‘So long, and thanks for all the fish’

DRO Editor Jeff Burk and longtime friend Dave Koehler were partners in the twin-engined “SpeedWagon” back in the 1980s. Good days and good memories.


This will be the final Agent 1320 posting on Drag Racing Online. Owners Jeff and Kay Burk are retiring and there have not been any viable offers to continue the online magazine. All 20 years of DRO will be archived and available to read. And Jeff will be posting his thoughts on Facebook from time to time.


The headline above is a quote from Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” (which we highly recommend) when the dolphins left Earth before the Vogons blew it up to build a hyperspace bypass. It is also the title of Adams’ fourth book of the trilogy.


And now some notes from the world of drag racing... 

March Meet wins go to Bynum and Wittenberg...and Capps

Matt Bynum got his first win in the seat of a nostalgia Funny Car at the weekend’s March Meet in Bakersfield, CA. Normally an NHRA crew member, Bynum drove to a 5.617/250.13 win over Matt Melendez’s 5.749 at 224.73 mph.


Pete Wittenberg got his second March Meet win in the Top Fuel category. He qualified at the top of the field and turned in a 5.678 at 251.49 mph to get the final-round win over Tyler Hilton’s 5.927/229.20.


NHRA Funny Car driver drove the “Good News” AA/Altered to his first win at the historic event. The 6.00/158.93 for Capps took the win over the 6.00/120.91 of Robert Winefsky.


Other winners were Billy McDevitt (Pro Comp), Drew Austin (A/Fuel and Jr./Fuel and 7.0 Pro), Brian Rogers (A/Gas), Brent Handley (B/Gas), Trey Sommors (C/Gas) and DeAndre Fitzgerald (D/Gas). Lloyd Harder was Nostaglia Eliminator 1 winner and Terry Lindblad took the NE2 title.  

First World Doorslammer Nationals is in the books

Jeg Coughlin Jr. pocketed the single biggest prize in Pro Stock history Sunday, March 8, with a $75,000 win over Greg Anderson at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by Elite Motorsports at Orlando Speed World Dragway.


Coughlin eked out a miniscule .009-second victory over his longtime rival Greg Anderson, posting a 6.484 at 212.36 mph to Anderson's 6.485 at 213.81 mph. He left .008 seconds ahead and kept Anderson just in his shadow.

Troy Coughlin Jr. drew Erica Enders in the first round. He got the win with a holeshot. He lost to uncle Jeg Jr. in the second round.

In Pro Mod, Alex Laughlin (near lane) defeated Todd “King Tut” Tutterow in the final round, recording a 5.671-second pass at 251.53 mph to Tutterow’s 6.362 at 146.21.


While the focus was on Pro Stock and Pro Mod at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing, the event also included racing in Pro 632, Top Sportsman, Super Pro and Pro ET.


Dillon Voss (Pro 632), Vonnie Mills (Top Sportsman), Stu White (Super Pro) and Troy Stafford (Pro ET) joined Pro Stock winner Coughlin Pro Mod winner Laughlin as the first-ever World Doorslammer Nationals event champions.


Bo Butner and Dave Kramer matched up in one round of Factory Stock with Butner taking the $25,000 in his Cobra Jet.  

Rockingham holds Racers Appreciation Bracket Shootout

The race car on which Randy Carmichael regularly serves as a crewman routinely reaches speeds exceeding 300 miles per hour so the Mullins, SC, resident must have felt like he was standing still Sunday when he crossed the finish line at a paltry 103 mph to win the last big race of the annual Racers Appreciation Free Entry Bracket Shootout at Rockingham Dragway.


Carmichael (above) used a .021 of a second package to deny Lumberton’s Joe Williams a sweep of the weekend’s Top Eliminator races.  After winning Saturday, Williams appeared to be on his way to a double when he rang up a reaction time just .001 short of perfect.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t run his target number and was guilty of a breakout foul that handed the victory to Carmichael.


The pace will intensify for Carmichael this weekend when he goes back to work at the 51st annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL, as a crewman on the fuel Funny Car owned by drag racing legend “Big Jim” Dunn and driven by veteran Jim Campbell.


Other weekend winners at The Rock included 2017 track champion Mark Soles, the Sunday Footbrake winner, and Jonathan McCandless, grandson of former NHRA Pro Stock standout Herb “Mr. Four-Speed” McCandless, whose .014 final round package was good enough to win the Saturday Footbrake final.


Lumberton’s Hayden Dial and Rowland’s Maxson Locklear were the winners in the Jr. Dragster category.  

NMCA fans can win a class at Frank Hawley School

Two fans at every NMCA event can be recipients of a complimentary enrollment to the Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, good for use within one year of winning the contest. The Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School contest is free to enter to spectators that purchase their ticket online from the FOAT ticket system.


Advance ticket sales for all NMCA events are sold through TheFOAT ticketing system and fans can find an event near them and purchase online by visiting www.NMCAdigital.com.


The program is courtesy of NMCA racer Jim Betz, who competes in Holley EFI Factory Super Car with a Watson Racing-built Ford Cobra Jet and graduated from the school before stepping into national competition. 

This is really the end

We want to thank all the writers, photographers, staff members and advertisers who have been with us over the years. We appreciate your work, your loyalty and your friendship. And we especially want to thank our readers  over the past 20 years who were ready for drag racing journalism “from a different perspective”, who praised us when we took on the powers that be, who took us to task when we made a mistake, and always kept the conversation going to improve drag racing.


This is the last entry for Agent 1320, but all of our past work will be saved and archived, so when you have some free time take a look at everything we’ve done since the fall of 1999. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished.


Harking back to our earlier days in the print newspaper business, when a writer wanted the typesetter (yes, they had them in those days!) to know that the end of the article had been reached, he noted the end of the writing with:





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