Lipponen, Salakari register first 5-second runs in Top Fuel Twin  at Tierp

Vesa Lipponen (near) of Truku, Finland, ran a 5.9205 Elapsed Time at 350.65 kph (217.88 mph) to officially run the first 5-second elapsed time in the class of Top Fuel Twin on Saturday, Aug. 25. Lipponen was racing with the European Drag Racing Series at Tierp Arena in Sweden.


The 31-year-old Finish rider has been racing drag bikes for close to eight years. He recently helped complete this bike with good friend Jaska Salakari. Lipponen’s bike is just about a clone of Salakari’s famous drag bike. The Salakari motor is 103 CID, direct drive, with no transmission and sporting a screw-type supercharger built into the engine cases which also house the clutch/drive assembly. For the record run there was 43 PSI of boost with 84% nitromethane fed into a 1687 cc two-cylinder bike. Incrementals for Lipponen were: 1.00 (60-ft) and 3.825 (eighth-mile).


Not to be outdone, in the final round of qualifying, Salakari (far) unleashed his personal best, a sizzling 5.8372 at 206.74 mph, to become the #1 qualifier at the event and the second man in history to run a 5-second ET in Top Fuel Twin.


Not only did this vault Jaska into the top ten of all time right up with the very best inline 4 fuelers, but his incrementals up until the eighth (most notably the 60 foot 0.9711 and half-track 3.6707) being somewhat quicker than Larry McBride's world best 5.611 from Valdosta last November. The second half of Salakari's pass was slowed by the chute falling out just past the eighth-mile clocks and dropping the rear cylinder just prior.    

Cool racing at Tierp for other classes

The weekend saw the fifth and penultimate stop on the FIA European Drag Racing championship tour at Tierp Arena in eastern Sweden with mercifully cooler conditions that the heat that had dominated the preceding Nitrolympx in Germany the previous weekend.

The Summit Racing Equipment Internationals was a hit and miss affair for the Top Fuel category, dominated by short squirts and aborted passes, but two of the fast Finns met up in the final with Antti Horto (near lane) just falling short with a 3.9708 against a storming Anita Makela (far lane) with the latter recording a new FIA ET record at 3.8770 definitely falling into the hit category and extending Makela's points lead towards the unassailable. 

FIA Pro Modified was simply astonishing with Euro best marks for each blown, nitrous and turbo combinations falling over the weekend, with Swede Andreas Arthursson smashing into the 5.7s on a number of occasions and saving a 5.751 for the final to clinch the event trophy and reset the class record with his boosted Chevelle. 


The other FIA event winners were Jimmy Alund (FIA Pro Stock) and Dennis Habermann (FIA Top Methanol).   

Moser Sportsman Shootout win goes to Dudley

It was Ed Dudley hoisting the trophy in the final round of the NHRA Moser Sportsman Shootout at Beech Bend Raceway Park and the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.


Dudley, Plainfield, IN, cruised down the quarter mile in a ceremonial victory lap after Chris Stephenson, Tipton, IN, left early with a foul start in his ’68 Stock entry. Dudley was on his game throughout eliminations in his Top Dragster recording victory runs of 4.195, 4.197 and 4.208 seconds in taking out Jim Prevo in round one, then Dinkel Kynon and former Moser Shootout Champion Jacob Elrod in his semifinal match up.


Troy Galbraith, Indianapolis, joined the celebration winning the Comp Eliminator Shootout over Brian Browell posting a 6.696/194.978 mph lap to Browell’s 7.243 at 183.32  

Mason Fix takes two on ‘Big Rig’ night at Lancaster

Lancaster National Dragway hosted its popular Big Rig Night on Friday. Over 45 semi trucks, dump trucks and pick-up trucks were part of the 200 vehicles in competition for the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program.

Mason Fix of Amherst, NY, scored victories in both Tread City Street and the special Pick-Up Truck class sponsored by Halleen’s Automotive. Fix beat Scott Baron for his third win of the year in Street, and then defeated Meg Grzekiewicz in the Pick-Up Truck final for his second win of the evening. Fix had a chance to go for a hat trick in McGard Mod, but lost in the semifinals.


