Wondering Once Again

Just Wondering ... Am I the only one who has noticed that NHRA hasn’t been announcing “sold out” race days at national events as frequently or at all recently? Maybe someone in management finally realized that announcing a “sold out” Standing Room Only crowd on national TV and then during nitro qualifying or eliminations panning the TV camera past grandstands with plenty of empty seats just makes the NHRA management team appear to viewers and industry professionals as dishonest or ignorant or both.  – Jeff Burk (jeffburk@dragracingonline.com).   

150 to 1

John Force finally broke through to his 150th career win Sunday, Aug. 4, at Pacific Raceways while the newest member of the John Force Racing team, Austin Prock, got the first win of his rookie season. And it all happened on the big FOX network.

The 16-time funny Car champion began his day with a victory over Jim Campbell and then dispatched teammate and points leader Robert Hight, who slowed past half-track. Semifinal opponent Jack Beckman was up in smoke, setting up a final round against Ron Capps. Force’s win gave him a 12-8 record against Capps in finals rounds.


“I got the monkey off my back and it drove me nuts,” Force said. “But it taught me to focus on my car if I want to do (well). I had to get to know my car and sometimes you need a slap in the face. That was the monkey that made me focus. I’ve been living it here the last 4-5 races and we found something real critical. I may not be as young as these kids, but I’m excited. I can calm down now and not live with that, thinking that I’ll never get it.”


Force, 70, is far ahead of the second all-time winner, Warren Johnson, who won 97 Pro Stock events before retiring in 2013. Force did not get his first NHRA win until he was 38 years old.


For rookie Top Fuel driver Prock, his win was a dream come true.


“Danny Hood and I, we called that from the get-go,” he said. “We said when John gets 150, I’m going to get my first one. It all came together just perfectly.”

The son of Jimmy Prock who crew chiefs Robert Hight’s Funny Car, Austin began his day with a close win over Leah Pritchett, who has struggled this season. A second-round win was a gimme when Clay Millican’s chute popped out on the launch. Prock got the holeshot win over Mike Salinas with a .047-second RT coupled to a 3.800 at 322.19 mph while Salinas recorded a .094 RT and a quicker and faster 3.777/324.12.


In the final Prock, 23, faced points leader Steve Torrence, who has won eight events this season. Torrence was off the line first, but went up in smoke and couldn’t recover traction. Prock ran 3.875 at 307.86 for his first win. 

No sweep for Anderson as Hartford jumps the broom

Greg Anderson was hoping for a record of his own at Seattle: becoming the only Pro Stock driver to sweep the NHRA Western Swing for a second time. But Matt Hartford’s holeshot put an end to that.


Hartford had a .023 RT with a run of 6.606/209.33 to Anderson’s late .054 RT and 6.596/210.31. The margin of victory was .021.


"I had great confidence that I could cut a light and great confidence in my car,” Anderson said. “I really felt I was going to win that race, but I didn't. But that's NHRA Pro Stock at its best right there. You just never know what's going to happen."


Anderson defeated Fernando Cuadra Jr., Erica Enders and Alex Laughlin to get to his third consecutive final while Hartford got past points leader Bo Butner, No. 1 qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Deric Kramer.   

Seven more driver clinch Countdown berths

At Seattle, John Force, Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Bob Tasca III, Greg Anderson, Alex Laughlin, and Matt Hartford became the latest racers to clinch their spots in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship playoffs.  

Vancil moves up in Harley points with Seattle win

In Top Fuel Harley competition, Doug Vancil’s .037 Reaction Time and 6.439 at 211.33 mph took the final-round win over the late 0.79 RT and 6.435/195.28 of Randal Andras.


Vancil defeated Kevin Boyer and Jay Turner (who set Low ET of 6.288 seconds) while Andras got past Rickey House and Andy Beauchemin in earlier rounds.

Tii Tharpe had the Top Speed of 228.19 mph. He leads the Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley Series point standings followed by Beau Layne (who was injured during Friday qualifying), Vancil, House and Turner rounding out the top five.


The Harley racers return for their next NHRA appearance at Brainerd followed by their season finale at the U.S. Nationals.   

Wells takes MWPMS event at St. Louis

Aaron Wells of Oklahoma City, OK, won Saturday night's Mid-West Pro Modified Series final over Jason Hamstra of DeMotte, IN. Earlier, Wells also scored Low ET of the meet at 3.693 seconds.


