VP Racing Fuels answers lawsuit
(4-13-2004) - Recently, C.L. Bryant, Inc. joined VP Racing Fuels, Inc. as a distributor. VP, along with C.L. Bryant, Inc. and other defendants, has been sued in California by a disgruntled VP distributor, Joe Sherrill d/b/a PME Distributing. VP categorically denies the false allegations made by Mr. Sherrill in his lawsuit and feels certain that once this matter is heard, VP and the other defendants will prevail as to all of the claims made by Mr. Sherrill.
Heritage Award Honorees Named for Second Annual NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, June 18-20
(4-13-2004) – The Japanese have a term for them. They call them Living National Treasures. In the United States, we call Al Bergler, Bob Larivee Sr., Jim and Allison Lee, Art Malone and Bill Smith, Heritage Award Honorees for the second annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, set for June 18-20, at Beech Bend Park, in Bowling Green, Ky.
"We're pleased to honor these legendary racers," said Sam Jackson, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif., producers of the festive 3-day hot rod extravaganza. "They represent the full spectrum of history in drag racing and street rods. They are, indeed, living national treasures."
* Al Bergler began his career building aluminum dragster bodies
and racing in Top Fuel. In competition, he drove cars with colorful
name including "More Aggravation," a competition coupe.
And the "Motown Shaker," one of the earliest Funny Cars.
He bodied the Funny Cars as Chevrolet Vegas and Corvettes, and Ford
Mustang IIs. In 1964, he won the first Don Ridler Award at the Detroit
Autorama with his own AA/Comp roadster mating a dragster front end
with a '32 Bantam body that housed the driver. He's a master craftsman
at body building, with aluminum interior work his specialty. As
a car owner, Bergler scored on the Coca-Cola Cavalcade match race
circuit with Butch Maas driving in 1972. He returned to the cockpit
in 1973 and was one of the most frequently-booked drivers for match
racing until he retired in
* Jim and Alison Lee are veteran dragster owners who epitomize
the best in class and style.. The Virginians began racing sportsman
dragsters in the early 1960's with a '32 Ford that ran in A/Altered.
Jim then moved up to Top Gas with a Blown Olds clocked at 170 mph
in the 8.90 second range. Alison Lee became one of the top female
mechanics in drag racing. At the end of 1966, Jim retired from driving,
but the couple continued as an owner/mechanic team in Top Fuel.
Their first driver was Bub Reese. Then they hired Hank Westmoreland,
who steered the Lees' BB/FD dragster to a 6.88 second national record
at the York U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way WCS event in August 1967, eclipsing
a mark set by the expected-to-be-faster AA/FD cars..
Their best finish at a National event was runner-up to Gary Beck in the 1981 Springnationals. They retired at the end of the 1982 season.
* Bob Larivee, Sr. is best known as the creator of the International
Show Car Association (ISCA), the International Auto Show Producers
Association (IASPA), and Promotions, Inc., the promoter of the Detroit
Autorama. He was one of the organizers of the Michigan Hot Rod Association
(MHRA). Larivee took a Monogram model and created a full-size "show
* Art Malone raced for Garlits in 1959 at Carlisle, Ark. –
the first drag race announced by the legendary Dave McClelland.
He partnered with Garlits beginning at the 1984 U.S. Nationals.
Malone's support allowed Garlits to turn a 5.52 in the finals gave
him the Indy win and arguably re-created the Top Fuel category.
He was one of the few drag racers who also drove in the Indy
* Bill Smith runs Speedway Motors, the self-proclaimed Oldest Speed
Shop In America. It's the largest supplier of auto racing and street
rod parts, and provides products for enthusiasts around the world.
Smith opened his shop in Lincoln, Neb. In 1952. He built his own
cars and helped others as well. His cars have won in sprint car
racing, NASCAR, modifieds, super modifieds, drag racing, in Land
Speed Record runs at the Bonneville Salt Flats and rallying at
Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, will include Crane Cams nostalgic drag racing in such classes at Top Fuel, Supercharged Gassers, classic Funny Cars and Super Stocks, along with a giant street rod, customs, classics and muscle car SofffSeal "show n' shine," swap meet for classic car and racing parts, special stage show and a separate amusement park with rides and games for all ages adjacent to the park.
Fashioned after the annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, the event also includes the all-time favorite "Cacklefest" under the stars. The activity involves early-days-style front-engine dragsters being push-started, then all gathered together on the drag strip starting-line with engines running.
The Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont
Automotive Refinishes, will also cater to car clubs, with special
contests and activities for clubs. Information—including a
full activities schedule and entry forms—is available through
the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. To receive updated information,
prospective participants should send a post card
Proceeds of the Holley Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive
Refinishes, will benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
The museum houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous
vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including
winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and
salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing
their colorful backgrounds.
SONY XPLOD BECOMES OFFICIAL NHRA SPORT COMPACT SPONSOR TO PROVIDE ULTIMATE ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE
NHRA Stylefest presented by Sony Xplod® debuted March 14 during
the running of the inaugural Nitto Tires California NHRA Sport Compact
Nationals and features events such as:
Sony's involvement with Stylefest will include on-site displays
Sony Xplod also will provide a car audio system awards package valued at close to $1,000 to each of the winners of the Xtreme Tuner Car Show and Sony Xplod® NHRA Sound Challenge.
Rickie Smith sets new track record at Mooresville en route to Quick 8 win
(4-12-2004) - CompetitionPlus.com's Roger Richards made his way to Mooresville Dragway for their pre-Easter Quick Eight. Veteran runner Rickie Smith was on his "A-Game" en route to the victory.
See our full report at Mooresville Quick Eight.
Bingham participates in Safety Awareness Saturday
(4-12-2004) - Gary Bingham, 4 time IHRA World Champion, participated in a community Safety Awareness Event held Saturday at the Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs NC.
The event included many aspects of safety issues for the community. Gary was there to speak against the use of drugs and telling the people that there is a place for speed and that it is not on the highways and streets.
Many people were drawn to the brilliant, colorful Top Sportsman Grand Am and listened to Gary's message. Gary's message about keeping speed off the streets and on the strip was especially high on the minds of the community.
The widow of Charlotte Hornet Bobby Phills, who was killed in a high speed street race, had began her campaign to the youth just last week. This high profile message prepared the way for Gary to talk personally to those who participated in the Safety Awareness event.
The local TV station, News 33, was there to interview Gary as well.
"We hope the people got the message and keep speed where it belongs: on the drag strip with all the safety regulations in place. We really emphasized the safety issues that IHRA drag racing sets forth as well as the use of seat belts in your family car as tremendous safe guards to our safety and sometimes even our lives. It was well worth our time and effort," Gary stated.
Top Sportsman to be The Featured Class at the NHRA Sports Nationals hosted by No Problem Raceway Park
Davis and Ed Swearingen owner of Silver Dollar Raceway have put together a 5-race series at Silver Dollar Raceway. To compliment the other two races, Davis has already has scheduled Top Sportsman,Outlaw 10.5 and LS to be the featured classes,a points fund for the overall seven-race series is being set up. You can get more info at www.TFRA.net or email Davis at Rond@bellsouth.net.
Wally Stroupe cards consistency on the way to Pro Stock win
(4-9-2004) - In the first ever East Coast Mountain Motor Pro Stock Event, Wally Stroupe of Kings Mountain, NC in his 2004 Grand Am started from the pole position to win the title. Stroupe defeated Fredricksburg, Virginia’s Frank Snellings in the finals after Snellings encountered severe tire shake. Before Snellings’ runner-up finish, he blistered the Richmond Dragway surface resetting the track record in the first round to a stout 4.3756 at 165.02 miles per hour. The East Coast Pro Stocks return to Richmond Dragway for two more events in the 2004 Season – check www.richmonddragway.com for details.
