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Current Drag Racing Headlines

May 22, 2017

The NHRA was in Topeka for the Canadian Victoria Day long weekend. Pro Mods were at this event for the first time. They were flying as per usual and all three different engine combos in the class were fast. A 5.74 by a nitrous car (Bob Rahaim), a 5.69 by a blower car (Mike Castellana) and 5.72 by a couple turbo cars. NW racer Shane Molinari ripped off an awesome 5.75 to qualify#3. He won round one but did not make the call Sunday morning for round two. Steve Jackson won Pro Mod . He defeated point leader Mike Castellana. The cool weather produce also produced killer runs by the Nitro Couples. Robert Hight ran 337 in qualifying to reset the quicker ever drag racing speed, including the 1/4 era. Matt Hagan improved on the run by 1 mph to go 338.85 He also reset the et record with a 3.802. Ron Capps was the winner though, as he defeated Hagan in the final. Five Top Fuelers ran in the 3.60's with two cars running 3.66 and three running 3.67. Antron Brown defeated Steve Torrence in the final round. Tanner Gray got his second win defeating a red lighting Jeg Coughlin.

Shawn Cowie got another National event win this year and he took the point lead with his win. While the team is on a pretty good run the surprise at Topeka was seeing Joey Severance fail to qualify there. John Lombardo Jr. defeated Annie Whiteley in the TAFC final.

All four of the Top Alcohol names listed above will play a huge role locally in the NW in Two weeks. The Lordco BC Nationals in just 11 days away and we are going to see a few of the top names in the world battling right here at Mission Raceway. Shawn Cowie and Joey Severance will battle it out right here in Mission as the #1 and #2 national point leaders will duke it out. What kind of ETS will see from those two cars, not to mention all the other competitors expected. There should be a full 8 car field with perhaps a couple cars outside the field. Annie Whiteley is expected to make her first foray into Canada with the Y-Not Alcohol Funny Car. Last year's car John Lombardo drove to a second place national finish should be here with new driver Robert Johneise. They were in Mission last week hoping to get a few shake down runs, but weather prevented that from happening. Brian Hough has found a tune-up that is working as he ran 5.40's this past weekend. All in all the Mission LODRS is shaping up to be a killer event. Oh ya to add to the weekend, Pro Mods will also be competing in the opening WDRL event of the year.

Here are last year's entry lists for TAD and TAFC

Shawn Cowie, Surrey BC,
Garrett Bateman, Albany OR,
Joey Severance, Woodburn OR,
Gord Gingles, Winnipeg MB,
Megan McKernan-Troxel, Sierra Madre CA
Kim Parker, Graham WA, Parker-BAE
Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita CA,
John William Leach, Calgary AB,
Greg Sereda, Spruce Grove AB,

Others who may enter

Brad Hansen (A/Fuel) Seattle, Wa
Serge Dion (A/Fuel) Edmonton
Don St Arnaud (A/Fuel) Edmonton
Todd Swinford (A/Fuel) Ore

Mike Doushgounian, San Martin CA, '13 Monte Carlo
Greg Hunter, Castle Rock CO, '11 Monte Carlo
Chris Marshall, McMinnville OR, '06 Mustang
Brian Hough, Junction City OR, '15 Camaro
Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls OR, '16 Chevrolet


Others who may enter

Jirka Kaplan Calgary, Ab
Russ Parker Ore
Randy Parker, Ore
Annie Whiteley, Co
Robert Johnseine, Seattle, Wa
Mark Tarabochia, Ore


The PRDA ran this past weekend in Darlington and notable for NW drivers was Scott Blake (Edmonton) running career bests on the weekend his ran in the 3.80's including a career best 3.807/198. Way to go Scott!

Norwalk ran their Cavalcade of the Stars Divional event this past weekend as well. and a past World Champion won driving in his first time in a new class. Larry Dixon driving the Jackson Bros. Tony Bartone TAFC took the Wally over Tony Bogolo. John Paul Gutierrez defeated Brandon Greco in TAD.

May 15, 2017

The first race at Mission Raceway finally got in the books. Rain on Saturday during most of the morning kept cars off the track and the Sunday forecast was not any better. But the day opened with clouds and sun and it stayed that way all Day. Smaller than usual cars counts (weather and Mother's Day related) had the day finish by 4:15 despite a terrifying crash by MRP club member and doorslammer competitor Henry Zacharais. He was debuting his brand new 55 chevy on its first shakedown pass. The car launched okay but moved slightly left. Henry corrected it and then was off the gas by just past half track. He was back on the gas then the car moved left and then hard right across the track into the right guard rail. The car was on the two left wheel as it hit the wall the rolled on top of the wall the front end tore to pieces and the engine was ripped off the mounts as well as both front wheels. The car then went over the wall coming to rest upside down 400 feet past where it originally hit the wall just past the finish line. I was just heading to the starting line to shot his first run but was 10 seconds late. Robert Fedyk from Media reaction caught all the action below. Henry suffered fairly minor injuries including a broken thumb, bumps and bruises and a sore mouth (bit his tongue). Hopefully he recovers soon and is back on the track. Race winners on Sunday were: Otto Schulte (Doorslammers), Dane Lachelt (Outlaws), Martin Rachel (S. Pro), Ray Bollinger (Pro), Sivia Hoostins (Sportsman), Roger Bouchard (Bike), Sydny Jung (Thunder), Emily Girard (Lightning), Kassie Tippe (Jr Street) and Bill Clifford (Hot Rod). Full results and final round photos are posted here.


May 6, 2017

This weekend is the first LODRS event for Division 6. It is the Firebird Ignitor. The event does not host the TA cars but the NFC Heritage series will be there. Unfortunately the event got of to a somber start as Comp racer Dan Barton was tragically killed when his lift gate on his trailer collapsed on him. Not other info is available. Heart felt condolences go out to Dan's family.

The NHRA big show is in Atlanta this weekend. Friday was not a good racing day there as rain affected qualifying for Pro Stock and the two Fuel cars. None went down the track. Pro Stock Motorcycle made a 3/4 pull as the top qualifiers did not get a hit before the rain came. Pro Mod did get in one session. The NW team owned by Jim Bell has Von Smith in the seat this year and he made a solid lap to start the weekend. Smith ran a 5.88 to sit solidly in the field. Shane Molinari was off the gas early in round one.


