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Lagana happy with runner-up at The Rock

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Media Contact: Bobby Lagana Jr.






New York-based Top Fuel driver sees progress in North Carolina


ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (April 26, 2007) – Bobby Lagana Jr. came up just short at the IHRA Spring Nationals in Rockingham, N.C., but the loss left him optimistic with 10 of 12 IHRA national events remaining on the 2007 national event schedule.


The Scarsdale , N.Y. resident and his Dinwiddie, Virginia-based Twilight Zone Top Fuel team overcame the early-season struggle in San Antonio , where he fell in the first round, to advance to the final at Rockingham Dragway. Though T.J. Zizzo walked away with the Ironman, Lagana and crew chief Jay Lewis walked away with the knowledge that they may have figured out the new IHRA-mandated Goodyear tire.


“We struggled a little bit on the new tire because we didn’t have a lot of runs on it,” Lagana said. “We were kind of feeling our way along until we could build up enough information for Jay Lewis to know which way to go with it. Jay did a great job this weekend and I think he figured a few things out. We should be in good shape for the next race in Tulsa .”


Lagana qualified in the #6 position at the Spring Nationals before defeating Bruce Litton, the winner in San Antonio , in the first round. Lagana’s first round 4.698 at 308.92 mph was a season-best and easily outdistanced Litton’s 5.672 at 164.69.


In the semifinal he squared off with Michael Gunderson. Gunderson lit the red-light with a -.192 reaction time, giving the round victory to Lagana who, with the win in hand, idled down the track.


“The left lane was not nearly as good as the right lane, and looking back maybe we should have went after lane choice in the semifinals,” Jay Lewis said. “But we were saving parts and thought we would be okay in the left lane. It was the right decision at the time and in the end it kind of cost us.”


In the final Zizzo had a slight .006 advantage at the tree, but Lagana caught up to him by half track and had a slim lead at the 1,000 foot mark. But the motor of his ’06 McKinney Dragster put two holes out in the last half of the track, allowing Zizzo to nip him at the finish line. Zizzo posted a 4.772/297.16 pass to Lagana’s 4.916/266.85.


“We didn’t get the win, but we had a great weekend,” Lagana said. “My father was able to come down for the race, our good friend Al LaManna was here and Jay’s father Sam was here. It was great getting to the final, it was even better with so much family here. Plus we left in fourth place in the points. It’s really early in the season and we think we have figured things out. This year should be exciting.”


Lagana and the Twilight Zone Top Fuel team will be back in action May 25-27 at the Skull Shine Sooner Nationals at Tulsa Raceway Park.


About Bobby Lagana Racing

Bobby Lagana Jr. is in his ninth year of competition in the International Hot Rod Association’s Top Fuel class. Following in the footsteps of his father, noted Funny Car pilot Bob Lagana, he began driving professionally at the age of 19 and enjoyed his most successful season last year. In 2006 he won two of the 11 IHRA national events, in Grand Bend, Ontario and Epping , New Hampshire , eventually finishing third in world championship points standings. Following the season he was awarded IHRA’s most prestigious award, the IHRA Sportsman of the Year, at the season-ending champion’s banquet in Greensboro , N.C. His Crew Chief, Jay Lewis, also was honored at the champion’s banquet, being selected as IHRA Professional Crew Chief of the Year. Lagana’s primary sponsor is Skull Shine, an industrial-strength cleaning product that is part of Michigan-based fuel magnate Evan Knoll’s line of racing and automobile-related products. Lagana also has a primary sponsorship agreement with Pelham Lumber. For more information about Skull Shine or Torco Racing Fuels, visit the company’s website at www.torco.com. Lagana also has associate sponsorship from Tom Stephens Racing, Eric “Lippy,” Bryant Neville Racing, Lichenstein Motorsports, RMI Titanium, Innovative Machine and Powertech Generators. The team has product sponshrship from Fram, Autolite, Prestone, Lucas Oil Products, Coastal Utilities, Howards Cams, Goodyear Tires, Storm Crankshaft, Ed Milano & DSI Cleaners, Beechwood Auto Body and Mr. Sign. For more information about Bobby Lagana Jr. and his Twilight Zone Top Fuel team, visit www.bobbylagana.com.


About IHRA

Headquartered in Norwalk , Ohio , the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), a division of Live Nation, promotes professional, semi-professional and local level racing opportunities for drivers at all levels. The $19.5 million Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam™ Drag Racing Series is a 12-event North American professional drag racing circuit. In 2007, the series will be comprised of nine events in major cities throughout the United States and three in Canada . The Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Championship presented by Mr. Gasket consists of competition at national events and 40 events in six regional divisions, while IHRA’s Summit SuperSeries is conducted nearly every weekend at over 70 IHRA-sanctioned tracks. Providing a safe environment to develop future stars, IHRA offers the Junior Dragster Racing Series for youths ages 8-17. Stand-alone events include Live Nation’s entertainment-filled “Thunder Jam” shows and the street legal racing and lifestyle event series Kumho Street Warriorz presented by Hooters. More information can be found at www.ihra.com.



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