Speed Weekend is Here in Memphis with the 20th Annual NHRA O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Jarvis Greer

Speed Weekend is Here in Memphis with the 20th Annual NHRA O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals

One thing the National Hot Rod Association has over any of form of auto racing..It's top stars are the most fan accessible in the Business.

That's true Thursday night down on Beale Street, as Popular Drivers like John Force, Auto Racings' Driver of the Year and star of his own Cable TV series, meets and greets the fans..along with several other drivers on the NHRA Circuit.

Force, the 14-time and defending Funny Car Champion, says he can't wait to put his 8,000 horsepower, 300 mile per hour machine on the Memphis Track.

"Everybody loves coming to Memphis. We get to represent our sponsors Castrol and Ford.. It's Cool here.. I saw Elvis at 1,000 feet. But, what I want to see is win lights. This is a very important week in the chase for the Championship in the NHRA...and boy, we gotta make some moves here."

Something New for the NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series in Memphis..

Racing down the track will be a Female ready to run her Motorcycle at more than 190-miles per hour..

But wait, Female racers have run Drag bikes here before... i.e. multi-time points champion Angelle Sampey..

But, Peggy Lewellyn is making her first trip to Memphis..

She's Fresh out of driving school, but has run well enough to qualify for the 8th and final spot in the countdown for the NHRA Season Championship.

She says she learned the old fashioned way...watching her Father.

"My Dad used to own a shop, and he raced Motorcycles..  I picked it up when i was 7 years old and have loved it ever since. (as far as what the guys think about what i do?) Oh i tell them i can ride a bike, and it's much faster than yours!"

Back to the 4-wheel category, top fuel driver Hot Rod Fuller can't wait to get back on track at the MotorSports Park..

The 2005 Memphis Champion, Fuller, who's from Rogers in Northwest Arkansas, claims the Quarter Mile here as his home.

"Picking up my first Pro title here in Memphis was just awesome! I'm currently running in third place in the points, so having the chance to pick up points and jump back into first and doing it on my home track.. i just love coming here."

First round action gets underway at 3:45pm Friday..

Round Two lights up the night with second round runs beginning at 6:15.

Racing continues through the finals Sunday at the Memphis MotorSports Park.

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