Below are ‘round by round’ results from the event.
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
6:45 pm: Snellings has been the man to beat after qualifying 2nd today. Stroupe played his consistency again as Snellings immediately strikes the tires and coasts thru the 1/8 mile. Stroupe is straight down the groove for another forty and the first East Coast Pro Stock win ever!
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
5:38 pm: Stroupe has another “rail” of a run, the car barely moving out of shape all the way down the track. Durham’s day came to a red light end.
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
Bennett gets out of the gate first but battles tire shake about 200 feet down track and Snellings backs up his track record run with the Cougar – the Kasse powerplant seems to love the great air and Snellings has his hot rod on a roll!
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
3:43 pm: Durham has the starting line advantage and strikes the slicks at the tree – Jackson gets loose a little further down track and wisely lifts. Durham sees an opportunity to steal a win and does – its ugly but a win’s a win!
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
Bennett holds the advantage at the line and pulls ahead all the way down track – he shows that the Sylvester team has a handle on the surface now – Robinson got in and out of the throttle a couple of times – looks like he didn’t have enough power for the track as it comes around.
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
This is Bishop’s first run of the day – he’s been battling transmission troubles all afternoon and this run seems no different – the Monte Carlo very sluggish in the left lane while Snellings streaks down the right side routing the record books with a beautiful run!
W/L Driver RT ET Speed
Stroupe on a bye run after qualifying number 1. He tried to match Snellings performance but overpowered the track in the process and falls off his qualifying pace – he will have some information to “tune” from for his second round race.
Qualifying Order (after 2nd Qualifying Round)
1. Wally Stroupe 4.4190 162.16
Qualifying Order (after 1st Qualifying Round)
1. Wally Stroupe 4.4190 162.16
Schmid and Dona lead Spring Sportsman Challenge XII winners
(4-9-2004) - The twelfth edition of the NHRA Spring Sportsman Challenge at Gateway International Raceway kicked off the North Central Division’s 2004 racing season with Richard Schmid capturing Jeg’s Super Quick and Jeff Dona taking the Super Stock/Stock combo category to lead the list of winners. Anthony Layne (SC), Heidi Robison (SG), Mark Hackett (SST), Dan Phelps (Super Pro), Rich Komor (Pro ET), and Jennifer Jo Costello (Jr. Dragster) collected Sunday wins, while Greg Sesti (Super Pro), Mike Vishino (Pro ET), Jason Phillips (Street ET), and Cheyanne Bittle (Jr. Dragster) were Saturday night winners.
The North Central Division regained the Director’s Cup trophy presented by Gateway International Raceway from the West Central Division with division 3 racers scoring wins in eight of the twelve eliminators.
A record 85 entries attempted to qualify for the 64-car Jeg’s Super Quick field with Brent Badger leading the open wheel qualifiers with a right on the minimum index at 4.500, 156.59 mile per hour. Randy Matlock wheeled his supercharged ’57 Chevy lead the bodied car contingent with a 4.518 at 157.21 mph. Steve Beckmeyer nailed down the bump spot with a 4.897.
In Jeg’s Super Quick Schmid collected the biggest win in his 26-years of drag racing as he recorded a 4.539 at 151.10 mph in the final. The race was decided on the starting line when Craig Sullivan redlighted away his 4.505, 153.18 mph effort on a 4.50 dial-in with his Ford-powered Spitzer dragster. It was his second straight runner-up finish in the series dating back to the 2003 final at Kil-Kare.
Jeff Dona, 2000 Sears Craftsman Nationals Super Stock winner matched up against Kyle Riley with his N/SA Pontiac in the combo final with Dona’s near perfect .005 reaction time forcing a double breakout final. Jim Schaecter was the lone record setter over the weekend lowering the M/S marks in both the quarter-mile and eighth-mile.
NHRA SPRING SPORTSMAN CHALLENGE XII Results:
Sunday - April 4, 2004 (winner listed first)
Saturday - April 3, 2004
JOSH STARCHER WILL KICK OFF 2004 AT THE ROCK
(4-8-2004) - Josh Starcher and the Colhart Motorsports team will kick off their 2004 Top Fuel season at the IHRA Spring Nationals, April, 23 - 25 at Rockingham Dragway. Starchers last IHRA start was in Rockingham at the IHRA World Finals in 2003. In that race Starcher covered Rockinghams newly resurfaced quarter mile in 4.82 seconds, placing him fifth in the quickest Top Fuel field in IHRA history. The team expects to build on its performance from last season.
"I am very excited to get back to the Rock," said Stacher.
"We have been working on some new things that should help our
performance this season. The fans at Rockingham are upbeat and supportive.
I always think they are pulling for us out on the track.
The 19 year old Fairmont, West Virginia resident will enter his third season of Top Fuel competition driving for Colhart Motorsports. The Charlotte , N.C. based Top Fuel team is co-owned by Joel Collins and Richard Hartman.
Jeg Will Be On Wind Tunnel With Dave Despain
This one floated by our news desk; JAYCAR INDUSTRIES INC. dba PME DISTRIBUTING, sue VP RACING FUELS INC., and CL BRYANT INC., for breach of contract and unfair business practice.
(4-8-2004) — The following is included in a press release that was sent to us. The release reads, "JAYCAR Industries Inc. dba PME Distributing (PME) have filed suit with the Superior court in Sacramento, California against defendants VP Racing Fuels Inc., CL Bryant Inc, Bruce Hendel, (VP Global Sales Manager) Kelley Hendel (VP Regional Sales Manager) and Don Emlaw Jr. dba Emlaw Performance Products, alleging breach of contract and unfair business practice. PME is asking for damages in excess of 5-million dollars. Joseph Sherrill, President of JAYCAR Industries Inc. (PME) alleges that VP Racing Fuels and CL Bryant Inc.entered into a contract to distribute VP Products in PME’s territory while VP Racing Fuel was still under contract obligation with PME. PME contends that its current written contract is not up for renewal until the year 2011. Sacramento Superior Court Case Number: 04AS00135
"PME Distributing has been the exclusive distributor of VP Racing Fuels for the Central and Northern California territory from Madera County, to the Oregon border since January 1st,1996. The recent demise of Unocal 76® racing fuel has opened up the racing fuel market to competitive fuels and PME had projected a sales increase of 300%-400% for 2004."
Bob Vandergriff, Jr. planning to run 10-race schedule in 2004 starting in Atlanta; Hires Rob Flynn as crewchief
(4-7-2004) - After a three-year absence from the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Bob Vandergriff, Jr., is planning a return to Top Fuel racing next month in Commerce, Ga., during the 24th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. Vandergriff plans to add more races to his schedule as sponsorship permits.
Vandergriff is excited about returning to competition.
"I had pretty much drawn the conclusion at the start of the year that I had been on the sidelines for too long," explained Vandergriff. "We have gathered a group of longtime sponsors and they are making this possible. Of course, there's the support of my family, which has been tremendous."
The Haldex Group, Speedco, B.A.K. Properties are the headliners on Vandergriff's return tour. According to Vandergriff, the 2004 season is a warm-up for what he hopes will be a full 23-race NHRA POWERade Championship Drag Racing tour in 2005.
One of the key additions to Vandergriff's program has been the addition of Rob Flynn as crewchief.
"Once Rob became available, we decided to accelerate our plans. I believe that Rob is one of the best young crewchiefs out there and unfortunately he hasn't been given the opportunity to show that the last few places he has been at."
