Sportsman racers get on track at U.S. Nationals

On Wednesday at the U.S. Nationals defending Hemi Challenge champ Jimmy Daniels had the wheelstand of the day. And his Dodge Dart still ran an 8.60.


Chris Haverly reports that between the wet conditions and new people doing the parking (four people on scooters taking in one hauler at a time) it took all night and most of two days to get the 700 sportsman entrants situated in their pits at Lucas Oil Raceway. “Once cars finally went down the track it went pretty smooth with only one oil-down and one car hitting the center cones,” Haverly said.

Pro Stock racer Jason Line took to the track in his restored 1970 Buick for some Stock Eliminator action. He drove the car to the 2017 U.S. Nationals win in C/SA. This year he ran 10.002 on an 11.40 (-1.398).


Gary Summers from Franklin, KY, drove his U/S '77 Mustang to a 12.842 lap on a 14.65 index to secure the number-one qualifier in Stock Eliminator which had 161 entries, but only 124 drivers made the field. Mike McGinley from nearby Lebanon, IN, drove his H/SA '90 Firebird to a .881-under 11.269 on a 12.15.


Some recognizable names that made the field near the top include former track operator/promoter Carl Weisinger in his '15 Challenger with a 1.402-under 8.898, 10.30. Former IHRA Pro Stock star Roy Hill, Sophia, NC, drove his '12 Mustang to an 8.622 on a 10.00 index.


We’ll be posting more photos on the DRO Facebook page throughout the event. 

Cruzer testing 300-mph engine combination for quarter-mile Nitro?

The Agent reported earlier this month that NHRA is so determined to return to quarter-mile racing for its TF and FC classes at two or three of their national events in 2020 that they are trying to develop their own engine/tune-up combination that will only allow 300-mph quarter-mile passes in ideal track and weather conditions.


To that end the Agent’s operative reports that Cruz Pedregon was paid to test just such a combination by the NHRA last weekend at Indy. The Agent’s source says the Cruzer made just one lap with no ET or speed numbers given.


The Agent wonders why the NHRA doesn’t take advantage of the mandatory rev-limiter that every NHRA Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car is required to have and just adjust the max revs?    

31 Funny Cars pre-entered for Chaos finale at Northstar

The Funny Car Chaos folks tell the Agent that there are 21 pre-entries for that series’ upcoming race at Martin, MI, the week after the U.S. Nationals, which is good news.


They also say that they already have 31 FC entered for that series’ last race of the season Sept. 27-28 at the Denton, TX, track. That race could be very entertaining ... perhaps the Agent needs to be at that event.  

Hight dominates regular season, will start Countdown with points lead

Robert Hight and John Force at Seattle, where Force got his 150th career win. 


Before the conclusion of the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS team will claim their first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season championship and a 20-point advantage over the No. 2 spot once the points reset.


“I’ve never gone into the Countdown No. 1. You know, its 20 points, and once the Countdown starts, every point is going to matter,” Hight said. “I lost the Championship in 2007 by 19 points so to go into the Countdown No. 1, its ours to lose, I guess. If you don’t mess up, it’s yours. I’m proud of my guys for that,” Hight said.


With a total of five wins in 2019, Hight and the Auto Club team have never trailed in the NHRA Mello Yello points standings. They have claimed eight No. 1 qualifiers, just five away from the Funny Car season record held by team owner John Force who was the No. 1 qualifier 13 times in 1996.  

Jessi Combs killed in speed record attempt

Jessi Combs, a racer, fabricator, spokesperson and television personality, died on Tuesday, Aug. 27, while attempting to set a land speed record on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert in Oregon. She was 39.


A talented fabricator who first was a guest on the Overhaulin’ cable tv show, she was later hired as co-host of Xtreme 4x4. Other television appearances followed including a stint on the 2009 season of Mythbusters.


She set a four-wheeled vehicle record of 398 mph in October 2013 and reached 483 mph last fall, but mechanical issues kept those attempts from being official records. She was aiming at 619 mph in the jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed “Challenger” when the accident occurred.


According to a statement released by her family, a celebration of Jessi's life is being planned and a foundation is being created to continue her efforts to empower women and young girls to follow their dreams.

Rock Batteries to sponsor Paul Smith and Sandy Wilkins at Indy

Paul Smith, who once finished second in the NHRA Funny Car driver standings (1974) before becoming one of drag racings most skilled crew chiefs, will banner North Carolina-based Rock Racing Batteries on his 2016 Dodge Charger at this week’s 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. Rock Batteries is owned by Steve Earwood, who also owns Rockingham Dragway.


The Smith-owned Dodge will be driven by veteran Phil Burkart Jr. of Yorkville, NY, a four-time NHRA tour winner who has spent the past several seasons racing in the Top Alcohol Funny Car division where he was runner-up to reigning World Champion Sean Bellemeur at three different events.

Also flying the Rock Batteries banner at the Big Go will be the 1969 Camaro owned and driven by two-time Southeast Division Top Sportsman champion Sandy Wilkins of Mt. Ulla, NC. A three-time national event champion, Wilkins has finished as high as second in national Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series points (2017).  

New Product of the Day


SCE Burst Panel Gaskets for Superchargers

SCE Gaskets now offers heavy duty Burst Panel Gaskets in two sizes. The steel-core gaskets are available in large (6.13” x 3.13”) and small (4.24” x 2.31”) sizes to accommodate most superchargers used in nitro and alcohol racing. These gaskets are made from steel-core/composite laminated material for strength and durability. Gasket thickness is 0.040” and they’re precision die-cut for accurate fitment. Available in SCE Dyno Paks™ (sets 10 piece) or packaged two per set.  



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