Lancaster names first Friday night winners of season

Lancaster National Dragway kicked off the month of June on Friday night, June 2, with a full slate of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing, including an appearance by the Buffalo Street Outlaws.


Mike Nowak of Lancaster nearly did the double in Top 8 and Top ET. He was quick enough to qualify for the Top 8 ladder where he went on to the final round to defeat Michael Mallare. He then went into Top ET bracket and once again made it to the final pair. This time, however, his luck would run out as he broke out in the Top final.


This allowed Jason Sobczysnki of Lancaster to score his first win of the season.


Top 8: Mike Nowak (Lancaster, NY) 1967 Chevrolet Camaro .509, 5.02, 5.095 seconds, 120.66 mph def. Michael Mallare (Grand Island, NY) 1927 Ford .504, 5.41, 5.632 seconds, 110.56 mph


Mallare Enterprises Top ET: Jason Sobczysnki (Lancaster, NY) 1970 Chevrolet Nova .509, 6.42, 6.481, 98.93 def. Mike Nowak (Lancaster, NY) 1967 Chevrolet Camaro .537, 5.02, 5.019, 139.25


McGard Mod ET: Ray Thurston IV (Clarence, NY) 1966 Plymouth Belvedere .584, 6.87. 6.863, 95.28 def. Roger Kieffer (Clarence, NY) 1968 Pontiac GTO .539, 6.96, 6.942, 95.52

Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds: Mike Peters (Angola, NY) 1980 Kawasaki .577, 5.57, 5.597, 120.66 def. Angelo Salemi (Wheatfield, NY) 1999 Polaris .611, 6.50, 6.476, 101.88


Tread City Tire Street ET: Cody Winkowski (Depew, NY) 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo .503, 9.05, 9.064, 77.69 def. Nick Morrisey (W. Seneca, NY) 1972 Plymouth Duster .515, 8.35, 8.343, 79.34


Buffalo Street Outlaws: Doug Vanstrom (N. Collins, NY) 1984 Ford Mustang .497, 5.425, 113.60 def. Randy Jewell (Rochester, NY) 1978 Chevrolet Chevelle .482, 8.717, 68.60


BSO Street Limited: Jason Bezinque (Amherst, NY) 2002 Chevrolet Camaro .511, 5.578, 122.95 def. Chris Scarlara (Bergen, NY) 1994 Pontiac Firebird .477, 5.656, 120.91

Noonan expands USA operation

Jamie and Renee Noonan flanked by 2016 TAFC champion, Jonnie Lindberg, and 2016 TAD champion, Joey Severance.


Noonan Race Engineering is expanding its USA operations with the purchase of a new facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.


The new location will boast the latest in state of the art advancements in both machinery and management practices, and will be headed up by Noonan Chief Executive Officer and engine builder, Jamie Noonan, and his wife and business partner, Renee Noonan.


For the past 12 months Jamie has lived part-time in the States while Renee has managed the Australian operation. Now, they and their family will relocate permanently to South Carolina in July, leaving the Australian arm of operations in the care of new Operations Manager, Dan Case.


The entire Hemi and LS engine programs will now be manufactured in the USA, with the transition of the cylinder heads and manifold program by the end of the year.


“We are so excited to be taking this next step with the Noonan Race Engineering business, cementing our place in the USA marketplace with a facility that takes us into the future,” Jamie Noonan said. “At the same time, our Australian headquarters will remain in full operation, concentrating on special projects, research and development, and prototyping.”


The expansion comes 12 months after Noonan made its first steps into the US market at its Utah facility, which was initially set up purely for Noonan’s engine block program and repair and servicing.

Chapman returns to VP Racing Fuels

VP Racing Fuels, Inc., welcomed the return of Tommy Chapman as an Independent Sales Representative in support of VP-South, a region that encompasses Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.


Chapman will be responsible for developing and servicing customer accounts while also providing technical consulting on race fuels and VP’s StayWet™ track conditioner. He’ll also be involved in activating VP’s marketing and promotional programs.


Chapman started his career in 1957 as a full-time drag racer, ultimately winning the Georgia State Championship. He continued racing part-time while working for the U.S. Treasury Department as a criminal investigator for 25 years before retiring in 1990. In 1992, Chapman joined VP Racing Fuels as its Regional Manager-South where he stayed until retiring again in 2010. He will be based in Georgia. 

San Antonio to host Arm Drop Race in August

Former NBA player Tim Duncan will be the special guest starter. He played his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs.On Saturday, Aug. 5, San Antonio Raceway will host the second annual Gunn Automotive Tim Duncan Arm Drop Race which features a celebrity guest starting all races with the traditional arm drop from the line.