Last week at the Charlotte Four Wides local TAD standout Shawn Cowie won the event. He sits #3 in the standings right now. Ron Capps, Steve Torrence, Chris Mcgaha and LE Tonglet were pro winners. Mike Castellana won Pro Mod and Johan Lindberg won TAFC.

April 25, 2017

We are having major main computer issues right now and can't access any main hard drive files or emails. Most files are on portable hard drives so web sites including,,,,, and are all active and ok. It should affect normal operations. If you need to email Dean or speedzone please send them to or call me at 604 302 3907.

April 23, 2017

Final rounds update

Congratulations to Shane and Justin as they reach their first final round in J & A Pro Mod at Houston. Unfortunately the car rolled the beams before the tree was activated. Shane's opponent Shane Gray had a troubled run but he got the win.

Ron Capps won Funny Car over Robert Hight. The JFR driver crossed the centre line on his run. Leah Pritchett won Top Fuel over Steve Torrence. Both drivers ran 3.78. Bo Butner won Pro Stock over Jeg Coughlin. Both drivers had .061 lights but Butner had .01 more HP on the run. Joey Severance ran an awesome 5.18 / 277 in round two Sunday and he went on to defeat Mia Tedesco with a 5.20 to a 5.44. Doug Gordon won TAFC over Jay Payne.

April 22, 2017

The NHRA Spring Nationals is up this weekend and the J & A Pro Mods are running their second race of the year. The last year has been tough for NW Pro Mod teams but this winter major changes have taken place for the Molinari/Bond team and they are starting to pay dividends. New tuner/crew chief Brad Personett has the new car thumping! A couple wekks ago they tested in NHRA trim at the PDRA race qualifying in the Pro Boost class.

This weekend at Houston they ran the third quickest et in both Friday sessions. In the first session they went 5.83/256 then in round two a career best 5.792/257. Way to go guys! Leading Pro Mod after Friday is Mike Castellana. Driving a blown car this year, he ripped off a 5.759/250.

For the pros, it is Courtney Force leading Funny Car with a 3.85/330 (both track records). Top Fuel has Clay Millican on top with a 3.723/325. In Pro Stock it is Jeg Coughlin with a 6.557/210. In Top Alcohol it is Joey Severance on top with a 5.27/274 and Doug Gordon leads TAFC with a 5.535/265


Jim Bell make a huge announcement as well as he gets ready to debut his NHRA program for 2017. A few delays to start the season kept the team away from the first couple races. Jim has brought on Xtreme Racing and the Stevens family to build the motors and tune the car. Then he also announced that Von Smith will drive the car in 2017. They will test right away then hit the NHRA series.

Here is Jim's Facebook post this week.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from Jim Bell Racing is that VON SMITH will be the wheel man (as in taking over the driving) of my Camaro for the balance of the 2017 race season NHRA events. Both Carl and myself are really pumped about having a proven performer, former NHRA Pro Mod Champion driving for us this season. Our first test session will be at VMP (Virginia Motorsport Park) next Tuesday & Wed. Both Carl and myself are really excited about shaking down the Xtreme Racing NHRA legal Pro Mod engine.

Locally, Mission Raceway ran their first Mopac Street Legal race last night. It was great weather and there were well over 100 cars in attendance. Today they are going to run the first Summit race of the year. Weather is iffy for later this afternoon, but they will hopefully get the whole day in.


April 20, 2017

Sorry for the down web site the last day and a half, the domain had expired and it is supposed to be an automatic renewal, but it did not automatically do that. It should be good to go for the next year.


April 19,2017

Happy Birthday to my Sister Debbie. Hope you had a great day.

Condolences to Chris Stone and his family on the passing of Chris' brother Andrew.


This coming weekend is hopefully opening weekend for Mission Raceway. 10 days ago their official opener was rained out. Come on weather, end this madness.

Lots of updates coming over the next week including all the winners from the Spring Fling at Vegas.


April 9, 2017

The Vegas Divisional is complete. 600 cars were in attendance and many were from the NW.

A number of BC and Alberta racers competed this weekend at Las Vegas. It is the second weekend in a row for many of them, and next weekend is the Spring Fling and many will stay for that race as well.

Shawn Cowie tore up the track in his TAD in qualifying and round one. He ran 5.253 and 5.254 then improved to a 5.249 in round one. He was almost a half tenth quicker that his nearest competitor. Unfortunately his day ended in the semi finals when he car could not repeat. Chris Demke took the win in that round.


NW racers who had a great weekend include Edmonton's Casey Plaizier who won Super Gas. Medicine Hat's Darrel Dietz was the #1 qualifier in Super Stock and took his Cobra Jet all the way to the final round. He was a tad late and Kyle Rizzoli got the win. Shane Molinari made it to the semi finals in Top Dragster. Abbotsford racers Dan and Darien Provost were first round runner-ups. Aldergrove's Al Quigley lost in round two of Super Street. Ron McKenzie lost in the third round one Super Gas. Kirk Lanz lost in round one of Top Sportsman, and Scott Robinson lost in Rd 1 of Super Gas. Jason Mercer broke the 'Saturday Night Special' 240Z but will have it repaired in time for the 'Fling'.

The full wrap-up and More NW racer results in the next couple days, including final round pictures.

Sad to hear of the passing of 'Gentleman' Hank Johnson this weekend after his long battle with cancer. Hank was one of the best Top Fuel and Funny Car racers from the late 60's through the early 80's. A soft spoken racer who was feared up and down the West Coast. The last decade or so he has been with Bucky Austin's nitro Funny Car team. The photo below shows Hank behind the Austin/O'Brien Funny Car this past Summer at Mission's Nat'l Open.

Below is a fire-up at a the NW Nationals a 6 years ago.



April 2, 2017

Antron Brown won Top Fuel over Tony Schumacher, Tommy Johnson Jr won Funny Car over Jonnie Lindberg, and Tanner Gray became the youngest champion in the pro classes with a win in Pro Stock over Bo Butner. Shane Westerfield won TAFC over Doug Gordon and Garrett Bateman won TAD over Joey Severance.


