NHRA officials announced today that the NHRA King Demon Crown, the annual all-star event that showcases the quickest Pro Stock teams, will be held at the spectacular Route 66 Raceway during the seventh annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 20-23. The venue change was necessary following a realignment of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule in 2004, where the first of two national events held in Chicago was moved to mid-May, closer to the traditional weekend for the King Demon Crown. The Pro Stock bonus event was previously held at the K&N Filters SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J., an event that was moved from mid-May to mid-June in the '04 POWERade Series schedule. "With the schedule change this year we felt it was in the best interest of the racers to keep the King Demon Crown near its traditional mid-May date for performance reasons and to maintain a cycle of 23 national events," said Graham Light, NHRA senior vice president of racing operations. "We felt that Route 66 Raceway was certainly a facility that could accommodate all of the specific requirements for the event and was one of the top candidates when we began discussing relocating the event with King Demon Crown sponsor Barry Grant. Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has been a great host for the event over the years and it will continue to be a pivotal race in determining the eight-car starting lineup for the King Demon Crown." The $76,000 King Demon Crown will take place on May 22, 2004 at Route 66 Raceway. The eight drivers who have accumulated the most points in qualifying during the bonus event series will compete in the program. Drivers started earning points for the 2004 King Demon Crown at the 2003 K&N Filters NHRA SuperNationals and will continue to accumulate points through the 2004 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. "I certainly recognize the history and tradition that Englishtown has developed as the longtime host of the King Demon Crown, but since the Englishtown date was moved to the middle of June, I wanted to keep the King Demon Crown in the spring where there is a better chance to have cool weather conditions that can create optimum performance for Pro Stock cars," said Barry Grant, sponsor of the King Demon Crown. "I also felt it was important to keep the same number of qualifying events for the King Demon Crown. I feel Route 66 Raceway is a great selection as the new host site because Chicago has proven to be a great market for NHRA Pro Stock racing." The winner of the King Demon Crown will earn $50,000, and the runner-up will earn $10,000. The two semifinalists will receive $3,000 each, and the four first round finishers will earn $2,500 apiece. Barry Grant is providing Pro Stock drivers with $145,000 of bonus money. Besides the $76,000 available in the King Demon Crown, Grant also will award $69,000 in bonuses to quick Pro Stock qualifiers throughout the King Demon Crown series. Low qualifiers earn $3,000 at each of the 23 NHRA POWERade Series events. In 2003, Kurt Johnson steered his ACDelco Chevy Cavalier to the King Demon Crown winner?s circle for the third time in his career, defeating eventual POWERade Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson and his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am in the final round of the bonus program.
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