Capps breaks through, Torrence and Hines get two in a row

In Funny Car, Ron Capps secured his first win of the 2019 season in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, going 4.068 at 315.34 to win on a holeshot against Tim Wilkerson’s 4.052 at 310.05 in the final round. It also gives Capps his 62nd career victory, continuing his impressive string of 11 straight seasons with at least one win.

Steve Torrence got back where he thought he should be after getting his second win in a row this weekend at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. And in the final round he got a little revenge for losing the 2017 Top Fuel championship by beating No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force. Torrence, who qualified No. 2, clocked a 3.863 at 320.20 mph to Force’s 3.989 at 274. He extends his lead to almost 100 points. 


Five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Andrew Hines earned his second straight victory, third overall of 2019 and 51st in his career after going 6.865 at 195.05 on his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to defeat Jerry Savoie’s 6.919/193.65 in the final round. It also marked the 100th career win for Harley-Davidson in the class, a streak that Hines started with his first career victory in 2004. It was another noteworthy accomplishment for Hines, who became the first rider to claim 50 wins in the class last weekend and has three victories in four races to open the 2019 Pro Stock Motorcycle season.  

Way to go, Luigi!

Although he was all but ignored on the FS1 broadcast on Sunday, long-time racer Luigi Novelli made the Big Show in Top Fuel at Atlanta. The low-buck racer from Crete, IL, can’t afford to attend many events during the season, but hangs in there. (Incredibly, Terry McMillen was the only TF racer who did not qualify for the event.)


Qualifying in the No. 16 spot, Novelli, 78, pretty much had no chance against points leader and defending champion Steve Torrence, but gave it a game try, running a 3.940/ 274.66 against Torrence’s winning 3.782/319.60.


A tip of the Agent’s race helmet to a true racer who never gives up. 

Rain shortens Friday and Saturday at Spring Fling

Rain on Friday at Galot Motorsports Park disrupted the racing for the $50,000 winner’s prize a couple of times. The second round began around 11 p.m. and the third round was completed but the late hour caused the action to pause with six pairs of cars left in round four.

Racing was resumed on Saturday, with Tommy Cable hanging on for the $50K.


Then Saturday’s $20,000-to-win competition began.  By the semifinals there were three dragsters and just one door car left. Colby Fuller lost to Will Holloman, leaving only dragsters. Shane Maddox got the .002 holeshot win over Dan Davies.

Will Holloman

Shane Maddox 


Before Holloman and Maddox could get back, rain and wind came in and both drivers decided to split the final, stating, “It’s not worth waiting for the rain to stop or taking a chance with our cars.” 

Rain postpones PDRA finals to next event

The first pair of the Pro Outlaw 632 semifinals was ready to pre-stage when rain drops started to fall on the Virginia Motorsports Park starting line. Young gun Jordan Ensslin was lined up alongside doorslammer drag racing veteran Tony Gillig (shown), while defending world champion and low qualifier Johnny Pluchino was set to race Mike Oldham in the second pair. The semifinals and final round will be completed at Maryland. 


Rapidly approaching thunderstorms prevented Professional Drag Racers Association race officials from completing the final round of eliminations Saturday evening, May 4, at the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Modern Racing. The Virginia Motorsports Park event will be completed at the PDRA North-South Shootout presented by Line-X May 30-June 1 at Maryland International Raceway in Budds Creek, MD.


Racing progressed to the final round in nearly all of the PDRA’s professional and sportsman classes: Pro Boost, Pro Nitrous, Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, Elite Top Sportsman, Top Sportsman 32, Elite Top Dragster, Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster. Pro Outlaw 632 raced to the semifinal round, while Tim Williams (Top Dragster 32) and Noah Johnson (Edelbrock Bracket Bash) were crowned event champions.

Nostalgia Super Stocks and Eddie Munster this week at St. Louis

The Victory Nostalgia Super Stock group will begin their 2019 season with more than 40 cars expected at the St. Louis Rendezvous. Jim Hagenhoff, the 2018 champion, will defend his crown. 


The St. Louis Nostalgia Rendezvous will be held May 10-11 at World Wide Technology Raceway (formerly Gateway Motorsports Park) just across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis. The show features nostalgia drag racing, rockabilly/surf bands, a 1969-an-older hot rod and custom car show, a pin-up girl contest and a retro vendor midway.


Butch Patrick, known for playing Eddie Munster on the 1960s TV show “The Munsters” will sign autographs and bring two of the show’s iconic cars, Grandpa Munster’s “Dragula” coffin dragster and the family’s Munster Coach.


Be there or be square! 

Wilkerson reaches 500-race milestone, plans new car

For the third time this season and the third time at Atlanta Dragway, Tim Wilkerson and company reached the final round. A win did not come to pass on Sunday, but the well-oiled team saw their driver move up in the standings as their momentum continues to build.


The final round was particularly momentous as it marked the 500th nitro Funny Car race of Wilkerson's career. Wilkerson is one of just four active pro drivers to have raced in 500 or more NHRA national events. Ron Capps has 538 on his scorecard, Cruz Pedregon has 574, and John Force has 767.


"It was a good day," said Wilkerson, who moved up to No. 6 in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings following the final-round meeting with Capps. "Everybody did a good job, and I'm real proud of the guys. We gave it all we had."


What helped make the day special was his semifinal win over points leader Robert Hight. Wilkerson raced across the finish line first with a 4.084 at 313.66 in the heat of the day. Hight clocked a 4.182/258.02 on his way out the door.


At the starting line following the victory, Wilkerson's right-hand man, Richard Hartman, was elated.


"Wow," said Hartman, who has been by Wilk's side for 101 races. "We haven't beat those guys in a long time. It was our turn, though, and we'll take it."


In the final round, however, Ron Capps got the win on a holeshot.


Wilkerson has tentative plans to bring out a new Mustang at the next NHRA national event May 17-19 at Richmond, VA.    

Motor State Knock Out coming in June

JBA Performance Exhaust Co. will be presenting sponsor of the Late Model Muscle Stock and Modified classes at the Motor State Knock Out to be held Saturday, June 15, at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI. Modified will pay $8K to win and Stock will pay $6K.


The eighth-mile no-prep event will also include Big Tire, Small Tire and Outlaw Street classes, which will all pay $10,000 to the winners.  

Motor State Knock Out coming in June

For Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and co-driver Jagger Jones, finishing the NORRA Mexican 1000 race last week was a major accomplishment that showed the toughness and resilience that made Prudhomme a racing legend and shows that Jones should have a long and successful racing career as well. The duo raced together in a JEG’S High Performance Mail Order and Lucas Oil sponsored 2019 Polaris RZR 1000 prepped by P.J. Jones, Jagger’s father, and finished 16th unofficially in the Stock Turbo UTV class. Heading into the final day of the race Prudhomme was not sure if they would be able to take the iconic checkered flag.


“We had to make a decision in La Paz (Wednesday night) when we were working until about two in the morning. We were actually just going to put it on the trailer because we couldn’t find the problem,” explained Prudhomme. “We didn’t want to be stuck out in the desert. That is the worst. We decided that if we both drove it and took it easy we could finish the race. That is what we did.”


On the final day of the race Prudhomme and Jones took turns racing as fast as they could without taxing the engine. They were forced to stop regularly to top off the fuel tank to keep their two-cylinder engine happy and under maximum power.


“We nursed it home. Finishing is an accomplishment,” said Prudhomme. “There are cars on the side of the course. Crashed and out of the race. We passed all kinds of cars on the last day.”   



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