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NHRA drivers enjoy an afternoon of bowling with Sean Rash


Known for piloting their top fuel dragsters and funny cars at more than 300 mph in National Hot Rod Association competition, Kalitta Motorsports drivers JR Todd (left), Richie Crampton and Shawn Langdon also have been known to get their competitive juices flowing as avid league bowlers.

The three NHRA stars, who will be competing this weekend in the JEGS Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., spent Thursday afternoon with 12-time PBA Tour winner Sean Rash at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, Ill., getting a few tips from the former PBA Player of the Year in hopes of improving their games.

Featured photo left NHRA Kalitta Motorsports drivers Shawn Langdon, JR Todd, 12-time PBA Tour winner Sean Rash, Kalitta Motorsports driver Richie Crampton and FOX reporter Amanda Busick.

All three drivers bowl in a “Racers” league for drivers and crew members at Brownsburg Bowl in Brownsburg, Ind., where several NHRA teams are based, during the off season.

“I grew up a block away from Durbin Lanes in Lawrenceburg, Ind., so it was only natural to hang out there,” said the 36-year-old Todd (left) who holds a 180 average.

“At first I went there to play the video games but then I thought I should give bowling a try. After a while I really got into it and eventually joined a junior league and was in a junior travelling league when I was in high school. It was a lot of fun so I’ve stayed with it ever since. Righ photo: Shawn Langdon.

“I’m definitely into it (bowling),” he added. “I catch it on TV whenever I can.” Todd must have been a quick learner as he proceeded to post games of 217 and 220 during an informal match between the three drivers and Rash.

“When I found out about us being able to bowl with Sean I was pumped about it,” Todd added. “You don’t want to miss an opportunity to get some tips from one of the best in the sport.”Left photo: Richie Crampton.

Rash also had admiration for the drivers. “I’ve had quite a few 300 games in my career,” said Rash, who is the only player to bowl two 300 games in televised PBA Tour finals. “But I wouldn’t mind going 300 mph like these guys do one day.”

Also on hand was FOX NHRA pit reporter Amanda Busick (right) who was taping a bowling feature for the FOX telecast of the Route 66 Nationals this weekend. PBA will join NHRA as part of the sports lineup on the FOX family of sports networks in 2019.

The bowling feature is scheduled to air on FS1’s Route 66 Nationals coverage Sunday between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. ET.

So far this season Todd has won twice in NHRA’s funny car division and Crampton has one win in top fuel.

Wes Malott’s Sante Fe High School Fund-Raiser tops its goal

Ten-time PBA Tour champion Wes Malott (pictured) set out to raise $5,000 to benefit the families’ of victims of the recent high school shooting tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas, and as word got out to the bowling community, help came in from all directions in the form of product donations from bowling product manufacturers, signed merchandise from his fellow PBA competitors and, most important, cash.

Malott held a raffle drawing during his annual Malott’s All-Stars Youth Championships tournament over the weekend in Austin, Texas, awarding prizes to multiple winners during a Facebook Live event, and announced his fundraiser had surpassed $8,000.

Xtra Frame’s weekend coverage includes PBA Xtra Frame Tour, PWBA event

This weekend’s Xtra Frame schedule kicks off a busy summer, including start-to-finish coverage of the PBA Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open from Hijinx Family Entertainment Center in Jonesboro, Ark., Saturday and Sunday.

Canada’s Francois Lavoie will defend his 2017 title in the third of eight Xtra Frame PBA Tour events on the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule. Qualifying round coverage is set for 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, followed by the cashers round Sunday at 9:30 a.m., match play at 1 p.m. and the stepladder finals at 3:30 p.m.

The PWBA East Hartford Open from Silver Lanes in East Hartford, Conn., will air Saturday on Xtra Frame, with coverage of the stepladder finals at 4:45 p.m. ET.

PBA50 players will be competing in the USBC Senior Masters, which will be live streamed on USBC’s bowl.tv.

