D1: Yoichi Imamura of Yamanashi, Japan, drove his ORC/Top Secret Nissan Fairlady Z to victory in the 2007 edition of the Las Vegas D1 Grand Prix at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Yoichi, 30, was the series' 2003 champion and faced tall odds in Las Vegas with his relatively-heavy (by drifting standards) Nissan on the hot desert asphalt.  He qualified in the top 16 (a.k.a. "Best 16) and waded past Michihiro Takatori, Ken Nomura and 2006 Las Vegas winner Toshiki Yoshioka to meet Hideo Hiraoka of Tochigi, Japan, in the final.  Hiraoka's Drift Speed Nissan Silvia (s15) was a worthy opponent on the flat, high-speed course, but Imamura prevailed in the final judging to claim the $5,000 winner's check.

Competition was tight and a number of matches were decided by "sudden death" reruns.  The Las Vegas D1 Grand Prix for professional drift drivers was paired with the Las Vegas NHRA Sport Compact Nationals and Extreme Autofest.

The next event at The Strip at LVMS will be BFGoodrich Midnight Mayhem on Friday, Aug. 10.  For more information, please call The Strip's office at (702) 632-8213 or visit http://www.lvms.com/.

Best 16
Toshiki Yoshioka defeated Ernie Fixmer.
Katsuhiro Ueo defeated Kazuyoshi Okamura.
Yoichi Imamura defeated Michihiro Takatori.
Ken Nomura defeated Justin Pawlak.
Kazuhiro Tanaka defeated teammate Nobushige Kumakubo.
Tetsuya Hibino defeated Ryan Hampton.
Hideo Haraoka defeated Daigo Saito.
Takahiro Ueno defeated Quoc Ly.

Best 8
Toshiki Yoshioka defeated Katsuhiro Ueo.
Yoichi Imamura defeated Ken Nomura.
Kazuhiro Tanaka defeated Tetsuyo Hibino.
Hideo Hiraoka defeated Takahiro Ueno.

Yoichi Imamura defeated Toshiki Yoshioka.
Hideo Hiraoka defeated Kazuhiro Tanaka.

Yoichi Imamura defeated Hideo Hiraoka.


Contact: Brian Hacker (626) 428-0280


LAS VEGAS - Scott Kelley gained his first win in two years and the first for Toyota in the Honda Tuning All Motor category at the Las Vegas NHRA Sport Compact Nationals.

The others winners of the NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series race were Jason Hunt (Pro FWD), Brent Rau (Modified), Stephanie Eggum (Hot Rod), and Gary White (Pro RWD).

Kelley, who in the past was known for driving a Volkswagen, guided his Toyo Tires Bullet Toyota Corolla to the win over Leslie Armendariz.  It was a tight race, but Kelley was able to win with a time of 10.04 seconds at 133.65 mph.  He gained the lead off the starting line with his quicker reaction.  This is his sixth career win.

"It is very, very exciting," said Kelley.  "It's been a while.  It could not be a more perfect day having Dad (Larry) in the final (Quick 16) and win.  I'm more excited that he won.  He's been racing since the ‘60's and this is his first Wally.  He deserved it.   It's just awesome."

Hunt, who came into Saturday as the No. 1 qualifier, gained his third win in 2007 and sixth career win by defeating Gary Gardella.  Hunt's Matco Tools Chevy Cobalt ran easily to the win when Gardella rolled through the starting line beams before the Christmas Tree activated.  The winning time and speed were 7.66 seconds at 195.76 mph.

"It felt like a huge weight lifted off our shoulders," said Hunt.  "We're in Vegas and it cooled off and we survived.  This class is so up in the air when you go to the line.  I really wanted to race Gary, but he had trouble.  I can't wait for Indy."

Marty Ladwig, the leader in points coming into Las Vegas was able to gather the track record for time at 7.54 seconds.

Brent Rau came into Las Vegas looking to prove that he still had the power to win, and he certainly showed everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with in 2007.  While he had some restrictions put on him to cut back his power he still was powerful enough to be the No. 1 qualifier and win the event.  He drove his Mitsubishi Eclipse to the win over rival Paul Efantis.  It was a great side-by-side race with Rau racing to the win in 7.37 seconds at 183.54 mph to Efantis' 7.52 seconds at 181.89 mph.  This was Rau's second win in 2007.