Vandergriff's last final round appearance came in 2000 at Phoenix. He has six final round appearances on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series tour including his first one at Indianapolis in 1995.
TAYLOR NAMED SENIOR DIRECTOR NATIONAL TECHNICAL OPERATIONS
(4-7-2004) - NHRA announced today that former
General Motors Racing Group Manager Don Taylor has been named senior
director of national technical operations, effective May 3.
"NHRA is fortunate that Don was available, given his extensive background in all forms of motorsports and specifically, NHRA Drag Racing," said Menard. "He is a tremendous addition to an already solid technical department."
While at GM, Taylor was most recently responsible for drag racing, sport compact "tuner," and motorsports safety programs. He oversaw program managers and engineers in the areas of engine, chassis, and aerodynamics. He also managed the relationship with sanctioning bodies and with race teams. Prior to that, Taylor was group manager for GM's effort in NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch, Craftsman Truck and ASA Racing series.
"NHRA has a great management and technical team in place," said Taylor. "With that said, I enthusiastically look forward to joining the team and making a significant impact on the growth of NHRA."
Taylor spent nearly 25 years with GM, and holds degrees in engineering, industrial design, and marketing. He will relocate to NHRA's corporate headquarters in Glendora, Calif.
Twilight Zone Racing and the IHRA offer a challenge to hundreds of students; “Stay in School and Follow the Rules”
(4-6-2004) - IHRA Top Fuel driver Bobby Lagana Jr., Twilight Zone Racing’s crew chief Al
LeManna and IHRA announcer Steven “Doc” Banasick spent
several days spreading some words of wisdom to students throughout
western Pennsylvania, and challenging them to excel in their education.
The challenge posted offers the highest scoring student in each classroom a chance to experience the thrills of drag racing, up close and personal. The combination of each student’s scores in Math, Science, English, Physical Education, and School Attendance will be used to determine a winner.
Skooter Peaco, Race Operations Director for the IHRA, backed the
challenge with passes for qualifying at the Norwalk World Nationals
for each of the winning students, and his or her parent. The IHRA
and Clear Channel believe that the dreams of tomorrow and the future
of drag racing depends on our youth and the educations that they
Frank and Michael Tedesco, owners and operators of the IHRA’s
Division 1 Pittsburgh Raceway Park, also responded by raising the
ante for the students, offering passes for their Pro/Am event in
May. The Tedesco brothers were more than happy to extend their personal
views on the “Stay in School and Follow the Rules Challenge,”
saying that “we take pride anytime we can help in grooming
our children and their future.”
A special word of thanks should also be extended to an up and coming
sponsor, DragRacingGirls.com and hotrodsbyburke.com for their involvement
in making the visits memorable. Each student received a Bobby Lagana
Jr. fan club button and Hero Card to remember the day.
Tim Irwin Named IHRA Director of Contingency and Inside Sales
(4-6-2004) – IHRA President Bill Bader announced Tim Irwin has been named Director of Contingency and Inside Sales. Irwin joins IHRA from Undercover Chassis in Wildwood, Fla., where he was Customer Service Manager.
"I am excited about joining the IHRA team," said Irwin. "I look forward to expanding on IHRA’s strong contingency program with excellent customer service and growth. My previous work with Worthy and Undercover has given me the necessary experience to take this department to the next level."
"Tim comes to the IHRA with considerable industry knowledge and a strong technical sales background," said Bader. "He is highly customer service driven and his working knowledge of the manufacturing side of the market makes him a very good fit for IHRA.
"He brings a unique perspective to the position. He’s been a racer and understands the racer’s needs, but he also has worked in the manufacturing side and can relate to their needs and expectations as well."
Irwin has worked with two highly respected chassis builders in the drag racing market: Ben Worthy (Worthy Race Cars) and Kurt Damron (Undercover Chassis). He also had his own chassis fabrication shop prior to working for Worthy.
Irwin worked many years for Owens-Illinois as a Field Service Engineer. He worked in the company’s Toledo research and development facility on packaging products and processes.
He has had a lifelong love with drag racing as a competitor. He left Owens-Illinois to open a chassis shop in Lakeland, Fla., which he operated for several years before accepting an offer to join Worthy Race Cars as the Customer Service Manager and overseeing the shop operations. He worked for the Worthys for 3-1/2 years before joining Undercover Chassis in a similar position in mid-2001.
Irwin is a native of the northwest Ohio community of Holland (a Toledo suburb). He will be headquartered in the Norwalk, Ohio, office and assumes the position immediately.
Byron Opener Produces Big Results for Autometer's Tritle
(4-6-2004) - The 2002 and 2003 6th place PRO NMC competitor Mike Tritle set three personal records today during testing on opening day runs at Byron Dragway. First off the stretcher saw the G/NMC Plymouth Barracuda setting both ET and Speed records plus the fastest ET in Tritle’s racing career. Rolling off the line with the quickest 60’ time since switching from the 4.10 to 3.23 rear gear, the blue Cuda marched across the eighth mile mark just 8.401 seconds from launch, strutting to a terminal ¼ mile ET of 13.244 @ 101.25 miles per hour. Tritle has suspected for some time that there is a 12 second ET hiding in the car, and the incremental times to half-track indicate a potential 12.93. In addition to the run breaking both ET and Speed records for the car to date, the run broke Tritle’s previous personal ET record by .04 seconds. In 1973, Tritle drove his 283 four speed “Lil Deuce Coupe” 68 Nova to an ET record of 13.28 at Lake Geneva Dragway. Though the time slip has long been misplaced, it has been etched in the memory of the driver for over 30 years! Unfortunately, the associated speed was not, however, there is no memory of exceeding 100 mph with the flamed red Chevy. Tritle broke the 100 mph barrier in Columbus OH in 2003.
Subsequent runs made to test the newly installed hood scoop air box, intake manifold plenum divider and a shift point search proved successful in varying degrees through the course of the day. Every run produced an over 100 mph trap speed including the fourth assault which incidentally matched the ET record of the Lil Deuce Coupe and slaughtered the previous speed record with a 13.289 @ 102.09.
Byron Dragway is the home track of the Auto Meter Draggin Braggin
Rights Racin Runoff employee bracket racing series 2004. Run the
last three years as a single event, Tritle is the defending champion
having won the event in 2003. Located next to the scenic Rock River,
Byron Dragway is commonly known as the Playground of Power and has
been the site of major events including the US Class Nationals and
NMRA Ford racing events.
SCHUMACHER, BURKART AND ANDERSON CLAIM VICTORIES AT NHRA SUMMITRACING.COM NATIONALS AT THE STRIP AT LVMS
(4-5-2004) -- Tony Schumacher raced to his third Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Phil Burkart and Greg Anderson also were winners at the $1.8 million race, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Visit our same day coverage at NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals
Check out James Drew's Same Day Photo Gallery.
Consistent Numbers and Frustration Mark the Cannon-Scruggs Pro Mod Match Race
(4-5-2004) - Carolina Dragway in Jackson, South Carolina, hosted the replay of a rain-delayed match race between Scotty Cannon’s “Killer Red Mater” ’53 Studebaker and Jason Scruggs’ blown small block-powered ’63 Corvette on April 3, 2004.
Consistent numbers by Cannon in each pass and frustrating parts breakage by Scruggs in two of the three runs marked this renewal of a year-long series of matches.
Cannon, of Lyman, South Carolina, arrived first at the track under brilliant clear skies, contrasting with the downpour on the originally scheduled Valentines Day match. Cannon stated that Scruggs would probably kick his butt, so he was going to look at the day’s event as a paid test session.
