The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series was in Kansas this weekend for its double header at Heartland Park Topeka. Chad Voges, Jeff Strickland, and J.R. Baxter celebrated with their teams in the winner circle Friday night following their final round victories, ending the first half of the double header.
Voges, racing out of St. Peters, Mo., lined up against former Lucas Oil World Champion and current NHRA host on FS1, Bruno Massel, Elmhurst, Ill. Massel cut the better light but Voges was able to chase him down for the competitive victory in the Comp Eliminator final round, posting a winning run of 7.601 seconds, 162.27 mph. Massel came in a close second at 6.950 seconds, 197.91 mph.
In the Stock Eliminator final round both drivers were quick on their launch, however defending World Champion Strickland (shown) hailing from Red Bay, Ala., tripped a perfect light, running 9.943 seconds, 111.53 mph. Tim Ames, League City, Texas, fouled at the line ensuring Strickland’s victory.
In a Texas v. Texas final round, Hunter Patton racing out of Highlands mounted a huge a lead but it proved to be surmountable. Baxter out of Waxahachie, scored a .001 second reaction time on the tree and powered his way down the dragstrip to spoil Patton’s lead for the victory in Fineline Graphics/Madcap Racing Top Dragster.
Local fans in attendance witnessed two local racers defeat Texas opponents, in their respective final rounds. Mark Grame from Overland Park upended Austin Williams of Burleson, running closer to his 8.90 index for the Super Comp event Wally. Sportsman Motorcycle standout John Fitzpatrick, from Park City, emerged victorious in a double breakout, defeating Micheal Nash of Texarkana, Texas.
The other drivers visiting the Lucas Oil winner’s circle were Kevin Helms in Super Stock; Raymond Miller in Super Gas; Brian Percival in Super Street; and Jeffrey Barker in Top Sportsman.
Megan Meyer and John Lombardo Jr. raced to victory at the NHRA Central Region Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Heartland Park Topeka Saturday night.
Second generation Meyer of Spring Hill, Kan., faced off with veteran racer and former NHRA Divisional Champion Marty Thacker with Thacker taking the early lead but Meyer had the power from crew chief and father Randy to run him down. Meyer posted low elapsed time of the event at 5.303 seconds with a speed of 274.66 to Thacker’s 5.424, at 265.90.
Meyer qualified third in the 8-car field and knocked out David Brounkowski and No. 2 qualifier Mike Edstrom in rounds one and two. Thacker defeated No. 1 qualifier Rachel Meyer (Megan’s sister) in the opening round, then beat Robin Samsel on a hole-shot in round two to reach the final.
Reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Central Region champion Lombardo out ran the field with a 5.511, 267.43 mph lap in the final over Kris Hool. Hool, Evansville, Wyo., qualified No. 2 behind Lombardo, Brea, Calif., with Lombardo taking home the win and the hardware.
Lombardo took out former Division Champion Kirk Williams in the semis with low E.T. of the event at 5.500, 270.05. Hool outran Chris Foster and Jeff Jones in rounds one and two. [07/31/17]
Troy Galbraith and Jeffrey Barker both found themselves in the winner’s circle at the NHRA West Central Region Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Heartland Park Topeka Sunday evening.
Midwest runner Galbraith of Indianapolis, Ind., faced off with southeast standout David Rampy, Piedmont, Ala., in the Comp Eliminator final round. Galbraith pulled off the upset and sent Rampy back to Alabama without the Wally trophy. Galbraith completed a victory pass of 6.783 seconds, 184.95 mph.
Event champion from the first half of the double header, Jeffrey Barker, Kathleen, Ga., had no plans of slowing down as he made it to the final round of the Top Sportsman presented by Jerry Haas Race Cars final round. Opposing him was Terry Pope, Blair, Neb. Barker scored his second event Wally, tripping a great reaction time of .006 seconds, finishing up at 6.671 seconds, 205.10 mph.
Kansas native Phil Unruh of McPherson successfully upended 2016 defending World Champion Jeff Strickland, Red Bay, Ala., in the final of Top Dragster presented Fineline Graphics/Madcap Racing. Strickland went red at the line, giving Unruh the easy pass of 10.559 seconds, 88.44 mph. Michael Nash, Texarkana, Texas, mounted a big lead in the Sportsman Motorcycle final round and took the win, Gordon Fangmeyer, Lincoln, Neb., broke out attempting to catch up. Nash finished at 7.929 seconds, 155.79 mph.
SUPER STOCK: Chris Chaney, Claremore, Okla., '90 Camaro, GT/KA, 9.997, 132.06 def. Matthew Lund, Bettendorf, Iowa, '98 Pontiac, SS/IA, foul.
STOCK ELIMINATOR: Jeff Lopez, Irving, Texas, '17 Copo, FS/C, 9.324, 143.11 def. Chris Knudsen, Grimes, Iowa, '69 Camaro, C/S, 10.629, 125.17.
SUPER COMP: Jeremy Smith, Great Bend, Kan., '08 Undercover, 8.904, 180.04 def. Austin Williams, Burleson, Texas, '15 Miller, 8.925, 167.43.
SUPER STREET: Brett Thornton, Bushton, Kan., '68 Chevelle, 10.911, 148.59 def. Randy Davin, Topeka, Kan., '67 Camaro, 10.922, 154.03.
SUPER GAS: Robert Coleman, Columbia, Mo., '27 T Roadster, 9.902, 148.82 def. Heidi Robison, Gardner, Kan., '09 Undercover, 9.924, 165.27.
