Kalitta Air to the rescue

The US government once again called on drag racing icon Connie Kalitta and his Kalitta Air freight company for help. After the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, and flights to and from China were canceled by several major air carriers, a Kallita 747 Jumbo Jet returned 200 Americans to the United States.


A tip of the Agent’s captain’s cap to Connie and his flyboys.  (Etienne Laurent, EPA-EFE/REX)  

Antron Brown to become team owner

Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) and Antron Brown have announced the formation of AB Motorsports. Team owner Don Schumacher will work hand-in-hand with Brown, guiding him toward the eventual goal of sole ownership of AB Motorsports, which will function as a subsidiary of DSR, as Brown eases into the role of driver/team owner.


Brown, who was recently named ‘Top Fuel Driver of the Decade’ by AutoWeek due to his stellar performance throughout the 2010s, will serve as the driver for AB Motorsports. Brown’s former crew chief Brian Corradi has reunited with the 66-time race winner to assume the tuning responsibilities alongside current and longtime crew chief Mark Oswald. Brad Mason has also returned to assist with the management of the car as well as act as a liaison between the team and Toyota Racing Development (TRD). The group was successful in capturing 47 wins together and three Top Fuel world championships.


Steve and Samantha Bryson’s Global Electronic Technology insignia will be a new addition to Brown’s car while longtime primary and manufacturing partners Matco Tools and Toyota, and associate sponsor Hangsterfer’s, will remain aboard.

Global Electronic Technology also will sponsor Paul Lee’s Funny Car for 12 selected races. Lee currently plans to run 15 total races this season. The team will begin competition at the Winternationals. 

Fire destroys Capps rig

Driving through Amarillo, Texas, on the way to preseason testing, the Ron Capps race rig was consumed by fire on Tuesday, Jan. 28. The hauler and race car suffered severe damage as the rear doors melted and were not able to be opened.


The team will not join the other DSR race teams at the Las Vegas pre-season testing, but another tow vehicle and trailer from the shop in Brownsburg, IN, will get the team to the NHRA season opener next week in Pomona. 

New look and attitude for Millican team

With 2019 a rebuilding year of sorts, a new look and a fresh wave of enthusiasm sets the stage for the Straightline Strategy Group and Top Fuel driver Clay Millican as the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series begins on February 6-9 in Pomona, CA.


With primary backing from Parts Plus and their collaboration with the national advocacy campaign Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice, plus major associate sponsor support from Laris Motorsports Insurance, driver Clay Millican is pumped to get the season underway. “I’ve been involved with the preparation and work that gets done during the off-season period for many years and this time has been especially productive for our team” he said.


“We saw some ups and down in 2019 with multiple final round appearances but wasn’t able to score an event Wally so Crew Chief Mike Kloeber and Car Chief Chris Menapace along with the entire crew have been working hard to ensure that will not be an issue in 2020” concluded Millican.


The Straightline Strategy Group team will be attending the PRO test session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Jan. 30 – Feb. 1 in preparation for the upcoming NHRA Winternationals.


“We are very thankful and pleased with the efforts SSi Decals put into the design creation and quality installation,” said SSG’s Scott Gardner. “The look is unique, powerful and represents our marketing partners appropriately.” 

Carolina Coalition series to begin at Rockingham

Rockingham Dragway, traditionally the site of the final event in the Carolina Coalition drag racing Series, instead will kick off the competition this year for new sponsor VP Racing Fuels.


The Rock will welcome some of the Southeast’s top bracket racers Feb. 29-March 1 for two days of racing for points and cash in Top Eliminator, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster classes in the first of four series events presented by Hoosier Tires.


Although there are four stops on the tour, racers actually will compete for points in eight separate races, two at each of the four sites.  From Rockingham, the series will move to Farmington Dragway June 13-14, to Mooresville Dragway July 4-5 and, finally, to Piedmont Dragway for the Aug. 1-2 finale.  

Fowler returns to PDRA racing after robbery

Jamie Fowler, a PDRA Elite Top Sportsman driver who was robbed at gunpoint during an offseason engine sale, announced today he will make his 2020 return with continued support from NGK Spark Plugs and a new partnership with LAT Racing Oils. The South Carolina native will compete in PDRA Elite Top Sportsman and the Carolina Xtreme Pro Mod series at Darlington Dragway.


Fowler and two team members were held up at gunpoint in November 2019 when they were meeting with someone who pretended to be a racer wanting to buy Fowler’s engine, transmission and torque converter. A group of five thieves made off with the goods, worth an estimated $50,000, putting a serious dent in Fowler’s plans for the 2020 season.


While Fowler had already purchased a new nitrous-assisted Fulton 903ci engine before the robbery, he still needs to replace the stolen transmission and converter. He’s working with Mark Micke at M&M Transmission to find the right components to go with the new engine. Tommy Mauney at TM Race Cars will make the necessary upgrades on the Mauney-built ’63 Corvette chassis, as well as some cosmetic repairs from a 2018 crash. The car will be completed with a new scheme.


Fowler doesn’t expect to be ready in time for the season-opening PDRA East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park in early April, but he intends on chasing the full tour beyond the season-opener. He hopes to improve on an eighth-place finish in the 2019 PDRA MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman points standings.   

Australia’s Benaraby Dragway signs sanctioning agreement with ANDRA

The Central Queensland Drag Racing Association (CQDRA), the operator of Benaraby Dragway, has signed a 10 year sanctioning agreement with the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA).


“We are very excited to announce this new 10-year deal with the longest standing drag racing body in Australia and to play a role in supporting the growth of our beloved sport of drag racing,” CQDRA President, Mike Gawley, said.


“Something we are particularly passionate about is the Come and Try concept. These days are going to be a staple product for Benaraby in 2020,” Gawley continued. “Being less about making money and more about growing the sport, these days invite the general public right out to the starting line and into the driver’s seat; and because it is not a competitive environment, seasoned racers can give their time freely to new individuals in a relaxed, controlled and safe environment.”  



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