Scruggs pulled in at noon from his home in Mississippi to prepare for the first pass at 3pm and was in a thrash from the moment of arrival. Having spent the entire time since his last race running the family business, Scruggs stated that he hadn’t had time to devote to the car and was behind even before he arrived.
Cannon decided to make a shakedown run while Scruggs readied his ride for the first of three match runs. In the single pass, Cannon posted a soft 4.293 1/8 mile with a 1.041 sixty foot time.
Shakedown 60 foot 330 ft 1/8 ET 1/8 MPH
The first side-by-side match, run just after 3pm, saw Scruggs leave first and stay in front of Cannon before slowing at the top end, allowing Cannon to take the first round win.
Round 1 R/T 60' 330' 1/8th ET 1/8th MPH
Returning to his pit, Scruggs diagnosed problems with his transmission and shifter. Thrashing to make the scheduled 6pm second pass, the Scruggs crew rebuilt most of the drive train. Cannon agreed to wait until the repairs were completed rather than making a single run. Shortly after 7pm, both cars were pulled to the staging lanes and Cannon cranked up the big supercharged Hemi in his Stude, expecting to here his opponent’s Outlaw Pro Mod Corvette come to life as well.
Unfortunately, the Scruggs machine refused to fire. Giving the signal to make the single run, Cannon did his patented long burnout to cheers from the overflow crowd packing the stands and clinging to the fences. The bright red Studebaker put numbers on the scoreboard nearly equal to the previous round.
Round 2 R/T 60' 330' 1/8th ET 1/8th MPH
Retuning to the pits, Scruggs found that the shaft of the fuel pump was sheared. Another thrash by his overworked crew got the car running in time for the third pass just a little past the scheduled 8pm time. An out of breath Scruggs, along with his dad, stated: “This is the worst day of my racing life. However, there are a lot of fans here that support me and drove a long way to see me run. We are going to go down this track. Even if there is no one else here, we are going down that track for the fans.”
Scruggs was able to get the ’Vette to roar to life in the staging lanes this time. However, even with the car ready to run, frustration still continued to mount for the Scruggs team. Absolutely leaving Cannon sitting on the start line, Scruggs was a car length ahead before the 330-foot cone when the win light came on in his lane with an ET of 1.99. Apparently, some object had tripped the lights at the finish line, voiding the numbers in the right lane. It was obvious that Scruggs was ahead and was on a strong pass but the frustration continued with no numbers to judge the car’s performance. Videotape of the cars at the top end showed the Vette a full car length ahead of the Stude.
Round 3 R/T 60' 330' 1/8th ET 1/8th MPH
Scruggs, intent on giving the fans a good performance for their money, made a final pass near 10pm. Leaving the fans with a “what if” thought in their minds. Scruggs put down the best Pro Mod run in the history of Carolina Dragway, posting an elapsed time of 4.009.
Shakedown R/T 60' 330' 1/8th ET 1/8th MPH
After getting congratulations from the Cannon crew, Scruggs stated: “That should make the fans feel better”
Click here for a full photo gallery of the Match
race and Carolina Dragway race.
Top Fuel Harley-Davidson legend Jim McClure passes
(4-4-2004) - A family spokesman informed CompetitionPlus.com that legendary Top Fuel Harley-Davidson figure Jim McClure passed away on Friday afternoon. Please keep Phyllis and the family in your prayers.
Jim's viewing will be Monday, April 5th from 5-8 at Bucktrout Funeral
The funeral will be on Tuesday, April 6th at 2:00 at Liberty Baptist
There will be a reception to follow the service at the Church, if you'd like bring a covered dish feel free to do so.
Hey Man, you might need that...
(4-4-2004) - Shawn Jones' Funny Car pitched a body during the first round of qualifying for Top Alcohol Funny Car. (James Drew Photo)
2004 NHRA CAJUN SPORTSNATIONALS THE PLACE TO BE FOR NHRA SPORTSMAN RACERS IN NHRA LUCAS OIL SERIES; Assumption Parish Officials Recognize Sportsman Championship As ‘NHRA Drag Racing Festival Weekend’ in Louisiana
(4-3-2004) — NHRA will renew a popular event designed to showcase NHRA Sportsman competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, when No Problem Raceway hosts the NHRA Cajun SPORTSNationals, April 23-25.
The NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will feature a guaranteed purse of more than $50,000 and competition in six NHRA Lucas Oil Series categories, including Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. NHRA Lucas Oil Series national event points will be awarded to drivers in all categories except Super Street.
"Virtually everyone involved in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series has welcomed with eagerness the announcement of the Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana," said Len Imbrogno, NHRA Director of Sportsman Racing. "As each day passes and we get closer to the date of the event, interest and excitement is increasing. The ‘Sports,’ as they are known, haven’t been produced by NHRA for many years."
An example of the importance of the event to the local community surrounding the track came with the announcement by government officials in Assumption Parish that the weekend has been declared "The NHRA Drag Race Festival."
Reintroducing the SPORTSnationals was in response to "popular demand," according to Imbrogno. "And we’re putting together an appropriate celebration of the return of the SPORTSnationals in true Cajun style," he added. "It’s going to be a hallmark event in the annals of Sportsman racing."
The race weekend also will offer a full program of related events, and all at No Problem Raceway, which Imbrogno describes as "a beautiful facility, one that is appropriate for an event of this character and prestige." The quarter-mile dragstrip has undergone extensive upgrades recently, some specifically in preparation for the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals.
The focus and attention will be on racing in the core NHRA Sportsman categories, but with the help of Pat Joffrion, owner/operator of No Problem Raceway, the well-rounded program is overflowing with a weekend of impressive features, including exhibition passes by competitors in Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike.
"We’re offering a heads-up Top Stock-style shootout, featuring A/Stock through C/Stock category cars; a Hemi shootout; a ‘King of the Bayou’ shootout for Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street Racers; a full midway; a showing of specialty cars throughout the pits; and much more," Joffrion said. "It will stand alone as ‘The World’s Fastest Car Show,’ all in the tradition of NHRA Sportsman racing."
For Stock and Super Stock racing, the event will not only include class eliminations, but national record runs as well.
"One of the most talked-about features scheduled for the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will be what could be considered ‘The Battle of the Big Cars,’" Imbrogno said. "Veteran U/SA racer Jack McCarthy and several others have thrown down a challenge to all U/SA racers across the country. The challenge is to once and for all see who has the fastest U/SA car in the country."
NHRA hosted the SPORTSnationals from 1974-1986 at a trio of tracks, including Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. (1974-‘80; 1985-‘86), the old Houston International Raceway (1981-‘82) and Indianapolis Raceway Park (1982-‘83).
Gilbertson's Newest Intern
(4-2-2004) - Greg Goldstein, son of legendary
Funny Car driver the late Leroy Goldstein, has been selected as
the "Nitro Intern" for Bob Gilbertson's Trick Tank Funny
Car team at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at the Strip at
Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 1-4.
IHRA puts limits on blower setback for Pro Modifieds
(4-1-2004) - Hidden on IHRA.com is the latest Pro Modified rules revision.
The rulebook now reads, "The maximum length of the supercharger drive assembly is 8 inches including drive pulley. All manifold configurations and supercharger locations must be accepted prior to competition. The use of spacers or modified attaching methods to move the supercharger rearward in excess of the above specified amount is prohibited."
NHRA TO INTRODUCE iCARD AT NHRA POWERade DRAG RACING SERIES EVENTS
(4-1-2004) - The NHRA and SPP Services Inc., have reached an agreement to make available the iCard System at the remaining 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events, NHRA officials announced today.