In Top 8 Eliminator, Wayne Cleveland of Williamsville, NY, went to victory lane for the second time in 2018. Cleveland got the win after Bill Bigham triggered the red light in the finals. Fran Pepi of Lancaster got his first win of the season Top ET. Pepi edged Tony Galuzzi in his final run of the night to pick up the win.


Jeff Kerl of Cheektowaga, NY, got his second McGard Mod ET win of the season. Kerl started the night tied for the class points lead as he and teammate Keith Banas are in a tight three-way battle for the championship. He took down Ray Thurston IV in the Mod final for the victory.


Mike Nearhoof of Youngstown, NY, continued the trend of two-time winners as he earned win #2 in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds. Nearhoof won despite having to wait four seconds at the starting line after his opponent, Gerry Vaughan, left the line due to the differences in their dial-ins.

There were plenty of trucks in the staging lanes.


Sean Lindsley of Amherst won the Semi Truck class after finishing runner-up in 2017. Kevin Tarbox of Gasport, NY, was the Dump Truck winner as part of the Big Rig Night festivities.


There are two big IHRA Drag Racing events on tap this coming week at Lancaster. Tuesday night, Aug. 28, is the 29th annual Ironman Race of Champions, which open to former track champions and former race winners from the past year. Both the Box and No-Box winners will earn an IHRA Ironman trophy. Friday night the Supercharged Bounty Hunters help kick off the holiday weekend along with a full card of racing.  

C’mon, where’s the next pair?

Richard Gebhart caught this race fan at the NMCA event over the weekend. As Gebhart tells the Agent, “Let it be known that not just humans enjoy drag racing with no throttle stops or delay boxes, no sir!”  

Lex Joon returns to race at U.S. Nationals

Five years ago FIA European Champion Lex Joon and his wife, Gerda, packed up everything they owned and moved from the Netherlands to the United States to chase their dream of living in the U.S. and racing Top Fuel with the NHRA. This weekend their dream is coming true as Joon will be driving in the U.S. Nationals.


Joon will be working with experienced crew chief Keith Stewart with sponsorship from JLM Lubricants in the Netherlands. M&K Truck Centers in Indianapolis will supply the team with an RV for the weekend. He will also be campaigning Project ChildSafe (http://www.projectchildsafe.org), a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promoted firearms safety and education.


“I need an experience man like Keith on my team,” said Joon. “For several months he has been working on our program to get it all in spec with the current NHRA rules. Combined, we have tremendous experience and I am looking forward to working with him to make Lex Joon Racing a force to reckon with in NHRA.


“We know we have the car, equipment and crew to get into the show. What we lack is the data,” Joon continued. “So, our plan is to run all five qualifying passes and make the car go faster each run. We can’t afford to damage a lot of parts, so we need to take it slow and creep up on it.”    

Caruso will make NHRA Pro Mod debut at Indy

After receiving a personal invitation from the Real Pro Mod Association to race, the New York-based Caruso Family Racing Camaro will make its NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Modified debut at the 64th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.


Marc, presently a steadfast PDRA eighth mile racer, is excited to be heading back to the quarter-mile distance of NHRA, having a long history running NHRA in the Top Sportsman ranks.


The car reacted favorably to tuner Lee White's "NHRA Tune-Up" at the recent Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, giving Caruso a boost before his NHRA appearance.


 "It may be the only chance we get to run this deal and you can be sure we will be putting our best foot forward at Indy,” Caruso said. “Our Noonan Race Engineering 4.9 Billet Hemi will get plenty of boost from a fresh blower thanks to Al Billes, and we'll be looking for some new PB performances."   

Rocky Mountain Raceways holds last big LODRS event

Racing kicked off on Thursday for the first half of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Double Header at Rocky Mountain Raceways with Utah racers William Carnell and Larry Mota leading the way into the winner’s circle for the first event late Friday night.