The Las Vegas Denso Nationals are complete and it was a wild weekend for weather. Thursday during parking the weather was absolutely wild. 80+ mph wind and rain that moved tents and anything not secured all over the complex. The wild wind made it look like a sand storm had taken over the facility. Friday weather delayed the start of the race and affected all the sportsman classes. Most did not even get in a run as only Stock and Super Stock made a hit. The pros got in their two session and Top Alcohol got one round of qualifying in.


Courtney Force was #1 in Funny Car after Friday, while Steve Torrence was #1 in Top Fuel and Jason Line lead Pro Stock after Friday. Shane Westerfield lead TAFC and Johnny Ahten was #1 in TAD. Erica Enders was voted in as the #8 qualifier for the Pro Stock Challenge set for Saturday.



On Saturday, it was Greg Anderson taking the Pro Stock Challenge title over Shane Gray.







Courtney Force stayed on top in Funny Car qualifying with a track record 3.867.













Torrence also stayed on top of Top Fuel with a 3.720 best.












Jason Line also kept the top spot in Pro Stock with a 6.647.









Top Dragster and Top Sportsman got in two sessions on Saturday as well as their first round of elimination's.


Westerfield was #1 with a 5.521 in TAFC, and Ahten's 5.322 kept him on top of TAD. Shawn Cowie's team won "EDELBROCK Never Rest Performer of the Race" (Shawn ended up in the top five in qualifying but lost in the second round against Joey Severance).











Local driver Dan Provost lost in the second round in Top Dragster. He dialed 6.60, left first but could not run his number. He fell to Kyle Siepel.


March 29, 2017


Congratulations to Bobby Cottrell for being named the driver for Bucky Austin in the Austin/O'Brien Funny Car. The car is currently being rebuilt the the body is being redone. Bucky also has a new body ordered. They will test before Boise and will compete there in the next Heritage Race.


This weekend the NHRA is in Las Vegas. A number of Canadian teams will be competing including Dan Provost in his Top Dragster. The beast has new power in the form of a 14/71 blown AJ 481-x, built by JS Motorsports in Mission. The new powerplant should propell Dan into the 6.0-6.2 range at close to 220 mph with a mild yune-up. .

Here is the vid at the shop just before they load it in the trailer.



March 25, 2017

Here is the final gallery from the Gatornationals


March 22, 2017

Ray Grossmith's time ended up to be shorter than we all hoped. He passed away peacefully on the Island with his wife Lynne by his side last night. We here at SpeedZone pass on condolences to Lynne and the family. We will miss you very much Ray. Below is Ray launching his Super Stock Camaro at the Divisional race a couple years ago.

Below this picture are our earlier thoughts 10 days ago.




Thinking a lot of my friend Ray Grossmith over the last few months as he goes through the fight of his life. A long time BCCCA member and electrical guru, he has spent the last couple decades doing everything necessary to keep Mission Raceway in top form. He has an awesome wife (Lynne) at his side and good strong karma thoughts from hundreds of friends and family. Stay strong Ray and Lynne.


March 20, 2017

A Friday and Saturday Gatornationals gallery is posted

March 19, 2017

Explosive action at the Gators (part timer), Smax Smith lights it up just on the starting line.

The Gatornationals played out this weekend in Gainesville Florida. It is one of the premier events in NHRA Drag Racing. Beside the three main Pro classes, The Motorcycles (PSM) and the Pro Mods were in action for the first time this year. The Pro Mod class was exceptional

Winning Funny Car was John Force.

He earned his 148th national event. He has won almost 50% more than any other driver. He defeated first time finalist and first timer ever in a nitro flopper Jonnie Lindberg.

Lindberg is driving for Jim Head this year. Force won with a 3.92 to a close 3.97.

In Top Fuel it was the winningest Top Fuel driver of all time Tony Schumacher. It was Tony's 83rd win. He defeated team mate Antron Brown 3.70 - 3.76.

Pro Stock saw Shane Gray earn the hard fought victory over Greg Anderson 6.53-6.56. The Pro Stockers ran their best this weekend in EFI mode. The qualifying saw six cars run in the 6.40's, a few over 214 mph.

Pro Stock Motorcycle saw the Harley team mates Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines battle. Krawiec won with a 6.76 - 6.80. A couple teams ran 199+mph.

In J & A Pro Modified, the blower cars were turned loose this season with added OD (20%), and in what could only be called mineshaft conditions, they showed their potential.

The last couple years the blower part of the class fell behind the turbo and nitrous cars by as much as .06-.10 of a second and 5 mph. The extra boost has shown dividends already. A world record 5.726/256 by Canadian Eric Latino in a losing effort in round two against Troy Coughlin. There were 5.70's by all three power adders . Qualifying was lead by one of the biggest names in small tire racing, Stevie "Fast" Jackson.

Jackson is racing for the first time in NHRA Pro Mod racing and is part of the Bahrain Racing team. He qualified with a 5.78 (blower power) to lead the class.

Sidnei Frigo was #2 in a Turbo charged Pro Line entry and three time series champion Rickie Smith was #3 (5.79) in his Nitrous powered Camaro.

It turned out to be a record bump of 5.855. Canadian Kenny Lang failed to qualify, as did the Can/US team of Justin Bond / Shane Molinari.

Jim Bell, pre-entered for the season did not have his car ready in time. Elimination's were just as quick with three more driver's running in the 5.70's.

Latino ran 5.77 in round one to upset the #1 qualifier Jackson, then Troy Coughlin stepped up to a 5.75 in the second round to take out the 5.72 world record by Latino. Coughlin was .008 on the tree. In the Final round Steven Whiteley made his best run of the weekend, a great 5.79 to defeat Mike Castellana. Castellana was in a blown car for the first time ever.

In TAFC, it was Annie Whiteley joining her son in the winner's circle. She defeated Dan Pomponio with a career second best 5.412/273. Annie ran a 5.40 in the semi finals. Pomponio broke. In Alcohol Dragster, it was the Randy Meyer's team showing they are possibly the baddest A/Fuel team on the planet. Randy had two cars run 5.14 and 5.15. Daughter Meghan went a 5.15 best while first time driver Justin Ashley went 5.143 to qualify #1. He went on to win the race over Rich McPhillips. Ashley won with a 5.23 to a 5.25. Five cars ran 5.25 or better.