The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series continues its tour in the West Central Division at Brainerd International Raceway August 12. [07/31/17]
The NHDRO brings it back home to Indy with their Summer Celebration and Big Money Bracket Race at Lucas Oil Raceway on August 4-6.
NHDRO is guaranteeing $5,000 to win in Saturday’s MPS Pro ET and $3,000 to win in Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET, but the pot is already growing significantly beyond that with the help of sponsors.
“Our goal is to have a total payout of $15,000 for the two classes,” said NHDRO’s Brian Welch. “We are asking vendors, sponsors, racers, fans, pit crews, shops, anyone that loves this sport to donate either money to the purse or a product to give away.”
But that’s not the only extra cash to be made at NHDRO this weekend, as Welch has decided it’s time for someone to put a stop to John “Spooky” Markham’s Route 21 Street Fighter domination. Welch has placed a $50 bounty on Markham’s head, collectible by anyone who keeps the Bowling Green racer out of the Indy winners circle for the 9.50 index class. Markham has won every Street Fighter final so far this year. [07/31/17]
Robert Hight set the national speed record at a 339.87 mph with his 3.807-second pass in his Auto Club of Southern California / California Highway Patrol Chevy Camaro during the second qualifying session.
The pass was the third quickest in history, while the speed was the fastest in the history of the NHRA, and the first over 339 mph.
“When you have Jimmy Prock as your crew chief, he tries to get everything he can out of that race track,” Hight said. “It’s the coolest noise when you hear that nitro engine running up that kind of RPM; it’s music to your ears.”
Since rejoining Hight’s team in March, the “Prock Rocket” has set the top speed in eight events, heading into this weekend. Additionally, Hight has set nine of his fastest 10 career runs this season, including seven since mid-May.
“That was an awesome run for us,” Prock said. “You know, this place is great. We’re in California. The air comes in at night, and these things make some power." [07/31/17]
In Friday’s second qualifying session Leah Pritchett, who set the record at Phoenix in the second event of the year at 3.658 seconds, blasted to a time of 3.669 at a slowing speed of 304.80 mph that still set the track's elapsed time record.
"In these Q2 sessions you have to hang it out all on the line from a crew chief standpoint to a driver standpoint and stick with it because things are going to get funky out there," she said of her dragster Powered by Pennzoil and led by crew chief Todd Okuhara and assistant Joe Barlam. "It got with it sooner than it ever had before and we didn't even make it to the finish line."
Within about 100 feet of the finish line, the engine lost the blower belt that virtually stalled the engine, but she still qualified at the top of the list.
See the Sonoma results at here. [07/31/17]
Lancaster National Dragway in Lancaster, NY, hosted the Supercharged Bounty Hunters on Friday night, July 28, as part of the final Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program for the month of July. It was the second visit of the season by the Bounty Hunters, and the results were almost the same as their first trip to Lancaster.
The final pairing for the Supercharged Bounty Hunters was a rematch of the final round from their race at Lancaster on June 9 as Mike Zmuda in the “Time Bomb” Dodge Dart went head-to-head with the Willys of Rochester’s Frank Malvaso. Zmuda won in their first meeting on a holeshot advantage, but Malvaso got his revenge on Friday night.
Zmuda once again left the starting line first, but Malvaso was able to catch and pass him before the finish line to score the victory. Malvaso made up the nearly two-tenths of seconds that he lost at the starting line to beat Zmuda with an elapsed time of 4.439 seconds at 160.11 mph to Zmuda’s 4.686/150.56.
In other Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing action, Mike Swinarksi of Orchard Park, NY, scored his second win of the year in Top 8 Eliminator. Swinarski defeated Brian Hitchcock in the finals after Hitchcock broke out. Hitchcock left the starting line with a near-perfect .502 reaction time, but ran .011 seconds under his 5.21 dial-in.
Alex Noltee of Cheektowaga, NY, got his first career victory in Mallare Enterprises Top ET. Noltee scored the win over Clay Ricketson in the finals after Ricketson broke out.
In McGard Mod ET, Reid Ricketson of Darien Center, NY, picked up his first win of 2017 in the class. Ricketson drove past Andrew Zimmer in the finals to get the win.
Former Junior Dragster and Quick 16 champion, Victor Puglia of Buffalo, earned his first ever win in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds. Puglia, in just his second week of racing motorcycles, defeated Angelo Salemi in the finals.
John Wachowicz of Sanborn, NY, became the eighth different winner of the year in Tread City Tire Street. Wachowicz got the win over Mario Kroese on a double breakout.
This weekend Lancaster National Dragway hosts its biggest multi-day drag racing event of the season with the annual Sunday Nostalgia Drags Weekend and Car Show. [07/31/17]
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 7 - JULY 2017
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
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Richard Kratz, Editor-Publisher of MoparMax magazine, founder of Liquid Glow car care products and team principal of Liquid Glow Racing, will be a guest on Teresa’s Garage radio show on Tuesday, August 1.
Teresa’s Garage, hosted by Teresa Aquila, is a weekly feature on 1180 AM KCKQ out of Reno, Nevada. Teresa is a renowned mechanic, radio show host, columnist, teacher and a producer of an auto repair video for women. Her mechanical career has spanned 41 years working on everything from Porsches to Heavy Equipment to including classic vehicles, of which she owns several that she has personally restored, building a successful career in a world dominated by men. Her love for automobiles came at a very early age despite the discouragement of many including her mother. Teresa and her show highlight women in motorsports and hopes to energize motorsport fans of the future.
Richard and Teresa will be talking about Liquid Glow’s support of women in motorsports, the growing number of women succeeding in drag racing, and the changing mores and attitudes of women auto enthusiasts in America.