The handheld iCard System is an electronic device that displays the various performance numbers for vehicles racing down the quarter-mile during qualifying and eliminations at NHRA national events. Although not a licensed product of Nintendo, the iCard fits into the popular handheld Nintendo GameBoy unit for functionality.
The names and the reaction times of the competitors in each lane will be displayed at the top of the GameBoy monitor, as will the times of each vehicle as it crosses the timing sensors located at the 60-, 330-, 660-, 1,000-, and the 1,320-foot mark. The speed of each vehicle will be displayed as the car crosses the half-track marker (the 660-foot timer), and the finish line. An asterisk will appear in the column of the left or right lane competitor, indicating a winner, and the margin of victory also will be displayed. SPP Services intends to further enhance the iCard System in the near future to offer even more information services for users.
“The iCard System is a innovative and informative tool for NHRA fans, competitors and officials,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA vice president of marketing. “This product is yet another step in NHRA’s ongoing effort to enhance the fan experience on-site at an NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series national event while offering innovative and exciting interactive elements for the fan. Whether in the stands or while taking in all the sights and sounds of the pit area, everyone will be able to keep up with the action on the track at all times.”
The iCard will be available to rent or purchase at the remaining 2004 NHRA national events. The rental cost will be $10 on Thursday and Friday, and $5 for the Nintendo GameBoy unit to run the iCard System. On Saturday and Sunday the iCard System is available to rent for $20 with the GameBoy costing $10. Thursday and Friday iCard rentals will be free if a customer brings their own GameBoy unit to the event. The iCard System can be purchased for $129.99 for the Standard iCard, or $199.95 for the iCard Pro model.
The Standard iCard was designed for the leisure
use of the casual NHRA fan. The iCard Pro was developed for the
serious needs of those with more demanding day-in and day-out use.
It features a robust durability demanded by serious enthusiasts,
competitors, and officials.
Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series Prepares for Seventh Season
(4-1-2004) - Coming off of their most successful campaign to date, year number seven for the Can-Am Stock/Super Stock Series will kick off in extreme fashion with what will arguably be the biggest event in the organization’s history.
Race number one of the 10-race series will be held at Toronto Motorsports Park as part of the AutoZone SuperChevy Show May 15th and 16th.
“It’s going to be a big weekend and we are very pleased
to be a part of it,” explained FJ Smith. “We expect
a record turnout of entries and with the Cayuga Dragway 50th Anniversary
being a part of the weekend, we expect to see a lot of old friends.”
To all of the returning sponsors, as well as those just joining
us, thanks again and welcome aboard.
Additional information, including full 2004 schedule, is available at: www.smithperformance.com – Can-Am Series.
Bruce Litton's horrific crash
(3-31-2004) - Marc Roy captured these shots of
Bruce Litton's crash last weekend in San Antonio. Litton suffered
a slight concussion and returned to the track after being released
from the hospital. As you can see, the Brad Hadman dragster took
a rough shot, but did its job in protecting the Lucas Oil-sponsored
Honest Charley® is back!
(3-31-1004) - Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Duncan, owners of Quality Performance MotorSports, are pleased to announce that Honest Charley® Custom Components and Coker Tire are sponsors for the 2004 Ford Escort driven by Former IHRA World Champion Floyd Cheek. Floyd will be competing in the Sunoco Pro Stock Division of IHRA.
Recognized as a leading distributor of performance parts and accessories, Honest Charley® Custom Components was founded in 1948 by “Honest Charley” Card. Established in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the original Honest Charley® Speed Shop developed into the first international mail order automotive supermarket.
The Honest Charley® name and trademarks were acquired in 1998 by Chattanooga automotive enthusiast and businessman Corky Coker. Coker Tire is the world’s largest distributor of antique and classic tires for automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. Coker Tire is the exclusive worldwide distributor of B.F. Goodrich®, Silvertown®, Firestone® and Firestone® Wide Oval and U.S. Royal® vintage tires.
Corky’s enthusiasm and the Honest Charley® name provided
the inspiration to establish a unique product selection with a solid
commitment in customer service. The President of Honest charley®,
Mike Goodman, was sales manager for Honest Charley® Speed Distributors
Warehouse for over 17 Years. Mike Goodman Engineering has manufactured
a variety of custom products for companies such as Mr. Gasket®,
Choo Choo Customs® and others.
Pedregon To Debut Chevrolet Monte Carlo In Vegas
(3-31-2004) – When former Funny Car champion Cruz Pedregon rolls up to the starting line at this weekends NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, he will be sporting a new look. With the Advance Auto Parts colors still vibrantly shinning, Pedregon will be debuting a brand new Chevrolet Monte Carlo body.
“We’ve been looking forward to the Monte Carlo since the beginning of the season,” said Pedregon. “Everything we’ve seen with this new body has been positive. It’s lighter, stronger, safer, and is better aerodynamically.
“The Monte Carlo marketing team and GM engineers deserve a lot of credit in the launch of this body. They designed this car with the downforce we need and developed it to have less drag, which means faster times. They have given us a car that stacks up with the competition and now it’s up to us to go out and prove its abilities.”
Pedregon has been running a Pontiac Firebird the last two seasons and has earned two runner up finishes, four semifinal appearances and advanced to nine quarter-finals .
“We’ve had a good run with the Pontiac but we’re excited to get something fresh and new,” added Pedregon. Our Firebird will remain our back up car until we complete our second Monte Carlo, which we hope to have done by mid-June.”
Pedregon will be entering his 219th career race this weekend in Las Vegas.
PARKS ANNOUNCES NEW DIRECTORS TO THE NHRA BOARD
(3-31-2004) - Wally Parks, founder of the NHRA, today announced the election of two new members to the association's Board of Directors.
In an action taken at a board meeting earlier this month, Peter Clifford, executive vice president and general manager and Graham Light, senior vice president of racing operations for NHRA, were elected to the Board.
"In expanding the Board, we carefully considered various options, focusing attention on what we felt to be in NHRA's and the sport's best interest to continue to oversee the multi-faceted organization," said Parks. "As the world's largest motorsports sanctioning body, NHRA is charged with a vast scope of responsibility."
"We must continue to maintain the delicate balance that has made NHRA and the sport of drag racing the success it is today and Peter and Graham bring to the board additional dimensions and experience that will help in overseeing the continuing challenges of the future," concluded Parks.
Clifford, who prior to his current title was the association's senior vice president and chief financial officer, joined NHRA in 1997. He oversees all NHRA-owned race track facilities, publications, information technology, national event business, ticketing, customer service and human resources. Clifford also is responsible for all fiscal functions including management of accounting and finance departments. Clifford currently sits on the board of directors of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
Light oversees competition and event operations at all 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events and is responsible for development and implementation of the rules and regulations that govern competition in the NHRA's many racing series'. He also is chairman of the NHRA Competition Committee. Light, a former Top Fuel dragster driver, car show promoter and track operator, joined NHRA in 1984, handling business development in an area that now comprises NHRA Division 6 and 7. In 1986, he took over as Division 7 director and was promoted to the position of competition director in 1987. Later that year, he was elevated to vice president for technical operations and in 1993 to his current position.
"The balance essential to efficient management of NHRA and to effectively direct activities of our sport requires individuals who clearly understand all that NHRA does and how each relates to one another," said Dallas Gardner, NHRA's chairman of the board. "When we combine all the elements into the mix -- racing, tracks and related facilities, track owners and operators, safety programs, sponsors with diverse interests that support programs at all levels, members of NHRA, and our worldwide population of fans -- balance is not only complex, but critical."