A Friday and Saturday gallery isposted.



March 15, 2017

In a huge announcement, Kris Krabill announces he has left the Austin/OBrien Nitro Funny Car team. Here is the release.

March 13, 2017

Kyle Busch is an idiot but you gotta like his spunk. Joey Lagano is a bit of an ass as well. Joey did get into Kyle, but it contact due to Joey getting a bit loos. Come on drag racing who is going to throw the first punch.

March 12, 2017



Thinking a lot of my friend Ray Grossmith over the last few months as he goes through the fight of his life. A long time BCCCA member and electrical guru, he has spent the last couple decades doing everything necessary to keep Mission Raceway in top form. He has an awesome wife (Lynne) at his side and good strong karma thoughts from hundreds of friends and family. Stay strong Ray and Lynne.

PDRA winners from Saturday, Tom Vanbeek in Top Sportsman, Mario Boesch in Top Dragster, Sadie Wicks in Pro Junior Dragster, and Tripp McCarty in Top Junior Dragster. Georgia racer Ken Grant scored the Bracket Bash victory. For the pros, Tommy D'Aprile scored the PDRA Southern Extreme Nationals event win in Pro Extreme, Jay Cox in Pro Nitrous, Jose Gonzales in Pro Boost, John Montecalvo in Extreme Pro Stock, and Eric McKinney in Pro Extreme Motorcycle. Abbotsford's Terry Schwiegert lost in the semi finals in Motorcycle.

March 10, 2017

There is major Pro Mod action this weekend at South Georgia Motorsport Park as the PDRA opens their season. A few historic runs were made Friday. First, Jason Scruggs ran a 3.499 @ 220mph to qualify #1 in Pro Extreme. Jose Gonzalez went 3.62 in his twin turbo Corvette. Not so amazing for a 1/8 mile lap, as he has been in the 3.50's before. But what he did to make the run amazing is he legged it out to the 1320 and turned on the scoreboard with a world's quickest 5.403, and he was off the gas a tad early as the mph was only 259 mph. After a few 5.4 runs in the Arabia racing league earlier this month, Jose and the Pro Line teams wanted to make a statement that the baddest cars were from North America.

A couple Canadian's are in attendance at the race, including Barry Daniluk from Red Deer who ripped off an awesome 3.97/182. I believe that is the quickest run for a naturally aspirated Doorcar. Jim Bell is there as well, debuting a new Disomma turbo engine combination in Pro Boost. He is in his Mustang this weekend and will compete with that car all year long in the PDRA. He struggled in the four laps he made running early shut-off mid 4 second runs. Scott Blake was competing in Pro Nitrous and he too struggled in qualifying. He ran a 4.16 best. NW racer JR Carr failed to qualify in Pro Stock. Ontario driver Larry O'Brien lost in round one to Dean Goforth.

We'll get you a little more into the Pro Mod zone today with a few shots from the Orlando test. It was won by Mike Janis. He defeated Danny Rowe in the final. Shane Molinari made it wo the semi finals.


March 9, 2017

One more shot of the Bollinger Camaro


A new local ride on the track last weekend.

Ray Bollinger will have his new car at Mission when the season opens, It was built by Blake Foster and has a McAmis Camaro body. A BB Chevy fuel injected with just over 1050 hp is under the hood. It ran 8.teens last week at the march meet running with the exhibition cars. Ray will running with the Doorslammers and possible Top Sportsman races, and then step up with a power adder to run mid sevens in 2018.

The car looks real good Ray. Can't wait to see it on the track.

There are a number of other new rides set to debut this year locally. We are compiling lists.



A big change already at JFR:

Change in the air at John Force Racing:
John Force, Robert Hight swap Funny Car teams

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (March 9) – Change is in the air at John Force Racing.

Heading into next weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, team owner John Force and JFR president Robert Hight announce crew chief and team changes involving two Funny Car teams.

The teams of Force and Hight will essentially swap: crew chief Jimmy Prock will move to Hight’s Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team, with crew chief Mike Neff switching to Force’s PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car.

Moving with Prock are co-crew chief Chris Cunningham and crew members who started the season with Force’s team, while co-crew chiefs Jon Schaffer and Jason McCulloch and Hight’s former team members move to the PEAK Chevrolet. The changes are effective immediately.

Force’s Funny Car teams have won 247 races, with Force himself winning 147 and Hight 37. Force is a visionary who created a drag racing dynasty, molding some of the top talent in the sport into a consistently winning team.

“I never do anything on the spur of the moment,” Force said. “I take days to think it out. But after doing a show for PEAK in Phoenix, for Chevrolet in Chicago and talking to (famed crew chief) Austin Coil, I had some time to think. My race cars are moving ahead. They’re running big numbers; we’re still trying to find that consistency.

“I came into the shop in Brownsburg and met with the teams and all the guys in the machine shop, the fab shop and the paint shop. I looked at the pictures on the wall, looked at Jimmy Prock and Robert Hight in winner’s circle photos, I looked at pictures of me and Jimmy Prock, I looked at pictures of me and Neff, I looked at pictures of me and Jon Schaffer and Jason McCullough – and all of a sudden, it just felt right.

“I went home, slept on it, woke up the next morning, and it felt right. The cars are all doing good, but to put Robert Hight back with Jimmy Prock, who he won the championship with, and to put me back with Mike Neff, who I won the championship with – and Jon Schaffer and Jason McCulloch, who I won four races last year with – it just made sense.”

Coil is the dean of John Force Racing crew chiefs, as he was essential in helping build JFR into the elite drag racing team of today.

Hight and Prock teamed to win the 2009 championship and 27 races in their time together. Force and Neff won the 2010 title and seven races.

Prock has 41 career victories at JFR, while Neff won 26 races – 10 with Hight, nine as a driver/crew chief and seven with Force.

“I called in the crew chiefs, asked them what they thought, and we came to an agreement to make the swap,” Force said. “Change is good. Austin Coil always told me change is good, even when things are going right. This will build us stronger in the long run.”

