Mello Yello extends NHRA sponsorships through 2023

Mello Yello, The Coca-Cola Company’s popular citrus-flavored soft drink brand, will extend its relationship with the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body by continuing its longstanding association as sponsor of NHRA’s premier series through 2023.


Racquel Mason, vice president, Sprite & Flavors brands for Coca-Cola North America, and NHRA President Peter Clifford joined NHRA Top Fuel driver Antron Brown to celebrate the announcement on Friday evening at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis during the Chevrolet U.S. Nationals. The group unveiled a new and exclusive car design for Antron’s Matco Tools Toyota dragster, prominently featuring the Mello Yello brand.   

PDRA heads for penultimate event at GALOT track

Intense championship points battles will heat up this weekend as the Professional Drag Racers Association heads to GALOT Motorsports Park for the PDRA Drag Wars, Sept. 7-9. Drivers in the PDRA’s five professional classes and four sportsman categories will be under pressure as Drag Wars is the penultimate race on the all-eighth-mile series’ eight-race 2017 tour.


The tightest championship points spread in the professional classes is in Pro Nitrous where Jay Cox and the “Pumpkin” ’69 Camaro lead Tommy Franklin and the “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro by 94 points. Cox earned event wins at the season-opening Valdosta race and at the back-to-back Maryland and Indy races.


Another close points situation can be found in Pro Boost. With his first-ever win at Indy and a runner-up finish at Maryland, Pro Boost rookie Ty Tutterow (shown) is chasing Jose Gonzales and his turbocharged Q80 Racing “Eleanor” ’67 Mustang. Tutterow and the Roots-blown GALOT Motorsports “Tom Cat” ’69 Camaro trail Gonzales by 165 points entering the team’s home race.   

SHRA’s Bee Godwin Memorial Nostalgia Nationals is Sept. 9

The Southwest Heritage Racing Association will hold their 2nd annual Bee Godwin Memorial Nostalgia Nationals at Wichita Raceway Park in Wichita Falls, TX, on Saturday, Sept. 9. Gates open at noon and racing begins at 3 p.m.


Drivers are looking to make points at this event before the season ends on Oct. 7 at North Star Dragway in Denton, TX.


Currently leading the points are: Tommy Drozd (NE1), Gary Wheeler Jr. (NE2), Dustin Bradford (NE3), Michael Graves (Old School No Electronics), Dean Johnson (Old School Electronics) and Vic Corlett (Nostalgia Super Stock). 

Samantha Coughlin finishes runner-up in Super Gas at Indy

Samantha Coughlin raced her Chevrolet Roadster Super Gas entry to the final round at the U.S. Nationals.


The daughter of past Super Comp champion Al Kenny, sister of multi-time Divisional champion Jason Kenny, and the wife of Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. was able to outlast a Super Gas field of over one hundred cars to reach the final.


"We had seven good rounds," Samantha said. "It was a great weekend. We went two rounds a day, I got to go racing with Jeg and our daughter Carly was with us so it was fun. It's Indy so each round is fun.”


Kevin Adams, Chevy Nova, 9.920, 154.10 def. Samantha Coughlin, Chevy Corvette, 9.920, 164.57.    

Super Series has double weekend finale at Lancaster and Empire

Season eleven in the Joe's Transmission TNT Super Series will crown a champion this weekend as it heads to Lancaster Dragway on Friday night, Sept. 8, and then Empire Dragway on Saturday. Sam LoVetro Automotive once again presents championship weekend where the teams go from eighth-mile racing to quarter-mile racing in the same weekend.


The points battle is extremely tight with first through fifth only separated by 75 points. Including qualifying points, there are over 130 points available on any given TNTSS race day so this is truly anyone's championship.


Current points leader Tom Coonly has been atop the standings for a good chunk of the season and has 533 points. But there is a pack just behind him starting with the team of Ted Barnes and Jeff Sobczynski only 61 points back with 472 in second place. JJ Jablonski is in third with 468, Steve McCarrick with 462 in fourth and Chris VanBaalen rounding out the top five with 458 points.


The Tim Thorne Rookie of the Year chase is also a dog fight. Jarrod Kolne is in the lead with 420 points and Tyler Halleen is only one round win behind him at 410 points. Third place sees Tony Galluzzi within reach at 328 points.   

Mickey Thompson expands to 10 Harley events next season

Jay Turner (near lane) and Kevin Boyer launch at the NHRA Northwest Nationals.


NHRA officials announced Sept. 6 that the popular Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Drag Racing Series category will expand and compete at 10 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.