Another one bites the dust...bachelor that is
(3-31-2004) - You may know him as Patrick James, he's the President of Pro Systems. You'll only know his new bride as the cute voice on the other end of the phone when you call Pro Systems. Well on March 19th 2004 Patrick James and Leslie Renee Hosmer were married in Siesta Key, Florida.
Originally planned to be a Vegas wedding, Patrick and Leslie elected to be wed in Florida. The reason: ProSystems is opening a second facility in the Bradenton, FL area to better serve their southern customers and Florida offers year round testing for constant product improvement.
Patrick sold it to Leslie like this: "We can use the trip as a scouting expedition and get married at the same time". Only a true racer's wife would agree to this. Leslie said, "We spent three hours on the beach and then it was back to work". Pay attention racers girlfriends, this is what us racers are really like.
ALL-STAR TEAM PROGRAM REMAINS ON HIATUS
(3-20-2004) - Officials of Primedia, Incorporated, the nation’s largest publisher of enthusiast magazines, have announced that the CAR CRAFT Magazine All-Star Drag Racing Team program will remain on hold until next year.
Despite the enthusiastic endorsement of a number of aftermarket firms, who had already agreed to become individual category sponsors, the search for a single presenting sponsor was on-going when the deadline for signing a contractual agreement with the host hotel in Indianapolis passed.
For 34 years the 400,000-plus readers of CAR CRAFT Magazine, along with readers of NHRA’s "National Dragster" and IHRA’s "Drag Review" newspapers, along with thousands of others who voted online along with a special Selectors Panel, determined the winners in almost 30 driver, crew chief, builder and sponsor categories. In addition to those awards the staff of CAR CRAFT named the Persons of the Year and Ollie Award winners, the latter considered the most prestigious award in drag racing, as it represents one’s career-long contributions to the sport.
Along with a number of other custom-designed awards, each member of the All-Star Team traditionally receives a gold, diamond-highlighted ring emblematic of membership on the Team. Despite the significant investment Primedia made in the All-Star Team each year, within the last decade the steadily increasing costs of producing the program required the additional support of others.
Jim Adolph, Publisher of CAR CRAFT Magazine, noted that "The All-Star Team has been a drag racing tradition since 1967, and we’re determined to not only keep it going, but to expand its influence and importance not only within our industry, but to the general public as well. In order to do that the program needs a major, presenting sponsor, and while we were close to an agreement, time simply ran out on us for this year. We’re going to continue our efforts during the months to come and will hopefully be in a position to announce the return of the program well before the end of 2004.
"The All-Star Drag Racing Team is not only important to the
staff and readers of CAR CRAFT, it’s important to the sport
as well, for it’s the only program in which the honorees are
determined by the votes of their peers. Regardless of whether a
participant is behind the wheel of a 16-second bracket car or a
Top Fuel dragster, and no matter where he competes, he has an opportunity
to wear one of the coveted All-Star rings, and we’re determined
to keep that tradition going."
ACDelco Will Once Again Provide "Fast Fuel"
|Top Fuel -- Clay Millican, 4.596 seconds, 311.49 mph def. Bruce Litton, broke.|
(3-28-2004) - Clay Millican has been in a lot of final rounds, but never one like he experienced at the IHRA Amalie Oil Texas Nationals at San Antonio Raceway. The three-time World Champion from Drummonds, Tenn., drove Peter Lehman’s Werner Enterprises to an unprecedented 31st Top Fuel win during the IHRA Hooters Drag Racing Series opener.
Other professional winners included Glenn Kerunsky (Pro Modified), Mark Thomas (Funny Car) and John Montecalvo (Sunoco Pro Stock).
(3-29-2004) - Point standings (top 10) for
IHRA professional categories following the Third
annual Amalie Oil Texas Nationals presented by Ancira Cars, Trucks & RVs and the San Antonio Express-News at San Antonio Raceway, the first of 12 events in the 2004 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series -
1. Clay Millican, 131; 2. Bruce Litton, 104; 3. Todd Paton, 87;
4. Grant Flowers, 85; 5.
Mark Kinsella, 70; 6. Tim Cullinan, 68; 7. Mitch King, 66; 8. Rick Cooper, 64; 9. (tie) Mike
Bowers, 25; Gary Cooper, 25; Gene Davis, 25; Doug Foley, 25; Dave Hirata, 25; Chris Karamesines, 25; Bobby Lagana Jr, 25.
1. Glen Kerunsky, 101; 2. Harold Martin, 95; 3. Rick Distefano,
74; 4. Steve Vick, 64; 5.
Scotty Cannon, 52; 6. Shannon Jenkins, 47; 7. Mike Castellana, 46; 8. Zach Barklage, 36; 9.
(tie) Al Billes, 33; Mitch Stott, 33.
1. Mark Thomas, 95; 2. Rob Atchison, 76; 3. Ronnie Midyette, 54;
4. Terry McMillen, 37; 5.
Ray Drew, 31; 6. John Sullivan, 30; 7. Chris Foster, 18.
1. John Montecalvo, 116; 2. John Nobile, 94; 3. Elijah Morton,
75; 4. Brian Gahm, 72; 5.
Rick Jones, 53; 6. Pete Berner, 51; 7. Tony Gillig, 50; 8. Frank Gugliotta, 49; 9. John
Bartunek, 28; 10. Charlie Peppers, 27.
(3-28-2004) – Bruce Litton, 49, of Indianapolis, was involved in an accident during the second round of Top Fuel eliminations at the IHRA Texas Nationals on Sunday.
Litton was airlifted to Brooks Army Medical Center, a level one trauma center in San Antonio, Texas. According to medical personnel, Litton was conscious and vital signs stable.
Litton was later released from the hospital with a minor concussion.
(3-25-2004) - The NHRA expanded its member track
program, signing eight new drag racing facilities to membership
agreements, it was announced today by NHRA officials.
The eight facilities are located in the in the Southeast, North Central, South Central, West Central and Northwest divisions and all will participate in the NHRA Summit Drag Racing Series and the NHRA O'Reilly Auto Parts Jr. Drag Racing League.
"We continue to move forward with our track membership program and welcome these facilities to the NHRA family," said Tom Compton, NHRA president. "These eight tracks join the growing number of facilities that endorse and showcase NHRA grassroots programs. With the programs and services NHRA provides to member tracks, we are constantly expanding our presence in various markets and promoting the safe and exciting drag racing that the NHRA is known for."
The North Central division is adding three new member tracks. Thompson Drag Raceway, located northeast of Cleveland, is the lone quarter-mile drag strip to join the division. Midstate Dragway in Havana, Ill., and E.T. Raceway in Bloomfield, Ind., are two eighth-mile tracks joining the NHRA.
Rusk, Texas, is the home of the South Central division's newest quarter-mile facility. Cherokee County Motorsports Park joins the NHRA and will host one of the divisional events that make up the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. The eight-mile drag strip at Houston Motorsports Park also joins the division.
The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series also will make a stop at the newest member track of the Southeast division, South Georgia Motor Sports Park near Valdosta, Ga., approximately 60 miles northeast of Tallahassee, Fla.
The West Central division will be joined by Oahe Speedway in Pierre, N.D., while Bonanza Dragway in Walla Walla, Wash., is the newest member of the Northwest division. Both facilities house an eighth-mile drag strip.
(3-24-2004) - Can-Am Motorsports and Casavant Mining Company, a Canadian based diamond-mining group, have struck a deal for primary sponsorship of former Keystone Nationals Winner, Jeff Arend and the Can-Am Motorsports team. This will allow Arend to jump into this years NHRA POWERADE season early and actually get into the points chase. The CMKX-treme Machine Nitro Funny Car will debut at the Las Vegas NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, on April 1 through 4 of 2004 and continue for the remaining 20 events.
