Current Drag Racing Headlines
February 21, 2018
In an unprecedented move, Norwalk (Summit Motorsport park) has upped the anti for the Top Alcohol classes at their LODRS regional event in May, (see below).
In Top Alcohol
Funny Car, which features 270-plus mph vehicles, and Top Alcohol Dragster,
which features 285-plus mph vehicles, the payout for qualifying includes
$1,000 for first, $900 for second, $800 for third, $700 for fourth, $600
for fifth, $500 for sixth, $400 for seventh, $300 for eighth and $150
for ninth through twelfth place qualifiers.
last time I checked, a 260-plus mph dragster or Funny Car is damn exciting
to watch, said Bill Bader Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park.
Our Top Alcohol classes are critical to our long-term sustainability,
and the additional $11,600 is money well-invested.
February 18, 2018
One of the biggest small tire drag races is on this weekend SGMP (Valdosta Georgia), Lights Out 9. The Lazic's (Roy and Jordie) made the trek again this year. They have a 959 Sonny's bullet in the family Firebird this year. Jordie qualified real well running a best of a 4.38 in qualifying. He made it to the 1/4 finals and faced off against hitter Josh Klugger. Klugger ran the first ever "3" in Pro 275 Racing. In the 1/4's Krugger took the win with a 4.14/183 to a very game and quicker leaving 4.29/173 by the Gen III team. Great effort Jordie and Roy. The car will be a beast on the West Coast.
February 17, 2018
February 11, 2018
A wild weekend at Pomona for Team Force as Both John and Brittany have on track incidents. John had a huge blower explosion Friday at the end of his second qualifier. The team brought out a new car for Saturday and qualified in the top half of the field. Today in round one of eliminations, Brittany lost traction and in her recovery process, she hit the wall hard and then crossed back into her lane where the car tore apart. She was okay, pretty badly bruised and battered. She spent the night in Hospital. The two week break should give her enough time to heal up. Pro winners were Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel over Tony Schumacher. In Fuel Funny Car it was Matt Hagan over Robert Hight 3.82 over 3.86, both drivers were over 335 mph. In Pro Stock it was Bo Butner defeating Jason Line.
In Lucas Oil Racing Top Alcohol racing Shawn Cowie defeated Garrett Bateman in TAD to take the first race of 2018. Obviously the goal for the Mundies team is to go one spot further in the standings then they did last year. Shawn ran as quick as a 5.21 on the weekend. In the final he ran a 5.33 over a tire smoking Bateman. In TAFC, it was Shane Westerfield defeating Ulf Leanders 5.42 - 5.50.
February 8th, 2018
On the eve of Pro qualifying for the Lucas Oil Winternationals......
A very interesting read written by one of the most knowledgeable Drag Racing experts I have ever met, Bret Kepner. Facebook does have its cool parts and this post by Kepner is one of them. For those that haven't heard NHRA is doing away with win lights during qualifying at National events.
In Sportsman qualifying , Shawn Cowie leads TAD with a 5.227/275 and Duane Shields is #2 with a 5.24/274 blast. Joey Severance was off pace with a 5.504. In TAFC, Doug Gordon is on top with a 5.45. Division Six racers Brian Hough and Chris Marshall are #2 and 3 with 5.458 and 5.473.
A number of Division SIx and Canadian racers are inattendnance in the other sportsman classes. Mike Lucas, defending Div 6 TS racer is there, John Tiegen (TS), Brian Ritchie (TD), Grant Durie (TD), Graham Foster (TS), Rick Pike (Super Stock), Darrell Stobbe (Super Stock), Rick McKinney (Super Stock), Darcy Clarke (Super Stock), Norm LaPointe (Super Stock) and Don Thomas (Super Stock) . The Super Classes will also have a number of Canucks in attendance. Nitro Harley will compete this weekend as well and I epect a few Canadians competing as well.
We are back..........
After over a month away from local and North American Drag Racing news, partly due to deadline projects for my other job and partly due to internet and power outages between Christmas and New Year's. We are slowly getting back to form here.
What the format will be and how much time overall here at SpeedZone depends on a number of factors.
For now we hope everyone had a great holiday season and are getting primed for the new season. The NHRA big show is only a few days away. A number of changes have been announced for the 2018 season by NHRA. Included but not limited to are: 1. Pro Stock, any motor (Chevy, Ford, Mopar) can be used with any body style from 2009 and later. Funny Car will have a rev limiter similar to what is used by Top Fuel (in hopes of keeping speeds well below 330mph.
The biggest news from the NHRA is the closure of Old Bridge Township Raceway (Englishtown NJ) for Drag Racing events effective immediately. National events have been held there for almost 50 years and it was one of the Premier events in the NHRA. The Rapp family received an offer (lease) that was too good to turn down. Virginia Motorsport Park is now back on the schedule and will host the VirginiaNationals. That track's new owner Tommy Franklin (Pro Mod standout) is very excited to host an NHRA National event. The race will include Pro Mod.
Pre-season testing is at Wild Horse in Phoenix and by the looks of testing all top teams are right where they left off last year. One notable team, Mike Salina's 'Scrapper Racing' will run full time in 2018 and he is right near the top in testing, running a career best 3.731. Doug Kalitta lead all drivers with a 3.68 best.
