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One Step closer to having another licensed female Top Fuel driver
(5-9-2005) - On just her fourth pass, noted Top Alcohol
Dragster pilot Erica Credeur posted a 4.71 elapsed time with a speed that
exceeded 300 miles per hour. This was a chieved during a recent test session
at Atlanta Dragway with the help of Hartman Motorsports.
"Mr. Virgil, John and Rhonda are wonderful people who I am glad to have had this experience," said Creduer. "The crew worked tirelessly for me to accomlpish a dream. I now have something that no one can take away from me. I plan on doing this for years to come so hang on tight."
Have the New England Dragway Racers Become Desperate?
(5-8-2005) - This is a letter that was sent over to us from Brian Lohnes in hopes of sending it to Mother Nature.
Dear Mother Nature,
How are things? On behalf of all the drag racers at New England Dragway
I am writing you to ask a favor. Please cut it out. You know exactly what
I'm talking about, this rain business.
Racers of NED
Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion Named to Kentucky's "Top Ten" Events of Summer; Third Annual Bowling Green Party Set for Father's Day Weekend
(5-8-2005) - The huge crowds attending proved it, but now the Kentucky Tourism Council has verified it by selecting the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion as one of the Commonwealth's summer "Top Ten" events.
"We're honored to have this recognition of our unique festival," said Sam Jackson, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, which produces the annual Reunion on Father's Day weekend (June 17-19). "Our staff works very hard to ensure that the thousands of patrons who join us at Bowling Green each year have a great time and want to come back again and again."
"These are the best events in the state," said Marcheta Sparrow, director of the Kentucky Tourism Council. "They are selected by a panel of independent judges from across the state and they are just the best of the best." Criteria for selection include popularity of the event, its impact on the local tourism economy as well as cultural and historical significance.
"The reunion's a perfect place to celebrate Father's Day," said Greg Sharp, curator of the Parks Museum, located in Pomona, Calif. "It's the only place where drag racing legends from the past mingle with those of tomorrow, where heroes are honored and everyone has a great time."
Not just a "car show" or a race, the Holley National Hot Rod
Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, is a 3-day festival
of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. The National Hot
Rod Reunion is part of the museum's "living history" philosophy,
which works to bring to life the sites, sounds and people who made history
in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age
of American car culture. \
|Top Fuel -- Doug Kalitta, 4.593 seconds, 322.50 mph def. Rod Fuller, 4.588 seconds, 327.35 mph.|
(5-2-2005) -- Gary Scelzi claimed the Funny Car victory in an upset-filled day of racing Sunday at the O’Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals presented by Q-Racing at Bristol Dragway.
Doug Kalitta and Warren Johnson also were winners at the $1.5 million race the sixth of 23 events at the $1.5 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
(5-2-2005) - Defending AMS/TLR champion Mike Ashley always motivates himself by reflecting on the one race that he and his team were the least impressive. It worked for the Torco Race Fuels-sponsored driver, as he won for the third time in four weeks.
The turning point was his Houston flop, a dismal quarter-final finish last month. Twelve consecutive round-wins later, the only thing flopping is the competition’s hopes.
“This means a lot to me,” Ashley said as he received his sixth career national-event trophy. “This was the last race of a four-race swing and when my team should have been at their weakest, they were at their strongest. To be on the road this many weeks in a row and to achieve what they have shows tons of character and mental toughness.
“My team had never taken a beating like they did in the last few weeks. To win three times in a row is something no other driver in NHRA AMS TLR Pro Modified has done before. When you look out there and see the top caliber of team that are running this program, it really puts into perspective what we accomplished here.”
Ashley’s latest triumph came at the expense of young Zach Barklage, who was never the quickest on race day but maintained a measure of consistency in working his way through the ladder. This marked the second time that Barklage had reached the finals in his short career. Both times resulted in a runner-up, and the common denominator was Ashley.
(5-2-2005) – Cruz Pedregon advanced to his third semifinal of the 2005 season effectively clinching the 300th-round victory of his career when he defeated long-time rival John Force in round one.
“I’m not much into statistics, but this one meant a lot to me,” Pedregon said. “And it was against Force. I know we have had our differences in the past, but there is no one I respect more in this business than John. To beat him for my 300th round victory is just awesome.
