Good thing it only had two doors

We’ve all heard the phrase “He blew the doors off.” Well, it actually happened to “Big Ed” Thornton during Saturday Pro Mod qualifying at the California Hot Rod Reunion.


Thornton qualified his 1970 Camaro in the third spot with a 5.796 at a whopping 268.65 mph. He got a first-round win over a red-lighting Karl Wilson, but that’s all she wrote.


See all the results and a ton of photos from the CHRR at here.  

Funny Car pioneer Gas Ronda dies at age 91

Gas Ronda was at the 2008 California Hot Rod Reunion.  Word reaches the Agent of the passing of Gaspar “Gas” Ronda on Wednesday morning, Oct. 25. The Funny Car pioneer was 91 and lived in Palm Desert, CA.


Ronda began racing in the early 1950s. Feeling that Chevrolet was dominating the sport, he began racing a 1962 Ford Galaxie that was competitive with the bowtie cars. In 1964 Ronda won the inaugural Hot Rod Magazine Championships and the NHRA Top Stock championship with his newly developed Ford Thunderbolt.

Gas Ronda's Ford SOHC-powered, flip-front, poppy red Mustang was one of the best known and most popular funny cars on the West Coast during the 1960's and won the ‘67 Manufacturers Race at Orange County International Raceway.


In 1966 Ford sponsored Ronda’s first Funny Car, a Mustang that made record-setting 8-second times to win the March Meet. After winning many more events over the years, an engine explosion in Phoenix ended his driving career in 1970.


Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but the family suggests you make a donation to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers.


Our sincere condolences to his family. Gas Ronda was one of a kind.

McCarthy is ‘on the scent’

Team members of the Bloodhound SSC prepare the car for demonstration runs at the Newquay Aerohub, in Cornwall, UK.The long-awaited arrival of the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car (Bloodhound SSC) to the Newquay Airport in Cornwall, UK, has come to fruition and testing of the car has begun. Static running of the car, including a full thrust to re-heat (read that afterburner) has transpired and the car has made low-speed runs for systems checks. The car is to be presented to the world press on Thursday, Oct. 26, with a live demonstration.  

Andy Green, the driver of the Bloodhound SSC car is generous with his time.  Here he is seen doing a television interview, one of many. There are over 200 members of the press here from over 10 countries. 


Using the 900 feet-plus runway of the Newquay Aerohub, RAF pilot Andy Green, the driver of the Bloodhound SSC car, will bring the car up to the 200 MPH zone for a demonstration of the car’s immense power. At the same time, this will facilitate a live systems check of all the car’s vital components in operation.


DRO’s own Tom McCarthy is on the scene and will bring us a report on Friday. 

Force confident team will move up in the points

Hight, winner of the most recent race on the NHRA tour, sits in second place in the standings, a mere 24 points out of the lead. 


John Force sits sixth in the championship, with Las Vegas this week and the season-ending Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., the last two races of the year. That means there’s still plenty of time to move up in the points standings, and mathematically Force still has a chance for a 17th title.


He isn’t the only John Force Racing driver hoping for a strong performance this weekend. As the team owner, two of his other cars could leave Vegas close to or with the championship lead. Robert Hight, in the Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS, is second in points, while Courtney Force, driving the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS, is third in the standings. Force’s other daughter, Brittany Force, is second in Top Fuel in the Monster Energy dragster.


“With two races left in the Countdown, I’ve got some cars in the hunt – Robert second, Courtney right behind him, and I still have a shot in Funny Car, and Brittany and Monster Energy have a shot in Top Fuel, so we’re coming into Vegas positioned well,” Force said. “What will be will be. It won’t be for a lack of money, lack of heart, or lack of work ethic.


“We’ve turned the corner at John Force Racing, with Robert holding both ends of the national records, Courtney’s got one of the fastest cars on the circuit, and John Force Racing is overdue for a championship. We’re going to try to get it done.” 

No Mercy Racing to promote #VegasStrong at race

The No Mercy Nitro Funny Car will be promoting #VegasStrong during the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas this week. NMR is based in the Las Vegas valley and the tragedy on October 1 has hit close to home.


#VegasStrong has become a rallying theme as the Las Vegas community pulls together in the aftermath of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history that claimed 58 lives and injured more than 500.


“It has been some of the hardest weeks ever for our hometown, our families, friends, and our lives,” said co-owner and driver Chris Bennett. “We want to make sure the race fans know that Vegas remains strong and will remain a fun and a safe destination for travelers. Vegas is our home and we won’t let one individual stop us from moving forward with our lives.”  

New dragster for Torrence at Las Vegas

Despite having “totaled” a Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster that had won twice as many races as any other this season, despite the resultant drain on his team’s operating budget and despite the myriad of physical aches and pains one would expect from such a traumatic incident, it is a confident Steve Torrence who returns this week to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 17th annual Toyota Nationals.


The 34-year-old Texan is the defending event champion and in spite of the crash he still sits atop the Mello Yello driver standings, 37 points ahead of Brittany Force.


He will start Friday qualifying in a new Capco dragster in which he tested last weekend at Indianapolis with a 1,000-foot time of 3.68 seconds and a finish line speed of 332 mph.


“A.J. [Alan Johnson] power and Morgan Lucas pipe. That underlines what I’ve said from the start which is that I’ve got the best crew in the sport. To put everything back together after a crash like that and go out and run those numbers? Think about it. If that’s not a confidence-builder for a driver, I don’t know what is.”   



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