CMKXtreme Machine team aiming

for a big weekend in Las Vegas  


Courtesy of Bill Walters



The next race for Jeff Arend and the CMKXtreme Machine Funny Car team may be their most important stop all season on the NHRA tour. The sixth annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the home event for the team¿s major sponsor, Las Vegas resident Urban Casavant, current CEO and Chairman of the Board of CMKM Diamonds.


Casavant is the man responsible for putting Arend back behind the wheel of a 7,000 horsepower fuel flopper one year ago at this same event. The CMKXtreme team will be taking their new Monte Carlo body off the shelf in honor of Casavant in Las Vegas, with the anticipation of Arend setting a new elapsed time record for the team.


Arend enters his third career start at Las Vegas fresh off of a solid weekend in Houston one week ago. The 42-year-old Canadian native qualified ninth in Texas with a 4.86 and made a series of consistent low 4.90 runs during qualifying. Despite going out in the first round against Tommy Johnson Jr., Arend maintained his hold on 13th place in the POWERade Drag Racing Series national point standings, and is less than four rounds out of the top 10 after four races.


¿This is a huge race for the entire CMKXtreme Racing team,¿ said Arend enthusiastically. ¿It¿s extremely important to put on a good show here because many of the people that originally helped form the team will be in the grandstands cheering us on and we have a lot of fans in Vegas. I feel very confident going into the event. The CMKXtreme Machine is running very consistent and the team is working well together. Once we¿re safely qualified for the show we¿ll see what the track will be able to handle. Paul Smith is capable of putting a solid 4.70 tune up in the race car and we¿ll be ready and eager to go some rounds during eliminations on Sunday.¿


Arend and CMKX teammate, Tony Bartone, will be participating in a free NHRA driver autograph session at ESPN Zone (at the New York New York Hotel and Casino), Thursday evening, April 14, from 7-8 p.m.