"I needed that one," said Rau.  "I had a bye run in the first round and still ran a 7.40.  In the second round I raced Ken (Scheepers) who unfortunately went red.  In that round I had problems in the bell housing when the clutch sheared the flywheel bolts off.  We replaced everything between rounds.  In the final I pulled up to race Paul and did my normal routine.  I went in first and got out on him.  It was a good race.  I'll tell you, Paul and the MSP team can't ever be taken lightly.  They are the defending world champions."

Hot Rod had the largest field it has seen this season.  Eggum took care of the field by winning her third race of the season and sixth career win.  She drove her Eggum Racing Honda Civic to the win by defeating Kenny Tran.  Eggum's starting line advantage propelled her to the win.  She won with a track record time of 8.04 seconds at 181.69 mph.

It was an up and down weekend for Eggum when she overheated and nearly passed out after the first round of qualifying.  After that round she was last in the qualifying positions.  The second round of qualifying treated her very kindly when she came out and gained her fourth top qualifier position.

"I wanted to win here so bad," said Eggum.  "It is such a great track.  I am now up 24 points with the No. 1 qualifier and the win.  I was exhausted from the heat and recovered well.  Aside from the glitches I had a consistent car.  I'm happy."

White gained his first win of the season and third career win by defeating his Titan Motorsports teammate Brad Personett.  He raced his, new to him, Scion tC to the win when Personett had a red light start.  His still ran a time of 6.90 seconds at 204.91 mph.

Despite his red light, Personett ran the quickest time and speed of the weekend of 6.76 seconds at 210.21 mph.  These numbers earned him the track records.

"I wish we'd gone faster," said White.  "It was a good weekend.  I went down the track a couple of times in my new car.  It felt good.  What happened is payback for Virginia where I red -lighted but beat him down the track.  This was the same kind of deal"


Gary Lee White, New Market, Ala., '05 Celica, 6.906, 204.91 def. Brad Personett, Elkhart, Ind., '08 Scion, foul.


Jason Hunt, Crofton, Md., '07 Cobalt, 7.663, 195.73 def. Gary Gardella, Howell, N.J., '07 Cobalt, broke.


Brent Rau, St Francis, Minn., '99 Eclipse, 7.377, 183.54 def. Paul Efantis, Ijamsville, Md., '03 Solara, 7.523, 181.89.


Stephanie Eggum, Elgin, Ill., '00 Civic, 8.044, 181.69 def. Kenny Tran, Garland, Texas, '06 tC, 8.244, 173.03.


Scott Kelley, Anaheim, Calif., '07 Corolla, 10.048, 133.65 def. Leslie Durst-Armendariz, Long Beach, Calif., '06 tC, 10.532, 138.03.


Ali Afshar, Castaic, Calif., '04 Subaru, 11.454, 87.19 def. Myrt Frazier, Shiprock, N.M., '90 Talon, 16.979, 103.18.


Cortney Green, Taylorsville, Utah, '95 Civic, 9.619, 152.14 def. Kevin Van Natten, Belford, N.J., '04 SRT-4, 10.058, 143.83.


Frank Silovangkhoth, Sunset, Utah, '94 Civic, 12.663, 107.45 def. Loan Nguyen, Burke, Va., '99 Civic, 12.720, 110.24.


Larry Kelley, Yorba Linda, Calif., '56 Beetle, 11.098, 121.49 def. Charles Perry, Cibolo, Texas, '96 Honda, 10.910, 135.14.


Henry Smith, Goshen, Utah, '05 Ion, 15.71, 89.12 def. Eric Espinueva, '07 Honda, Vallejo, Calif., 18.39, 66.85


Edwin Argueta, Reseda, Calif., '98 Integra, 13.47, 100.34, def. Charlie McDade, North Las Vegas, Nev., '93 Civic, foul


Jason Whitenack, Boulder City, Nev., '02 ZX, 9.01, 141.89 def. Russell Odegaard, North Las Vegas, Nev., '83 Suzuki, 8.46, 152.38