Can-Am Motorsports co-founder and pilot of the Nitro Funny Car, Jeff Arend, stated, “I’m beyond excited about getting in behind the wheel of a nitro funny car. I have a great support system behind me with Can-Am Motorsports and the CMKX-treme Machine. We will be entering the points chase 4 races in but we are looking for success in those last 20.”
Can-Am Motorsports has additional sponsorship opportunities for
the 2004/2005 seasons, including the corporate sponsor for the Top
Fuel Dragster. “This is a terrific opportunity for a major
sponsor to achieve an unparalleled level of exposure through a racing
sponsorship”, stated Jeff Flasco, Vice President of Sales
and Marketing for Can-Am Motorsports. “The POWERADE Series
spans the country for its 23 nationally televised events. Each four-day
NHRA race weekend attracts approximately 125,000 affluent, educated
and very brand loyal spectators as well as local and national media.”
(3-24-2004) - At the NHRA Gatornationals held March 19-21, the MSD Digital Programmable Ignition, PN 7530T became the mandatory ignition control for Pro Stock competition. This unit has also been approved by the NHRA Technical Department for use in applicable Sportsman and E.T. bracket categories.
The PN 7530T has several features that racers have asked for, as well as features that technical directors of the sanctioning bodies requested. For racers, they can now plot a complete timing curve for every gear, ramp retard stages on and off, plus advance the timing momentarily between gear changes.
Due to the growing discussions of illegal traction control systems, and the difficulties associated with policing such controls, MSD developed a technology called Traction Control Detection (TCD). This proprietary circuitry carefully monitors all of the ignition's signals and if the TCD determines that there has been any external modification to a signal, the ignition will be put into a low rpm rev limit mode and set a trouble code. This will assist the tech department officials in their inspections.
There were no reported TCD events at the Gatornationals. Also, use of an illegal traction control device has never been confirmed in professional NHRA racing.
(3-23-2004) - The NHRA is investigating an incident that happened on Sunday at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in the Pro Stock Bike pits. Reportedly, Pro Stock racer Rickie Smith was maced by a member of Pro Stock Bike rider Shawn Gann's crew. According to sources close to the incident, Smith confronted Gann on the return road regarding an incident where Matt Smith's helmet was kicked.
According to Smith, he was then maced despite his contention there was no weapon in his hand, nor did he raise his hand to strike anyone.
Gann could not be reached for comment.
Sources close to the situation said the NHRA has investigated and will soon pass on a ruling.
Smith would not comment further saying that everything is in the hands of the lawyers and that this will end up in court.
• Remember, if you have a story lead or news that you would like to share with us, or even some good old-fashioned gossip, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• From what we're hearing, there's more to the Carribean Soul sponsorship thing than is being said. An unsubstantiated rumor suggests that the company's affiliation with an individual an individual who has had problems in the past with the NHRA is the real reason for negating the deal with Bob Gilbertson.
• Word has it that we can add Tony Schumacher to the list of drivers converting to the one-piece Top Fuel body in the near future.
• Word has it that a Pro Modified car may soon be featured on The Learning Channel as a part of their Ride's show. Mike Ashley's Unique Performance-sponsored 1967 Shelby G.T. 500E, which is based on the "Eleanor" car used in Gone in 60 Seconds, will be filmed by a crew from the show while in Houston.
• The latest on the Pro Stock Truck Association lawsuit versus the NHRA is that it won't see the courtroom until January 10, 2006. The judge presiding over the case in Maricopa County, Arizona made his decision based on this being a high-dollar court case. According to sources, subpenas are close to being issued. The Maricopa County courthouse has a website for the case at Pro Stock Truck Lawsuit.
• Word has it that team owner Don Prudhomme provided Lucas Oil's Forrest Lucas with a 2003 Championship ring from Larry Dixon's 2003 season. Prudhomme is rumored to have asked when Kenny Bernstein is going to present Lucas with one.
• The hottest rumor floating around the industry is that the NHRA's decision to add Peter Clifford and Graham Light to the NHRA Board of Directors could have significant meaning later on in the season.
• Apparently the Pro Nitro guys, Jim Mac Monagle and Don Schumacher have been given the approval to pre-sale their fuel to IHRA Top Fuel racers.
• Sources indicate the NHRA will not approve the transfer of Caribbean Soul sponsorship from Don Sosenka to Bob Gilbertson for three races. Per NHRA rules, for an apparel company to gain permission to sell on the Midway, they must provide a major sponsorship on a professional race team. Sosenka was going to be out of competition for a few races. We'll look further into this one.
• It remains to be seen as to whether the San Antonio event will be the final one for six-time Pro Modified champion Scotty Cannon. Reportedly, the sticking point is the sale of his sponsor's product from the pits. The IHRA wants Cannon to sell from the Midway and the Mohawked One has said "thanks but, no thanks." It will be interesting to see if he's in Rockingham, but the combination of a professional entry fee and the loss of sponsorship income from the sunglass sales has apparently left him with a bad taste in his mouth. Let's hope all parties involved work this scenario out and the race fans will not have to suffer.
• Rumors are circulating that Angie McBride is no longer riding for Star Racing and George Bryce. We'll either confirm or discredit once contacts are made.
• We've caught wind that Bobby Lagana, Jr. might be very close to securing a major sponsor with at least a multi-race commitment, which in turn could prove to be a full tour program. Details are sketchy at this time, but if all pans out this could be the break that Lagana has needed for a long time.
• Columnist Jeff Wolf made a lot of sense with his column published in the Las Vegas Review Journal. You can read his column at Sports-Jeff Wolf.
• Word comes to us that TAFC runner Mert Littlefield was involved in the 67-car pile-up on I-15 headed to Las Vegas. Luckily no one was injured on the team as an eighteen wheeler succombed to high winds and was blown over on their race transporter. As more details become available, we will pass them on.
• Leif Andreasson's TAFC is a hit so far in Vegas. The alky flopper is a brand new entry built by Brett Williamson and according to our sources, is said to be the best they've ever teched. Anderson also has the first Dodge Stratus body formerly campaigned last yearby Team Schumacher.
• We're hearing word that Funny Car racer Jim Head may soon be on "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period" to unveil a new Punisher paint scheme.
• A source close to the situation tells us that the IHRA will soon adopt regulations that will allow only Wego and Angus nitromethane in the Top Fuel ranks. Our sources tell us that the fuel will sell for $850 a drum.
• Word has it that Jay Payne will be driving Pro Modified instead of wife Shelly. According to sources, she's expecting. Some guys will do anything to drive.
• A/Fuel cars at both Houston and Phoenix were DQ'ed for running illegal nitromethane this weekend - it was clear, not yellow.
• Is NHRA Pro Stock getting intense or what? Reportedly, after World Champion Greg Anderson became aware that one of Jim Yates' crew was filming his every move in the pits and on the starting line, out came the blue tarps in the pits. Yates assessment? He was rumored to have said, "In football, the teams exchange films...why not drag racing?"
• Wierd things were going on in Phoenix. And we'll keep some of the incidents nameless for obvious reasons. How about the Top Fuel team that attempted to start their car only to find out it had no fuel or oil in the engine. One team owner was up on the tires in a bad way. How about the team that assembled the engine without totally getting all of those annoying peanut shipping shells out of the parts? From what we hear their pit looked like a snow storm hit when the motor was cranked.
• The rumor mill has Todd Paton headed to the Gatornationals this year with Rob Flynn serving as a consultant. This is supposed to be a one-race deal.
