills CA'10 HadmanTFX 500AL-ANABI RACING
421Spencer MasseyFort Worth TX'11 DSRTFX 498FRAM/PRESTONE DSR TF TEAM
497Troy BuffSpring TX'10 Bill MillerBAE 500BILL MILLER ENGINEERING
640Ron SmithKapowsin WA'98 HadmanTFX 498FOSTER MACHINE SERVICES
700Steven ChrismanAnaheim CA'00 McKinneyTFX 500NITROFISH/CHRISMAN DRIVELINE
3516Terry Mc MillenElkhart IN'11 McKinneyTFX 500AMALIE OIL / UNOH
5050Scott PalmerMarionville MO'09 McKinneyBAE 500MARCK INDUSTRIES

Fuel Funny Car

1John ForceYorba Linda CA'10 MustangFord 500CASTROL GTX HM /FORD MUSTANG
4Jack BeckmanNorco CA'09 ChargerTFX 496AARONS/VALVOLINE DSR FC TEAM
5Robert Tasca IIIHope RI'10 MustangFord 500MOTORCRAFT / QUICK LANE
8Robert HightYorba Linda CA'10 MustangFord 500AUTO CLUB OF S. CALIF/FORD
9Tony PedregonBrownsburg IN'09 ImpalaTFX 500STP/ARMOR ALL
10Tim WilkersonSpringfield IL'11 MustangTFX 500LEVI RAY & SHOUP INC
28Ron CappsCarlsbad CA'09 ChargerTFX 496NAPA AUTO PARTS DSR FC TEAM
31Johnny GrayArtesia NM'10 ChargerTFX 500SERVICE CENTRAL DSR FC TEAM
71Cruz PedregonBrownsburg IN'09 ToyotaTFX 496SNAP-ON / WIX FILTERS
116Paul LeeAnaheim CA'10 Impala SSBAE 500JIM DUNN/RISLONE/BARS LEAKS
121Terry HaddockTemple TX'09 ToyotaBAE 500ACME REFINING/ DIPINTO INT'L
170Jeff ArendSan Dimas CA'08 ToyotaAJPE 500DHL TOYOTA SOLARA
507Melanie TroxelDuluth GA'10 ToyotaAJPE 500IN N OUT BURGER
717Brian ThielPleasant Grove CA'10 ChargerTFX 500LUCAS OIL N&S CASE FFA
719Jeffrey DiehlSalinas CA'09 Monte CarloBAE 500JEFF DIEHL RACING
782Gary DenshamBellflower CA'09 DodgeBAE 500DENSHAM MOTORSPORTS
2814Matt HaganChristiansburg VA'09 ChargerTFX 496DIEHARD DSR FC TEAM
7701Mike NeffIndianapolis IN'10 FordFord 500CASTROL GTX FORD MUSTANG

Pro Stock

1Greg AndersonMooresville NC'09 GXPGM 500SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT
4Shane GrayDenver NC'10 GXPGM 500SERVICE CENTRAL
5Jason LineTroutman NC'09 GXPGM 500SUMMIT RACING
6Allen JohnsonGreeneville TN'10 AvengerDodge 500MOPAR/J & J RACING DODGE
8Ron KrisherWarren OH'10 PontiacGM 499VALVOLINE
9Rodger BrogdonTomball TX'09 GXPGM 500KENT SERVICES & TRUCKING
21Kurt JohnsonSugar Hill GA'10 PontiacGM 499MARK CHRISTOPHER AUTO CENTER
48Erica EndersNew Orleans LA'10 ChevroletGM 500CAGNAZZI RACING
55V GainesLakewood CO'11 AvengerHemi 498KENDALL OIL DODGE AVENGER
154Vincent NobileDix Hills NY'10 DodgeDodge 500MOUNTAINVIEW TIRE
208Warren JohnsonSugar Hill GA'10 GXPGM 499K&N FILTERS
357Larry MorganNewark OH'10 FordFord 500LUCAS OIL SUMMIT FORD RACING
2062Ronnie HumphreyJacksonville NC'09 GXPGM 499GENUINE HOT ROD HARDWARE

Top Alcohol Dragster

55B/ADCody PerkinsBluffdale UT'08 DragsterAPS 471801 RACING
256A/FDBlake AlexanderWirtz VA'09 SpitzerBAE 452EXIDE/MIERSCH
613B/ADJoey SeveranceWoodburn OR'05 HadmanFont 472SEVERANCE RACING
663B/ADSpencer MartinAnchorage AK'07 URCBAE 464IMPATIENCE RACING
700B/ADJames ButlerPrescott AZ'02 HadmanBAE 471LUCAS OIL / HUGH RIDLEY
6121B/ADAshley BartCalgary AB'00 HadmanBAE 469OMEGA 2000 CRIBBING / LUCAS
7599A/FDMegan McKernanSierra Madre CA'08 McKinneyBAE 433TRUCK-LITE/DAVCO

