Funny Car Chaos announces eight-event 2020 schedule

Two new venues will host the Funny Car Chaos Championship Tour in 2020, with a total of eight events. Eddyville Raceway Park in Iowa and Xtreme Raceway Park in Ferris, TX, have been added to the schedule.


March 13-14: Pine Valley Raceway

April 3-4: Xtreme Raceway Park

April 24-25: MoKan Dragway

May 29-30: Eddyville Raceway Park

June 19-20: Penwell Knights Raceway

July 17-18: Amarillo Dragway

Sept. 11-12: US 131 Motorsports Park

Oct. 2-3: Xtreme Raceway Park    

Lancaster honors racers at awards banquet

From left, Vito Antonicelli, Mike Janis, Jim Salemi and Dan DeLaney. 


Lancaster Dragway @ New York International Raceway Park (NYIRP) honored the efforts of its competitors and teams during the 2019 season on Friday night, Dec. 6, during the annual awards banquet.


Topping the list of 2019 track champions was Mallare Trucking Top ET champion Jan Winkowski of Cheektowaga, NY. WInkowski has piloted his "Lunatic Fringe" Chevrolet Nova 31 seasons at Lancaster, but never won a title until this season. Reid Ricketson of Darien Center, NY, claimed his second Gianna Mazia's Mod ET track title out of the last three seasons. Ricketson piled up four class wins en route to the championship. In Hebeler's Sales Bikes & Sleds, Lucas Salemi of Amherst, NY, won his second career track championship. Salemi and Mike Peters battled all season long with each driver winning five times in 2019, but Salemi prevailed in the points race. Donny "DJ" Raiser claimed his first track in 24 years by taking top honors in Tread City Tire Street. Raiser, a member of the Lancaster Dragway Wall of Fame, won three times in Street this year. PJ Marston claimed his first ever Jr. Dragster track title in 2019 during the Tuesday Night racing program.


The fourth ever class of the Lancaster Dragway Wall of Fame was inducted during the ceremonies. Leading the 2019 class was NYIRP track owner, car builder and former racer Vito Antonicelli. Antonicelli and his wife Sylvia, along with Mike Swinarski, purchased the racing facility just weeks before the start of the 2019 racing season.


Joining Antonicelli was racer and contributor Mike Janis. Janis got his start racing at Lancaster and has gone on to win Pro Modified World Championships in both NHRA and IHRA. He is also the owner of Jan-Cen Racing Engines and Jan-Cen Motorsports, which is located in Elma, NY.


The third member of the 2019 class was former racer and graphic designer Den DeLaney. DeLaney competed for a number of years at Lancaster, but is best known for his artwork. Dan "The Sign Man" DeLaney has designed and hand painted numerous race cars that have competed around the country.


The final inductee into the Wall of Fame was former racer and car builder Jim Salemi. Salemi owns and operates G-Force Racing Cars, which is an industry leader in building doorslammer style cars. Salemi is also the father of Bikes & Sleds champion Lucas Salemi.


A few individuals were also recognized for their efforts during the 2019 season with specialty awards. Wayne Cleveland was honored as the Sportsman of the Year. Diane Frank received the Libby Gaymon Award for her support of the Bracket Finals team that traveled to Pittsburgh this past September. Top ET racer Ann Marie Nugent was given the Most Improved Driver Award. She was the only driver to rack up two wins in Top this season.  

Lee Jennings passes away

The Agent is sad to report the passing of Lee Jennings, who campaigned the “Code Red” nitro Funny Car in the NHRA Heritage Series. Jennings drove and tuned both Top Fuel and nitro Funny Cars for decades. Jennings (in the white cowboy hat) owned Lee Jennings Target Express trucking firm, hauling freight all over the West Coast.   

One and done for Scott Palmer

Scott Palmer's Missouri-based Top Fuel team announced on their Facebook page that his NHRA Top Fuel team sponsored by former Top Fuel Hydro team owner Tommy Thompson's Magic Dry product will run a limited schedule for the 2020 season. With sponsorship from Thompson, Palmer had planned on attending all 24 events. His team ran all of the first 18 NHRA national events this season but failed to qualify for the Countdown and announced his team would not run all of the rest of the series in 2019.


For 2020 Palmer retains Cat Spot as a sponsor but not for a full season as he says his team will run 12-15 of NHRA's 24-race schedule.


He also announced that his team will run Jon Stouffer's Outlaw Pro Mod Cuda on the Mid-West Pro Mod Series in 2020. 

End of an era: TEN closes down 19 print magazines

TEN Publishing will shutter 19 of its 22 automotive magazines by the end of the year, leaving MotorTrend, Hot Rod and Four Wheeler as the only three titles that will continue to be published in print in 2020.


The list of magazines being eliminated (at least in print) includes: 4-Wheel & Off-Road; Automobile; Car Craft; Chevy High Performance; Classic Trucks; Diesel Power; Hot Rod Deluxe; Jp; Lowrider; Mopar Muscle; Muscle Car Review; Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords; Mustang Monthly; Street Rodder; Super Chevy; Super Street; Truck Trend; Truckin’; and Vette.


The company published more than 60 enthusiast magazines at one time, going through a series of owners. The magazine base, Petersen Publishing, which has been publishing automotive magazines since 1948, was sold in 1999 to EMAP, which sold out to Primedia in 2001. Source Interlink bought the titles in 2007 and, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, rebranded as TEN: The Enthusiast Network in 2014.


This comes right after the recent demise of the print version of Auto Week, published by Crain Communications. Sadly, that’s a lot of people out of a job right before Christmas.   

SHRA suspends operations for 2020

After eight years, the Texas-based Southwest Heritage Racing Association will not be racing next year.


“The past few years it has been increasingly more difficult to maintain the series successfully at the levels desired,” the SHRA Board of Directors said in a statement. “With the lack of a large number of committed racers, a loss of sponsorships, and resignations of key staff positions, the Board of Directors of the SHRA have elected to put the series on ‘HOLD’ for 2020. It is the Board’s desire to re-invent the SHRA with the help of committed racers, sponsors and staff into a supportable series for nostalgia drag racing in the future, and the hopes are that during this hiatus a workable program will come together to bring the fun of nostalgia drag racing back – SHRA style.”   

Conley named Motorsports Sales Manager by Holley

“Racepak Roger” Conley has joined Holley as Motorsports Sales Manager. Conley brings over three decades of motorsports experience with work that includes product development, sales, technical support, and engineering.  Previously he has held General Manager Positions with Racepak and Precision Turbo and Engine, and is the Technical Director for the NMRA/NMCA sanctioning bodies.  

New Product of the Day


JEGS Rolling Seat

Work on your car this off-season in comfort with JEGS Rolling Seats featuring heavy-duty construction and comfortable, ergonomic designs. Smooth rolling swivel casters allow you to glide across home, shop and garage with ease, 14” off the floor. Removable storage trays and 3.5” deep drawer. Blow-molded seat is 18” long x 10” wide. Capacity is 300 lbs.  



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