“I couldn’t have done this without my team,” Pedregon continued. “We complement each other very well. We need to keep going on what we’re doing.”
Pedregon defeated his brother Tony Pedregon in round two, after posting a 4.842-second elapsed time at 314.24 mph. The run was the quickest of the second round. Pedregon then smoked the tires and lost to Jeff Arend in the semifinal.
“I felt we gave one away in the semifinal,” Pedregon said.
“The track got a little slippery and we might have been a little
aggressive. If the car would have hooked up, we liked our chances. But
you have to give Jeff Arend credit because he did what he had to do.”
(5-2-2005) - Larry Morgan was wishing he had a few more NHRA POWERade points. If that were the case, the veteran driver would have raced on Sunday against Kurt Johnson from the 15th spot during the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Instead, by virtue of an NHRA rule, he was a spectator.
This regulation of abbreviated qualifying mandates that any top ten POWERade car is guaranteed a berth. Morgan was bounced from competition in favor of Ron Krisher. If misery enjoys company, Morgan was joined in the bumped drivers by Frank Pedregon, who got tossed in favor of Ron Capps.
The misfortune for Morgan is the event is hosted by a track owned by his sponsor Bruton Smith. The last time this rule was used was in 2002 at the NHRA World Finals.
(5-2-2005) - Renzo Lupinacci became the answer to a trivia question, when he became the first winner of a N.E.T.O./ VtwinPlus.com Nostalgia Eliminator at the fabled Island Dragway in Great Meadows, NJ. In a battle of attrition, Lupinacci outlasted Dr. Joe Miceli to take a 10.715/128.64 MPH win over Miceli's 11.396/119.89 MPH run.
The day started with an iffy weather report, in fact the majority of the racers who attended actually rode through some rain to get to the track. However as each racer inched closer to the "Cabbage Patch", as the track is affectionately known, the weather seemed to get better and better. Upon arrival in the 1960's or so it seems when one drives down the old road next to the Sod Farm, the weather turned to blustery when the sun hid behind the clouds and calm whenever the sun peeked out.
As this was the first race of the year for all four riders involved, it was natural to think that some cobwebs would need to be blown out. However, it began to look like an attack of the arachnids. In the first check-out pass Chris Rasile on the Fast Lane Cycles Sportster ran a 9.72 at 127 MPH. Not bad for a bike with the throttle only opening about 48%. What many people didn't know was that this was a homecoming for the bike as it was originally owned and operated by Bob Mauriello in the mid-1970s. Mauriello resided down the road a piece in Sparta, NJ. The frame was built by Louie Couviello of LAW Automotive and the bike STILL goes straight and true. After Rasile's initial success the gremlins set in.
Renzo Lupinnaci riding a bike built by Vito Sabato, then had the oil fill plug vibrate out during his burnout procedure and began to puke oil out everywhere. Needless to say Renzo shut off and re-grouped. Joe Salvio, also on a Vito Sabato creation, left the line under power but with each shift the bike when flat. This left Vito with some serious tuning to do before the next pass. Ending the round was Dr. Joe Miceli who had a rough time finding first gear and just lost his concentration right off the line when first gear went away.
To borrow and twist a phrase from Herman's Hermits (who just happened to be playing in Hoboken, NJ today as well) "Second pass, same as the first!" This time the gremlins started after Lupinacci made a relatively clean run, breathing a sigh of relief that the lack of oil in the first round didn't arm the motor. But Chris Rasile wasn't as lucky. As he was doing his burnout he felt that something wasn't right as he pulled to the line. And right he was. After launching he plugged second only to have it jump out of gear. Quickly re-shifting to third the transmission once again jumped out of gear and Chris knew his day was over with a broken main shaft in the tranny. Joe Salvio then joined Rasile on the sidelines when he broke his stated motor during start-up. With none of the bikes in competition sharing a starter set-up style it was lights out for the Salvio/Sabato team. Joe Miceli was again having gear problems and never made the round.
Unfortunately this left two motorcycles in competition and only one of them had yet to make a clean run. Knowing that, the pair decided to make it a heads-up run for the fans when they both chose to dial-in at 10.50 for the "final". When the light went green, Lupinacci took a commanding lead off the line as Dr. Joe had no first gear in the bike and was forced to launch in second. Try as he might Miceli could not catch the determined Lupinacci who took his first ever win in competition.