On tap for Xtra Frame subscribers is the PBA Xtra Frame Lubbock Sports Open from South Plaines Lanes in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday-Sunday, June 9-10; the PWBA Louisville Open, Friday-Saturday, June 8-9, and the Suncoast PBA Senior U.S. Open from Las Vegas, Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15.

For subscription and schedule information click here.

PBA Regional Update: Chris Warren ties for overall regional titles lead

Chris Warren (right) of Grants Pass, Ore., defeated Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 267-256, in the PBA50 Vanessa Brown Homes West Open Sunday at Yosemite Lanes in Modesto, Calif., to tie Dale Traber of Cedarburg, Wis., for the all-time lead in overall PBA Regional titles won.

Warren, 54, won his fifth PBA50 Regional title to go with 47 standard regional titles to bring his overall titles total to 52, moving into a tie with Traber (left) who has 39 standard and 13 PBA50 regional wins. Both are one ahead of PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber (below right), who has 51 titles. Warren also picked up a $1,500 first prize.

In the PBA50 semifinal round, Warren eliminated Craig Miller of Tracy, Calif., 241-186, and Kretzer defeated Ty Dawson of Sunnyvale, Calif., 236-181.

In the standard regional as part of the weekend, 40-year-old Warren Crawford (lft) of McKinleyville, Calif., in his first year of PBA membership, defeated Wayne Garber of Modesto, 245-214, to win the Vanessa Brown Homes West Open, presented by Track. In addition to the $2,000 first prize, Crawford picked up his first PBA Regional title.

Crawford defeated Scott Boyle of Salida, Calif., 229-180, in the semifinal round while Garber advanced to the title match by defeating Russ Oviatt of Chandler, Ariz., 236-227.

Steve Jaros (right) of Yorkville, Ill., defeated Dave Beres of Waukesha, Wis., 185-165, to win his 43rd PBA Regional title in the PBA Celeste Walker Midwest Open, presented by American Family Insurance, at Strike N Spare II in Lockport, Ill., Saturday.

The title was Jaros’ first since 2010 and earned him a $1,800 first prize. Despite the lengthy gap between titles, the mostly-retired Jaros still ranks third on the all-time standard PBA Regional titles list behind leader Chris Warren (47) and Pete Weber (46).

Jaros defeated amateur Kyle Anderson of Lockport, 254-213 and Beres edged Anthony LaCaze of Elgin, Ill., 244-181, in the semifinal round to set up the championship match.

Brent Tishuk (left, with assistent manager Jen Sparks) of Belvidere, N.J., defeated Adam Chase of North Babylon, N.Y., 221-180, to win his first PBA title in the PBA Colony Park Lanes Eastern Challenge in York, Pa., on Saturday. PBA Challenge events are open to any member or non-member who has never won a PBA event.

Tishuk, a second-year member, had not finished higher than fourth place in PBA competition prior to this event. He was nursed his way through a muscle pull sustained earlier in the day to defeat Chase, an eight-year member who had two career runner-up finishes prior to this event. Tishuk earned $1,500.

Kicking off the June PBA Regional calendar over the June 8-10 weekend will be the PBA Tumwater Northwest Open presented by DV8 at Tumwater Lanes in Tumwater, Wash., and the one-day, reduced entry fee Elkhart Central/Midwest Open presented by 900 Global on June 10 at Country Club Lanes in Elkhart, Ind.

The June 15-17 PBA Regional calendar includes the Timmy See Memorial Tavares South Open presented by MOTIV at Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla.

PBA Regional activity over the June 22-24 weekend will be the Homefield Bowl Eastern Open presented by MOTIV in Yonkers, N.Y.; the Pro Bowl West Central/Midwest Challenge presented by Storm in Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort Southwest Doubles at FireLake Bowling Center in Shawnee, Okla.

For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here to find the event(s) in your area.

Quick Notes

Facebook fans can now add a PBA-themed frame to photos, thanks to a new feature added by PBA. Three Facebook photo frame options are available. To use one of the frames, go to your Facebook page, and click on your profile photo (to change or update…). You will see an option next to the “update photo” that says “add frame.” Click add frame and search PBA to select the frame you like.

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Herbert Bickel