Feb. 8-11: Winternationals, Pomona, CA

Feb. 23-25: Arizona Nationals, Phoenix

March 15-18: Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL

April 6-8: Denso Spark Plugs Nationals, Las Vegas

April 20-22: SpringNationals, Houston

May 18-20: Heartland Nationals, Topeka, KS

June 15-17: Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, TN

July 6-8: New England Nationals, Epping, NH

Aug. 3-5: Northwest Nationals, Seattle

Aug. 29-Sept. 3: U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis  

Spotts gets AA Gassers win at U.S. Nationals

Two drivers from the same hometown, West Seneca, NY, got into the final round of the AA Gassers competition at Indy. Brian Spotts (far lane) drove his ’48 Anglia to the win over Al Borowski driving a 1951 model, who went red in the final round.

Green, Schlenker, and Steffen top Oregon wins

The Summit Racing Series was in town this past weekend at Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, OR, and Dale Green and John Floyd Jr. raced to victory. In addition, Andy Schlenker and Robert Steffen took top honors in the Summit Racing Series Race of Champions.


Local Super Pro runner Green of Covington took the starting line against Chris Jaggers, Middelton, Idaho in the final round. Green upended Jaggers, running 8.935 seconds, 163.54 mph. Jaggers followed at 7.833 seconds, 151.59 mph. The NHRA Northwest division received the Super Pro wildcard in the Summit Racing Series drawing earlier this season. Dale Green will represent the Northwest division in the Summit Racing National Championship.


Seattle Pro driver Greg Steen outlasted Canadian racer Andy Closkey in the final round. Steen and Closkey came in at 7.677 seconds, 173.31 mph and 8.612 seconds, 159.57 mph respectively.


The other drivers visiting the Summit ET Racing Series winner’s circle were: John Floyd Jr., in Sportsman; Mike Evans in ET Motorcycle; Sydney Jung in Junior Dragster Thunder; Cooper Chun in Junior Dragster Lightning; and Tyler Dobson in Junior Street.


Schlenker of Mobton outran his Oregon Rival Danny Wargnier of Keizer in the Super Pro final round Race of Champions on Saturday. Schlenker powered his way down the strip at 7.677 seconds, 173.31 mph, Wargnier 8.612 seconds, 159.57 mph. Steffen of Tumwater had an easy pass down the strip as Chris Stone, Mission, BC, went red at the starting line in the Pro ET final round.


In Sportsman, it was Troy Johnston, Keyport, WA, who outlasted the competition knocking out Craig Johnson, Langley, B.C., with a pass of 12.174 seconds, 108.73 mph.


Riley Toth, Medicine Hat, Alb., ran 8.833 seconds, 147.78 mph surpassing Jeramy Reber, Rogue River, OR, in the ET Final Motorcycle final round securing his seed in the Summit ET Finals.


These four Race of Champion winners will advance to the NHRA Summit National Championship in November at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to face off with the winners from the other six NHRA divisions for a winner take all national championship with over $100,000 up for grabs.


The other drivers visiting the Summit Race of Champions winner’s circle were; Thomas Vickers in High School; Hunter Jackson in Junior Street; Duncan Gray in Junior Dragster Thunder; and Zachary Gaetz in Junior Dragster Lightning.


Pacific Raceways topped the team championship with 102 points while Woodburn was second with 74. 

Brittany Force tests in Funny Car after U.S. nationals

Top Fuel dragster driver Brittany Force completed a successful test in a new John Force Racing Funny Car on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Lucas Oil Raceway, making three runs down the famed track.


Team owner and father John Force wanted Brittany to experience driving a Funny Car and to plan for the future, should the need arise for Brittany to drive a Chevrolet Camaro SS.


Ms. Force didn’t make a full pass Tuesday, instead getting settled in the Funny Car and learning the differences between the Funny Car and her Top Fuel dragster. The biggest variance, she said, was in the steering system.


“It responds much quicker than a dragster,” Force said. “I’m used to turning the wheel, and it takes a moment to get caught up. In this one, it responds immediately. That’s definitely different.


“Burnouts are a lot of fun. You’re sitting on top of the thing, and the view looking down the track is completely different than a dragster.”


Her first pass in the Funny Car was 4.401 seconds at 205.63 mph, as she shut it off about 400 feet. She ran to about 900 feet the second pass: 3.863 at 307.23 mph, but teammate and JFR President, Robert Hight, and the JFR crew chiefs analyzed the data and discovered the clutch came in much faster than anticipated, and they all agreed to slow the car down. For the final run, Force shut it off about 800 feet and ran 3.916 seconds at 297.81 mph.    




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