With the cobwebs cleared out the next round of the N.E.T.O./VtwinPlus.com Nostalgia Eliminator will surely be more competitive. With at least two new bikes being completed as we speak and at least one more ready to compete in the next race, competition will become stronger for these old iron warriors.
Stay tuned to VtwinPlus.com as a photo gallery will be posted later this week. - Greg Guarinello
(5-2-2005) – Competitors from all five pro categories on the newly-named NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series turned in record setting performance of both speed and power Sunday, despite the rain-shortened schedule for the fifth annual Nitto NHRA Sport Compact Springnationals.
Jason Hunt earned his first-ever national event victory in the Pro FWD category, while Matt Hartford (Pro RWD), Paul Efantis (Modified), Ron Lummus (Hot Rod) and Jesus Padilla (All Motor), all added to their career victories totals in their respective categories. The $150,000 event was the third of 11 races in the $2.1 million NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series.
The debut event for the recently renamed series faced a challenging start after regional storms cancelled Saturday’s qualifying action, raising the stakes for all racers with only one qualifying round prior to the start of eliminations. Sunday’s start also was delayed due to the wet conditions but clearer skies in the afternoon, plus a condensed racing schedule, allowed for the completion of the event.
Hunt, of Crofton, Md., drove around Pro FWD points leader Ed Bergenholtz in the final round, reaching the finish line in 8.474 seconds at 170.69 mph in his Valvoline SYN Power Saturn Ion for the win. Bergenholtz, winner of the season-opener at Moroso Motorsports Park and in his third consecutive final round, posted a slower pass of 8.638 at 157.08 for his second consecutive runner-up finish. Hunt’s victory makes him the third different Pro FWD winner in as many races and gives the Southern California-based team crucial points towards the 2005 NHRA Xplod world championship.
“It feels great,” said Hunt about his first professional win. “The weather came around and so did we. It was an exciting final and it could have gone either way. We fixed a boost problem from the previous round and the spike in pressure in the final spun the tires hard; I got out of it, saw [Bergenholtz’s] nose and stepped back into it. We almost ruined it for ourselves.”
Matt Hartford captured his third career Pro RWD victory after blasting down the quarter-mile in 6.990 at 197.33, holding off final round opponent Ara Arslanian’s and his performance of 7.066 at 200.14. Driving the Summit Racing Chevy Cavalier, Hartford, from Glendale, Ariz., also captured the Pro RWD No. 1 qualifier award with an event-best time of 6.674 at a track record speed of 213.06.
“We’re happy as we can be,” Hartford said. “It was a matter of doing whatever it was going to take to get the win this weekend. We had a soft tune-up like everybody else and we were surprised to qualify No. 1. I played it safe in the first round after I saw Steph’s red light come on and the second round [against Carlos Montano] was just as hairy, but I just kept feathering the throttle and stayed in front. We took some clutch out for the final round and knew that if we ran a six [second pass] - it would be anybody’s race. We ran a 6.99 and that was just enough to get the win. Once in awhile, we need the luck on our side.”
Efantis, another Maryland resident, remains perfect for the 2005 season with his third consecutive victory in the Modified category. The Ijamsville local drove his Lucas Oil Toyota Solara through the timers in 7.449 at 187.26 against Sean Glazar in the final. Glazar’s race car experienced mechanical problems and coasted to a finish of 15.324 at 67.99. With the victory, his seventh consecutive dating back to the 2004 season, Efantis was able to extend his lead in the NHRA Xplod Modified point standings as the defending world champ sets his sights on his second series crown.
“You can’t be happier with a three-win streak,” Efantis said. “I need to dedicate this to the team. If it wasn’t for their day-to-day work on the Lucas Oil Solara, this wouldn’t be possible. The Jim Justice Engine has been nothing but consistent and Jeff Hunley’s new porting gave us a big edge. Everybody, including my buddy Justin [Humphreys], is stepping up in the class this year and every race is exciting. It should be one of the best Modified seasons ever.”
Humphreys, competing in a Lexus GS300, set the Modified national record for E.T. with his 7.33 pass, which was backed up within the NHRA-mandated 1 percent with his time of 7.37 which he clocked in his first round victory over Jose Mendez.
