Wilkerson to celebrate decade with Ford with new car body in 2019

The first of the new Ford Mustang bodies being cut in Detroit.


Team owner and racer Tim Wilkerson will celebrate his 10th anniversary with a Ford Mustang Funny Car next season. The Springfield, IL, native has accumulated 10 national event wins for Ford, bringing his win total in the class to 20. This year he finished in the top 10 for the 14th time and 11th consecutive season.


"We're really excited about the new Ford Mustang bodies," said Wilkerson, who has campaigned a Ford Mustang Funny Car since 2009. "We're hearing that they should be coming out the middle of December or near the first of the year. We'll get one of the first ones, and then it'll go to [longtime chassis builder] Murf McKinney to mount, then we'll send it off to have it painted. All of that takes time, so we may not have it before we do our pre-season testing, but we're excited.


"What we're most looking forward to in this next year is Ford coming back to NHRA in the Funny Car class," said an elated Wilkerson. "We've had offers from other manufacturers to jump ship over the years, but we believed that these Ford Mustang bodies are the best. We stuck with them and won some races, and I tell you what, we're proud to be part of the Ford family. Historically, each time there has been a new Ford body released, it's shown improvement. I expect this new one will be as good as or better than what we've had."  

Bowens going N/TF racing in 2019

A couple of photos and a note were in the old mayo jar high atop the Phlegm Building’s second-story penthouse porch this morning. Three-time DRO AA/Funny Car Challenge champion Shawn Bowen told the Agent the team will race for another championship except not in a Nitro Funny Car as they have been for almost a decade including racing for the Barton family in 2018.


Bowen has purchased a Dave Uyehara front motor dragster chassis and is starting to get ready for the 2019 NHRA Heritage series. Bowen told the Agent they will have a 426 Hemi between the rails. 

Rupert moving up to NHRA Big Show racing; Lombardo moves to N/FC

Jason Rupert has multiple NHRA Heritage Series and at least one IHRA Nitro Funny Car Championship to his credit. The Agent verified today that Rupert acquired the late Steve Plueger's big show Funny Car team and will run a limited NHRA schedule in 2019.


Also making a series change is NHRA Alky Funny Car star John Lombardo. The Agent’s sources say the Lombardo lost his sponsorship from NAPA and that led to him and his team to make the move to Nostalgia Funny Car racing. According to the Agent's sources the Lombardo team is picking up a Camaro from the Victory Race Cars shop. 

UNFC announces partial 2019 schedule, Austin new Board Chairman

Bobby Cottrell drove Bucky Austin and Mike O’Brien’s “Northwest Hitter” AAFC to the UNFC 2018 championship. 


A partial schedule for second season of the United Nitro Funny Cars group under new Board Chairman Bucky Austin, has been released. The group is sponsored by Good Vibrations.


April 12-13: Tucson (AZ) Dragway

June 21-22: Spokane County (WA) Raceway

June 28-29: Pacific Raceways, Seattle, WA

July 12-14: Castrol Raceway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

July 26-27: Pacific Raceways (with Goodguys event)   

Elite Motorsports taps Elkes for turbocharged Pro Mods

Signaling a further progression in their growing Pro Mod operation, Pro Stock and sportsman racing powerhouse Elite Motorsports announced it has formed a strategic alliance with Modern Racing and its founder, noted tuner Justin Elkes.


Elite Motorsports will campaign three Pro Mod cars driven by Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin and Steve Matusek for the full 2019 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season and Modern Racing will help oversee that transition. Elkes’ Modern Racing, whose expertise and track record is well knowing within the industry, will help facilitate the operation, aid in tuning, and handle the construction and assembly of the three turbocharged entries, which include two Camaros and one Mustang, which will be driven by Matusek.


Enders’ NHRA Pro Mod debut a year ago marked Elite Motorsports’ first foray into the class and now the successful organization is honed in on making an even bigger mark in the class in 2019. Elkes, a noted chassis and suspension guru, and Modern Racing are already hard at work on the trio of Pro Mod cars at their Mooresville, N.C. shop as the entire operation has big goals for 2019.


“We’ve built a championship-caliber Pro Stock program, and this alliance with Justin and Modern Racing is part of our goal to build a championship-winning Pro Mod operation,” said Richard Freeman, Elite Motorsports owner.    

Bloodhound supersonic project scrapped

The Bloodhound Project to build a 1,000-mph vehicle has come to an end after funding could not be found to complete the British project. Unless someone wants to continue the project, the vehicle will be sold for parts.


Our own Tom McCarthy had been chronicling the project, as his report last year for us shows.  

ISC to acquire Racing Electronics

International Speedway Corporation has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Racing Electronics based in Concord, NC, both companies stated in a joint written statement.


ISC owns several circle track speedways in addition to dragstrips at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California (Fontana) and Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL.


Racing Electronics is known worldwide as a leader in motorsports communications technology and equipment for motorsports drivers, teams, series, venues, and fans, as well as the exclusive provider of FanVision technology to NASCAR and NHRA. Racing Electronics is also the Official Two-Way Radio and Race Communications Provider of 14 major sanctioning bodies including ARCA, IndyCar, NHRA, World Racing Group and USAC.


“Our companies share a team-driven culture consumed with developing new ways to enhance the fan experience,” said Chris Schwartz, ISC managing director, broadcast and integrated marketing and VP, Motor Racing Network, when the acquisition agreement was announced earlier this month. “We see the Racing Electronics team continuing to play a key role as we expand our industry footprint.”


Beginning Jan. 1, ISC will assume operation of Racing Electronics. Leadership and its nearly 70 full-time employees will remain intact. And Racing Electronics President of Motorsports Chad Willis will continue in his role while reporting to Schwartz. Racing Electronics will maintain its manufacturing and business operations from its Concord, NC, headquarters.  

New Product of the Day


Direct Ignition System Kit from MSD

Known for their quick starts, smooth idle, increased power and improved throttle response, MSD’s Direct Ignition System (DIS) Kits are meant to be an easy upgrade from the conventional distributor-type ignition, to the modernized coil-per-plug design. They also eliminate distributor cap and rotor wear, reduce spark energy losses, and optimize ignition tuning parameters. They are easily programmable through a mini USB port, with 2D and 3D maps that allow for timing control. A simple software called MSDView and labeled wires make installation, use, and gaining power a breeze. With a 2.5 Bar MAP sensor, a step-retard feature, launch-retard feature, and two-step, they’re perfect for boosted and nitrous applications as well as drag race vehicles. Currently, they are available in either black or red for small and big-block Chevys, small-block Fords, and Cleveland Fords. 



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