Courtney Force and her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team and Brittany Force and her Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster team remain intact. Courtney Force raced to the final round in the season-opening race at Pomona, Calif., while Brittany Force made the final at Phoenix in the second race of 2017.

The NHRA Gatornationals is scheduled for March 17-19.

Larry Dixon Jr to debut next weekend

Top Fuel racer Larry Dixon will return to the site of one of National Hot Rod Association drag racing’s wildest crashes when the three-time NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel champion competes in next week’s 48th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway on March 17-19.

Dixon, 50, walked away from a spectacular qualifying crash two years ago on Saturday, March 14, 2015 when the Top Fuel dragster he was driving broke in half near the track’s 1000-foot finish line and flew some 75 feet in the air. Dixon was able to climb from the car’s wreckage.

After the 109g crash, the Avon, Ind., driver was later diagnosed with two fractures (T-4 and T-5 vertebrae) in his back but continued to compete in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series Top Fuel campaign where he finished fourth in the final point standings. “I don’t have any second thoughts about returning to Gainesville,” said Dixon, winner of 62 NHRA Top Fuel national events. “I was there last year as a spectator and, to be honest, it’s not as much fun. The fans were great to me last year but I had a lot of them that wanted to see me back in a Top Fuel car, as would I.”

Now, the four-time NHRA Gatornationals champion comes back to Gainesville with his own Top Fuel dragster and racing team (Larry Dixon Racing). Dixon competed in two NHRA national events in 2016 for another team while developing his own organization.

“It is especially intriguing that we are running our own Top Fuel car at Gainesville Raceway,” said Dixon, the California native who grew up in the sport (Larry Sr. raced Top Fuel also) and served as a mechanic for Don “Snake” Prudhomme before beginning his driving career in 1995.

“I have so many big moments from Gainesville. Of course, the most recent with the crash in 2015. But I won four Top Fuel “Wally” trophies at the Gatornationals and I actually took my Top Fuel license runs in ‘Snake’s’ car at Gainesville back in 1994. That was ‘Snake’s’ final season driving and he wanted to put me in his Top Fueler the next year. That was quite an honor.”

Dixon’s Top Fuel license runs actually took place the day after the 1994 NHRA Gatornationals and Larry’s elapsed time (4.76 seconds in the ¼ mile) that day was right at the Top Fuel national record. The “Snake” knew he had a phenom waiting in the wings.

Dixon didn’t disappoint with a victory at his first NHRA Gatornationals in 1995 and he later won drag racing’s biggest race, U.S. Nationals, that year.


Dixon, who also captured Top Fuel titles at the Gatornationals, in 2001, 2002 and 2009, won the battle with throat cancer prior to his 2015 Gainesville accident.

“Despite what happened in that year of my life, with cancer and a broken back, I always wanted to continue Top Fuel racing and possibly compete with our own team,” said Dixon. “Within the last six months, we have been able to collect the race cars and equipment to get back to an NHRA national event. With the help of a few partners and quite a few teams in the Indy area, we are coming to Gainesville to see how things can go. We know we need additional support to get a regular program together, but we want to see if we can make some solid runs with this equipment. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s time to get a glove and get in the game.”

Dixon has invested in preparing a strong team to assist him in his return to the NHRA national circuit at Gainesville.

“I think we have some excellent personnel led by our crew chief Mike Domagala. A lot of them have won races and championships and we have some new parts and pieces for the engines,” Larry said. “Obviously, we will be sorting out our combination and there is no better place to go than Gainesville. NHRA does a great job preparing the track and the conditions will be outstanding as always. We have been working hard in the race shop to get ready for this one.”



March 6, 2017

A busy weekend on the West Coast at the legendary March Meet was run, and played out until this morning when the rains hit Sunday afternoon. It was a wild final round in Funny Car Monday morning. Two of the top 5 Funny Cars in the class battled as last year's champion Kris Krabill took on Canadian Ryan Hodgson. They finished 1-2 in last season's final standings with Kris Krabill the 2016 Heritage champion. Both cars ran well all weekend and were in the 5.60's throughout. The final round was all Hodgson though, as Kris Krabill fell off early just before the finish line, the car was on fire. The final was live of Bangshift, and you could see the Dayton backed Camaro was labouring all the way down the track. You could actually see the flames just before the finish line. When all was said and done, the car body looked quite damaged, amd obviously there is internal damage. But with the strength of that team, they will be back in 6 weeks in time for the Boise race. Hodgson was on a rail turning in a 5.60/256 for the win.




Hodgson won from the #5 qualifying spot running a 5.66/256. The #1 qualifier was Mike McIntire Jr with a career best and NHRA record 5.549. #2 was John Hale 5.574. The #3 qualifier was event runner-up Kris Krabill. Rounding out the top four was Dan Horan Jr. He went 5.616 and a whopping 262 mph. Canadian and BC driver Tim Nemeth qualified #11 with a 5.809. He won his round one race against John Weaver with a quicker 5.76.














In the second round Krabill defeated Nemeth 5.709 to a 5.986.















Ryan Hodgson defeated Danny Gerber (5.717) in round one,














then won a close one against Dan Horan Jr on a holeshot 5.678 to 5.672. The round saw Ryan get his best RT (a .095 to Horan Jr .136).













In the semi's, he took out world record holder McIntire 5.71 to 5.83.
















To reach the final Krabill defeated Chris Davis 5.61 - 5.93,













then Nemeth and finally the two time IHRA champion and baddest NFC racer over the last four years Jason Rupert.

In Top Fuel, it was Mendy Fry taking the win in the "High Speed" FED. She defeated Jim Murphy when Murphy's TF car was shut off at the end of the burnout. In Fuel Altered it was Bryan Hall defeating James Generalao Jr With a solid 6.0 to a 6.4. Despite an number of '5' second runs for Drew Austin, he was defeated by the other '5' second performer, Kin Bates. Bates set the record on Thursday with a 5.97. Austin ran a 5.99 in qualifying. Due to the odd number of cars the #1 and 2 qualifiers faced off in the semis and it was Bates getting the off pace 8 second win. He took the title.

Usually the Pro 7.0 class is full of Canadians and NW guys. The Rocky Mountain Funny car guys did not make the trip South this year though.



