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JFR_ProWinterWarmUp640Unseasonably cold weather has forced the Professional Racers Owners Organization (PRO) and Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) officials to move up the racing schedule for the 4th annual PRO Winter Warm-Up.

The two Nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel sessions will now be contested at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 17-18). While teams have been testing at the track since Tuesday continued cold temperatures have impacted performance and safety as temperatures drop later in the day.

“This was a tough decision but it was one we felt we needed to make to insure we have the safest possible conditions for our drivers, crews and fans.  As the sun goes down the temperatures drop rapidly and it makes it extremely hard for these 10,000 horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars when it comes to traction and acceleration,” said Bob Tasca III, PRO Board Member.

The track will be opening the spectator gates at 1 p.m. each day so fans can meet the drivers before the show starts. The track will also be honoring unused tickets from last year’s event which lost a day of racing action due to rain. Fans can simply bring their ticket to the box office on Friday or Saturday and receive a ticket for the 2014 race.

This event brings together all the top names in professional drag racing as race teams test and tune their Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars in anticipation of the 2014 race season. The PRO Winter Warm‐up, presented by Bennett Auto Supply, will feature an impressive group of drag racing’s elite including: Newly crowned NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, 2009 Funny Car champion Robert Hight, 2012 NHRA Rookie of the Year Courtney Force and 2013 Rookie of the Year and Top Fuel driver Brittany as well as Al‐Anabi Racing drivers, 2013 Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon and Khalid alBalooshi.

Additionally, in his return to Don Schumacher Racing, Tommy Johnson Jr. will join teammates seven-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, 2012 Top Fuel champion Antron Brown, 2012 Funny Car champion Jack Beckman, 2011 Funny Car champion Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Spencer Massey. Kalitta Motorsports drivers Del Worsham and Alexis DeJoria will also be in attendance. Other drivers racing at PBIR include Chad Head, Bob Tasca III, Cruz Pedregon, Terry McMillen, Richie Crampton and Bob Vandergriff Jr.

Among the fastest‐accelerating machines in the world, 10,000‐horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars accelerate from 0‐to‐100 mph in less than a second and reach top speeds in excess of 300 mph. Fans will not only have the opportunity to watch the action on the track; they can also experience the thrill of being up close and personal in the pits, as teams rebuild their engines after each pass.

Two‐day spectator tickets for the PRO Winter Warm‐up are $50 for adults, $25 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and under. Parking is free at PBIR for all guests.

For more information, visit, call 561.622.1400, and follow the event on Twitter @RacePBIR with #PROwarmup.

(Photo courtesy JFR)

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This story was originally published on January 17, 2014. Drag Illustrated

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