Mountain Motor Pro Stocks to make exhibition runs at US Nationals

Mountain Motor Pro Stocks will make their first appearance with the NHRA as part of the U.S. Nationals this Labor Day weekend. The class, which boasts 800+ c.i. engines, was a part of the IHRA for many years, until that sanctioning body dropped pro classes.


Drivers expected at Indy include John DeFlorian (shown), Trevor Eman, John Konigshofer, John Montecalvo, Elijah Morton, Dwayne Rice, Dillon Voss and Brad Waddle.


“We are looking forward to seeing the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class run at an NHRA national event,” said NHRA vice president of competition, Ned Walliser. “There’s been some interest in incorporating these cars into our current Pro Stock field. In order to determine if that’s even a possibility, we need to see these machines perform under the same conditions as our Pro Stock category.”


These cars would certainly bring some excitement to the class, but the Agent has to ask, how would they fit into the NHRA’s eternal quest for a “level playing field”?     

Don Schumacher Racing Open House set for Friday

Included in the items up for bid at the silent auction are a Matco Tools toolbox signed by Don Schumacher and John Force.


On Friday, August 31, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT, DSR will pull back the curtain and open the doors to its 145,000-square foot state-of-the-art racing facility for the 13th annual DSR Open House presented by Pennzoil. The annual Open House event, along with the yearly ‘This is How We Roll’ bowling function, taking place on December 5, are the team’s two major fundraisers for Riley Hospital. Since the partnership began in 2006, the largest team in drag racing has successfully raised more than half a million dollars for Riley.


In addition to meet-and-greets with DSR’s star-studded lineup of drivers Jack Beckman, Antron Brown, Ron Capps, Matt Hagan, Leah Pritchett, Tony Schumacher and Tommy Johnson Jr., fans will also have the opportunity to interact with International Motorsports Hall-of-Fame team owner, Don Schumacher, at the Open House.


There will be more than 200 custom muscle cars and motorcycles on display, and attendees will be treated to a cacklefest when nitro-burning vintage dragsters fire up simultaneously. Food trucks and Papa John’s Pizza will be available for hungry patrons, and guests will have the opportunity to bid on rare and one-of-a-kind items in the silent auction benefitting Riley. To support the DSR/Riley Children’s Foundation partnership, please visit donate.rileykids.org dsr18 or dsr2018.givesmart.com to bid on Open House auction items.  

Alexander goes ‘LoCo’ at Indy

Blake Alexander will be driving at the U.S. Nationals with the backing of LoCo Cookers, a Georgia crawfish cooker company.


LoCo Cookers CEO, Mac Plummer, is excited to be teaming up with Bob Vandergriff Racing this weekend in Indianapolis. “We’re thrilled that the LoCo Cookers car will be on display and competing for a win at NHRA’s biggest race of the year. The timing of the race is the perfect jump-start for our brand as we roll-out our products in Lowe’s stores across the country beginning in October.”


While only competing in six races this year, Alexander has gone to the finals three times, winning twice. He comes into the U.S. Nationals number 12 in the points. He has to get in the top 10 to make the Countdown to the Championship, and only has this event to do it.  

Johnston claims World Series NSS crown two years in a row

This past weekend, Cordova International Raceway hosted the 65th Annual World Series of Drag Racing. The Victory Nostalgia Super Stock series helped headline this legendary Midwest race with 31 classic Super Stockers on hand for their fifth points race of their season.


For the second year in a row, Shaun Johnston and his wedge-powered 1967 Plymouth turned on the win light in the final taking home the coveted World Series Crown. Johnston's victory in front of the standing room only crowd was an incredibly close – a double breakout race against Dennis Spurgeon.


These two racers are in a close Points Race for the Championship as they and several other racers chase Leader Jim Hagenhoff into the final points race. The championship will be decided at Gateway Motorsports Park's Monster Muscle Car Weekend on September 14-15.     

Thomas, Spencer, Crawford win top ET titles at Rockingham

Fairmont, NC’s Timothy Thomas, Raeford, NC’s Michael Spencer and Jefferson, SC’s Kevin Crawford were the big money winners, Makala Stevens of Lexington, SC, made it to the final round in all three Jr. Dragster races and Angier’s Steve Alford got the Ironman award during Yuengling Carolina Powerfest 6 completed Sunday, Aug. 26, at Rockingham Dragway.


Thomas, Spencer and Crawford took home $5,000 shares of the posted purse as the Top ET winners on Sunday, Saturday and Friday, respectively.

Timothy Thomas (shown) got the final share by besting Wilmington’s Chad Duke in the Sunday final by .011 of a second.


