As the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series winds down, along with the Countdown to 1 playoffs for the class championship contenders, the Don Schumacher Racing driver entourage will participate in numerous activities in Las Vegas in advance of next weekend’s Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the penultimate event of the year.
Beginning with a visit to the Nellis Air Force Base hospital and an autograph session at the Base Exchange on Wednesday, Oct. 29, Valvoline/Mail Terminal Services Dodge Charger R/T driver Jack Beckman will also play in the Speedway Children’s Charities poker tournament at 7 p.m. at the Cannery Hotel & Casino that evening, where he’ll be joined by DSR teammate Cory McClenathan, driver of the FRAM Top Fuel dragster.
Also on Wednesday, Mopar/Oakley Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car pilot Gary Scelzi will sign autographs alongside his Funny Car at Integrity Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, located at 6770 Redwood St., at 4 p.m. The Funny Car will be on display at the dealership from Oct. 25 through Oct. 30.
On Thursday, Oct. 31, following a private NHRA media luncheon, practice for the NHRA Softball Classic to benefit DRAW (scheduled for Nov. 12 in San Bernardino, Calif.) will take place at Rainbow Family Park, at 7100 O’Bannon, from 2-4 p.m., for Scelzi, Beckman, Ron Capps (NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge), McClenathan and Tony Schumacher (U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster).
Capps will then zip off to the local Las Vegas Monaco Motor Coach facility at 7445 Dean Martin Dr. to sign autographs from 4-6 p.m.
If everyone is still in one piece after softball practice, Thursday night will see DSR drivers Beckman, McClenathan and Pro Stock Motorcycle riders Chip Ellis (Schumacher Electric/XXX Racing Fuels Suzuki) and Craig Treble (Schumacher Electric/Albrecht’s Fast Track Suzuki) sign autographs at the NHRA Fan Fest from 6-8 p.m. on the Third Street section of the Fremont Street Experience.
Beckman, Treble and McClenathan will then head over to Pole Position Raceway at 4175 S. Arville for a Matco Tools autograph session from 7-9 p.m. that night.
Once qualifying runs are completed on Saturday, Nov. 1, at The Strip, Beckman, Ellis, Treble and McClenathan will sign autographs at the Orleans Hotel, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., from 7-8 p.m.
During the week following the NHRA Nationals, drivers Capps, Schumacher, McClenathan and Scelzi will visit the SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center to sign autographs; Capps, Scelzi and McClenathan on Nov. 4, and Schumacher on Nov. 6.
Here is a complete schedule. All of the events are open to the public, with the exception of the Nellis AFB visit and the SEMA and APPEX Shows (open to the trade). They are also subject to change.
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 29:
- Jack Beckman at Nellis Air Force Base hospital, followed by autograph session at Base Exchange, 2-3 p.m.
- Gary Scelzi signing autographs at Integrity Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge, with Mopar/Oakley Dodge Funny Car, 4 p.m.
- Beckman and Cory McClenathan at Children’s Speedway Charities poker at The Cannery Hotel & Casino, 2121 East Craig Rd., North Las Vegas, at 7 p.m.
THURSDAY, Oct. 30:
- Gary Scelzi, Ron Capps, Jack Beckman, Cory McClenathan and Tony Schumacher at DRAW Charity Softball game practice, from 2-4 p.m. at Rainbow Family Park, 7100 O’Bannon.
- Gary Scelzi and Ron Capps will sign autographs at Las Vegas Monaco Coach facility, 7445 Dean Martin Dr., from 4-6 p.m.
- Jack Beckman, Cory McClenathan, Craig Treble and Chip Ellis at NHRA Fan Fest on Third Street section of Fremont Street Experience, 6-8 p.m.
- Beckman, Treble and Ellis at Pole Position Raceway at 4175 S. Arville, for Matco Tools autograph session, 7-9 p.m.
FRIDAY, Oct. 31: No in-town activities. Two qualifying sessions at The Strip.
SATURDAY, Nov. 1:
- Jack Beckman, Cory McClenathan, Craig Treble and Chip Ellis signing autographs at Orleans Hotel, 4500 W. Tropicana Ave., from 7-8 p.m.
- USAC Midget team owner Gary Scelzi will be at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring supporting his driver Michael Faccinto following the NHRA qualifying sessions.
TUESDAY, Nov. 4:
- Cory McClenathan autograph session at APPEX Show at Sands Expo Center (adjacent to Venetian Hotel) at Honeywell Consumer Products Group and Friction Materials Booth No. 5700, 2-4 p.m.
- Gary Scelzi at the Mopar booth to sign autographs at 11 a.m. at SEMA Show at Las Vegas Convention Center.
- Ron Capps to sign autographs at UCoat it display booth No. 21725 at SEMA.Show in Las Vegas Convention Center, 1 – 3 p.m.
THURSDAY, Nov. 6:
- Tony Schumacher to sign autographs at the Littelfuse/ISIS Intelligent Multiplex System booth No. 11153 at the SEMA Show at Las Vegas Convention Center, 2-4 p.m.