Seven-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher, will headline Route 66 Raceway’s inaugural Starting Tony SchumacherLine Party.  Making the connection to the year-long celebration of NHRA’s 60th Anniversary season, the Starting Line Party will carry a 60th Anniversary Drag Racing Legends Reunion theme. 

Joining Schumacher will be drag racing legend Kenny Safford of “Mr. Norm’s Super Charger” and “Sour Sisters” fame.  A distinctive pioneer of drag racing in its early days, Safford was a 2002 inductee into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster legend, Bill Reichert, also joins the line up.  Reichert rolls into 2011 with the momentum of his fifth straight NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster National Championship.  Reichert also has eight NHRA North Central Division Championships to his credit.

“Animal” Jim Feurer of Lacon, Illinois will make an appearance with his famous 1979 Mercury Zephyr Nostalgia Pro Stocker on display.  “Animal” competed at the NHRA Pro Stock level, was an early pioneer of Pro Modified drag racing and celebrates over forty years of professional drag racing.

Local hero Bob Bode captivated the nation last year in his triumphant final round victory over Funny Car great John Force in Brainerd, Minnesota.  Bode drove his Nitro Funny Car to his first NHRA National event title that afternoon, delivering one of NHRA’s all-time underdog moments.  Bode is scheduled to make an appearance for the fan event.

TJ ZizzoTJ Zizzo, a consistent top half qualifier at the NHRA National event level will join in the night’s festivities.  Despite running only a part time schedule, Zizzo and company are a threat to reckon with every time they race and are consistently inching closer to their breakout performance.

In addition to the driver appearances, a car corral and additional fan attractions are planned for this special fan appreciation party on the Route 66 Raceway starting line.  Admission to the party is restricted to O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals ticket buyers.  Purchase your tickets on or before Thursday, June 9 to join the party.  So don’t wait and order your tickets when you can buy now and enjoy another memorable evening with these professional drivers.

The Starting Line Party begins at 6:00 PM CDT on Thursday, June 9, 2011.  Stay tuned into for continuous updates.

To order O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals tickets, call (888) 629-RACE or visit

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Joliet, IL 60433
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