The best in AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car, US Bounty Hunters Pro Stock, Nitro Harley and Jet Dragster will hit the track looking for an early-season edge in the year-long championship battle as defending race winners Jason Rupert (Funny Car), Cary Goforth (Pro Stock) and Mike Scott (Nitro Harley) look to defend their 2014 victories and, hopefully, turn that success into another championship run. All three winners from the 2014 Southwestern Nationals went on to win the championship in their respective class, giving racers extra incentive to get off to a good start when the teams hit the track for the first time next month.
Jason Rupert won the season-opening race in Tucson in 2014 en route the Funny Car championship
Jason Rupert will lead IHRA’s popular AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car class into the 2015 season opener, having amassed four victories and a run-away victory in the 2014 Funny Car championship. Last year Rupert, behind the wheel of the “Bays & Rupert” entry, bested “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders in the Tucson final.
Both Rupert and Sanders will be back to contend for the 2015 AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car championship, joining Tim Boychuk, Mike McIntire Jr. and more than a dozen other competitors including Kris Krabill, Roger Garten, Mike Halstead, Bob Godfrey and more. The Southwestern Nationals have traditionally attracted some of the biggest names in nostalgia Funny Car racing and the early billing looks to continue that trend.
In Pro Stock, Oklahoma’s Cary Goforth returns in the Goforth Racing entry looking to repeat as champion of this event and the series. Goforth defeated teammate Todd Hoerner in a thrilling finale last year as Hoerner pushed his machine too hard and put his Goforth-owned Pontiac GXP into the wall on the final pass of the weekend.
Mike Scott was another competitor who used his success in Tucson to vault into championship contention
This year, Cary and father Dean Goforth will look to take command of the US Bounty Hunters Pro Stock class, joining their chief rivals from a year ago, John DeFlorian and Kevin Bealko of Black Diamond Motorsports. Scott Hintz, Brad Waddle, John Konigshofer, John Montecalvo, JR Carr, Trevor Eman and more will make up the all quarter-mile Pro Stock field in Tucson.
IHRA’s other nitro category, the popular two-wheel riders of Nitro Harley, will be lead by the Jay Turner Racing team of Turner, Mike Scott and Randal Andras. Scott bested Turner at the 2014 Southwestern Nationals en route to the championship and will once again look to get his season off on the right foot against nearly a dozen fire-breathing motorcycles.
Jet Dragster will wrap up IHRA’s traditional classes as Elaine Larsen kicks off her 2014 title defense against Marisha Falk, Kat Moller and newcomer and converted road racer Shea Holbrook. The 300 mph jet-powered class provided some of the best competition of the 2014 racing season.
Elaine Larsen will look to begin her 2014 Jet Dragster title defense with a win in Arizona
The 2015 Good Vibrations Motorsports IHRA Southwestern Nationals will also host the stars of the California Independent Funny Car Association (CIFCA) Friday and Saturday night.
Bringing the event to a close with be the twin-engine, 30,000 horsepower “US Fire Force” jet-powered fire truck driven by Mark Smith.
In addition to all of the on-track action, the 2015 Southwestern Nationals will feature a fully interactive Fan Fest pit experience. Fans can tour the pits, meet the drivers and take part in a number of fun family activities including the Larsen Motorsports Jet Technology Center, a hands-on look at the design and technology behind a jet-powered racing team, and the Hollywood Cars of the Stars display.
Tickets to the Southwestern Nationals can be purchased online or at the gate. Adults can save $5 if they purchase their tickets in advance at www.nitrojam.com.
Showtime is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Friday for qualifying and 4 p.m. on Saturday for eliminations.
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the 2015 Good Vibrations Motorsports IHRA Southwestern Nationals presented by Budweiser.