VOLUME XX, NUMBER 4 - APRIL, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
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Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
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Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
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European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
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ET DRAG RACING
New this year at the Spring Fling at Galot Motorsports Park was the addition of the No Box class, a limited field of 32 No Box entries which are run separately in the same fashion as the Box door cars. After five separate rounds of No Box racing, the winning person is moved into the sixth round of Box cars. Wednesday’s No Box winner was Lee Zane from Elmer, NJ.
Round six with 15 cars left, the remaining racers were Phillip Truitt, Nathan Lilley, Brendan George, Chad Taylor, Mike Barber, No Box winner Lee Zane, John Labbous, Jeff Dobbins II, Kellan Farmer, James DiCiacco, Marty Dabney, Brian Reklaitis, Tim Fletcher, Dan Fletcher and Harold Bell Jr. The survivors of that round were Truitt, George, Barber, Labbous, Farmer, Dabney, Tim Fletcher and Bell receiving the odd car bye, with three of the eight left door cars.
Quarterfinals and the door cars didn’t fare well. George defeated the door car of Bell, Labbous took out the door car of Barber, Farmer took out Truitt’s door car, and Fletcher kept the door car hopes alive with a win over Dabney.
In the semifinals Farmer used a perfect reaction time to defeat Labbous and George ran dead on his dial with an “8” to defeat the last remaining door car of Fletcher.
For the final round, it was Farmer all the way with the reaction time advantage over George, bringing home the trophy and the $15K to his family’s business, Racetech. It was Farmer’s first win since moving out of Jr. Dragsters.
Thursday brings a single time run followed by eliminations for a $20,000 to win event. [05/03/18]
Dylan Hegwood leads the 10-12-year-old class points this season going into the Sacramento doubleheader.
The NHRA Pacific National Open series returns to Sacramento Raceway Park this weekend, May 4-6. The event features Tom Comp, Stock/Super Stock combo, Super Gas, Super Comp, Super Street, ET brackets, motorcycles, and a double Junior Drag Racing League event. [05/03/18]
JEGS has reached an agreement with NHRA as the title-rights sponsor for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event taking place at Route 66 Raceway outside of Chicago. The JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals will take place on May 31-June 3 and will feature competition in all four professional categories.
The entitlement builds upon the involvement by the organization as the JEGS Allstars specialty race will take place on Saturday, June 2. This race-within-a-race will pit the top points earners from NHRA’s seven geographic divisions of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and four Top Alcohol regions against each other in the culmination of a yearlong points battle. Competitors in Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Comp Eliminator, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Stock, and Super Street will compete for team and individual honors as well as a share of the $124,000 purse.[05/03/18]
At the recent ANDRA Grand Finals, Steve Norman not only took out the Super Comp victory for the final round of the 2017/18 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, but also the Crow Cams Best Engineered Award.
The recognition of Norman’s D/GA BMW M3 Coupe comes at the end of the car’s debut season, following the retirement of Norman’s 2015 Super Stock championship-winning Chevy Cobalt.
Norman was confident that his car would earn an award. “The reason for that believe was that Reg Lee and his sons Ryan and Bryce have just done such an absolutely unreal job of building the car,” Norman said. “It is 100 percent Australian built, and the guys have done such a great job of it with the help of John Lang of Pro9 who did all of the chassis work and Peter Ridgeway who has helped with some of the engine development. The paintwork is absolutely ‘show quality’ as well, and that is all down to Bryce who did all of the paintwork on the car.”
By taking the win at Adelaide Norman finished the season in the top five after only competing in three events this season. With such a successful beginning to his new car’s racing career, Norman has big plans for the 2018/19 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.
“We will be running pretty much everywhere we can this year,” Norman said. [05/03/18]
The 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series will welcome back a familiar face in a not so familiar class of racing this weekend at the Gulf Western Oil Nitro Thunder event, as Emilio Spinozzi makes his Pro Slammer debut in the Speedmaster Chevelle.
After some two years out of professional competition, Spinozzi said he would just like to be present in the moment, with many runs to enjoy thanks to the all-run format.
“If we could run a high 5.9 second run I think we would be extremely happy,” the Sydney-based drag racer said. “We're not expecting too much, for us this is about being there and getting our groove back. “The all-run format is perfect for us, with testing on Friday and three rounds of racing on Saturday giving us a great opportunity to continue our learning.”
The Speedmaster Pro Slammer, built by Australia's own SCF Racecars, produces some 3000 horsepower - three times as much as the Pro Stock car Spinozzi formerly drove. The result is a far angrier, and faster, race car.
“The Pro Stock car is more refined in terms of the gear shifts, but the Pro Slammer you can aggressively drive. If it gets out of shape on the track I can pedal (get on and off the throttle) and recover, whereas in a Pro Stock car you would push in the clutch and that would be the end of the run.
“The biggest challenge so far has been the braking area, that is where the party starts. This car is doing 200mph (320kmh) halfway down the track where our Pro Stock car was doing that at the finish line.”
“I'm still not used to the noise,” he said. “There are so many things to get your attention. There's fuel coming out the exhausts past the window, clutch dust coming out of the can right next to your legs. I'm sure all that will be normal within a few more runs!”
It's not only the driver needing to get used to a new car, with the Speedmaster pit crew also learning about turning around a 3000 horsepower, supercharged Pro Slammer between rounds.
“Our guys are doing an awesome job,” Spinozzi said. “Mark Brew from Proforce has built us a great engine and the Speedmaster boys are getting their head around everything.”
Crew chief Michael Marriott said he is aiming to put the team's Pro Stock lessons to good use on the Speedmaster Pro Slammer, despite the changes in horsepower.
“We are coming towards this car with a different approach based on our Pro Stock experience and we want to see if we can gain anything from that first,” Marriott said. “There is a different philosophy with these cars around not just the power you can make, but also how you can adjust that power on race day. With a Pro Stock car you might be able to adjust power by 2-3% at an event, while you could pick up perhaps 10% more power with the tuning calls on a Pro Slammer. The effect that then has on the chassis and clutch is dramatic.” [05/03/18]
Keith Haney is looking forward to attending Throw Down in T-Town (May 11-12), at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park, his hometown track in Tulsa.
Haney races a pair of nearly identical appearing 2016 Camaros in the all-eighth-mile MWPMS, with “Notorious” entered in Pro Mod competition and “Enigma” his ride of choice for Radial vs. the World. Both were back in the trailer after just one round of competition at promoter Tyler Crossnoe’s Outlaw Street Car Reunion V.
“Notorious” experienced a major timing malfunction in round two of Pro Mod qualifying that led to a huge explosion and seriously damaged seven of eight cylinders in its nitrous-boosted engine. However, rival team owners Jim Sacuvich and Dave Pierce, along with several of their crew members pitched in to make repairs and at least give Haney a chance.
The explosion not only damaged the engine, but burned up the car’s windshield, too. Haney could see straight ahead, but didn’t have a view of the staging lights. Relying on crew member instructions over the radio, Haney said he deep-staged for his final qualifying attempt and hit the gas only after hearing his opponent, Jim Cunningham leave. He made the show.
Down on internal vacuum pressure, Haney knew his engine was still hurting, though, which led to him losing the opening round of Pro Mod eliminations to Wayne Roberts. “I had him at the tree, had him at the 60-foot; I was rollin’ good and then—BOOM!—it blew up again and he went around me.”
Haney will make his NHRA Pro Mod debut May 18-20 at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, KS, during the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties. [05/03/18]
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