• Bobby Lagana, Jr. has come a long way in his Top Fuel career. We're hearing there will be another Lagana as a licensed Top Fuel driver coming soon. Word has it that younger Lagana sibling Don will begin licensing runs at the CompetitionPlus.com Spring Open presented by Torco Race Fuels.
• We have it on good authoriity that Bob Vandergriff Jr. will be returning to the Top Fuel ranks as soon as a pending 10-race sponsorship deal is finalized.
• Make some sense of this one, the NHRA searched all the various nitro rigs to ensure that all teams complied with the new ruling that made it illegal to have any other source of nitro in their trailers than that which is supplied by VP Racing Fuels. However, the NHRA then turned around and gave its blessings to teams to test with the nitromethane recently imported by Don Schumacher and fuel distributor Jim McMonagle, which ironically was the fuel that officials had been searching the rigs for in Pomona. The only question we have is how does fuel become dangerous and illegal to use on Thursday through Sunday and then is acceptable to run on Monday through Wednesday?
• A call to the IHRA's offices confirmed that the professional classes will be cut down to three qualifying runs after the San Antonio opener next month. Recently the IHRA revamped their Top Fuel qualifying format to ensure that teams didn't get in line and pull out during the final session.
• While Pat Dakin has already agreed to run some IHRA Top Fuel events in A/Fuel trim, could Paul Romine be considering the same thing? A tip on our rumors hotline leads us to believe so.
• We keep hearing word floating around that longtime nitro tuner could end up with David Grubnic in the Team Kalitta camp.
• Here's something to ponder. Why did most of the teams who decided to test between weeks of the Pomona postponement drive to Vegas instead of testing in Phoenix? Apparently, there are some teams out there that are still miffed over the track conditions when they traveled earlier in the month to test.
• Something that could come to pass. There's a good chance you'll see Cory McClenathan and the Carrier Boyz Top Fuel team using a few non-conflicting IHRA events as a means to test.
• Here's something to watch out for. Reportedly, second-generation drag racer Ashley Force will be a spokesperson for Mattel Toy Stores. Some might recall that father John Force has been a longtime endorser of Action Collectibles. That alliance will continue this year. Ashley's contract is reportedly for two years with an option in the third. Mattel Toy Stores reportedly is expected to expand to four stores in the near future.
• Carburetor wiz Barry Grant confirmed that the King Demon Shootout scheduled for Englishtown will be moving to Chicago. Expect an announcement soon.
• Word has it that former Pro Modified racer Johnny Rocca could be handling the color commentary on the IHRA's television programs in 2004.
• Word has it that Erica Enders has almost completed her TAFC license at Hawley's school, and is working with a former TF team owner to put together something for 2005. We've seen this team owner do the same type deal with another young female driver.
• The rumor mill continues to churn and the latest one to permeate the racing community has Jeff Dobbins joining the John Montecalvo team as crewchief this season in IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock.
• Don Prudhomme Racing actually had their Monte Carlo body out in Phonenix earlier in the week but snafus with the paint scheme sent the body back to the paint shop for a total revision. Reportedly, the team worked much of the day just trying to get the new shell to fit perfectly. Apparently the body will be unveiled in Pomona, but it remains to be seen if it will run in Pomona.
• Jesse James and Jack Nicholson made a suprise visit to Houston's newest track last weekend while in town for the superbowl. For pics go to dragstripaction.com or http://www.voy.com/170705/. We're also hearing that "American Chopper" just filmed some scenes from "Nickens Brothers Racing Engines." From what we are hearing, David and crew have been trying to "Tune up" some Harleys lately. The show should air sometime in next few months.
• Following his untimely crash at Indianapolis last Labor Day, rookie Top Fuel pilot Chris Vandergriff will be returning to the drag racing wars. However, it won't be behind the wheel of a Top Fueler. Vandergriff will apparently return to the grass roots of drag racing with a Super Comp dragster. He hasn't ruled out Top Fuel in his fiture, but seems content just to go out and have fun racing.
• A few days ago, word came to us that K.C Spurlock was going to resign his position with the Western Rock team. However, some last minute scenarios have led him to reconsider his decision and will indeed be in Pomona with the team. Word has it the team may be close to announcing a sponsor. An FYI, the word came directly from Spurlock.
• In an article published in adage.com, sponsors on the NASCAR side of things are reportedly unhappy with the revamping of the points system and this displeasure is prompting some teams to reconsider their marketing stratagies. Here's a link to the article - Points Controversy?
• The Top Sportsman division has been the focus of many rumors this off-season. The latest suggests that there will be a Fast Doorcar Shootout at all the Division Races this year. It's basically a trial to see if there is enough interest. If the turnout is large enough the plan is to create a Top Comp Dragster class this year and a Top Sportsman class next season. The possibility of a TC class next season will depend on whether there is enough interest by the racers, the fans, and most importantly, the track operators. Look for an anouncement on the NHRA Division 6 website soon.
• When the cost of nitro rocketed to $900, it sent at least one team in search of other companies to produce nitromethane outside of the current suppliers Angus and Wego now exclusively supplied by VP Racing Fuels. In the first test with the new brand of nitromethane during the Las Vegas time trials, the outcome yieded positive results. However, the word is floating around in certain circles that the NHRA is looking into the feasibility of creating a spec nitromethane which could squash the efforts of those that sought an alternative. Stay tuned.
• Is Larry Minor back? Reportedly, the former multi-car team owner has his name on Tony Pedregon's new flopper.
• Word has it that the sportsman terrors known as the Cummings Family may soon announce Moser Engineering as their major sponsor. From what we're hearing from our source there may be more NHRA events on their schedule.
• An unsubstantiated rumor is floating around in the pro pits that one sponsor has unfinished business with the previous team before moving on to another. Until we do more investigation, that's all we can say.
• File this in either the "Ungrateful Christmas Gift Recepient" or the "What Not To Get Berserko for Christmas" because either one is certainly applicable to the story we've heard. Bob Gilbertson crewman Scott "Stacker" Gaddy decided to get "Berserko Bob" a Christmas gift and in doing so elected to buy him a box of candy. Well Berserko was not impressed with the show of Christmas cheer. He looked at Gaddy and asked, "What is this? How many times have you ever seen me eating candy." Gaddy responded, "Never." Berserko then asked, "What do you see me with the most?" Gaddy ansered, "Beer." Beserko's tirade continued, "You know what I'm gonna do? I am gonna get Bob to sign it and put this crap on E-Bay and set the starting bid at one penny. I'll even pay the shipping." Maybe Berserko ought to hug Gaddy's neck. The bid has now risen over $100 for the one-of-a-kind drag racing candy. All proceeds of the sale are going to the Make-A-Wish foundation. You can view the auction at Berserko's Candy.
• Gary Henry will be back as crew chief for Elijah Morton in 2004. Morton will field on a one car team this year. Jeff Dobbins will not return to the team due to reported inability to secure sponsorship. Morton will campaign a new Mustang from the same corral as the Pete Berner beast.
"“People must think that I went into a cave and forgot how to run Pro Modified. Mitch seems to be the biggest one out there and well in a barfight, you pick the biggest one and knock them out first. All I can say is that he better come to Darlington in a few weeks with his ‘A’ game cause ‘Daddy’ is certainly back.”
Scotty Cannon is issuing a challenge to IHRA Pro Modified World Champion Mitch Stott for a match race in Darlington, SC.
"I was once offerred a movie role playing a maid who won the lottery and continued to work because she loved her job. I got news for you...If I won the lottery now, I'm walking off the stage in the middle of this joke."
Comedian Wanda Sykes on a recent Comedy Central special