Millican team ready to make a move to winner’s circle

After an incredible runner-up finish in the Top Fuel Dragster category at the NHRA Mopar Mile-High Nationals, Clay Millican awaits his return to the winner’s circle this coming weekend at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, CA.


Wholesale changes over the winter months including a new ownership group, a new crew chief in Mike Kloeber, and an all new crew led many to see this as a rebuilding season for the team. However, although performance has been somewhat inconsistent, the Parts Plus dragster team has gone to four final rounds in 2019 in Gainesville, Las Vegas, Charlotte and Denver.


“Our first round run of 3.78 seconds was low ET of eliminations. We made three more solid runs on Sunday to take us to the final round,” Millican said of his Denver outing, where he lost to good friend and points leader Steve Torrence. “Unfortunately, we were just tuned up a little too much that pass. It was still a heck of a day for our team and I’m very proud of the accomplishments made this season.”


After an impressive showing in Denver, Millican arrives at Sonoma fifth in Top Fuel points and a mere two rounds out of second place. 

Three races, three different sponsors for Campbell

The Lescure Company of Concord, CA, will sponsor the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car driven by Jim Campbell this weekend at the Sonoma Nationals.


Lescure possesses the knowledge to design and build high-quality mechanical systems for all types of projects. Their 70 years of experience spans a wide variety of jobs, ranging from office buildings to colleges, hospitals, industrial buildings, emergency generator fuel systems, and Information Systems Support.


This year’s NHRA Western Swing will see three different Funny Car designs for the Jim Dunn Racing team with Cattleman’s Cut at Denver, Lescure Company at Sonoma, and then a design to represent a new Oberto logo that will be similar to the hydroplane boat when the team races in Seattle. 

Aussie Read headed for Northern Territory season debut

West Australian race Ian Read will make his return to Alice Springs and Darwin next month after making his debut in the Northern Territory in 2017.


The Alice Springs Inland Dragway will host the first round of the 2019/2020 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Desert Nationals, across August 3 and 4 before round two, the NT Nationals, will take place at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Drag Strip on August 9 and 10.


When Read visited Alice Springs and Darwin as part of the 2017/2018 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, he did so on his 2006 Suzuki Hayabusa.


“This time I will be racing my 2008 1340cc Suzuki Hayabusa which secured me the title back in 2015. It will be a bit of a homecoming for this bike with it originally coming from Darwin,” Read said.


“Sadly, my other bike suffered some engine damage in January of 2018 which required a rebuild of the 1441cc motor. This rebuild is nearing completion over the coming months but requires some testing before being ready for an interstate trip,” he explained.


“Given that I am very familiar with my championship winning bike and following a consistent 2018/2019 season, it just made sense to remain on the smaller-engined 1340cc bike for our trip up North.”    

Beckman to be honored with Eric Medlen Award

Jack Beckman will be honored with the second annual Speedway Children’s Charities Eric Medlen Award during the 13th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night fundraising dinner on Thursday, July 25, at Viansa Sonoma Winery.


“I've been honored to emcee ‘Eric's Night’ for many years, and it's always exciting to reminisce about Eric, spend time with his friends and family, and know that we're raising money to help kids through Speedway Children's Charities, something Eric would have loved,” Beckman said.


“Now, to be recognized with the Eric Medlen Award, well that's just hard to wrap my head around. I'm really humbled by this, and I'm also extremely excited to turn the mic back over to Bob Frey, the man who began emceeing these events, a great friend, and someone I have looked up to for more than 30 years.”


DSR teammate Ron Capps was the inaugural recipient last year.  

Speedway Motorsports to merge with Sonic Financial Corp.

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI), the operator of eight major speedways around the US, has entered into a “definitive merger agreement” with Sonic Financial Corp. of Charlotte, North Carolina, according to published reports.

Sonic Financial Corp. is owned by Bruton Smith and his family. Smith is also the founder and majority stakeholder in SMI.


SMI currently owns and operates Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.


The merger would take SMI private, a move similar to the one announced by International Speedway Corp. (ISC) in May. ISC entered an agreement to sell its outstanding shares to NASCAR, a deal which is expected to close later this year.


Sonic Financial would acquire all outstanding shares of SMI common stock at $19.75 per share in cash.


SMI stated the following in a published memo to its employees:

Speedway Motorsports, Inc. will continue its focus on owning and operating first-class, modern facilities in premier geographic markets, and providing our individual and corporate fans and customers with the best entertainment experience and marketing value in the motorsports industry.


We have no current plans for job eliminations as a result of the proposed transaction. Rather, the proposed transaction will enable us to accelerate our long-term growth plan and transformation, and maintain our focus on providing the best entertainment experience and marketing value in the motorsports industry.  

Hmm: Where did the pro entry totals go?

The Agent has noticed that the numbers of entrants for the professional classes is now missing from the event information section on the Sonoma and subsequent NHRA national events wensite. The sportsman entries are still totaled by class, but to find the pro entries you have to count the list by name.


So, the Agent counted them up and for Sonoma there are 15 Top Fuel, 15 Funny Car, 20 Pro Stock and 22 Pro Stock Motorcycle entrants. 

By the Numbers: Ratings for Denver improve on FOX

Well, having the racing televised on FOX rather than FS1 certainly made a difference in the numbers for the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals.


The July 21 broadcast garnered 902,000 viewers with a rating of 0.61, the highest of the season so far. These are almost the same numbers for the Houston broadcast on FOX of 902,000 with a 0.60 rating.  

Fans can enter the Dodge Drag Strip Showdown

Dodge enthusiasts and NHRA fans are invited to compete in the “Drag Strip Showdown,” a head-to-head competition behind the wheel of the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon simulators for a chance to attend the Dodge//SRT Bondurant Drag Racing School.


The top four drivers with the best race times will be paired with either Mopar Dodge Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett or Mopar Dodge Charger Funny Car driver Matt Hagan and be coached for the final competition taking place at Bondurant in the 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.


The events started at the Dodge Mile-High Nationals in Denver, and racing fans can test their skills in the Dodge Demon simulators and enter “Drag Strip Showdown” contest at these events:


Roadkill Nights, Pontiac, MI, Aug. 11

NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals, Brainerd, MN, Aug. 17-19

NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis, IN, Aug. 30-Sept. 3

NHRA Dodge Nationals, Mohnton, PA, Sept. 13-16

NHRA Midwest Nationals, Madison, IL, Sept. 21-23

NHRA Fall Nationals, Dallas, TX, Oct. 5-7

NHRA Carolina Nationals, Concord, NC, Oct. 12-14

NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas, NV, Oct. 26-28

SEMA Show, Las Vegas, NV Oct. 30-Nov. 2

NHRA Finals, Pomona, CA, Nov. 9-11  

New Product of the Day


MSD Front Drive Distributors for Chevy

MSD Pro-Billet Front Drive Distributors, developed for both big block and small block Chevys, are perfect for race engines that need a cam-sync signal for EFI systems but don't have room for a standard distributor because of inadequate firewall clearance or bulky intake setups. MSD Pro-Billet Front Drive Distributors feature an adjustable Hall Effect sync pickup with a built-in LED for easy adjustments, an extra-wide 9mm belt driven by a pulley on the camshaft, and a band-clamp mount for fast, easy rotor-phasing. They come complete with a billet-aluminum bracket and lower housing, a billet distributor head, and a new gear for the camshaft. 



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