Lummus was another driver to reach the final round for the third straight event this season, winning the Wally trophy in the Turbo Magazine Hot Rod category. Lummus, a resident of Anaheim, Calif., scored his second victory in three tries following a string of seven-second performances en route to his matchup against Bryan Jimenez. Lummus’ performance of 7.99 at 183 was enough to outrun Jimenez, who posted a 9.80 at 126.93. Driving the Turbo by Garrett Pontiac Sunfire, Lummus also reset both ends of the Hot Rod national record for the second time this season – lowering his previously-set E.T. record to 7.94 while raising the speed record to 184.83.
“I’m pretty excited,” Lummus said. “Running a 7.94 right off the trailer to qualify first was surprising because we were shaking the tires pretty hard. In fact, we were rattling them pretty good all day. The car has been pretty reliable though and the Bothwell Team has the new smaller Garret turbo package worked out nicely. Everything is extremely efficient on this team and I can’t do it without them.”
In the Honda Tuning All Motor category final, 2004 world champion Jesus Padilla’s Mazda RX-7 blasted down the quarter-mile in 9.90 at 132.99 pass to hold off Jeremy Lookofsky’s pass of 12.89 at 69.41 to record his first victory in three final round attempts this season. The Kissimmee, Fla., resident recorded a 9.94 at 132 qualifying pass to lead the All Motor field and continued to record nine-second performances through the final. Padilla shut the clocks off in 9.89 at 132.99 for the win. Padilla’s elapsed time established a track record, which was previously held by Lookofsky, and only four- hundredths of a second slower than the national record held by Charles Madrid.
“I have to thank Central Florida Turbos for this win,” Padilla said. “I wasn’t even planning to race this weekend, but they insisted and sponsored me for the event. We ran the same setup as we usually do for Englishtown, except for adding wheelie bars. The wheelie bars really helped and the car was really consistent. The win was a nice reward for CFT and my other sponsors – NGK, Jerico, MAZDASPEED, Microtech, and of course a lot of friends.”
The 2005 NHRA Xplod Sport Compact Racing Series continues with the Northeast NHRA Sport Compact Nationals, May 14-15, at Atco Raceway in Atco, N.J.
|RACE COVERAGE||PHOTO GALLERIES|
- With a population of about 9,500 people, the rural hamlet of
Clinton, Tennessee is home to drag racing legend and veteran engine tuner
Howard Moon. Moon is leading the Pro Modified team of Tommy Lipar Racing
and the “Dr. Moon’s Rage” ’57 Chevy into battle
this weekend in the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol
Dragway. The event is part of the AMS/TLR Pro Modified Challenge series.
While the moniker of “Doctor” is part of the theme of the Tommy Lipar Racing team, according to some, it is somewhat deserved. Moon and his wife are owners of an optical center in Oak Ridge where he employs several doctors, so the medical world is not foreign to him.
“Tommy [Lipar] and [series director] Kenny Nowling started calling me that, kind of a mad scientist thing - like I’m out of control,” Moon said. “I’m always out of control,” he added with a laugh. “I’ve been doing this for a long time – so it just seems right.”
Out of control probably isn’t the best way to describe the finer points of tuning an engine. More like – extreme control. Moon’s teams have won three national championship titles, eight divisional titles, and he has been honored three times as Crew Chief of the Year in the NHRA and IHRA.
His illustrious career began when he was just a boy, working on his father’s car. While in high school, Moon drove a small fuel-altered car to keep himself busy and learn more about the science of engines and the sport of drag racing. With a short stop in the waters of drag boat racing, Moon moved into the field of engine building and tuning.
At that point, recalled Moon, “I moved back to Tennessee to start working for Terry Mullins, and I haven’t left the state since.”
Moon and his wife raised their daughter in the town, and she has since joined the police force in Oak Ridge. “She’s a policeman – I mean police woman - up in Oak Ridge,” the proud father said.
Currently, Moon is tuning the Pro Modified car driven by rookie Joshua Hernandez. After a thrilling win at Houston in early April, Hernandez has been eliminated in the first round at two consecutive events in Las Vegas and Belle Rose, Louisiana. “Josh spent a lot of time driving an alcohol funny car, and those cars are a lot different than a Pro Mod. We’re working with him to focus on a few things and trying to help him ‘un-learn’ some of the habits he got in the funny car,” Moon said.
