‘Papa John’ Schnatter steps up for Pritchett at Vegas

Schnatter and Pritchett raced for charity in 2017, Pritchett in a Dodge Challenger Demon and Schnatter in his 1971 Camaro Z28.


Leah Pritchett is sitting second in the Top Fuel points after three events, but like many racers this season, is having a hard time putting together money to attend all NHRA national events.


She originally was not funded to attend the Vegas Four-Wide event this weekend, but a little help from former sponsor, John Schnatter (founder and former CEO of Papa John’s Pizza), got Pritchett into the event.


“Thank you, John Schnatter, for stepping up and giving our team a shot at racing for the Vegas Four-Wide Wally,” Pritchett said.


The Agent notes there are just 15 entries in Top Fuel, 17 in Funny Car, 16 in Pro Stock and 19 in Pro Stock Motorcycle for this event.  

New Funny Car Chaos speed and ET records set

Despite a red light, Kebin Kinsley (shown) and company set the new Funny Car Chaos series mile per hour record in the final round with an incredible 214 mph blast. Allan Middendorf took home the elapsed time record and the Rodak's Custom Coffee 'A' field $5,000 win. See all the results at here

New look for Force at Vegas

John Force’s PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Funny Car will have a new look at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. BlueDEF is a PEAK product for diesel-powered cars and trucks.


Force is in pursuit of a historic 150th NHRA victory and so far this year his own teammate, Robert Hight, has been the stumbling block. In the three events so far this season Force has made two semifinal appearances and one quarterfinal exit – each of the loses against Hight. 

Musi Racing confident for PDRA season opener

Lizzy Musi and the Musi Racing team will look to start the 2019 Professional Drag Racers Association campaign on a high note in Frank Brandao’s record-setting Pro Nitrous 2018 Dodge Dart at this weekend’s East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, NC.


Musi Racing will look to build on a solid 2018 where Lizzy posted a No. 1 qualifier and set the Pro Nitrous speed record after a 209.23-mph pass at the 2018 PDRA World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Pat Musi Racing Engines also won the 2018 PDRA Nitrous Wars competition on the strength of its customers scoring six No. 1 qualifiers.


“It’s all about getting more seat time and Lizzy is just now becoming what you would call a veteran or experienced driver,” her father, Pat, said. “She is driving great and we’re all expecting to have a great year.”    

Wilkerson has plan to stay away from ‘thorn in our side’ Hight

As the only independent Funny Car team to finish in the top 10 last season, Tim Wilkerson has plenty of challenges keeping in contention. His new Mustang Funny Car is giving him even more hope for this year.


"We had a good race in Gainesville a couple of weeks ago, the guys on our crew are getting used to going rounds, and I was pretty happy with my driving and all that. I repositioned myself in the car before that race, and I feel a little bit better sitting in it, so I'm optimistic,” the Springfield, IL, racer said.


"We won the four-wide race in Charlotte a few years back, and we were the fastest car every run. I think lane choice is what won that race for us, so there's a good chance it'll be the same deal this weekend in Vegas. We have the ability to be the fastest car every run with this Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang, so I'll shallow up every run and see if I can stay away from running Robert Hight this time around. He was a thorn in our side in Gainesville, and we don't want any more of that." 

Can Beckman move up at Four-Wides?

Jack Beckman holds the ET (3.854) and speed (335.57 mph) records for The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, both set at the second Vegas event of 2017. He was runner-up last year and hopes to get to the winner spot this time around. He goes into the event second in the Funny Car points.


“I just love Vegas,” the driver of the Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Car said. “My first-ever nitro win was there (fall 2006) and I haven’t been back to the Vegas winner’s circle since then. It’s been over 12 years, so I’d like to end that drought this time at Vegas."


One of his DSR teammates, however, is especially looking to do well at Las Vegas. Saturday, April 6, is Tommy Johnson Jr’s birthday. But don’t look for a present from Beckman -- if Johnson gets a win, he will have to earn it. 

