Ford announces new Funny Car design for 2019

At the SEMA Show one year ago, Ford Motor Company announced a return to the NHRA to regain a foothold in the Funny Car classification. In 2019, Ford has plans to dive deeper into the class with a pair of brand-new developments.


The first development is an all-new 2019 Mustang Funny Car body, to replace the body currently in use that was developed for the 2009 season. The drivers currently running Fords in the class in 2018 have done well with the old design, which has generated excitement for upcoming car.


The second, most impressive development, is the process used to create the new car.


“We started with this project in October 2017,” said Bernie Marcus, a long-time Ford Performance aerodynamicist for the sports car and drag racing efforts. “Design begins with the use of computational fluid dynamics, which then turns into building parts to wind tunnel test on a scale model of the car. Once all those parts are verified, we produce a full-size model.”


The initial development process used for the new Mustang Funny Car body is the same process utilized for previous Ford race cars, including the Le Mans-winning Ford GT, albeit with one difference that holds major implications for both race and production car technology: the full-size prototype model phase is being skipped.


In other words, the first full-size car built is the one that Ford intends to race, and soon.


“The plan is to race this car, with this body, in 2019,” explained Marcus. “All that remains is finishing the full-size body and receiving NHRA approval. Then we’ll have time in the off-season to conduct testing before next season.”


The new Mustang Funny Car body mold was cut over a 10-day process in Michigan during October, with approval from NHRA and initial placement of the first body scheduled in the weeks ahead. First on-track testing is scheduled to begin in January. Bet Bob Tasca can’t wait.    

JEGS SPORTSnationals returns to National Trail next year

The JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals, one of the biggest and most prestigious weekends in Sportsman racing, will return to National Trail Raceway in 2019, as the race will take place at the facility on Sept. 20-22.


The race was held at National Trail Raceway from 2005-15 before being held at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, KY, for the past three seasons. Now it returns to National Trail Raceway, located just outside Columbus, Ohio, in 2019 after Chris Payne purchased the facility from NHRA in 2017 and also recently added Jay Livingston as the track new general manager and co-owner.


The race action includes competition in the Sportsman classes, including Super Stock, Stock, Super Gas, Super Street, Super Comp, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman and Comp Eliminator. Both the Top Sportsman and Top Dragster categories competed in a 32-car field in 2018 to optimize the competition for racers and fans alike at the marquee sportsman racing event.


The 2018 race also introduced the Sportsman Motorcycle category, adding to the slate of racing action, and also featured the C-Tech Fast Four Shootout races in Comp, Racing RV’s Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman, as well as the hotly contested K&N Super Shootouts in Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street, and the Hemi Shootout for the classic ’68 Hemi Barracudas and ’68 Dodge Darts.  

Team Bray heads for East Coast Thunder (down under)

Team Bray Racing will be looking for not only victory but also improved Personal Bests at Sydney Dragway’s East Coast Thunder this weekend (Nov. 2-3).


While Willowbank Raceway is their home track, Sydney Dragway is the venue at which both Victor Bray (shown) and Ben Bray have run their personal best results (5.861/248mph for Victor and 5.70/256mph for Ben).


Heading to the East Coast Thunder event – round two of the 2018/2019 400 Thunder Pro Slammer championship – Victor and Ben are currently seventh and fifth in the title standings respectively.


Also pitting with Team Bray Racing this weekend will be Kiwi Trevor Smith, who is known around New Zealand for his long smoky burnouts – much like Victor is in Australia.


“Trevor has moved his Pro Slammer operation to TBR and is planning on competing at all of the 400 Thunder events this season. We are looking forward to having him on board with us this weekend and throughout the rest of the season,” Victor said.


The event will use a traditional U.S. elimination format, with a 16-car eliminations field to be run for the Pro Slammer class for only the third time in Australian history.   

Si, la NHRA habla español

The National Hot Rod Association and FOX Deportes, the leading Spanish-language sports network, announced today that NHRA Championship Drag Racing programming will be featured on the network in November. This marks the first time in NHRA history that the sport will be broadcast in Spanish. The schedule includes a broadcast of the NHRA Auto Club Finals live from Pomona, CA.


The broadcast lineup includes all of the events in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship. Each of the first five shows will feature event highlights in a 30-minute format. The last show will be a three-hour live simulcast of the NHRA Auto Club Finals.


The programming schedule is

Nov. 4: 6:00 PM ET – NHRA Dodge Nationals, Reading

Nov. 4: 6:30 PM ET – AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis

Nov. 5:  8:00 PM ET – NHRA Texas Fall Nationals, Dallas

Nov. 10: 6:00 PM ET – NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte

Nov. 10: 6:30 PM ET – NHRA Toyota Nationals, Las Vegas

Nov. 11: NHRA Final Eliminations - Auto Club Finals, 4-7 PM ET – Pomona “Live”  

New Product of the Day


Custom Blend Lubricants from VP Racing Fuels

VP Racing Fuels, Inc., has unveiled their new Classic, Traditional and Custom lubricant product lines. VP Classic™ non-synthetic racing oils are available in viscosity grades SAE 30, 10W-30 and 20W-50 and are formulated to provide superior film strength with friction reducing additive as well as high levels of ZDDP. Classic SAE 80W-90 API GL-4 Hi-Performance Gear Oil is recommended for use in traditional classic car manual transmissions that compliment the line. VP’s Traditional™ non-synthetic racing oils in SAE 50 and 60 offers a heavier base oil cut providing tremendous oil film strength, with the enhancements offered by the Classics, and built for extremely stressed competition engines fueled by racing fuel, gasoline, diesel, alcohol, or nitro-methane. In addition, VP’s custom blend lubricant product line now offers VP NITRO SAE 70 Hi-Performance Racing Oil for nitro engines, VP EX HP SAE 0W-50 High Performance Full Synthetic Racing Oil, VP Diesel Compression Ignition 1 SAE 5W-40 Full Synthetic Racing Oil, as well as, VP’s new Hi-Performance SAE 75W-140LS Full Synthetic limited slip and SAE 80W-140LS conventional limited-slip API GL-5 gear oils.     



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