VOLUME XX, NUMBER 10 - OCTOBER, 2018
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
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Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
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Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
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European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
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Lucas Oil pulls plug on boat …
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Latest 2019 NHRA Pro Stock rumor
The Agent's mayo jar on the front porch of the Phlegm Building had a note in ...
ET DRAG RACING
Mike Janis had a bit of luck and won his first E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service world championship at the season ending event during the NHRA Toyota Nationals.
Janis was the points leaders entering the weekend but was defeated in the first round of eliminations by Marc Caruso (5.762/247.75 to 5.789/247.57). Defending champion Rickie Smith, who was second, advanced to the quarter finals and had an opportunity to win his fourth championship if he advanced to the semifinals. Smith was defeated by Rick Hord (5.756/254.86 to 5/843/247.38), allowing Janis to claim the crown.
Sidnei Frigo won the Pro Mod final.
In the finals Sidnei Frigo faced Mike Castellana for the last victory of the year. Frigo was able to win with a run of 5.756 seconds at 256.50 mph to a 5.861 at 249.49 for Castellana.
“We had a lot of issues with the car at the beginning of the year.” said Frigo. “Now we fixed the car and it runs great. Next year is going to be a good year.” [10/29/18]
Driving his “DeLorean” Pro Stock for the Halloween weekend, Butner used a .007 RT to get the holeshot win over Erica Enders in the final at Las Vegas with a 6.657/207.43 to Enders’ .020 RT and 6.652 at 206.57 mph. "I went up there with a different mindset, just slow down, don't rush, and enjoy it,” Butner said. “I knew this might be my last Vegas race, so I just wanted to enjoy it and give it my best. It worked out."
As the Agent has been saying for some time, Bo Butner will be leaving the Pro Stock class at the end of this season. The 2017 Pro Stock champ has confirmed that he will move into the SAM Factory Stock Showdown at the wheel of a Cobra Jet Mustang and will also enter some no prep races in the same Chevrolet Cobalt that he won the Comp Eliminator championship with in 2006. Butner also may venture into Pro Mod competition after licensing earlier this season in Harry Hruska’s turbocharged Camaro.
"There are a whole lot of options now, and I won't have to race – I can race when I want to race,” Butner explained. “I'm probably stepping away from Pro Stock for at least a year because I have a lot of life-changing things happening: I'm going to be a grandpa in April, and I've put off a lot of family stuff for the last four seasons. I want to get back to that, plus, our business is growing and I need to be there for that.”
Butner joins other current and past pro class drivers in the Factory Stock ranks including newly crowned champion Leah Pritchett, Erica Enders, Mark Pawuk, and Allen Johnson.
"I don't want to hurt Pro Stock, and I hope it grows even bigger," said Butner. "And I want everyone to know that I'm not going away. I'm amazed by the support that we've had and the following that has grown. It's unlike anything I'm used to, but it's great. These are the best fans in the world. Pro Stock is a Stock and Super Stock Sportsman racer's dream. It's the ultimate class to race and absolutely the toughest to turn on a win light. Day one, Jason [Line] told me that, and I thought, 'no, I got this.' But he was 100% correct. It's hard to win, and you feel great just to win a round."
The Agent hears from a reliable Pro Stock source that the NHRA is again contemplating reducing the number of 2019 events for the Pro Stock class to 16, as they had first proposed for this season. [10/29/18]
In Funny Car, J.R. Todd powered to his fifth win of the year in his DHL Toyota Camry and in doing so took over the category points lead. He defeated Matt Hagan in the finals with his winning run of 3.921 at 318.39 to Hagan’s 4.087/263.62. He now has a 74-point lead over defending world champion Robert Hight who had a first-round loss at the hands of Todd’s teammate, Shawn Langdon (3.922/325.85 to 4.643/186.41) when Hight’s Camaro had a cylinder out early in the run.
“We still have some unfinished business in Pomona,” said Todd. “Hopefully we can go there and come out of it with two trophies.”
This is the seventh Funny Car win for Todd, the 16th in his career and his second win at the facility this season. [10/29/18]
Hector Arana Jr. (near lane) took the PSM points lead from Matt Smith (far lane) at Las Vegas. In the second round Smith turned on the red light paving the way for Arana.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana Jr. was the top qualifier for the Las Vegas event and won his third race of the year when he defeated defending world champion Eddie Krawiec in the finals. On his Lucas Oil Buell he raced to a winning run of 6.885 at 193.35 for this 14th win in his career and his first at the Strip. Krawiec ran 6.911 at 195.05 on his Harley.
"We did a great job qualifying and that sent the tone for today," said Arana. "It gave me the confidence I needed. I had great lights in qualifying and did it again today on race day. Great preparation and everything came back together. We just want to qualify well, win rounds and win races."
With the win, Arana moves to fourth in the points and trails leader Matt Smith by 64 points. Krawiec jumps to second, only four behind Smith and LE Tonglet is third, 61 out of first.