Hernandez said, “I really consider it an honor to drive for Howard, and I’m working really hard to keep improving my driving. Every lap down the track I pick up new things, and, with one win to our name this year, we seem to be doing most things right.”
Moon responded, “Josh is a skilled driver – that’s for sure. These cars are difficult to drive, and he’s learning very quickly.”
Moon said that he looks for a win every time he’s at the racetrack, and this weekend is no exception. “This is my home track, but I haven’t had really good luck here so far, so I really want to change that this weekend,” he said.
“I’ve only won up here twice, and I’ve probably been up here ten or fifteen times, so I’d really like to turn things around,” Moon said.
Racing begins at Friday, April 29 at Bristol Motor Speedway with qualifying sessions at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Qualifying continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with the first round of eliminations scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m.
For more information about Tommy Lipar Racing, visit the team website at: www.tommyliparracing.com
(4-29-2005) – National Hot Rod Association officials announced today that San Diego-based Sony Electronics and its Xplôd brand of mobile electronics products will serve as the title sponsor of its sport compact drag racing series.
The newly-named NHRA Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series continues tomorrow and Sunday in Englishtown, N.J. at the Nitto NHRA Sport Compact Spring Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
“We are pleased that Sony Xplôd has increased their involvement beyond the NHRA Stylefest to also encompass sponsorship of the entire racing series,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA’s senior vice president of marketing. “Clearly, Sony has seen the value of being associated with the NHRA Sport Compact Series. Given their increased involvement in 2005 and beyond, we are confident that their expanded participation, both on- and off-site, will position the NHRA Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series for continued growth and success.”
In addition to series sponsorship, Sony will be the presenting sponsor of the on-site NHRA Sound Challenge and the NHRA Sony Xplôd Stylefest. The Xplôd brand also will be designated as the “Official Car Audio” of the NHRA Sport Compact Racing Series.
“The fans who come out to watch the Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series are focused on their cars and are hungry for new technology,” said Andrew Sivori, Sony’s director of marketing for mobile electronics. “They build it into their cars and they build it into their lifestyle. We expect our support of the NHRA Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series to improve the fans overall motor sport experience.”
Under the new agreement, Sony’s Xplôd brand will have the right to promote the stylefest and sound challenge programs with advertising and promotions, which may include Sony’s retail partners.
The deal also includes extensive signage rights at all NHRA Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series events, as well as inclusion in all series marketing, advertising and media activities. The new series logo will appear at the staging line. Sony Xplôd will have an expanded presence in the pit area and custom graphics on the NHRA Xplôd Stylefest stage. There also will be public address announcements at the event, along with Sony Xplôd recognition in both the series and related lifestyle shows, airing exclusively on ESPN2.
All 11 of the NHRA Xplôd Sport Compact Racing Series events are
featured on half-hour shows on a tape-delay basis dedicated to the action
on the track. In addition, ESPN2 will dedicate nine half-hour shows on
consecutive weeks during the fourth quarter of 2005 focusing on the NHRA
Xplôd Stylefest and one show devoted to the NHRA Xplôd Sport
Compact Racing Series Award Ceremony.
(4-29-2005) – If you’ve got a Pro Modified and you’re looking for a place to race on June 4th, then Houston Motorsports Park will be the place to be. From what we understand, the card will feature such names as track record holder Thomas Patterson (4.03, 172) and Doug Palmer. There will be a $3,000 bonus courtesy of Northside Plumbing to the first car into the three-second zone. There will also be Nitro Harleys on hand.
For more information, contact John Romano.
(4-28-2005) - Team Mancuso representatives have conveyed that Steve Stordeur, injured in a high-speed crash during an All Harley Drag Racing Association event in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, has been released from the hospital.
According to team spokesman David Fitzhugh, "His left arm was taped
to his side due to the dislocated shoulder, which has been put back in
place. His right wrist has a split cast on it due to the fractured bone
in his wrist. He has some kind of a cast on his left foot due to the metatarsal
bone that is broken in two places. It is not a walking cast or a hard
cast. The bones appear to be lined up so he will not have to have surgery
if he does not put any weight on his foot and cause the bones to shift.
