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Joe Amato

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October 27, 1987 | SHAV GLICK, Times Staff Writer
For nearly as long as top-fuel dragsters have been covering the quarter mile from standing starts, Don Garlits has been the standard setter. Big Daddy and his succession of home-built Swamp Rats from Seffner, Fla., were the first to better 170 m.p.h. back in 1957, then the first over 180, 200, 240, the historic 250 landmark at Ontario in 1975 and 270 last year.
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SPORTS
February 3, 2001 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Joe Amato has won six Budweiser Shootouts at Pomona Raceway--no one else has won more than two--and had reached the semifinals in the 2000 all-star top-fuel event before it was postponed last November for three months. Since then, however, Amato has retired, having undergone two laser eye surgeries to repair torn retinas.
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SPORTS
November 13, 2000 | SHAV GLICK
Joe Amato, the winningest top-fuel driver in drag-racing history, went out on a losing note Sunday after announcing his retirement an hour before the Auto Club Finals began at Pomona Raceway. Winner of a record five National Hot Rod Assn. championships, Amato, 56, said problems with torn retinas forced him to make Sunday his final appearance. "I'm not pleased to get out, but my doctor said I would be at risk if I continued racing, considering the high G-forces we undergo," he said.
SPORTS
September 6, 1987
Joe Amato, 43, became the first person in drag-racing history to exceed 280 m.p.h. when he drove at a top speed of 282.13 m.p.h. in qualifying for the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.
SPORTS
January 28, 1992 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If trust is a key to successful marriage, Joe Amato must be one of the most happily married men in the world. Amato, 47, drives a top-fuel dragster with mind-boggling acceleration. He goes from zero to 100 m.p.h. in one second. He's at nearly 300 m.p.h. in less than five seconds, riding up front in a 4,000-horsepower vehicle that weighs only 1,950 pounds. The only way to stop is with two parachutes--a primary one to slow the car and a second for an emergency.
SPORTS
August 24, 1992 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Joe Amato, Cruz Pedregon and Bob Glidden won at the National Hot Rod Assn. Champion Auto Stores Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. Amato won top fuel with a quarter-mile time of 5.029 seconds at 281.16 m.p.h. to defeat Eddie Hill, whose dragster's blower exploded when he hit the throttle at the line. Glidden used a time of 7.272 seconds at 187.42 m.p.h. to edge Scott Geoffrion at 7.399 seconds for the pro stock title. Pedregon drove 5.251 seconds at 278.98 m.p.h.
SPORTS
October 28, 1988
Top Fuel racer Joe Amato set a track record with an elapsed time of 5.03 seconds during the first round of qualifying Thursday for the National Hot Rod Assn. Winston Finals at Pomona. Funny Car driver Ed (Ace) McCulloch and Pro Stock driver Bruce Allen led their respective categories for the season-ending $937,400 event. Amato, of Old Forge, Pa., ran an elapsed time of 5.033 seconds at 281.33 m.p.h. in his dragster to take the No. 1 position and shatter Darrell Gwynn's record of 5.098 seconds.
SPORTS
September 6, 1988 | From Associated Press
Joe Amato coasted past Gene Snow to win the Top Fuel final and Kenny Bernstein took over the Winston Funny Car points lead by finishing second to Ed McCulloch Monday at the NHRA U.S. Nationals. Nine-time champion Bob Glidden won the Pro Stock final when Warren Johnson had a red-light start before a record crowd of more than 42,000 fans at the $1,367,650 event. Amato won his fourth race in the last five Winston Series events and maintained his Top Fuel points lead.
SPORTS
February 4, 2000 | SHAV GLICK and PAUL GUTIERREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Five-time top-fuel champion Joe Amato, driving a new Brad Hadman-built chassis, showed he was serious when he said he expected to win his record sixth NHRA championship this year. The 55-year-old driver from Exeter, Pa., scorched the Pomona Raceway strip with a 320.05-mph run in 4.666 seconds Thursday, the opening day of qualifying for the 40th Autozone Winternationals. Loss of sponsors and the high costs of campaigning a top-fuel dragster cut the entry to 19, the smallest in more than a decade.
SPORTS
November 10, 1997 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The remarkable winning streak of top-fuel driver Gary Scelzi in Alan Johnson's family-owned dragster at Pomona Raceway came to an end late Sunday afternoon when veteran Joe Amato turned back the rookie from Fresno in the championship round of the 33rd Winston Finals. The finish was a reversal of February's Winternationals at Pomona in which Scelzi beat Amato to begin a run that would keep him atop the points standings until he clinched the $200,000 Winston championship Thursday.
SPORTS
November 1, 1992 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If all goes as planned, drag racing, that swiftest of motorized sports, offers a confrontation today for the National Hot Rod Assn. top-fuel championship--Joe Amato, the boxer and defending champion, against Kenny Bernstein, the knockout artist and challenger. Their ring will be a 1,320-foot strip of concrete and asphalt--one-quarter mile--laid out on the parking lot of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona.
SPORTS
August 24, 1992 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Joe Amato, Cruz Pedregon and Bob Glidden won at the National Hot Rod Assn. Champion Auto Stores Nationals at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway. Amato won top fuel with a quarter-mile time of 5.029 seconds at 281.16 m.p.h. to defeat Eddie Hill, whose dragster's blower exploded when he hit the throttle at the line. Glidden used a time of 7.272 seconds at 187.42 m.p.h. to edge Scott Geoffrion at 7.399 seconds for the pro stock title. Pedregon drove 5.251 seconds at 278.98 m.p.h.
SPORTS
November 13, 2000 | SHAV GLICK
Joe Amato, the winningest top-fuel driver in drag-racing history, went out on a losing note Sunday after announcing his retirement an hour before the Auto Club Finals began at Pomona Raceway. Winner of a record five National Hot Rod Assn. championships, Amato, 56, said problems with torn retinas forced him to make Sunday his final appearance. "I'm not pleased to get out, but my doctor said I would be at risk if I continued racing, considering the high G-forces we undergo," he said.
SPORTS
November 2, 1991 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The 27th annual Winston Finals, delayed a week by rain, will resume today at the National Hot Rod Assn. drag strip on the Pomona Fairplex grounds. Featured will be the Budweiser Top Fuel Classic, an eight-car elimination among the leading point winners of the year. Joe Amato has won five of the six runnings, the last four in a row. The Budweiser winner will receive $50,000.
SPORTS
January 28, 1992 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If trust is a key to successful marriage, Joe Amato must be one of the most happily married men in the world. Amato, 47, drives a top-fuel dragster with mind-boggling acceleration. He goes from zero to 100 m.p.h. in one second. He's at nearly 300 m.p.h. in less than five seconds, riding up front in a 4,000-horsepower vehicle that weighs only 1,950 pounds. The only way to stop is with two parachutes--a primary one to slow the car and a second for an emergency.
SPORTS
November 2, 1991 | SHAV GLICK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The 27th annual Winston Finals, delayed a week by rain, will resume today at the National Hot Rod Assn. drag strip on the Pomona Fairplex grounds. Featured will be the Budweiser Top Fuel Classic, an eight-car elimination among the leading point winners of the year. Joe Amato has won five of the six runnings, the last four in a row. The Budweiser winner will receive $50,000.
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