The first Division 7 LADDERS event was also held this weekend at Wild Horse Motorsport Park in Phoenix. Shawn Cowie continued his solid start to the season qualifying #2 with a 5.267 just behind Chris Demke's 5.263. He (Cowie) rolled through elimination's defeating Johnny Ahten with a 5.28 then Duane Shields with a career best tying 5.241/275 to a 5.290. In the final he reset his career best running a 5.236/275.62 to defeat Joey Severance.

In TAFC Greg Hunter got a dream ride, as he was behind the wheel of the J & A Motorsports Flopper. Anne Whiteley was not behind the wheel for the weekend so he was asked and of course accepted. He qualified #1 with a career best 5.479/270. The field's bump was a stellar 5.55 bump. Hunter won round one against William Bernard. He faced Doug Gordon in round two and it was an epic battle with Gordon coming out on top with a 5.439 to a 5.478. In the final, it was Shane Westerfield getting the holeshot win with a 5.453 to a 5.439.

Top Sportsman had a bunch of Division six cars in competition, and seven cars from up North advanced into the third round. By the end of the 1/4s Only Mike Lucas and Ray Martin remained. Both drivers made it to the semi finals, with Martin getting the bye into the final. Ed Olpin took on Lucas in the other semi and it was Olpin getting the close win. Olpin got the win in the final when Martin was late off the starting line.

Below is the Phoenix recap courtesy NHRA.

Chandler, Ariz.- Champions were recognized yesterday for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division Drag Race at Wild Horse Motorsports Park. Fans in attendance were treated to Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Comp, Super Stock, Super Gas, and the rest of the classes that encompass the nationwide sportsman series.

Sunday was a special day for father and son, Jeff and Cody Lane of North Bend, Wash., as both took home divisional Wally trophies. In the Comp Eliminator final round, Jeff Lane, took the starting line advantage running 8.132 148.92 defeating Tony Mandella, Eastvale, Calif., 8.440, 145.09. In the Super Stock finale, Cody Lane , made a victory pass of 8.864, 136.59 outlasting Ray Martin, Anchorage, Alaska, 8.947, 137.98.

Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah scored his third Wally of the season, running unopposed in the Top Sportsman final round. Olpin doubled up at Winternationals last month, winning Wally's in Top Sportsman and Super Gas. Currently Ed sit atop the divisional standings in both classes.

Shawn Cowie, Surrey, B.C., earned his 18th divisional Wally Trophy, running 5.236 seconds, 275.62 mph to win the final round in Top Alcohol Dragster. Cowie took full of advantage of Joey Severance's, Woodburn, Ore., mechanical issues who broke at the starting line.

In the Top Alcohol Funny Car finale, Shane Westerfield, Anaheim, Calif., started with a great light and held power to hold on for a hole shot win, coming in at 5.453 seconds, 268.87 mph. Westerfield won his fourth Lucas Oil Divisional Wally trophy, second of the season. Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., completed a runner-up pass of 5.439 seconds, 270.70 mph.

Local Stock Eliminator driver Tibor Kadar, Phoenix, Ariz., took home the divisional Wally trophy as Brent Calvert, Lancaster, Calif., fouled at the starting line.

The other drivers visiting the winner's circle were Allison Mckoane in Super Comp; Terry Keddington in Super Gas; Greg Ventura in Super Street; Ryan Priddy in Top Dragster; and Jay Thompson Sportsman Motorcycle.

The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series returns to the Southwest Division April 7-9, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nev.

The following are Sunday's final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park:


Round 1

3) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.288, 276.01 def. 4) James Stevens, Gothenburg, Neb., 5.373, 266.53;
6) Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., 5.286, 271.46 def. 1) Chris Demke, Sunland, Calif., 5.306, 270.59;
2) Shawn Cowie, Surrey, B.C., 5.288, 272.17 def. 5) Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita, Calif., 5.363, 259.76;
Cowie, 5.241, 275.11 def. Shields, 5.290, 275.06; Severance, broke was unopposed;
Cowie, 5.236, 275.62 def. Severance, broke.


Round 1
4) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '15 Camaro, 5.485, 265.33 def. 5) Mike Doushgounian, San Martin, Calif., '13 Monte Carlo, foul;
1) Greg Hunter, Castle Rock, Colo., '15 Camaro, 5.513, 268.81 def. 8) William Bernard, Englewood, Colo., '09 Mustang, 5.587, 258.42;
2) Jonnie Lindberg, Brownsburg, Ind., '16 Camaro, 5.487, 265.90 def. 7) Chris Marshall, McMinnville, Ore., '17 Camaro, 5.549, 261.07;
3) Shane Westerfield, Anaheim, Calif., '16 Camaro, 5.508, 267.43 def. 6) Steve Gasparrelli, West Covina, Calif., '16 Camaro, 5.525, 264.86;

Westerfield, 5.473, 269.19 def. Lindberg, 9.206, 152.43;
Gordon, 5.438, 269.94 def. Hunter, 5.478, 269.03;

Westerfield, 5.453, 268.87 def. Gordon, 5.439, 270.70.

Jeff Lane, North Bend, Wash., '10 Cobalt, C/SMA, 8.132, 148.92 def. Tony Mandella, Eastvale, Calif., '01 S-10, C/TA, 8.440, 145.09.

Cody Lane, North Bend, Wash., '05 Cavalier, SS/BS, 8.864, 136.59 def. Ray Martin, Acchorage, Alaska, '14 Camaro, FSS/C, 8.947, 137.98.

Tibor Kadar, Phoenix, Ariz., '64 Fairlane, A/SA, 10.168, 129.23 def. Brent Calvert, Lancaster, Calif., '14 Mustang, FS/AA, foul.

Allison Mckoane, Clovis, Calif., '05 Undercover, 8.905, 174.96 def. Madison Whitten, Corona, Calif., '14 American, 8.866, 172.59.

Terry Keddington, Bluffdale, Utah, '57 Corvette, 9.919, 165.03 def. Bernie Polvadore, Sun City, Ariz., '93 Grand Prix, 9.900, 168.64.

Greg Ventura, Corona, Calif., '66 Nova, 10.905, 137.69 def. Ryan Giacone, Glendale, Ariz., '88 Thunderbird, 10.865, 146.67.


Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah, '68 Camaro def. Ray Martin, Anchorage, Alaska, '63 Corvette.

Ryan Priddy, Chino, Calif., '12 Spitzer, 6.619, 190.46 def. John Taylor, Apache Junction, Ariz.,
'06 Quay, 7.748, 172.08.

Jay Thompson, Wittmann, Ariz., '73 Suzuki KZ, 9.522, 130.78 def. Steve Kaplan, Acton, Calif., '04 Hayabusa, 9.043, 147.97.

February 23, 2017


An update from Nascar's Can-Am duel tonight. Canadian DJ Kennington qualified for the Daytona 500. He outduelled Elliot Sadler on the last lap to clinch his place for the 500 on Sunday. He is the first Canaiadian since 1988 when Trevor Boys qualified (his 5th time in the 500). Gaunt Bros. Racing is the car owner and they are also based out of Ontario. I am betting the Lordco clan is pretty excited.



February 22, 2017

The new look Molinari/Bond Pro Mod. Testing has begun for many of the tests running the NHRA Pro Mod sereis. SHane and Justin are testing this weekend at Orlando. So far their best lap is a 5.89. Shane was out of it early as the increments showed it would have been a 5.84. Yesterday Billy Glidden crashed his nitrous Mustang. Billy was trasported to hospital and is reported to have a few broken ribs and bruised lungs.

The Pro Mods will be testing all week and then will have a mini race on Saturday.



A pretty cool deal as Lordco also has a huge hand in roundy round racing. The company (primarily the Coates family) has been huge Nascar fans and have had many excursions to Daytona with many of their customers. This year, DJ Kennington backed by major sponsorship from Lordco is trying to qualify for the "500". He failed during regular qualifying as there are only six spots available for non regular participants. He has one shot left during the Can-Am Duels set for Thursday. He is battling Reed Sorenson, Tim Hill and Corey LaJoie. The top two finishers out of these four will make the Daytona on Sunday.




February 11, 2017

The Season's opening NHRA WInternationals has begun.


The Winternationals, One of the most storied Drag Racing events in NHRA history. Over 50 years of fierce competition and stories have shaped the year. Who will be the top guns and who will show they are ready to be the new champions.


The Pros opened Friday, the Pro Stocks, and most of the Funny Cars got in two rounds of qualifying while the Top Fueler only got in one round before the rains hit. Top Alcohol had one round on Thursday and one round on Friday. Leading the way in TAD is local Shawn Cowie (top left) as he runs a career best 5.241/271. His previous best was a 5.243 (if memory serves me correctly), and that was back at this event six years ago. Norm Grimes came on as the tuner half way through last season. Hopefully Shawn and the team can continue running strong and be a top contender for the 2017 season.

Left is the very cool Kuhl and Olson Tribute car. Larry Miersch had this deal put together to honour a legendary team. Good on you Larry.



In Top Fuel, Doug Kallitta leads with the only 3.6 run so far. He went 3.697. Brittany Force is #2. In Funny Car, Matt Hagan leads with a 3.84. Courtney Force sits #2. In Pro Stock team Summit is #1 and 2 lead by Greg Anderson's 6.557. Jason Line is #2 (6.563) and Erica Enders, back in a Chevy is #3 with a 6.567.

AAA sponsored Robert Hight's cool look for the Winternationals in support of the California Highway Patrol.




A new look for the Austin/O'Brien NFC driven by Kris Krabill as they debut a new Camaro and sponsor. Dayton Superior is a leading single-source provider of concrete accessories, chemicals, forming and paving products for the non-residential construction industry. Congrat's to the team as they are only a couple weeks away from the first race in their goal of defending the NFC Heritage championship.


Saturday and Sunday at Phoenix


BC's own Shawn Cowie getting a jump on the 2017 season

Troy Coughlin Jr ran a best of 3.76

Erica Enders goes back to Chevy for 2017

Vince Nobile will be a top five runner.

Cruz Pedregon ran low 3.90's

Jeff Arend will make a few weekend's in Plueger flopper

Jim Murphy gets some advance runs in prep for the March Meet


Courtney Force

Doug Kalitta had fluids exit the car right at the stripe

Alexis De Joria is battle after a few months awat recovering from concussion issues.

Tommy Johnson Jr had a great year last year, the is only improvement he can make is to win the title.

February 4, 2017

Best runs at Wild Horse Pass this weekend

Top Fuel bests

Leah Pritchett 3.654
Steve Torrence 3.691
Brittany Force 3.695
Doug Kalitta 3.697
Antron Brown 3.701
Tony Schumacher 3.705
Troy Coughlin Jr 3.763
Clay Millican 3.819

Funny Car bests

Courtney Force 3.804
Ron Capps 3.854
John Force 3.856
Robert Hight 3.859
Jack Beckman 3.874
Matt Hagan 3.874
Tommy Johnson Jr 3.892
Alexis DeJoria 3.904
J.R. Todd 3.909
Tim Wilkerson 3.935


February 4, 2017

They were flying Friday at Phoenix. Courtney Force made the quickest pass in Funny Car history with a 3.804/333.33 blast. She also made two other sub 3.85 passes.

Leah Pritchett made a number of 3.60 passes including this 3.685 pass. Today Saturday she went even quicker, a unofficial worlds quickest 3.65.

Del Worsham went a 4.06 best

Jeff Arend is running Steve Plueger's Monte Carlo

February 2, 2017

Close to 20 Pros were on hand for the first day of Nitro testing in Phoenix. All Seven DSR cars, Four JFR cars, Four Kalitta cars, Cruz, Wilk, and Millican all made laps on day one. Ets and more info tomorrow.

Troy Coughlin Jr

Clay Millican

Matt Hagan

Robert Hight


Thank you to all our friends and readers for today's birthday wishes. Getting closer and closer to the next milestone. Two years it will be 60 years on this earth. Kind of surprised I lasted this long, but I am looking forward to many more.

We have bee quite lax on the update scene for the last month and a half and it is mostly due to my other job that pays most of the bills. The construction deal is still quite busy but we are underway race wise when it comes to schedules / brochures and posters locally, and we will look at a different updated look over the next month or so. Speaking of updates, I am not sure on the new NHRA look, but I notice is has similar aspects to other major sports association's and series'

Tonight we celebrate the life of my cousin Kris as well as a few drinks for my B-day. If you are in Mission head on down to the Springs Pub.

