New partnership for Stringer Performance in 2019


Stringer Performance, the owner of the Great Clips, Parts Plus, Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster driven by Clay Millican will have a new strategic partnership next season. Scott Garner and Jonathan “JJ” Koehler will join current owner Doug Stringer to form a new company at the conclusion of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.


Scott Gardner


Gardner, a former track owner/operator and past president of the IHRA, will continue working as a consultant to the racing industry with his company, Gardner Race Track Consultants. Koehler, an electronic security expert who owns FSS Electronics and its subsidiary company, Timing & Audio of Illinois City, IL, brings 24 years of motorsports operations management and technical support to the new alliance.


Doug Stringer has over 30 years’ experience in the motorsports industry, first as a drag racing driver, then as NASCAR team owner. He returned to drag racing in 2015. Stringer Performance is in its fourth year with Millican and crew chief Dave Grubnic.


“I’m excited for this addition to our team” said Millican. “Scott and JJ will do nothing but make this a stronger team. I have known Scott and JJ for over 20 years and they are good people and friends. They will bring a wealth of knowledge to our team.”  

Wolkwitz takes second consecutive pole at Hemi Challenge

Gary Wolkwitz drove his 1968 Dodge Dart to the top qualifying spot for the Dodge HEMI Challenge, the specialty race-within-a-race at the NHRA U.S. Nationals.


“It didn’t do me much good last year,” said New Jersey native Wolkwitz of his No. 1 position, which he nailed down with an 8.524-second elapsed time (ET) in the final qualifying session. “Let’s hope this year is a little bit different. It would be terrific (to claim the win). I turn 73 in October, and this might be my swan song.”


Jimmy Daniels, the two-time and defending event champion, nabbed the No. 2 slot with a strong 8.538 run, earning his same starting position as last year. The 22-year-old dental student from Pennsylvania is hoping to put his imprint in the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge record books by becoming the first driver to claim victory in the event at Indy three years in a row.


Stephen Comella held the No. 1 spot before ultimately qualifying third with a 8.556 pass in his 1968 Plymouth Barracuda. The New York-based racer posted the fastest speed (156.79 mph) of qualifying. HEMI Challenge veteran and Dodge Dart pilot Jim Pancake (fourth) and inaugural 2001 HEMI Challenge race winner and 1968 Plymouth Barracuda driver Bucky Hess completed the top five.


Rounding out spots 6-10, in order, are last year’s runner-up Gus Mantas, Tony DePillo, Wendell Howes, Rich Locker and 2016 runner-up Stephen Herbert. The eliminations will be finished Friday night prior to Nitro qualifying.   

Gone but not forgotten

The Agent was touched to see this street sign commemorating two legends at the Indianapolis track.      

Pedregon adds front half with another chassis in the wings

After the season he’s had so far, you can understand while Cruz Pedregon hopes to be ready for anything that happens. Pedregon and team have been hard at work to prepare for the upcoming weekend when the Snap-on Toyota takes to the team’s “home track” in Indianapolis.


“For us, it really is the ‘Big Go,’ so we’ve set our sights on doing what it takes to make the runs and earn the points we need to qualify," Pedregon said. "We had a major change in the team with the addition of Tommy DeLago before Brainerd, and we’ve made some equipment updates that should pay off for us at this critical point in the 2018 season.”


Crew Chief Tommy DeLago said, "We added a new front half on the primary Snap-on Toyota chassis, and we have a brand new back-up chassis ready to go as we prepare for what is the most important race of the season for us as a team.”    

Second Roy Hill Cobra Jet to debut at U.S. Nationals

Jen Blake will be joining KJ Nowling and Roy Hill Racing at this weekend’s event. Blake is a competitive 3-Gun shooter who travels the country competing as well as representing AMMO, Inc. at various industry functions.