The best race of the day, however, was the one between reigning Rockingham Dragway champ Mark Soles of Delco and Cole Williams of Zebulon. Soles had a perfect .000 reaction time and was just .020 off his target time, but still lost the fifth-round showdown.

Steve Alford drove his venerable 1971 Pinto to a Footbrake victory over the 1978 Chevy Malibu of Jim Woods of Laurens, SC, on Saturday, was runner-up to Chris “Hot Rod” Gibson of Lexington on Friday, and reached the round of six on Sunday before fouling out to eventual winner Ricky Bullock of Sanford.

Ricky Bullock’s (shown) Sunday Footbrake victory came at the expense of Jason McCandless of Graham, NC, who was guilty of a breakout foul by .004 of a second. Nevertheless, it was an impressive showing for McCandless, the former Jr. Dragster standout who is the grandson of Pro Stock legend Herb “Mr. 4-Speed” McCandless of Burlington, NC.

After final round disappointments on both Friday and Saturday, Mikala Stevens (shown) turned back Conner Caulder of St. Pauls to get the win on Sunday. Overall, she won 17 rounds during weekend, only two fewer than Alford. She lost the Friday final to Cam Whisnant of Dallas, NC, and on Saturday broke out by .005 against Rowland’s Hayden Dial.     

Oehler hoping for NHRA ‘Rookie of the Year’ award

The most solid bet for the NHRA’s Auto Club Road to the Future award, “Flyin’ Ryan” Oehler is also still in the race to be in the Countdown. That’s a remarkable achievement for a completely independent rookie rider and his one-bike, full-rookie family team.


Oehler is a two-time AMRA Pro Modified champion, but this is his first season with the NHRA. Going into the final opportunity to gain points for the Countdown, Oehler is in 15th spot, just 53 points behind the 10th place Hector Arana Sr. Armstrong Air is stepping up as sponsor this week.     

Ellis returns to PSM field at Indy

At last year’s Finals in Pomona, Chip Ellis rode a third Vance & Hines Harley in remembrance of legendary bike racer Jr. Pippin, who died on Nov. 4, 2017. Ellis won the first round against Katie Sullivan, but next lost to LE Tonglet (far lane). 


Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Chip Ellis will make his first appearance of the 2018 season aboard a Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson this week at the U.S. nationals. Doug Vancil, who returned to competition this year, will serve as crew chief for Ellis, and will not race.  

Another Pritchett set to drive

Gary Pritchett, husband of Leah Pritchett, will drive the Top Alcohol Funny Car owned by Jonnie Lindberg at the U.S. Nationals.


Mr. Pritchett is the clutch specialist on Steve Torrence’s Top Fuel dragster, but has been looking for a Funny Car ride for a while. He previously held a Top Fuel license and got his Funny Car license last Wednesday during pre-U.S. Nationals testing. Pritchett drove the car last year at the PDRA event at Indianapolis.


Lindberg’s brother, Johan, had been scheduled to drive the Camaro, but he is at home awaiting the birth of his first child.   

Let’s just party quietly, please

Evidently, it’s not only neighbors surrounding racetracks that complain about the noise. Months of negotiating between the city of Carmel, IN, and Forrest and Charlotte Lucas over the parties, galas, soirees and fundraisers that they frequently host at their estate have ended in stalemate, the Indianapolis Business Journal reports.


What still stands is a ruling from Carmel zoning officials that declined to give the Lucases leeway to hold semi-public events on their property. The city says it will enforce its zoning rules if they are violated, and the Lucases are planning to host more parties -- even as they promise to continue working with the city to appease frustrated neighbors.   

Chevrolet to offer SEMA design awards program

Chevrolet will bring back its SEMA Design Awards program for this year’s SEMA Show, set for Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Las Vegas.


Those wishing to partake in Chevrolet’s pre-SEMA Show marketing activities must register their vehicle before Sept. 14. All registrations must be received before Oct. 12 to be eligible for an award.


Those hoping to get a Chevy award must:  Preserve the Chevrolet bowtie emblem, if originally equipped, on the front of vehicle; Use of a Chevrolet powertrain (mixing or matching fuel types and generations is allowed); The use of current body-style Chevrolet vehicles, performance parts, accessories and crate engines is highly encouraged; and Vehicles with current body styles (i.e., sixth-gen Camaro, seventh-gen Corvette) will be included in the Late-Model award category, in addition to all other categories.


Award categories include:  Chevy SEMA Late Model Car of the Year; Chevy SEMA Late Model Truck of the Year; Chevy SEMA Classic of the Year; Best use of Chevy Performance Crate Engine; Best use of Chevy Performance Parts & Accessories; and Designers Choice.


Those with questions can email ChevySEMADesignAwardsProgram@gm.com.  

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