Top Alcohol Funny Car

8Brian HoughJunction City OR'11 FordBAE 522OLYMPUS TRAILERS
9Clint ThompsonKlamath Falls OR'11 ChevroletFont 526THOMPSON RACING
10Doug GordonPaso Robles CA'07 Monte CarloFont 528MORRO BAY CABINETS RACING
54Roger BatemanCalgary AB'08 MustangBAE 521YNOT RACING
63Jeff AshwellKeizer OR'09 MustangBAE 522NAPA/ WALERY'S PIZZA/G&S MA
71Steve GasparrelliWest Covina CA'11 Monte CarloFont 526GASPARRELLI RACING
72John Lombardo JrBrea CA'10 Monte CarloBAE 526NAPA, PRO SERIES, LUCAS OIL
562Kris HoolCasper WY'10 Monte CarloBAE 522GRIPPER HAND CLEANER
660Jim PetersMolalla OR'08 Impala SSBAE 511PETERS RACING
744Shane WesterfieldLake Forest CA'11 Monte CarloBAE 526CP PISTONS
799Sean BellemeurTustin CA'04 CamaroBAE 521MASTERCAM/LUCAS OIL/VICTORY
6352John EvanchukEdmonton AB'10 Monte CarloBAE 521RUSH HOUR RACING
6843Ken WebsterRed Deer AB'10 Monte CarloBAE 526SYNOIL ENERGY SERVICES
710DAlexis De JoriaVenice CA'11 Monte CarloBAE 521TEQUILA PATRON
7976Keeter RayNewport Beach CA'10 MustangBAE 526KEETER RAY RACING

Competition Eliminator

7A/AAAlan EllisMapleton UT'08 Neil & ParkGM 500WESTERN QUALITY CONCRETE
61F/AAaron StrongAuburn WA'05 CavalierChev 280STRONG TRUCKING
62C/ABrandon HuhtalaPuyallup WA'10 GXPChev 357AUTOMOTIVE IMAGES
63J/ARob HarrisonN Vancouver BC'05 EscortIGOR 351HARRISON/LOUGHEED RACING
65C/DPatrick ByronHoquiam WA'11 ProStartChev 342BYRON RACING
72C/TARandy JonesMonarch Beach CA'01 Chevy TruckChev 272ALPHA OMEGA SWISS
600B/SMAJeff LaneNorth Bend WA'11 ChevroletGM 359RED LINE M/T TIRES K&N CP
670AA/ATMark WolfeMarysville WA'94 ThunderbirdFord 419WOLFE RACING
1214A/DAMatthew HartfordPhoenix AZ'06 SpitzerDodge 508TOTAL SEAL / NICKENS
1781B/EADan FletcherChurchville NY'08 CobaltChev 315K&N/ MT/ R&B / PANELLA
6016G/SMGary AndersonFox Island WA'05 CavalierChev 295ANDERSON CONSTRUCTION, INC.
6088F/SMRyan WarterOlalla WA'92 CamaroChev 293JOINT VENTURE RACING
6180AA/AMJirka KaplanCalgary AB'23 FordChry 370BEARSPAW PETROLEUM LTD
6241B/SMACasey PlaizierEdmonton AB'04 CavalierChev 353SPECIALTY AUTO / A-1 PERF.
6410C/AADennis MyersProsser WA'02 NeonDodge 304MYERS RACING
6431A/APTerry SpargoDelta BC'02 CavalierChev 707SOUTHHILL ELECTRIC
6618B/AADale GirouxCanyon Creek AB'04 CavalierChev 500GIROUX RACING
6666A/AABarry HobsonSeattle WA'06 PontiacSchmidt 706BH MOTORSPORTS
6731B/AAJim HurlockBlack Diamond WA'08 GTOPontiac 500SECURITY RACING
6868C/AAMike McKeigueFort St John BC'06 DodgeBAE 374MIKE MCKEIGUE RACING
6944B/AABob MarshallLangley BC'09 GXPGM 480TCS PRODUCTS
7474G/SMAJustin LambHenderson NV'08 CobaltChev 304SUNSTATE-MADCAP-LA

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