Roy Hill Racing and marketing partner AMMO, Inc. will be fielding a second STREAK Visual AmmunitionTM powered by AMMO, Inc. backed Ford Cobra Jet at tthe NHRA U.S. Nationals, this weekend. The car will be driven by Roy Hill Racing developmental driver, KJ Nowling. The nineteen-year-old Nowling is a college student at Missouri State University.  

DSR celebrates 20th anniversary

The winningest team in NHRA history celebrates a milestone 20th anniversary this weekend at the NHRA U.S. Nationals. Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) has enjoyed a tradition of success since making its official NHRA debut during the 1998 Indianapolis event.

An autographed hero card kept all these years by our own Chicago Jon.


A fierce Funny Car match racer during the 1970s, drag racing pioneer Don Schumacher won the 1970 U.S. Nationals Funny Car title. He left racing in 1974 to focus on the family business, Schumacher Electric Corp., and his own young family. In the mid-1990s, son Tony, who was already driving in NHRA, convinced his father to get back into drag racing and Don Schumacher Racing was born.


Now a nine-car operation consisting of three Top Fuel dragsters, four Funny Cars and two Factory Stock Dodges, Schumacher can hardly believe how far his team has come in 20 years.


“Never imagined that I’d be running Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock during those years, and now I have two Factory Stock cars that we run in the Shootout series,” Schumacher said. “My operation has grown way beyond anything I ever imagined. Never thought I’d have more than one Top Fuel team out there for Tony to drive but I’m a businessman, and it was the right thing to do for DSR. It’s been the right thing to do for NHRA, and the right thing to do for the fans.”

Gassers to compete at PDRA event

The Supercharged AA/Gassers of America will race for the sixth time this year as part of the PDRA Drag Wars at GALOT Motorsports Park on Sept. 6-8. Summit Racing Equipment and Darren Mayer Performance Engineering will sponsor the racers at this event.


Attending the event will be Tommy Fritz, owner and driver of the “Goin’ Broke 1940 Willys pickup; “AA Al” and Al Niespodzinski Jr. with the “Caged Heat” ’33 Willys coupe; Junior Ward driving Jim Oddy’s “Junkyard Dog” ’34 Willys sedan; and Derek Childress and his “Classical Gas” ’33 Willys coupe.


Last month at Lancaster (NY) Dragway, driver Dan Szewczyk was injured when the “Calamity Jane” Willys coupe owned by Mark and Barb Korzanowski rolled several times in the shutdown area. Szewczyk is still recovering from the incident. We join the Gasser group in wishing him a speedy recovery.   

Off the Track: Drag Racers Riot

Staffer Todd Silvey found this gem in the archives. The San Diego Union-Tribune is credited for presenting historical front pages from their newspaper. One such headline included drag racers who demonstrated back on August 21, 1960, when their local place to race, a United States Navy air station titled Hourglass Field near Miramar, CA, was closed off to the So-Cal racers and hot rodders.


On that Sunday evening, more than 100 people initially turned El Cajon Boulevard in San Diego into a makeshift drag strip by blocking off the main thoroughfare through the city as a protest for the hot rodders to get a sanctioned track in their area.


As the story is told in the paper, two patrolmen were injured and 116 citizens arrested as a crowd of over 2,000 grew and turned into a “melee” as the paper attested. The protest and racing were met with police and tear gas in an attempt to stop the impromptu street racing and subsequent rock and bottle throwing riot.


See the San Diego Union republished story of the event at here.  

New Product of the Day


Mustang Double Adjustable Coil-Over Strut from Strange

This Double Adjustable Coil-Over Strut from Strange Engineering is for drag racing use only. Fits 1987-2004 Mustangs with V8 cylinder spindles. Features: independent external adjusters, 3-1/8 turns of extension adjustment, 13 compression settings, integral coil-over body. Provides a wide range of control, allows quick adjustments for varying conditions, permits easy changes in ride height, can be rebuilt or revalved. Spring sold separately. 



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