Richmond renews IHRA sanction

Richmond Dragway in Sandston, VA, was founded by Dan Weis in 1964 and remains a family operation under Weis’s nephew Johnny Davis and his wife, Allison. The 130-acre facility features a quarter-mile drag strip and has been a part of the IHRA “family” for many years.


“We’ve been part of the Summit SuperSeries since it was created,” Davis said. “There is a high level of affinity with us and our racers for the SuperSeries. Last year we not only sent our three track champs, but one of our racers won the Division 1 Summit Team Finals in Maryland.”


David Tanner (Top), Wendell Wilson (Mod), and Katie Hall (Junior) won track championships in 2018. Chris Moren (Mod) also advanced to the IHRA Summit World Finals by winning an all-Richmond Dragway final over Jonathan Martin at the IHRA Division 1 team finals.

Prock looking forward to first four-wide

Austin Prock ran a career best ET of 3.696 seconds and a speed of 334.15 mph at the Gatornationals.


Rookie of the Year candidate, Austin Prock and the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster team are headed to Las Vegas looking to continue their progress this season.


The fourth event, and first of two four-wide races on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule, will be Prock’s first time competing in the four-wide format but won’t be the first time he’s been down The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following last year’s inaugural four-wide event, Prock got his first taste of nitro when he tested in Courtney Force’s Advance Auto Parts Funny Car.


“Our Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster should be running on mean. We found some things that were holding us back while at the shop so we made changes and it should really benefit our performance,” said Prock. “My team and Jon Schaffer and Ronnie Thompson have been putting in work. Every race we’re getting more info, getting better, so I’m confident in my team and I’m ready to bring what we’ve learned to The Strip.”

Callaway postpones Top Fuel debut

Despite working hard to make his Top Fuel debut at his home track, Lee Callaway has made the tough decision to delay his debut until after next weekend’s Mopar Express Lane SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park.


“Doing it right” has been a guiding principle of the race-winning Top Alcohol cars he has fielded over the years for the Baytown, TX, resident. Part of that process led Callaway to take the car to his long-time chassis builder, Chuck Haase, for a new front half of the chassis and new body for the car. Callaway recently took delivery of the car but just doesn’t have the time to not only get things together but to show up and race in a first-class manner.


“We just ran out of time to do it the right way,” stated Callaway. “I have a great crew and we are getting a lot of assistance from Scott Palmer Racing getting this Top Fuel venture off the ground. It’s not to say we couldn’t work around the clock and pull it off. It would have been one thing if we had been running this car and had some experience, but this is all new to us. As a team, we all agreed it was better to sit this one out, take our time and get the car together right, get organized and go testing.”


After the new body receives a custom paint job at Callaway’s business, Callaway Collision in Channelview, the team will do some testing to finish Callaway’s Top Fuel license and allow the crew some time to fine tune their procedures.


“We’re going to get everything together and go find somewhere to make some test runs,” stated Callaway. “Scott Palmer has offered me the opportunity to finish my license in his car, but now that we have some more time, we figure it would just be best to make those laps in my car. So, we’re looking at maybe Topeka or Bristol if we are ready to make our debut.”

New Product of the Day


App-Controlled CD Ignition Box from PerTronix

PerTronix Ignition Products has released the new version of its Digital HP Mobile app. The app for Android and iOS serves as the control center for the company’s new Digital HP Mobile CD Ignition system. The Digital HP Mobile app connects to the Digital HP Mobile Ignition box via Bluetooth wireless technology, giving users complete access to program the many features of the ignition system. The easy-to-use app sets three rev limits, shift light, start retard, spark settings and tachometer preferences, according to the company. Save and load multiple settings for quick change between Street and Strip modes. The Digital HP Mobile app’s easy-to-read dashboard displays engine tachometer, an active shift light, and system voltage in real time.  



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