Burk’s (short) Blast

It’s July in the Midwest (really hot and humid) and at 74 he is slowing down, but editor Jeff Burk still has something to say about the state of drag racing – he’s just not going to write any long columns anymore. He’s going to give us his thoughts as they come to him and we’ll share them through Agent 1320. Here’s the first one, short and to the point:


Just Wondering...Was that a joke? Fox Sports/NHRA announcer Brian Lohnes actually said on the Friday broadcast from Epping, New Hampshire, that there was a rumor going around that NHRA management might be considering returning the Top Fuel and Funny Car racing distance to a quarter mile. Should we take that rumor seriously?


I will say, absolutely not! The NHRA has spent the last couple of years screwing around with track prep trying to slow those cars down and “level the playing field” so now adding 320 feet to track distance won’t slow ‘em down and would be a bizarre decision. I can’t believe Mr. Lohnes would report - on a national broadcast - any rumor regarding a possible major NHRA policy change without permission or direction or both from management. Could someone in management have been convinced that entries in the nitro classes would increase and thousands of disgruntled quarter-mile-only fans who left the sport when the 1,000-foot track was installed would return to buying tickets to the races? Who knows? Going back to a quarter mile for Top Fuel and Funny Car makes them more dangerous (350 mph in the lights?) and expensive to race than they are now.


To be truthful, though, I have always wanted NHRA to have different length tracks if for no other reason than the same cars, classes and winners is boring. You want more participants in the nitro classes? Float a rumor that in 2020 the NHRA is considering making the U.S. Nationals and the Gatornationals really special by making them quarter-mile tracks and that one race at both Las Vegas and Charlotte will be eighth-mile four-wide races! Now that is bizarre! 

Rocky Mtn. Superchargers set records

Oahe Speedway near Pierre, SD, hosted the Rocky Mountain Superchargers for a special Melling race weekend event July 6, with the crowd treated to some record runs.

Competition Products Funny Car Rampage winner Doug Schneider set both ends of the track record for funny cars with a 6.159 run at 231.95 mph. Schneider and engine builder Dale Hill enjoyed a standing ovation from the crowd.

Canadian racers Ken and Scott Murray put their Ken's Customs dragster in the Top Supercharged Thunder winner's circle posting a track record 224.04 speed in the process. The Murrays traveled from Winnipeg, Manitoba, for the race.

Dickinson, North Dakota's Jon Kostelecky took the trophy and winner's check as he topped the Pro Supercharged / All Stars field running consistent 7-second passes in his front engine dragster. 


Next up for the Superchargers is a race at Onawa, Iowa, presented by Hauser Performance July 20. All three Supercharger programs will be contested and a shootout with the Midwest Wild Bunch is scheduled.

Promoter Ron Leek succumbs

Ron Leek, former racer and long-time owner of Byron (IL) Dragway, passed away on Wednesday, July 10, after a lengthy illness.


Leek owned a large portion of the Dragway for decades until his shares were bought out by BJ Vangsness in 2011. The track is currently for sale. Leek was known for innovative promotions such as the Meltdown Drags and also served as announcer for the track. He was inducted into the World Series of Drag Racing Hall of Fame at Cordova International Dragway last year.


The track held the Firecracker Bracket Nationals over the July 4th weekend and Leek was able to announce at the track for part of the event – a fitting way for a legend in the business to say goodbye.    

Byron track update

Bob Bode has been carrying the “For Sale” sign for Byron Dragway this season. 


The Byron, IL, track has been for sale for a couple of years now and the Agent hears from a reliable source that there is a standing offer from the U.S. Forrest Service for the 500-plus acre property. Current management, however, wants to keep it as a racing facility and hopes a new owner will agree.  

It’s Idaho versus Montana at the Battle of Lost Creek

Lost Creek Raceway is an eighth-mile gem in the mountains of Montana that hosted this year’s competition between the states of Idaho and Montana. Who won the 11th edition? Brian Losness tells us at here.  

Kumre to make TAD debut at Sonoma Regional

NHRA Heritage Series regular Jerry Kumre Jr. is set to make his Top Alcohol Dragster debut when he steps into the seat of the Eakins Family Racing (EFR) dragster during the July 18-21 Regional event at his home track, Sonoma Raceway.


“I have been fortunate to drive for some great teams in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Fuel Altered and A/Fuel in the Heritage Series, but growing up around Pro Comp and Top Alcohol dragster with the San Paolo family Spaghetti Bender cars, I knew this was something I always wanted to do and the opportunity to work with Randy Eakins and Brett Johansen is just a perfect situation,” stated Kumre. 

Lancaster, NY, track renews with IHRA

The new owners of the renamed Lancaster Dragway at New York International Raceway Park have signed a sanctioning agreement with the IHRA. Drag racers Mike Swinarski and Vito and Sylvia Antonicelli bought the facility earlier this year.


The property consists of an eighth-mile drag strip and a 5.8-mile paved oval track. The 2018 track champions were Dale Eckert (Top), Jeff Kerl (Mod), Maxon Fix (Street), Mike Peters (Bikes/Sleds) and Victoria Young (Jr. Dragster).   

RIP, Volkswagen Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is ending production. The final Beetle produced by Volkswagen de Mexico’s Puebla plant, a Denim Blue coupe, will remain displayed at Volkswagen’s museum in Puebla.


“From its first import in 1949 to today’s retro-inspired design, it has showcased our company’s ability to fit round pegs into square holes of the automotive industry. While its time has come, the role it has played in the evolution of our brand will be forever cherished,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.    



official DRO sponsors

 © 1999-2019 - Drag Racing Online and Racing Net Source LLC - 607 Seib Drive, O'Fallon, MO 63366 Phone: 636.272.6301 - Privacy Policy

fficial ponsors