The main event is $45 to enter and $10,000 to the winner. The biggest payout to the street or strip racer in Texas. All door cars allowed and any tire combo. All cars must run all out in two qualifying run and the 32 cars with the closest competitive times will be selected to run for the money.


Plus what could be the biggest Grudge Race ever with $20,000 to the winner between Kye Kelly the Shocker VS. James The Birdman Finney.  Also on the grounds that day will be Nitro Nostalgia Top Fuel dragsters and altereds going head to head.


Tickets can be purchased in advance at

New Product of the Day


LS Engine Turbo Swap Stainless Steel Shorty Headers from Kooks

If you have thought about LS Swapping your ride and are planning on adding turbos, Kooks Headers & Exhaust has new LS Engine Turbo Swap Stainless Steel Shorty Headers. The shorty headers feature heavy-duty, thick, 14-gauge stainless steel construction and are available in 1-3/4 by 2-1/2 inch and 1-7/8 by 3 inch sizes. V-band assemblies can be installed, and it all comes with a limited lifetime warranty. 

New look for Nikki Hepburn’s Toyota

Nikki Hepburn debuted a new look, lighter version of her World Record holding Radial Toyota 86 on the second day of the Winter's Warm-Up event at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland.


After countless hours working through the rebuild and awesome efforts by so many people, Nikki and partner Luke rolled through the Willowbank gates late Sunday morning and wasted no time in hitting the track with the newly rebuilt 86.


To get a handle on the new front-end set-up, a new bigger Garrett Gen2 98mm Turbo and a few other little upgrades, the team made a planned early shut-off pass which yielded a 60-foot time just two hundredths of a second off Nikki's previous PB time. The team were very happy with the test pass and will run the car in the Factory Extreme class at this coming weekend's Gulf Western Oil 50th Australian Winternationals. They're now chasing that 6-second time card. 

Lancaster postpones Pro Mod shootout until September 12

Inclement weather and a not too sunny forecast for all of race day has forced Lancaster National Dragway to postpone Tuesday's (June 6) much-anticipated Pro Modified Shootout. Teams and fans can now circle Tuesday, Sept. 12, on their calendars as the make-up date at the New York track.

Todd still on the learning curve with Funny Car

It has been a season of learning for J.R. Todd, who made the move from Top Fuel to Funny Car at the start of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series campaign.


“I need to be more aggressive with the steering wheel,” said Todd, who has nine Top Fuel wins. “I feel like I didn't do a good job getting after the wheel early in the run (in Epping) and the end result ended up with me driving out of the groove and having to lift and giving up the important round win. My focus is and always is doing the best that I can inside the car. I never want to be the weak link and I've definitely cost us some runs this year so I'm always working on what I can do to improve.”


Todd is confident that he and his Kalitta Motorsports team can make significant improvement starting this weekend in Englishtown, NJ.


“Each race we keep working on making our stuff better,” Todd said. “We unloaded a brand new car in Epping and I think that's a big key for us in taking the next step and getting this DHL team back at the top. The four-race swing helps put the issues behind and hit the reset button. I enjoy consecutive races because it allows you to get into more of a rhythm. The more laps in the car, the better for me so I'm hoping we can start clicking off round wins heading into summer.”   

Doug Herbert joins the ‘Legends of Thunder Valley’

Doug Herbert, a six-time IHRA Top Fuel winner at Bristol, will be inducted as a Legend of Thunder Valley during night qualifying on Friday, June 16.


He is the latest drag racing star to be inducted into Bristol Dragway’s Hall of Fame, joining such names as former track GM Jeff Byrd, Speedway Motorsports executive chairman Bruton Smith, NHRA legend Don Garlits, NHRA legend and current Funny Car driver John Force, and former driver and current NHRA team owner Don Schumacher.


In addition to his numerous victories, Herbert also produced a number of firsts at Thunder Valley. In 1996, he was the first driver to break the four-second barrier at Bristol. Herbert followed that feat a year later with another first: becoming the first driver in track history to clock a speed at more than 300 mph.


Herbert’s biggest impact may have come off the racetrack. Herbert created B.R.A.K.E.S., a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and educate teen drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving. He founded the organization following the tragic loss of his two sons in a car crash in 2008. Since then, Herbert has made an amazing difference in the lives of numerous families through his comprehensive at-track driving programs, including at Bristol Dragway.   

VOLUME XIX,  NUMBER 5 - May  2017


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