Hargett wins TOPMA event at Motorplex

Kevin Hargett 


Consistency paid off for Dallas racer Kevin Hargett at the Texas Motorplex July 7, where he opened with a 4.29-second pass at 179.44 mph to qualify his turbocharged 2013 Camaro fourth for the track’s monthly O’Reilly Auto Parts Outlaw Pro Mod event. Hargett then ran a series of mid-4.20s to reach victory lane, which marked his second race title for 2018 and his first Texas Outlaw Pro Modified Association (TOPMA) win of the year.


TOPMA points leader Steve Wiley took the top spot in qualifying with an outstanding 3.74-second run at 205.16 mph, but ignition troubles on the starting line with his supercharged ’63 Corvette handed an uncontested first-round win to eighth-place starter Chuck Poindexter and his Chevy Luv pickup. Meanwhile, last month’s winner, Doug Riesterer, advanced past David Baldwin, Tony Strachan also made a solo pass after Brandon McKinney suffered mechanical woes, and Hargett made the quickest and fastest pass of the opening round with a 4.26 at 179.40 mph to defeat Joseph Butler.

Tony Strachan 


Round two saw Riesterer fall to Strachan, who gained lane choice for the final with a 4.11 at 179.83 in his nitrous-boosted ’69 Camaro, while Hargett ran 4.27 at 178.78 to get past a red-lighting Poindexter.


When the green flashed for the final, Hargett left with a .071 reaction, which combined with a 4.25 pass at 182.55 mph added up to just one-thousandth-of-a-second advantage over Strachan’s much quicker 4.12 at 179.30 that was negated by an unfortunate .210 RT.


Despite the win, Hargett added he was surprised his car didn’t pick up more speed after he tuned it up for the final, but when a Texas Motorplex official showed up at his pit with part of a clamp in his hand, he realized one of his turbo waste gates was hanging on only by its hoses.


“It was still applying some pressure to the other waste gate, but if it had fallen off completely we would’ve had pretty much no boost at all,” Hargett explained. “So that’s why it didn’t go faster, but a 50-cent piece of hose held on just long enough for us to get the win.”


Also visiting victory lane at the Texas Motorplex were Brad Jones with his ’68 Camaro in the 5.0 Index final, Paul Harris in the 5.50 class, Jay Casey with his second-straight monthly win in 6.0, and Bryan McClain in 7.0 Index action. The 7.90 Jr. Dragster final belonged to Jason Rhodes, while 8.90 Jr. Dragster honors went to number-one qualifier Dylan Smoot, and Brody Tigue also claimed his second consecutive 11.90 Jr. Dragster title.


TOPMA and the O’Reilly Auto Parts Outlaw Pro Mod Show will return to the Texas Motorplex on Saturday, Aug. 4, for the fourth of five scheduled events there this year.  

‘Spiderman’ looking for ManCup win in Ohio

Top Fuel Motorcycle legend and 18-time champion Larry “Spiderman” McBride is hoping a long-awaited return to a racetrack he has not competed at since the 1980s will prove to be a turning point in what has been a challenging ManCup campaign.


McBride heads into this weekend’s, July 13-15, Fast by Gast Nationals at Dragway 42 in West Salem, OH, trailing class leader Dave Vantine by 38 points. McBride has faced Vantine in the last two ManCup event finals, coming out second each time. With only five races left in the season, McBride needs to get his first win in his quest for a championship. 

Bonetti looking for repeat performance ‘Up North’ in Australia

Sergio Bonetti’s 1932 Ford coupe doesn’t have any of the electronic devices, trans brakes or delay boxes that most of his competitors have. 


After bringing home a pair of trophies from last year’s ‘northern swing’, South Australian Sergio Bonetti is hoping for more success at the 2018 instalments of the Nitro Up North and Desert Nationals events.


Nitro Up North will be held at the Hidden Valley Drag Strip this weekend, July 13-14, ahead of Alice Springs Inland Dragway’s Desert Nationals on July 21-22. The events mark rounds one and two of the 2018/2019 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.


Bonetti certainly has form “up north” after coming home as the runner-up in the Modified bracket at Nitro Up North in 2017 before going on to take the win at the Desert Nationals on his 63rd birthday.


“I have been hot rodding and racing all my life, starting out back in 1976,” Bonetti said. “I will probably retire from racing in a few years, so I would really like to go out on a high and bring home a championship – a gold ANDRA Xmas Tree would be really special.”  

Spinozzi team makes first foray to Darwin

Making the trek to Darwin’s Hidden Valley Drag Strip for the first time will be Emilio and Adamo Spinozzi. Their Speedmaster Chevelle will compete in Pro Slammer, a class that includes new champion Paul Mouhayet, 11-time champion John Zappia, six-time champ Victor Bray, and U.S. driver Frankie Taylor, among others.


Spinozzi is currently in search of his first 5-second pass and with many teams having achieved that magic mark at Hidden Valley, Emilio is confident of a breakthrough.


“Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was a brand new Pro Slammer tune up,” he said. “Our approach right now is always positive. We will either run that first five second pass or we will learn a whole lot of new information trying. Regardless of the result, our team will be all the better for the experience.”  

Motorplex creates Jr. Dragster Challenge to benefit children’s health

In less than a month, the Texas Motorplex will host a charity golf tournament and its inaugural American Jr. Dragster Challenge presented by CAPCO Contractors, with both events to benefit the Children’s Medical Center Foundation in Dallas.


The golf tournament will be held Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Old Brick Yard Golf Course in Ferris, TX. To register for the golf tournament contact terry@texasmotorplex.com. Qualifying and eliminations for The American Jr. Dragster Challenge are scheduled for Aug. 10-11, with drivers aged 6-17 vying for trophies and nearly $16,000 in cash prizes.


“Ever since I came here I’ve wanted to do something kinda’ cool and big for our kids that race but also tied into charity, so we got involved with Children’s HealthSM, which is the big children's hospital here,” Texas Motorplex General Manager Andy Carter explained. “They do such important work up there and mean so much to the community, not just in Dallas but for all over Texas, so we just want to help raise some money and awareness for them.”


A test-n-tune session for all classes, including full-size cars, will keep the track busy Wednesday, Aug. 8, while several local Jr. Dragster teams will make the trek to Children’s Health, where their race cars will be on display and drivers will visit with patients and staff at the hospital. Later that day the teams will pack up and head over to the huge Summit Racing Equipment outlet that opened last fall in Arlington.


The American Jr. Dragster Challenge on Friday and Saturday will consist of three Jr. Dragster classes based on driver age and elapsed time over an eighth-mile course, including the Summit 7.90 class for racers 13 years and older, the Lucas Oil 8.90 index class for drivers 10-12, and the TexasTruckDeals.com combined 11.90/13.90 class for racers aged 6-9 years.


The Motorplex is offering free admission to fans throughout Saturday, which in addition to The American Jr. Dragster Challenge, will feature autograph sessions with NHRA Top Fuel stars Steve and Billy Torrence of event sponsor CAPCO Contractors. 

Pennzoil launches ‘My Car’ campaign featuring Pritchett

Launching today, Pennzoil’s new ‘My Car’ campaign highlights professional motorsports drivers who have Made the Switch and rely on Pennzoil Synthetics for protection and performance in their cars, cars that share similar needs to daily drivers.


The new ad campaign demonstrates that professional drivers such as NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett, NASCAR driver Joey Logano, and IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves trust Pennzoil Synthetics to deliver the protection they need during each and every race.


This is the first time that Pennzoil is bringing drivers together from multiple motorsports series and the first time the brand is using them all in a national television advertising campaign.   



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