The 2017 for the NHRA pros gets underway today at Phoenix for the only major test session. The pro run today through Sunday and then Top Alcohol is featured Monday and Pro Stock is there from Tuesday through Thursday. Then next weekend is the Winternationals. Bob Snyder will be sending us photos from Wild Horse Pass (ex Firebird) over the next few days. John Force will be there with new major sponsorship for Courtney Force (Advance Auto), returning to the team is Jimmy Prock, Chris Cunningham has also joined the team. Chris has ties to the local racing scene. JR Todd will be testing in the DHL Funny Car, Troy Coughlin JR will be in the Top Fueler JR drove last year. Jim Dunn Racing has a new driver as John Hale steps back from the hectic life on the pro trail. Jim Campbell is the new driver. 7-11 will be a major sponsor.

Papa John's is the official pizza of the NHRA. They also signed on with DSR for a 20 race deal with Leah Pritchett. The team will be down to three TF cars as 2014 World champ is on the sidelines until sponsorship is secured.

The NHRA Pro Mod series has a new driver and it is ex Pro Stock champion Larry Morgan. It is rumored he will be part of the BAE/ Jay Payne team.

The NHRA Pro Mods will show case their wares at the Orlando Division 1 Opener the end of February (23-26). It will be their official test session in advance of the Gainesville National Event.

Del Worsham will have a six race sponsorship from Lucas Oil.

World class Sportsman driver Dan Fletcher is looking to be the first sportsman racer to reach 100 wins. John Force leads with 147 wins then Top Alcohol drvier Frank Manzo is second with 105 wins. Fletcher has 99. Pro Stock drivers Warren John and (97) and Bob Glidden (91) round out the top five.





Got a call from Tony Kraus' partner Sandy today and we will have a Memorial race in honor of Tony with the NW Outlaws during one of their scheduled races. He loved the class and supported it in the beginning. For those racers who don't remember him, here is a photo. He was at Ashcroft every weekend for the last 5-10 years on the starting line getting 1000's of pictures. We will make the NW outlaw race a memorial one and will have a perpetual trophy as well as a keeper for the weekend champion.





January 22, 2017

The NHRA season began last week in Phoenix with the 1st heritage race of the year. The event included A/Fuel, 7.0, Jr Fuel and all the Gas and Nostalgia classes.

The winner in Afuel was John Harless. He got a single in the final . He was set to take on Drew Austin but Austin's FED had a fluid leak and was shut off.

Drew Austin reset the National record with a 6.06/224 in the semi finals.


Bobby Cotrell won 7.0 over Dwight Garland (broke).

In Jr Fuel it was Kevin Carter over Don Enriquez.

Brendan Frye defeated Feank Merenda in A/Gas.


January 7, 2017

Next Saturday (14th) is the memorial for Jim Isherwood. It is between 2-4 pm at the Best Western in Mission.

We are saddened to hear of Tony Krause's passing this week. Tony was an avid and one of the main photographers at the Eagle Motorplex. He supported the track during the last decade with donations and help in whatever was necessary. He also shot at Kelowna's Thunder Mountain and Mission Raceway. He leaves behind his partner of 33 years Sandy Kraft and and his sister Brenda and her family as well as many other family and friends. A celebration of life will be held January 28th at Rutland Centennial Hall from 1-5pm.


It is confirmed that Jimmy Prock has returned to John Force racing. Chris Cunningham the ex crew chief for Bob Tasca has also come on board.

DSR has retained the services of Dean Antonelli. He joins John Medlen on the Jack Beckman team.

Jim Head has a new driver. Jonnie Lindberg will be the driver for the Jim Head Racing Funny Car. Jim''s son Chad will now be in the forefront of the family business operations.


January 3, 2017

All calendar orders up to today have been shipped already.

December 31, 2016

Here is a link for all NW racers to keep on hand. Elite Belts has their new web site up and running they are also on FaceBook.

Happy New Year and New Year's Eve tonight. Remember to be safe


Calendars are now ready for shipping. Go to this link to order.


A real sad week for the Murdoch family as my cousin Kris passed away suddenly. He was full of life and will be missed by many.

He leaves behind sister Tia, step brother Justin, father Pat (Doc) and step mom Lynn as well as many friends and other family members.



December 21, 2016

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last two weeks, but I have been plumb running hair straight back. Between a few construction deadlines since November 15th, internet server issues for a few days last week (would not allow me to update, sorry Roger Winter for not posting your Christmas shop bash), Speedzone's annual calendars, and a 17 year old daughter having a couple days worth of hospital and surgery problems, I found there are not enough hours in a day or month. I have a slight reprieve for the next 10 days or so, then I am back at it hard starting January 3rd. I already have four jobs on the docket Starting in the new year. That sort of brings me to SpeedZone. What am I going to do to keep updates going on a regular basis. I have a few ideas and hopefully they all come to fruition. In the mean time Calendars are almost ready for shipping. I produced a Pro Mod calendar and fast bracket (TS/TD) calendar for 2017. Sorry no Nostalgia Funny Car, Hemi or Doorslammer this year. Just not enough hours in a day. The Pro Mod calendar includes the quickest Pro Mod driver in Canada (5.85 by a Canadian on Canadian soil, A 263 mph Pro Mod with 88's (and he has been totally off the radar for close to 5 years), but he proved this year he is still badass. The TS/TD calendar includes the 2015 NHRA TS World champion, a multi-time best appearing Camaro, and some of the best young guns in from the NW. All major pro mod events are on the PM calendar including NHRA, PDRA, Mega PM events across NA and the major NW events. We will post ordering info soon.

The TD/TS calendar has all 40+ LODRS events the NHRA nationals schedule and major NW events.







previous home pages at SpeedZone Magazine

2016 coverage July-December 2016

2016 coverage January - July 2016

2015 coverage July-December 2015

2015 coverage January - July, 2015

2014 coverage January-June 2014 . June-December 2014

2013 Coverage (First half of the year 2013. Second Half of the year 2013)

2012 coverage (First half of 2012. Second half of 2012)


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