John Zappia heads for USA to race Pro Mod

Jon Van Daal, DRO’s Australian correspondent, reports that ten-time Australian Top Doorslammer Champion, John Zappia, from Perth, Western Australia, has just landed in America. He is here to finalize his plans to compete on the world’s biggest Pro Mod stage. With the assistance of engine builder Noonan Race Engines, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, he will make a determined effort to bring his no holds barred type of doorslammer racing to the land of the stars and stripes.

“To give you an idea of this commitment,” Van Daal says, “when I took this head on photo of his HQ Holden aiming directly for me last weekend he came within an inch of the wall where I was sitting without touching it. As the HQ went past the exhaust from the headers tickled my right ear but he kept his right foot firmly planted on the throttle and still managed to run a 5.75 to win the race and blow the spectators in attendance totally away.”


Earlier that day he ran the quickest ever Top Doorslammer time down under (and the tenth quickest in the world) with a 5.635 on what was far from a perfect run. When he left the line the front end came up, so he short shifted into second and then had a misfire in top gear – astounding. “After that run we had the car weighed with me and it was 2735 pounds,” Zappia revealed.


“I have been looking at few cars in the States that have a handful of runs on them that only weigh 2275 pounds each - I must admit I love quarter mile racing and with that weight we’d be running in the high twenties.” While there are many quarter mile sanctioned events in America, NHRA only allow Roots blowers whereas ANDRA and IHRA (Oz style) allow both Roots and Screw type superchargers down under. A weight saving of 150 pounds is given for using a Roots blower.


Despite the difference Zappia thinks he can adapt. “I spoke to Jason Scruggs from the PDRA and he told me that he had never run the quarter mile, only ever an eighth. When Paul Mouhayet and the Moits team ran in the States a couple of years ago they did run the eighth mile in competition but he would then stay on the throttle to run the quarter mile when it was possible,” Zappia went on to say.


Zappia hopes that a deal on one of these cars will be finalized in the next week and you can be sure that Drag Racing Online will be the place you will first read about it. For more information on John Zappia’s incredible career head to his website

VOLUME XIX,  NUMBER 4 - April  2017

Rampy, Hidalgo lead Atlanta Sportsman winners


The 37th annual NHRA Southern Nationals took place this past weekend at Atlanta Dragway. And despite the inclement weather, all competition was completed. David Rampy, Piedmont, Ala., and Jimmy Hidalgo Jr. Donaldsonville, La., led the winner’s circle for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.


David Rampy squared off against Jeff Longhany, Wade, N.C. in the final round of Super Stock. Loghany started slightly too quick, activating the red light on the tree, giving Rampy the win; 10.198 seconds, 129.23 mph. Rampy closes in on 100 national event victories, as he earns his 94th national event Wally trophy.


In the Stock Eliminator final round, Jimmy Hidalgo Jr.  grabbed a big hole shot and successfully held off Jerry Emmons, Pasadena, Texas for the win. Hidalgo Jr. made a victory pass of 10.849 seconds, 117.56 mph. Emmons runner upped at 10.526 seconds, 114.62 mph.


Top Sportsman standouts Sandy Wilkins, Mount Ulla, NC, and Vince Hoda, D'Iberville, MS, faced off for Top Sportsman glory. Hoda took the lead but Wilkins displayed resilience and was able to push past his Mississippi rival for the win in the Top Sportsman final round. Wilkins cruised to victory at 6.722, 198.70, Hoda followed up at 6.892, 198.15.


Joe Fischer, Clayton, Ohio, reached his first final round in Top Dragster and made the most of it. Kevin Brannon, Boiling Springs, SC, took the starting line advantage but eased off the throttle as he experienced mechanical issues; Fischer took the win at 6.391 191.54. Brannon clocked in at 7.729 135.82.


Super Comp: Luke Bogacki, Dragster, 8.914, 168.05 def. Tony Helms, Dragster, 8.888, 176.77.


Super Gas: Ray Miller III, Chevy Camaro, 10.549, 117.60 def. David Tatum III, Chevy, Foul - Red Light.


Super Street: Doug Wood, Olds Cutlass, 10.908, 133.50 def. Jeremy Hancock, Chevy Vega, 10.848, 138.34.

Canadian USDS series releases schedule

The Ultimate Showdowns Drag Racing Series have announced the 2017 schedule for the organization based in Canada.


May 20-21: Season Opener, Toronto Motorsports Park

June 30-July 2: Canadian Nitro Nationals, Toronto

July 14-16: Stratford Spectacular, Grand Bend Motorplex

Aug. 12-13: Mid-Summer Madness, TBD

Sept. 1-3: Thunder by the Beach, Grand Bend


Racers in the Outlaw 10.5 class will be eligible to collect points in the Mickey Thompson Outlaw 10.5 National Championship Series just by competing at USDS event this year.


The USDS is introducing a new class this season. Junior Pro is for Jr. dragsters racing to the eighth mile on a 7.90 index.

Arizona inducts several into Drag Racing Hall of Fame

In addition to the racing at last weekend’s Tucson Dragway Reunion, several people were inducted into the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

The inductees included Thelma Goosic who operated the Goosic Speed Center along with her late husband, Everett. Everett and his brother campaigned the #888 Ford Flathead-powered roadster during the mid 1950s.

Ed Phillip, current car owner, accepted the plaque that was presented to the original car builders, Eddie Pauling and Bill Brawner, for the “Lil Ol Whine Maker” rear engined Funny Car.


Other inductees included long-time Arizona dragster driver Dan Rusk and Jon Rowley.


Gary Phillips was the big winner in the Pro Slammer bracket recording a best of 5.722 in defeating veteran rival, Victor Bray in an all Queensland final. 


Here’s a high school class you don't want to ditch. Bothell High School in the Seattle area has a shop class that has created a wonderful project: An AC electric race car!


The car started life as a Jerry Bickel Trans Am Pro Stock. Under the guidance of Pat McCue the class members have engineered and installed the electric power plant. To date the car has run 8.35 at 165 miles per hour. And whisper quiet.


Maybe this is the answer to all the new subdivision homeowners complaining about racing noise. And for those of you interested, check out the National Electric Drag Racing Association

NHRA numbers on FS1

We’ve had some inquiries about the NHRA viewership on FOX and FS1 this season, so here is a rundown through the Atlanta event.


Feb. 12: 1,224,000 on FOX (0.79 rating)

Feb. 26: 546,000 on FS1 (0.36 rating)

Mar. 19: 439,000 on FS1 (0.29 rating)

Apr. 2: 1,025,000 on FS1 (0.61 rating)

Apr. 23: 490,000 on FS1 (0.32 rating)

Apr. 30: 530,000 on FS1 (0.33 rating)

May 7: 378,000 on FS1 (0.24 rating)

Huddleston Performance to sponsor both Jr. Dragster Conference Finals

Huddleston Performance is the Presenting Sponsor of the NHRA Eastern Conference Finals, completing the company’s full support of the Week at Thunder Valley.


Huddleston is the only Jr. Company to be the Presenting Sponsor on both the Eastern Conference Finals and Western Conference Finals.


The Western Conference Finals will be held at Tulsa Raceway Park on June 15-16. The Eastern Conference Finals will take place at Bristol (TN) Dragway on July 20-22.


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