News and rumors from the St. Louis NHRA event

Since Jim Oberhofer was fired by Connie Kalitta rumors have been rampant about where the veteran tuner might end up. That he has signed on to tune the Texas based Top Fueler driven by Kebin Kinsley is a fact. The rumors have him joining the JFR "brain trust" for the 2019 season. 

Another rumor about the JFR camp is that uber-tuner Alan Johnson will ankle his consulting gig and return as a team owner/tuner in 2019 with a female driver rumored to be Ashley Sanford with a major sponsor. Ashley is show here getting her Top Fuel license last year.


The NHRA will take more steps to slow down the Top Fuel and Funny Cars again. Team tuners have already compensated for the traction issue and both Top Fuel and Funny Cars have exceeded 330 mph. They are seriously considering restricting the superchargers.

Rumors have veteran NHRA Funny Car driver and manufacturer Johnny West (seen last year at left with Ed “Ace” McCulloch) bringing back his famous “Plan A” name with a Fuel Altered that is already being put together.  

Funny Car Chaos to add events next year

Jordan Ballew and the Oklahoma-based "Ballew Thunder" team took top honors as 'Racer of the Year' for the FC Chaos series. Ballew and family are the only team to attend all five FC Chaos events this year and they plan a full season assault for the 2019 points.


Chris Graves has announced that his Funny Car Chaos series plans to host seven to eight events in 2019 and the new year will welcome a championship points tour, presented by John Hale’s Best of Texas BBQ Sauce. All of this year’s host tracks, Mo-Kan Dragway, Amarillo Dragway, Central Illinois Dragway and North Star Dragway will return for next season along with some new venues.


To see the season finale held at North Star Dragway go to here

Burns and Guffey take Fall Fling wins on Thursday

On Yukon Gear & Axle Wednesday, Rock Pintavalle used his all-Mopar Duster to take home the $15,000 prize and placed a bullseye on his car as the Bounty on Racepak Thursday. Unfortunately, Pintavalle’s last win light was on Wednesday night as Chad Axford defeated Pintavalle in the very first round Thursday to earn himself the Bounty Award of an Altronics Weather Station.


Thursday was also the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout. With a number of new entries showing up, each was the only ones given a time trial before eliminations began. Winners of the sixth round were Brendan Jarrell, Jeff Burns, Jeff Serra, Jamie Holston and Turtle Brannon taking the odd car bye run to advance. Quarterfinals and Burns took out Brannon, while Holston turned on the red light to advance Jarrell in his truck, and Serra advanced on the bye run, making it two door cars against the lonely dragster.

Jeff Burns


In the semifinals, the lonely dragster received the bye run to advance to the final while the two door cars battled it out to see who would face Burns in the final. Serra used a .003 package to turn back Jarrell and take his shot against the fast dragster of Burns. In the final though, it was Burns with the reaction time advantage which he carried all the way through for the $20,000 win.

In the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout semifinals, the combatants were Garrett Griffith, Ronnie Horwath, Tracey Guffey and Bennie Ulmer. By the time the final rolled around, it was Guffey against 16-year old Griffith who had the reaction time advantage, but it was Guffey dead-on the dial with a “6” which sealed the deal for him.  

2019 Fall Fling special event will pay winner $500,000

Promoters Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel have announced that to celebrate their 10th year of Fall Flings, the 2019 edition will be called the Fall Fling 500K and will pay the winner $500,000.


The race will be held Sept. 17-21, 2019, at Thunder Valley Bristol Dragway, where the first Fling was held in 2010.


Three auxiliary races, each paying $30,000 to the winner, will bookend the 500K Friday race. The 500K race pre-entry will be capped at 385 entries with no gate entries accepted, and all of the money 100-percent guaranteed. For more information visit www.bracketraces.com.

Stephen seeks Supercharged Outlaws title in Australia

Paul Stephen will be at Mildura, Victoria, Australia’s Sunset Strip Nationals this weekend, Sept. 22-23, looking for a win in Supercharged Outlaws. The Sydney racer is currently second in the points driving his 1933 Dodge coupe and is fully committed to the 2018-19 season.


“After coming runner-up a couple of times and top five many times, my wife Dearne said we could have either another trip to America or go around again to ‘get this out of my system’,” laughed Stephen.


“The boys are back this year and we are not here for runners-up, we are here to bring home some trophies!” 

AACF is raising money for aftermarket families affected by Florence

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has launched phase one of an urgent response to aftermarket families affected by hurricane Florence.


“Applications for help increased 78% in the wake of last year’s unprecedented hurricane season, so we initiated crisis-response plans last week,” said AACF President Lynn Parker. “Thousands of aftermarket employees live and work in the impact areas. We will be working with our Awareness Partners, SEMA, the Auto Care Association, MEMA and others to try to reach aftermarket families in need as quickly as possible.”


Aftermarket families in need are asked to complete the simple application on the AACF website. Donations can be made online or by calling 772-286-5500. 

Just wondering…

The Agent is beginning to think the world has left him behind. Brent Austin, driver of the ’69 Camaro known as “Megalodon,” picked up a cool quarter-mil this summer. After winning $50,000 at the Outlaw Armageddon No Prep Invitational in Oklahoma, he took $200,000 for the win at the Street Outlaws event at Bristol Dragway.


The NHRA has to join the Agent in wondering where is all this money coming from?

And more wondering…

The Agent will be paying close attention to see how the Mopar Factory Stock drivers do at St. Louis after the NHRA added 50 lbs. to their cars. We must admit we like to see those Challengers kick some butt after Chevrolet has dominated the Pro Stock ranks.   

Off the Track: Women in Motorsports Seminar

The Agent just received the weekly Performance Racing Industry newsletter and was happy to see a new seminar, Women in Motorsports, is planned for the PRI Show this December. However, reading the list of panelists, the Agent saw there was only one that had any drag racing experience and that was minor compared to her other racing.


The panel, led by Lyn St. James (former IndyCar driver) includes Cara Adams (IndyCar engineer), Katie Hargitt (IndyCar pit reporter for NBCSN), Shea Holbrook (IMSA driver), and Karen Salvaggio (some NHRA but mostly ALMS and sports cars).


Drag racing probably has more women involved than any other motorsport. Maybe we could find a good spokeswoman to spread the word?

New Product of the Day


JEGS 5 Gauge Dash Panel LED Bar Graph

JEGS 5 Gauge Dash Panel includes a Speedometer & Tachometer Combo that reads up to 255 mph and features odometer, trip meter, one-button calibration, 0-60 time, 1⁄4 mile ET, and high speed recall; all at the push of a button. Tachometer reads 0-9,900 RPM in 100 RPM increments. Speedometer can be used with the included Ford sending unit. Water Temperature Gauge includes a sending unit and reads 160 degrees to 240 degrees F. Oil Pressure Gauge reads 0-80 psi and the Oil pressure sending unit is included. Voltmeter reads 12-16 volts. Fuel Level Gauge reads Empty to Full in 1/4 increments and works with most existing fuel level sending units set at industry standard 0-90 Ohms. 



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