Here are Friday's best TF numbers.
331.12 - Doug Kalitta
Saturday's best saw Leah Pritchett run the fastest speed in the 1000 foot era. she ripped off a 3.664 334.73. Brittany Rorce was #2 with a .3.692 327.43
Saturday saw Matt Hagan and Robert Hight run the best numbers. Hagan went 4.843/332.84 and Hight's best was a 3.880/332.02
The Funny Cars are led by Courtney Force with a best of 3.83 on Friday. The Funny Cars mandated lower RPM this year has still shown 300 mph is still in their wheelhouse.
329.99 - Courtney Force
Shawn Langdon is behind the wheel of a Kalitta Flopper this year as he replaces the retiring Alexis DeJoria. NFC racer and past TAFC driver Robert Townsend will race in big show Funny Car this year, no word on whether is will be a West Coast based season for the Californian or a more extensive schedule. Chad Green was driver Tim Wilkerson's Floppe
Pro Stock Saturday, Pro Stock saw the rest of the Summit team show up alongside Bo Butner. Erica Enders topped the list with a .572 at 208.97 in her Melling Performance / Elite Motorsports Camaro. Greg Anderson ran 6.595 at 209.20 in his Summit Camaro.
Pro Stock is usually much more under the radar as a couple of the top teams (Summit and Gray) usually test for at least a month during the off season at various southern tracks. Erica and the Elite/Melling Camaro, the Jegs/ Elite Camaro are at Phoenix as is the Elite/Gas Monkey Camaro and Chris Mcgaha. The World Champ Bo Butner, is the only Summit team at Wild Horse. Vince Nobile after taking off the Countdown last year will run full time as will V. Gaines in 2018. V. will have Chevy Power.
Local racer Shawn Cowie is the as well and he will testing today through early in the week before heading to Pomona in hopes of moving up one spot in the standings by the end of 2018. Pro Mod will be a bit different this year with a few notable new names on the NHRA list, and it is Female strong. Erica Enders will compete with Elite Turbo power, Lizzy Musi will also be in the NHRA this year. Melanie Salemi will compete as well. Three strong women representing all three power adders.
here is an update to the Terry McHardy celebration of Life has been changed
to Saturday April 14, 2018 1:00-4:30. at the Quality Inn Conference Centre
Tributes to start at 1:30pm
Mission Raceway will have an entirely different Look this year as all the tall Cottonwood trees that lined the staging lanes and return road were removed in late October. The monster trees were decaying at a rapid rate and there was big concern for damage to race cars support vehicles and of course racers and fans.
Mission Raceway's Schedule has a few major additions this year as well. They added a second Old Time Drag Race. They will host the Eagle Motorplex Reunion race in June, something I have fought for for a number of years, and it includes the Rocky Mountain Funny Cars. Two weeks later in the middle of June they will host for the first time ever in Canada a Double Header LODRS event. Race one will begin Wednesday the 13th with a test n tune and then Thursday and Friday Race one (without Top Alcohol competing in race #1, but they will begin qualifying for their weekend event Friday). Then race two, Saturday Sunday race #2 will complete. Having a double header will hopefully attract a few more US based teams have stayed away over the last decade due to rising travel costs.
Then the last weekend of June will see the start of Doorwarz VI. Every imaginable class of fast doorcars will compete headlined by Pro Mods of course. The third weekend of July has the return of the National Open and the Funny Cars. Three different Funny Car classes.
The Pro Mods are back the BC Day long weekend at the 26th annual Langley Loafers Old time Drags. Then the end of August has the SMS/Komatsu 'Smoke, Fire and Thunder" race. Jets, Wheelstanders, Pro Mods for the third time this year, and Nitro Harleys.
Pro Mods three times, a double header LODRS, two Loafers Old Time Drags and the Nitro Harleys competing five times (possibly six) at MRP in 2018.
The Division Six awards were held a few weekes ago and here are the special award winners:
Paul Dickey - Mark Lyle Hidden Hero
Claudette Dickey Janet Lang Gracious Lady Award
Joey Severance Top Alcohol Driver of the Year
Paul Nero Sportsman Driver of the Year
Charis Cannon Super Class Driver of the Year
Troy Johnston. Mel Bresaw Memorial ET Driver of the Year
Cooper Chun Don Rhyne Memorial ET Driver of the Year
Chris Barton Rod Hoerner Rookie of the Year
Steve Cooper Super Class Mechanic of the Year
Hal Sorenson Sportsman Mechanic of the Year
Derek Snelson - Promoter of the Year
2017 Hall of Fame Inductees
Cal & MaryAnn Method
Division Six champions
Lucas Oil Series regional TAD Champion: Shawn Cowie. Lucas Oil Series champions: Jeff Lane- Comp Eliminator, Jody Lang - Super Stock, Jody Lang - Stock Eliminator, Justin Cooper - Super Comp, Chris Cannon - Super Gas, Todd Sims - Super Street, Rig Rentals Top Dragster Champion-Paul Nero, JBS Top Sportsman Champion-Mike Lucas, Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson-Don DePeel.
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Bob Wilson....special correspondent