by Stephanie Struyck Elgin

Heart pounding, non-stop adrenaline.  It’s what you get when you race down a strip at speeds of over 300 miles per hour.   Two 3,000 horsepower racecars, and less than five seconds later, you have your winner.  It’s head to head racing at its best.  Light up the “Christmas tree” and set your eyes on the Wally, one of drag racing’s most coveted awards.

 

 

by Stephanie Struyck Elgin

Heart pounding, non-stop adrenaline.  It’s what you get when you race down a strip at speeds of over 300 miles per hour.   Two 3,000 horsepower racecars, and less than five seconds later, you have your winner.  It’s head to head racing at its best.  Light up the “Christmas tree” and set your eyes on the Wally, one of drag racing’s most coveted awards.
Drag racing is made up of a series of individual two-car races.  Winners of each two-car race advance, until one winner is left.  The National Hot Rod Association oversees most of the drag racing events and offers two types of drag racing—heads-up and handicap.  Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Alcohol Funny Car race heads-up.
And there’s a little bit of Santa Clarita making their mark in the Top Alcohol Funny Car races.  It’s the Rick Jackson Racing Team.
Rick Jackson, who owns Centre Pointe Collision Center and Valencia Body Shop in Santa Clarita has entered many races and finished in the top 10 over the last 3 seasons.  Rick Jackson has a few wins under his racing belt.  He took top prize at the 2009 Winter Nationals in Pomona, and was the winner at the 2008 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.  In 2008, he won 3 national events, and finished in the top five in national points standings.  He was also the winner of the spring inaugural event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2000. “To achieve success you must first have the key parts and people to enable you to meet your goals,” states Rick.  “Assembling the parts is relatively easy but being able to assemble a team that performs at the level my team does has been very rewarding.”
Combine Rick Jackson’s love and knowledge for the sport with crew chief Steve Boggs along with fan favorite, driver Tony Bartone, and you’ve got a winning team made in drag racing heaven. “To achieve success you must first have the key parts and people to enable you to meet your goals,” states Rick.  “Assembling the parts is relatively easy but being able to assemble a team that performs at the level my team does has been very rewarding.”
Driver Tony Bartone is most certainly a fan favorite, with 29 national career victories. Some notable achievements – he is the third driver in NHRA history to win in both alcohol and fuel funny car class, has won 37 consecutive round wins in Funny Car, National Champion Top Alcohol Funny Car in 1996 to name a few.  Bartone has a long list of wins, helping lead the Rick Jackson Racing team to victory.
The 2011 season began for the Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team with a test run in Phoenix earlier this year with the Centre Pointe Ford Mustang.  The team headed to Pomona, California and then captured yet another NHRA National Event title and world record setting race.
Just a few months back, Tony Bartone and the Rick Jackson Racing crew took home the 4th National Event victory at the 2011 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at the Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.  Tony Bartone and the Rick Jackson Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car team entered the AAA NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, giving Bartone his 5th National Event title of the season.
Recently, the Rick Jackson Racing crew took home the Wally in the Top Alcohol Funny Car Division at the 11th Annual Big O Tires NHRA National Event, which took place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  This was driver Tony Bartone’s 33rd national event win. “Winning the Big O Tire Nationals was great,” states Rick.  “It was the second National event race at the Las Vegas motor speedway and we won both events however the Big O Tire Nationals was a statement to the team and of the effort and preparation that goes into the car prior to racing. We qualified on the pole position and re-set the track record 3 times, during eliminations we posted the quickest and fastest times of every round and saved the best for last posting the quickest elapsed time of the weekend in our winning round. That was a crowning achievement.”
For more information about the Rick Jackson Racing team visit www.rickjacksonracing.com.  For more information about Centre Pointe Collision located in Santa Clarita, visit www.centrepointecollision.com.

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