Friday, Aug. 24 Results


COMP ELIMINATOR: Ralph Van Paepeghem, Garden Valley, ID, '32 Bantam, A/EA, 8.410, 116.50 def. Clint Neff, Arvada, CO, '32 Bantam, K/AA, foul.


SUPER STOCK: Leo Glasbrenner, Chino, CA, '96 Firebird, GT/HA, 10.481, 122.16 def. Rich Pinoski, Placerville, CA, '67 Nova, GT/KA, 10.838, 114.05.


STOCK ELIMINATOR: Brad Burton, Snohomish, WA, '72 Firebird, D/SA, 11.441, 100.20 def. Brian Sanderson, South Jordan, UT, '63 Plymouth, B/SA, 11.496, 116.53.


SUPER COMP: Justin Morgan, Concord, CA, '04 Sarmento, 9.429, 150.02 def. Michael Miller, Moniarty, NM, ‘10 TNT, foul.


SUPER GAS: Val Torres, Valinda, CA, '63 Corvette, 10.333, 150.00 def. Craig Maddox, Sidney, NE, '01 Prowler, 10.314, 149.15.


SUPER STREET: Rodger Sauder, Sidney, NE, '72 Barracuda, 11.319, 144.23 def. Justin Cooper, Medical Lake, WA, '67 Chevelle, 11.313, 132.60.


TOP SPORTSMAN: Chris Newman, Lancaster, CA, '08 Cobalt, 7.173, 187.22 def. Bart Smith, N. Las Vegas, NV, '98 Monte Carlo, 7.271, 185.60.


TOP DRAGSTER: William Carnell, Murray, UT, '03 Cameron, 7.633, 170.71 def. Logan Warr, Erda, UT, '04 Spitzer, 7.595, 176.57.


SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Larry Mota, Orem, UT, '15 Kawasaki, 9.578, 132.08 def. Cody Cumpton, Vancouver, WA, '95 Suzuki Gsxr, 10.722, 125.54.



Bray sets Australian record before rain cancels Brisbane Jamboree

On Day 1 of the Brisbane Jamboree, Ben Bray set new ET and MPH personal bests with a 6.46-second run at 217 mph. While Q2 was aborted with a trans brake issue discovered in the start-up area, the third and final qualifier for the day saw Team Bray Racing walk away with a 6.544-second pass at 220.40 miles per hour – another new MPH personal best.


As a result of these passes, Bray now holds the Australian ET and Speed records for 1FZ powered cars and is the fastest outside of North America for the engine type. He also is now listed amongst the top 50 sport compact runs in the world.


Rain overnight and continuing the next day forced Jamboree Australia to cancel Day 2 of the Brisbane Jamboree at Willowbank Raceway.


“The safety of everyone involved in this event from our racer to our spectators is exceptionally important to us,” said Jamboree Australia Director, Collin Willshire. “You never want to cancel an event, but unfortunately we have no other alternative in these conditions.”


Team Bray Racing now turns its attention to a testing program for its Pro Slammers at Willowbank Raceway ahead of the next 400 Thunder championship round which will be held at Sydney Dragway in November.   

Umlauf to debut car at Funny Car Chaos

John Umlauf of Rolla, MO, can typically be found in fuel altered trim but has been intrigued by the Funny Car Chaos program and has doubled down with a 1978 Chevy Monza bodied entry atop his nitro burning combination. His 500 cubic inch Hemi combined with a 14:71 SSI blower and 35-gallon pump with a 44-amp MSD should provide plenty of power. The "Mass Chaos" funny car will make its competition debut September 14-15 at Funny Car Chaos in Denton, TX.   

NHRA names Allegiant official airline of Mello Yello series

Allegiant has signed a multi-year agreement to become the official airline of NHRA. The new partnership with Allegiant, which offers industry-low fares on an all-jet fleet, is effective immediately for the remainder of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season and will continue for upcoming seasons, as well.


Founded in 1997, Allegiant has grown to more than 80 aircraft and 350 routes across the country with base airfares less than half the cost of the average domestic roundtrip ticket.  

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