Millican to don ‘white sox’ for Joliet race

The Chicago White Sox will team up with the Straightline Strategy Group-owned, Clay Millican-driven Parts Plus Top Fuel Dragster as a major sponsor at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, May 30-June 2 in Joliet, IL.


“Anytime we can cross-market two iconic brands like the Chicago White Sox and NHRA drag racing, it brings another level of passion and excitement to the fans of both sports,” says Steven Cole, SVP Marketing and Sales for SSG. “From Clay throwing out the first pitch to driving his Parts Plus/Chicago White Sox sponsored Top Fuel Dragster, this program is destined to be a home run!”


The White Sox have an incredible history as they are one of eight charter members of the American League, having played in Chicago since the inaugural 1901 season. Additionally, they have won six American League pennants and three World Series Titles.


This will be the second time Clay has piloted a Chicago White Sox Dragster as his last was back in 1998 during his first ever start at an NHRA event in Chicago.


“Starting my Top Fuel career in the White Sox-sponsored car at Route 66 Raceway was incredible,” says Millican. “Then winning the event in 2018 on the 20th anniversary of my start and of the opening of Route 66 Raceway was unbelievable. Now we are coming full circle with having the White Sox back with us on the Parts Plus dragster. It’s going to be a special weekend.”


Millican will throw out the first pitch at the White Sox game against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, May 30, and the Chicago White Sox bannered Top Fuel Dragster will be on display at Guaranteed Rate Field (known as Comiskey Park). 

NHRA makes another change to Factory Stock Showdown rules

Bo Butner (near lane) and Drew Skillman launch in the final round of the Factory Stock Showdown at VMP. Skillman took the win. 


The NHRA announced another parity adjustment last week to the Factory Stock Showdown class: Based on SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown performance numbers from the first three races of the 2019 season, the NHRA Technical Department is reducing the minimum weight for the 2015 Drag Pak combination from 3,575 lbs. to 3,500 lbs.


Additionally, the 2019 Cobra Jet 351 supercharger overdrive is being reduced by (17.9) percent from (150.0) percent to (132.1) percent. To accomplish the supercharger overdrive reduction on the 2019 Cobra Jet 351, the upper supercharger pulley will be changed from (3.250) inches to (3.500) inches. As a reminder no other changes may be made to all approved superchargers, including, but not limited to: (upper or lower pulley sizes, gear ratios, cases, rotors, etc.). All other permitted combinations in the SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown will remain unchanged.


To help prevent oil downs all vehicles must now have a properly fitting lower engine oil containment device.


In addition, the designation for this class has been change from FS/XX to FSS. These rule changes will go into effect immediately. NHRA reserves the right in the future to make additional rule changes to control performance and maintain parity in the category. The updated SAMTech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown Rules and Procedures document can be found on www.NHRARacer.com under Rules/NHRA Factory Stock Showdown/Rules and Procedures. 

Grams doubles down at Gateway

Jason Grams of St. Peters, MO, won the Dragster 5.70 class on Friday of the Memorial Day Weekend at the drag strip at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL, then won the Super Pro class on Sunday. 

John Ratulowski Sr. of Highland, IL, (far lane) won Sunday’s Pro class final against Clay Tyler’s unique 1961 Corvair station wagon. 


Other Sunday, May 26, winners were Gary Lewis (Sportsman), Thomas “Turtle” Cole (Motorcycle), Braden Bowden (Jr. Dragster Thunder), and Jay Kilkenny (Jr. Dragster Lightning and Jr. Runoff).

Shields Wins Maple Grove Regional Event

Duane Shields in the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster took out number-one qualifier Troy Coughlin Jr. in a holeshot to win the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional at Maple Grove Raceway. The victory was his first Lucas Oil Regional win of the year.


At the hit, Shields rang up a .051 to Coughlin's .081 to get the starting line advantage. Both cars were side by side with Duane taking a narrow victory with a 5.205 to Coughlin's quicker 5.203.


"It was a tight match up in the final as Coughlin outran us when racing his opponents in the previous rounds. We knew we would have to step it up in the finals to win and we did. It also helped that I was having a good driving weekend" Shields said.


This week, the team rolls into Chicago for the combination Route 66 Nationals and the Jegs AllStar race. 

Two events for the price of one at PDRA North-South Shootout

Extreme Pro Stock driver Jeff Dobbins. 


