Payne vows to keep dragstrip in Topeka, will fight county tax appraisal

Heartland Motorsports Park owner Chris Payne, who is embroiled in a longstanding fight with the Shawnee County appraiser’s office, has decided to stay and fight. He told The Topeka Capital-Journal he plans to file legal action against the appraiser’s office soon.


The Agent will be watching this and has a couple of questions: Will the county allow Payne to keep running at Topeka since he owes taxes for two years? How does this affect Payne’s purchase of the I-70 racing facility? 

Palmer’s dragster gets front-halved; new one coming at Charlotte

Straight after the completion of the Gatornationals on March 17, Scott Palmer and crew headed to Indianapolis to take delivery of a brand-new MLR chassis. While there, they made some necessary updates to the current Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Top Fuel dragster with hopes of making it a reliable back-up once the new car goes into service.


"The new car is in the trailer but we probably won't run it until Charlotte (April 26-28)," Palmer said. "We are waiting on a new paint scheme and some other things and then we will roll it out. It's the first car I've ever had that was built 100-percent for me. Everything on it is new, so I'm not going to rush bringing it out. We want to make sure it's good to go from every aspect.


"What's cool is the car we have been running was front-halved and freshened up while we were at MLR so it's basically new. It had a lot of runs on it and we found some problems. It's been wanting to go sideways in the burnout and then when I step on the gas, even on a good run, the back end would try to washout.”


Palmer has been getting some help from fellow drivers Richie Crampton and Steve Torrence.


"We spent a week at MLR and Richie Crampton (fellow driver and chassis builder) and all the guys at that shop absolutely dropped what they were doing to front half the car so we could have something to race in Las Vegas. They front-halved that car in two days, got it back to us in great condition, and we were on it fast, putting it back together.


"Once we left MLR with the new car and the front-halved old car, we went to Torrence's shop and built out the new car. It's incredible the help those guys give us. Jason McCulloch wired and plumbed it and the rest of the CAPCO boys jumped in with all the other stuff. They got it all handled so quickly my guys were able to go home for a few days. It's pretty cool to have the world champions helping you build out your car."    

Irwindale launches three-phase dragstrip improvement plan

California’s Irwindale Dragstrip has begun work on a three-phase plan to improve the facility for competitors and fans.


The first phase has already begun with the recent addition of PJ1 traction compound to the track surface. The second phase will see the addition of a track scrubber to decrease downtime and provide a cleaner track surface. A Tire Dragging Machine will be the final aspect of the project, to even the rubber across the track.


To help defray the improvements costs, the price of competitor tech cards will increase from $20 to $30 beginning Thursday, April 4. Spectator entrance will remain at $10 per person. 

Hot Rodders of Tomorrow begin qualifications for 2019 Championship

Teams have already begun qualifying for the 2019 Dual Championships bringing the total to 18 teams so far. More qualifying competitions will be held around the country throughout the year. The final teams will be competing at the SEMA Show held Nov. 5-8 in Las Vegas and at the PRI Show Dec. 12-14 at Indianapolis.


The event has grown from five high school teams at one event back in 2008 to 14 events in 11 states last season. Fifty-five teams qualified for the 2018 Dual National Championship at the SEMA and PRI shows. Last year over $4.2 million in scholarships were presented to participating students from SAM Tech, UTI and OTC.  

Supercharged Outlaws champion comes down to final event

Mark Hunt is hoping to send off his soon-to-be-retired “Huntsman” Ford ’56 Customline with a championship this weekend. 


The 2018/19 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series title battle for the Supercharged Outlaws bracket will come down to the wire at the Perth Motorplex this weekend at the hotly anticipated ANDRA Grand Finals (April 6-7).


Heading to the final round of what has been an intensely competitive season for the bracket, Paul Stephen and Mark Hunt are sitting on maximum points (300) at the top of the leader board ahead of Mike Evans (290) and Jason Keily (280).


While both Stephen and Hunt are long-standing members of the Supercharged Outlaws scene, they are each yet to lay their hands on a Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series Australian Championship Trophy, despite having come close in the past.


“Two years ago I was the runner-up and I lost because I broke-out,” Hunt said. “We had a play around last year but this season we have been all over Australia chasing this title, so to win it would be absolutely fantastic.


“It would also be great to take it out this season as I want to retire the car this year and bring out my new one in August for Supercharged Outlaws next season!”

United Nitro Funny Cars Head to Tucson Dragway

Good Vibrations Motorsports presents the United Nitro Funny Car Championship Series with the Western Fuel Altereds at the Tucson Dragway Reunion on April 12-13.


Among those expected are 2018 series Champion Bobby Cottrell in the Austin & O’Brien Bardahl-backed ‘69 Camaro, Legends of Nitro Rookie of the Year Billy “the Kid” Morris driving Eddie Knox’s "Problem Child” Camaro, last year’s UNFC Tucson runner-up, Canadian Tim Boychuk in his "Happy Hour" Camaro, as well as southern California racer Geoff Monise in the Van Gundy & Clark "Quarter Pounder” Monza for the eight-car qualified field.


There’s a Friday night nitro qualifier with two sessions on Saturday starting at noon with gates open at 8 a.m. Final eliminations are under the lights. A two-day ticket is 20 bucks with a free event poster for kids.


This is the season opener of the five-race, $25,000 Championship series that'll run at Seattle’s Pacific Raceways, Spokane County Raceway and Castrol Raceway in Edmonton. 

New drag strip planned for Hawaii

DRO made a trip to Hawaii back in 2010. Here’s a look at Kauai Raceway Park on the island of Kauai taken from inside the tower. (Yeah, the Burkster needed to work on his “reflection” problem.)


A resolution has been offered in the Hawaii House of Representatives for the construction of a new race track facility on the island of Oahu. Resolution H.C.R. 42 is currently awaiting consideration in the House Committees on Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs as well as the Judiciary Committee.


The last motorsports facility on the island closed more than a decade ago.

DENSO opens Pennsylvania technical center

DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier, has announced the opening of the Connected Services Pennsylvania Technical Center in Scranton, PA. It was previously part of EASE Simulation, Inc., an automotive diagnostics developer, that was fully acquired by DENSO in 2018. The technical center will operate under DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc.


“Advanced diagnostics technology continues to take on increasing importance as vehicles rapidly become more connected and complex,” said Kenichiro Ito, executive director for DENSO Corporation and chief executive officer of DENSO's North American Headquarters. “Through the technical center, DENSO looks to make it easier for fleet managers and technicians to access data in vehicles that will empower them to make cars safer and more fuel efficient.”

New Product of the Day


FVP announced as preferred battery of NHRA

The NHRA has announced a multi-year partnership with Factory Motor Parts, naming its FVP battery line the “Preferred Battery of NHRA.” As part of the sponsorship, an oversized, functional FVP Platinum battery will be prominently featured at the starting line at National events and made available to Top Fuel and Funny Car teams.



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