VOLUME XX,  NUMBER 2 - FEBRUARY,  2018

Safety measures save John Force from injury

In an accident eerily reminiscent of his 2007 crash in Dallas, Texas, John Force won his second-round race in Sunday’s 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals before an engine explosion sent his PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Camaro careening into the Toyota of Jonnie Lindberg.

 

The two cars, linked together by tangled parachutes, hit one wall, then the other before coming to a stop in a cloud of smoke. As a precaution, the 68-year-old veteran was transported for further evaluation and released Sunday evening from Chandler Regional Hospital.

 

The 148-time tour winner returned to the track to congratulate daughter Courtney who won the Funny Car title in his absence.

 

In 2007, Force won his second-round race in the NHRA Fall Nationals but, as his car crossed the finish line, it blew a tire, crossed into the opposite lane and collided with the Dodge driven by Kenny Bernstein.

 

Although the two incidents were similar, Force cited the safety engineered into the cars since his Dallas crash as the main reason he wasn’t more seriously injured this time around. At Dallas, he was airlifted out of the Texas Motorplex, underwent six hours of reconstructive surgery and several months of rehab before returning to competition.

 

“This was a great day for John Force Racing,” Force said. “Brittany came back from a crash at Pomona and won first round and Courtney won Funny Car for Advance Auto Parts. My struggles continue, but I’m a big boy, I’ll fix it."

 

Lindberg was not injured, but Jim Head’s Funny Car was destroyed.

 

See all the action at here. 

So, how does drag racing compare to a rocket blast-off?

Astronaut Mark Kelly (right) spends a few minutes with Tony Pedregon (left) and Bob Tasca Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.     

Kalitta sparks some excitement

Doug Kalitta had a spectacular explosion on Friday, one of many race vehicles to give the Phoenix fans a bit more excitement over the weekend. On Sunday, in the first round against Billy Torrence, both machines hit tire smoke right after the hit of the throttle and both drivers began pedaling quickly after. After getting on and off the throttle many times and putting on quite a show for the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park crowd, Kalitta was defeated.   

Schedule set for Midwest Pro Outlaws

Race Director Randy McIlrath has announced the Quick Performance Midwest Pro Outlaws schedule. Four tracks will hold six events this season.

 

Eddyville Raceway Park, Eddyville, IA: May 26, June 9, July 15

Onawa Racing & Events Complex, Onawa, IA: Aug. 4 (1/8 mile)

Mo-Kan Dragway, Asbury, MO: Sept. 1

Central Illinois Dragway, Havana, IL: Sept. 22 

Construction delays postpone IHRA race at Xtreme Raceway Park

The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular race schedule for March 9-11 has been moved to Jun 1-3 due to weather-related construction delays at the new Ferris, TX, track.

 

"The weather has caused several delays in construction. Although the facility is close to being finished, it is important we run some test-n-tunes first to make sure that everything is working properly before hosting such a large event," Xtreme Raceway Park General Manager Gaylen Smith said. "We are committed to providing a great experience for the racers and we look forward to welcoming them to our track in June."

 

The IHRA Summit Sportsman Spectacular will kick off at Farmington Dragway, Mocksville, NC, on March 9-11.  

Record crowds at Phoenix track for Sunday show

NHRA and Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park officials announced a sellout crowd for Sunday eliminations at the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals. Fans from all over the southwest region packed the grandstands, pit areas and campgrounds.

 

This is the first time in Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park history there has been a sellout crowd on Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, and is the first sellout crowd of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.   

But wait…there’s more

Bob Tasca’s Mustang Funny Car blew up the body during Friday qualifying with Cruz Pedregon. Tasca had to finish the event in basic black.    

Team Bray hoping for Ben’s birthday present at Perth

Australia’s Team Bray Racing will have a busy month of March. The action starts this week – TBR racers Ben Bray (shown) and Frankie Taylor will kick it all off at the Perth Motorplex with testing on March 1 ahead of Ben’s birthday on the 2nd. The 3rd and 4th will then see the team contest this weekend’s MacTrack Westernationals – round 6 of the 400 Thunder Championship.

 

After the Westernats the team will be taking part in the anniversary celebrations of Century Batteries, who are celebrating 90 years of manufacturing in Australia on March 9. Both TBR Pro Slammers will be on display while Ben will also be on hand to sign autographs and take part in the festivities.

 

The next three weekends will then host back-to-back events for the team – the Sydney Jamboree (March 17), the Southern Thunder event at Adelaide International Raceway (March 23-24) and the Santo’s Summer Thunder event at TBR’s home-track, Willowbank Raceway (Good Friday, March 30).

 

“It sure is going to be a massive March for all of us at TBR, but who could say no to all of these great events coming up?” said Ben.    

Wilkerson finds problem with car’s performance

Although it didn't show in final results, Springfield, IL, native Tim Wilkerson gained ground and plans to put the information acquired to good use as the 2018 season of NHRA's Mello Yello Drag Racing Series kicks into gear.

 

Wilkerson qualified in the No. 15 spot in the NHRA Arizona Nationals after determining that the culprit of his Funny Car's unruly behavior was a bent chassis. A quick change of cars and Wilk was on his way to a first-round meeting with Ron Capps. Wilk left the starting line first with a .074-second reaction time to his opponent's .090, but soon it was Capps surging ahead for a 3.908-second, 325.30 mph win over a 4.091, 256.89.

 

"I really thought we had a good chance of doing something good today. But the car left the starting line, hit the bumps about 80-100 feet out there, and it went bump, bump, bump and put a hole out," said Wilkerson, explaining the reason for the quieting of one cylinder. "It moved me over, and I was steering it back, but I could see Capps driving away. We still went 4.09, and there were only two other cars in the whole session that would have beat us.”

 

Wilkerson added, “I'll get home and get my wits about me, and then we'll see what I can figure out. If we can get our new car in time and I feel good about it, we might run it in Gainesville. I'm not set on my views quite yet."    

No Prep Nationals announces inaugural event

The Inaugural No Prep Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka will take no-prep racing to the next level by providing the best un-prepped surface at the top end of the track, allowing participants to race back toward the tower suites.  The event is scheduled for Sept. 28-29.

 

The No Prep Nationals will host Friday Grudge Racing, followed by Saturday eliminations with a combined purse exceeding $117,000 in payouts, plus additional prizes from local and national sponsors.  

Turbo motorcycles added to PDRA class

Class sponsor Drag 965 will also back PXM teams like reigning champ, Travis Davis. 

 

The upcoming season of the PDRA’s Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle will arguably be the most exciting in class history. For the first time, turbocharged applications will compete alongside the nitrous mainstays, beginning at the East Coast Spring Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park on April 5-7.   

New Product of the Day

 

New Design from SuperPro

SuperPro has re-designed the SPF2339K Strut Bar to Chassis Mount Bush Kit. This new two-piece design is easier to fit. Also available in a non-adjustable version for standard replacement. 

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