Heading into this weekend's second annual Craftsman 75th Anniversary NHRA Nationals presented by Racing Champions, driver Andrew Cowin is hoping to fully unleash the formidable, full power of the New York Yankees sponsored Top Fuel dragster fielded by Darrell Gwynn Racing. The event is the 20th of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in three categories earn points leading to 2002 NHRA POWERade championships. Held at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, the track is located 30 miles southwest of Chicago on Route 53 (historic Route 66), approximately three miles south of the I-80 in Joliet. Cash and contingency awards of more than $1.9 million in cash and contingency awards will be at stake during the contests held Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 26-29. Cowin was the top qualifier just one week ago at Memphis, his third 'pole' start of the season. However, his bragging rights for clocking the quickest run of the season to date, a stellar 4.490 E.T. blasted at the NHRA season-opener at Pomona, will be severely tested in the superb racing conditions expected at Route 66 Raceway. "There are certain tracks that drivers and teams love visiting and Route 66 Raceway is definitely one of them," said Cowin. "Not only is it a fabulous facility, it's a place where the track surface and weather routinely produce personal-best performances." In addition to the racing activities, Gwynn Racing and Quickie Wheelchairs will present Chicago native Dennis Beechy with a high-performance P-222 SE power wheelchair during the event during qualifications on Friday, September 27. Beechy, 42, who was paralyzed during a 1979 pool diving accident, was selected to receive the chair through Quickie's Community Outreach Program, Gwynn Racing and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). Following his accident, Beechy underwent physical therapy at RIC. This is the fourth power chair donation presented this year by Quickie ambassador Darrell Gwynn, a former NHRA champion and current team owner. Gwynn is also paralyzed as a result of a 1990 high speed crash at Santa Pod Raceway in England. Joining Beechy, and Gwynn at the trackside presentation ceremony will be Marilyn Hamilton, Quickie Wheelchair co-founder. Sunrise Medical ( is one of the world's largest Manufacturers of homecare and extended care products. Founded in 1983, the Sunrise Medical family of products has been built from many of the most popular brands in the home care industry including Quickie, Sopur, Jay, DeVilbiss, Hoyer, Guardian, Coopers, Oxford and Joerns. Sunrise operates manufacturing facilities in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. Its products are distributed to suppliers through dedicated sales organizations and distributors in more than 90 countries worldwide. Darrell Gwynn Racing fields the New York Yankees-sponsored dragster in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing's Top Fuel division. Darrell Gwynn and his father, Jerry, each former NHRA champions, lead the team. The team's race car is driven by Andrew Cowin and tuned by crew chief Mike Green. Major associate sponsors include Ray Parsons Motorsports, Munchables, MBNA America Bank, Winnebago Industries, Inc., GMC, and Mac Tools.
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500 Speedway Blvd
Joliet, IL 60433
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