Racers in several classes will face off for two different event titles at this weekend’s Professional Drag Racers Association North-South Shootout presented by Line-X Protective Coatings, May 30-June 1 at Maryland International Raceway. In addition to the Maryland race, the PDRA will complete eliminations from its rain-delayed Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Modern Racing, which started May 3-4 at Virginia Motorsports Park.


The professional class finalists set to square off for the Mid-Atlantic Showdown titles are Tommy Franklin and Jim Halsey in Pro Nitrous, Jerico Balduf vs. Tommy D’Aprile in Pro Boost, Tommy Lee vs. Jeff Dobbins in Extreme Pro Stock and Chris Garner-Jones vs. Travis Davis in Pro Nitrous Motorcycle. Four semifinalists – Johnny Pluchino, Mike Oldham, Jordan Ensslin and Tony Gillig – remain in Pro Outlaw 632.


In the sportsman categories, the Virginia finalists are Glenn Butcher vs. Tim Molnar in Elite Top Sportsman, Jeff Brooks vs. Chad Tilley in Top Sportsman 32, William Brown III vs. Nick Hamilton in Elite Top Dragster, Melanie Sheets vs. Connor McGee in Pro Jr. Dragster, and Nathan Tanner vs. Ryan Harris in Top Jr. Dragster.


The pro final rounds from Virginia will run during qualifying at Maryland. The Pro Outlaw 632 semifinals will run during Q2 and all Pro finals will run during Q3. These runs will count toward qualifying for the North-South Shootout. The sportsman final rounds from Virginia will run between the pro classes’ second and third qualifying sessions during “Friday Night Fire” and will not count toward qualifying for the North-South Shootout.

Ratings up for Indy 500

The rating for the Indy 500 broadcast this year was 3.43, the best for the event since a 4.1 in 2016. It was the first ever shown on NBC and marks the start of a multi-year broadcasting contract. It was a rise from last year’s broadcast on ABC of 3.35.


NBC said the broadcast’s rating peaked at 4.56 in the race’s last quarter-hour, as 6.7 million viewers watching as Simon Pagenaud won his first Indy 500 after a back-and-forth battle with Alexander Rossi.


The Agent must add that it was one of the most exciting 500’s he has seen. And just as a point of interest, Pagenaud’s win earned him $2.67 million.

New look for Brogdon at Joliet

Rodger Brogdon’s Pro Stock Camaro will have a new look this coming weekend in Chicago.


The veteran driver announced a new sponsorship deal with DMG MORI, one of the largest machine tool builders in the world, for the rest of the 2019 NHRA season. That means a striking new wrap for Brogdon’s Camaro, which will debut at the upcoming Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.


DMG MORI’s headquarters in the United States are also located in Chicago, making it the perfect time to reveal the new partnership and wrap.

Lancaster Dragway begins new season

Friday, May 17, was the season opener for the renamed Lancaster Dragway @ NYIRP under the New York International Raceway Park ownership group led by Vito and Sylvia Antonicelli and Mike Swinarski.


The Buffalo Street Outlaws and TNT Super Series were on hand along with Lancaster’s five weekly classes of racing. Chris Scarlata (shown) of Bergen, NY, swept the Buffalo Street Outlaws (BSO) Street Limited classes, winning both Street Limited 5.50 and Street Limited 6.60. Scarlata defeated Mike Gwynn in the Street Limited 5.50 final on a holeshot as Gwynn had the faster elapsed time, but Scarlata had a better reaction time. Scarlata then beat Brian Krawkowski in Street Limited 6.60.


Moe Alfaqih of Cheektowaga, NY, chalked up another Buffalo Street Outlaw win at Lancaster as he defeated Terry Doyle in a battle of Ford Mustangs.


In the TNT Super Series, Pete Maduri, Sr. of North Tonawanda, NY, scored the win after Larry Pulver red lighted the race away. Joe Passero of Stevensville, Ontario, picked up the win in Top 8. Passero faced Mark Talmadge in the finals, but Talmadge left the starting line too soon to trigger a red light on the tree.


Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds: Alan Fletcher (Lancaster, NY) Kawasaki .562, 5.62, 5.642 seconds, 109.78 mph def. Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, NY) Arctic Cat .567, 6.48, 6.539 seconds, 99.31 mph


Tread City Tire Street: Derrick Kovach (Lancaster, NY) 2011 Dodge Charger .512, 8.42, 8.407 seconds, 83.17 mph def. Dan Knab (Elma, NY) Saturn FOUL



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