The Pomona race will offer one-and-a-half-times points. [10/29/18]
Bill Doner, who has been the face of the West Coast-based United Nitro Funny Cars series, was ousted as chairman of the board by the board of directors and replaced with Bucky Austin who is also a UNFC team owner. Doner remains with the organization in another role.
Also joining the UNFC in 2019 is some official capacity will be promoter/racer Jason Bunker and PR specialist Darr Hawthorne. The Agent expects the UNFC series, with sponsorship from Jim Mayer and Good Vibrations, to add more races to the five races the series had this year.
The Agent hears a rumor that yet another Midwest Nostalgia Funny Car racer (John Hale) may be hanging up the firesuit. One of the Agent’s sources reports that the Texas-based team owner/driver has his entire “One Bad Texan” operation up for sale with a $300,000 price tag. [10/29/18]
Following the lead of other regional and national series such as the IHRA, NHRA and others, the MWPMS series is considering adding Top Sportsman and Top Dragster to their line-up of classes in 2019. [10/29/18]
Summit Racing Equipment has announced that Scott Peterson has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of the company effective January 1, 2019.
Peterson succeeds longtime President Ray Tatko, who is retiring at the end of 2018. Tatko will remain on Summit Racing Equipment’s Board of Directors and act as an advisor to company officers. Tatko’s leadership over the past 30 years has been one of the keys to Summit Racing’s success, especially his talent to identify and hire the best leaders for the growing company.
Peterson was hired in 1995 as Summit Racing’s Operations Manager. He was instrumental in improving the efficiency of the company’s order fulfillment center, leading to quicker shipping times and order accuracy for its customers even as order volume increased.
Peterson was promoted to General Manager in 2008, and guided Summit Racing Equipment through the turbulent period of the recession, helping it emerge stronger than ever. [10/29/18]
The 2019 schedule for the thrilling E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service has been announced and will again have 12 stops.
“When we signed on at the beginning of the year one of the things we loved about Pro Mod racing is that it is the pinnacle of sportsman racing,” said Rob Fisher, vice president of motorsports E3 Spark Plugs. “The cars look like actual cars on the street, just stylized and even cooler. Where else are you going to see super chargers, nitrous and turbos going at it in an even platform? The best part about it from our standpoint is you have to get up on the wheel and drive these cars. It is nothing to see a guy working the wheel down the track going sideways and they stay in it. The aggressive performance orientated vibe you get from it really matches well and is what E3 is all about.”
2019 NHRA Pro Mod Schedule
March 14-17: Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, FL
April 12-14: NHRA SpringNationals, Houston
April 26-28: NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, NC
May 3-5: NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta
May 17-19: Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, VA
June 7-9: Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, Topeka, KS
June 14-16: Fitzgerald NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, TN
June 20-23: Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
Aug. 28-Sept. 2: Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Sept. 27-29: AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 11-13: NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, NC
Oct. 24-27: NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas [10/29/18]
Phantom Trifekta from Aeromotive
Aeromotive’s new Phantom Trifekta[10/29/18]
BACK TO TOP
The Texas Motorplex will host not one, but two events on Nov. 1-3 with more than $125,000 in total prize money on the line.
Headlining the all-eighth-mile weekend will be the inaugural Elite 16 $50,000-to-win event presented by Elite Motorsports and the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS). Additionally, after heavy rain threatened the season-ending Frankenstein Engine Dynamics Mid-West Pro Mod Series World Finals earlier this month at Tulsa, OK, the decision was made to move that race also to the same weekend at the Motorplex, just south of Dallas.
Live attendance to the three-day spectacle will be limited to just 1,000 paying spectators, although a free, live online feed of all the action will be available through www.Bangshift.com, hosted by veteran drag racing journalist Chad Reynolds.
MWPMS founder, owner and promoter Keith Haney explained that $50,000 is guaranteed to the Elite 16 winner, another $24,000 is slated for other Elite 16 qualifiers, and a $22,000 purse is up for grabs within the Mid-West Series, “making this the biggest, richest weekend ever in eighth-mile Pro Mod racing.” The purse for the rest of the weekend, including a $15,000 Second-Chance Pro Mod race presented by Jerry Bickel Race Cars and the Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman class will push the total to more than $125,000, he added.
[The Agent notes that if you are not a regular MWPMS racer who has been to at least three of the MWPMS 2018 races you can race for the $50,000 awarded to the Elite-16 winner but you will have to pay a $2,500 entry fee.]
Presently, Ron Muenks (shown) holds a slim lead in MWPMS Pro Mod points over Jim Sackuvich and Jonas Aleshire, while the Radial vs. the World list is headed by Daniel Pharris with Mark Micke, Houston racer Jeff Naiser and DeWayne Mills all well within striking distance. Meanwhile, in X275, Kenny Hubbard of Conroe, TX, has all but wrapped up his second-straight MWPMS title. [10/29/18]