MWPMS Second Chance: Jon Stouffer, Neosho MO, 71 Barracuda, .044, 4.296, 121.37 def. Mike Recchia, Roselle IL, 69 Camaro, no time

MWPMS Top Dragster: Dan Phelps, Labadie MO, .015 RT, 4.147, 166.72 def. Danny Nelson, Batesville AR, .056 RT, 3.807, 191/78

MWPMS Top Sportsman: Bob Bulitti, Tomball TX, 67 Shelby Mustang, .029 RT, 4.173, 150,70 def. Rich Smith, Wentzville MO, 68 Camaro, .024 RT, 5.767, 92.35

LDR: Jim Howe, Crossville TN, 68 Camaro, .124 RT, 4.141, 179.35 def. Matt Bell, Bloomington IL, 93 Mustang, .085 RT, 4.201, 189.15

X275: Alan Felts, Bowling Green KY, 91 Mustang, .066 RT, 4.432, 164.73 def. Kenny Hubbard, Montgomery Tx. 74 Nova, .071 RT, 4.429, 162.96

6.0 Index: Mike Eggleston, Highland IL, 97 Camaro, .013 RT, 6.021, 120.69 def. Aaron Boehmer, Festus MO, 68 AMX, .042 RT, 6.018, 113.10

Jr. Dragster 6-12: Sarah Stewart, Washington MO, .072 RT, 8.943, 72.40 def. Brent Wagner, Imperial MO, .069 RT, 8.964, 70.98

Jr. Dragster 13+: Jay Kilkenny, West Plains MO, .032 RT, 7.912, 81.40 def. Lauren Chamberlin, Troy MO, -.050 RT, 7.967, 80.68

Box v. No Box: Steve Pearson, St. Charles MO, 77 Vega, .033 RT, 10.547, 128.65 def. Bob Brooks, Foristell MO, 69 Roadrunner, -1.196

NDRL 7.0 Pro: Cory Miller, Piqua OH, 32 Bantam, .017 RT, 7.024, 187.86 def. Michael Sexton, Bloomington IN, 07 N&P FED, .033 RT, 7.055, 189.90

NDRL 7.5 Pro: Pat Malloy, Buchanan VA, 03 Tutle, .030 RT, 7.492, 176.33 def. James Hayes, Troy OH, 58 Corvette, .025 RT, 7.481, 183.22

NDRL Pro Comp: Todd Kapp, Springfield IL, .024 RT, 9.007, 143.69 def. Nick Melone, Chicago IL, 23 T, .059 RT, 8.545, 151.80

NDRL Pro Gas: Sal Petrulis, Howell MI, 72 Dodge Colt, .108 RT, 9.538, 139.33 def. Sam Patrick, Sand Point MI, 37 Chevy Coupe, -.006 RT, 10.023, 131.90  

Malvaso Scores Second Supercharged Win of Season at NYIRP

Frank Malvaso of Rochester, NY, picked up his second Supercharged Bounty Hunters win of 2019 on Friday night, Aug. 2, at Lancaster Dragway @ New York International Raceway Park.


Frank Malvaso continued his domination of the Supercharged Bounty Hunters at Lancaster as he beat Chuck McMahon in the “A” final for his second-straight win. Ron D’Alessandero won the Supercharged “B” final.


Mike Nowak of Lancaster nearly did the double in the Top classes on Friday night. Nowak first knocked off NYIRP co-owner Mike Swinarski in the Top 8 final after beating Swinarski to top end. He then moved to the Mallare Trucking Top ET ladder where he advanced to the finals to face Dave Balser. Nowak left the starting line too soon to trip the red light, and hand Balser his second win overall in 2019 at Lancaster.


In other Friday night action, Dave Balser of Akron, NY, took the win in Mallare Trucking Top ET. Mason Fix scored his second-straight win in Gianni Mazia’s Mod ET. In Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds, Don Becker of Alden, NY, earned his first win of the season. Pete Maduri of N. Tonawanda, NY, won Tread City Tire Street. Deanna Nugent of Niagara Falls (Pro) and Fern Adams of W. Seneca, NY, (Amateur) won the special Ladies Night classes sponsored by Cash & Go Pawn.  

Haney unveils ‘Black Mamba’

At the MWPMS event at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Keith Haney peeled back his car cover on Saturday, Aug. 3, to reveal the "Black Mamba," a brand-new 2019 Camaro built for him by Jerry Bickel Race Cars, not far away in Moscow Mills, MO.


Known for naming his cars, Haney said his girlfriend, Misty Hayes, came up with the “Black Mamba” moniker. He then ran the idea past his primary sponsor, Summit Racing Equipment.


"The people at Summit, they loved what we did last year with a bold red-white-and-blue American motif," Haney said. "But when I showed them what Chris Davis at Kryptonite Kustomz came up with this time, it blew them away."


Haney described the custom vinyl wrap as "shiny scales of black-and-silver snakeskin, and of course it's got the Black Mamba on each side, mouth wide open, fangs out, eating up all the competition."   

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