"It is undecided whether he will go home to Goshen (OH) or come here to Houston (team headquarters) for a few days before going home. He will not be able to use crutches so he will be in a wheelchair, which is going to make air travel very difficult, He underwent therapy which consisted of him getting in and out of the wheelchair. He had to be able to get in and out of a wheelchair before they would release him." (Special thanks to Dave Fitzhugh and Lisa Cranfill for this report)
(4-27-2005) - If not, you should be watching Torco's CompetitionPlusTV.com for some neat video footage from the NHRA Jegs.com Cajun SportsNationals and previous NHRA POWERade events. Producer Matt Brammer has plenty of one-of-a-kind video clips featuring the well-regarded Nurse Tiffany and the segment which asks "What Color Are Her Eyes?"
(4-27-2005) - Dubbed the “Queen of Speed,” Rachelle Splatt will make her return in a state-of-the-art Top Fuel dragster at the Snap-On Tools Nitro Championships event being held at the Western Sydney International Dragway on 13-15 May.
Splatt set the drag racing world alight in the early 1990s, winning the Australian Nationals on debut, setting both national and international records, along with also becoming the first female driver in the world to break the 300mph (480km/h) barrier.
She retired from racing in early 2000 to concentrate on her family and now she and husband Wayne Lusk are the proud parents of three children – daughter Kayla (6) and sons, Jayden (4) and Dylan (1).
“Racing has always been a part of my life, but Wayne and I needed some time to concentrate on our family. Everything at home is now the way it should be, our family is complete, so the time is right to return to racing,” Splatt said.
In addition to motherhood, Splatt also has a career as general manager of Dragway Performance Engineering, a business established by her father, champion drag racing veteran Ian Splatt, in the late 1960s.
“Juggling work and family can be difficult, but it is made easier by being organised, having systems in place and having great support from our family and staff members,” Splatt said.
“Now that I’m racing again there’s something else to juggle, but any mother will tell you if you can handle three kids then anything else is a breeze, especially a 300mph race car!”
Splatt first rose to prominence in late 1992 when, despite calls of protest from her male peers, she bypassed drag racing’s lower, ‘learning’ categories and jumped straight into the seat of a Top Fuel dragster to earn her racing licence.
Just a few months later in March 1993, Splatt set the drag racing world on its ear when she not only redefined the performance standards for the sport in this country with a quickest ever pass of 5.20 seconds for the standing quarter-mile at a national record-setting speed of 273 miles per hour, but for also winning the prestigious Australian National Championships on debut.
Splatt’s stunning performance earned worldwide praise and caught the attention of a major professional team in the U.S., earning her a full-time and fully sponsored drive in the Luxor Casino dragster on the lucrative NHRA drag racing tour for the 1994 season.
While there, Splatt became the first woman to crack the 300mph barrier (480km/h) with a ‘spot on’ terminal speed of 300.00mph while racing in Houston, Texas; the achievement earning her membership in the elite Slick 50 300mph Club.
“To have my name listed with some of the greats of the sport in the U.S. remains the highlight of my career; there were only 16 spots available in the club and I am the only Australian and only female member – it was something I’d never dreamed possible,” Splatt said.
Splatt says that her acceptance by her male counterparts back home changed following her historic performance.
“From the beginning I was accepted I suppose, but I was still always ‘the girl’. When I broke the 300mph barrier it all changed for the better after that.”
In 1995, Splatt returned home to set up her own team and contest the Australian Top Fuel Championship Series. She continued racing until 2000 before retiring.
In a brief, one-off appearance at the Quit Motorplex near Perth in 2003, she recorded the track’s first ever four-second pass, setting the track record to 4.96 seconds.
Splatt’s comeback will be made at the wheel of a state-of-the-art Top Fuel dragster which recently landed in Australia. The car produces approximately 7,000 horsepower and has recorded a best time of 4.57 seconds for the standing quarter-mile with a best terminal speed of 325 miles per hour (523km/h).
While a major sponsor is yet to be signed, associate sponsorship will come from Dragway Performance Engineering, Bob Jane T-Marts, Smart Aluminium, Dickies and The Creative Ones.
(4-27-2005) -- Point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional
categories following the 35th annual IHRA Spring Nationals presented by
Advance Auto Parts and Castrol at Rockingham Dragway, the second of 12
events in the 2005 Hooters IHRA Drag Racing Series -
1. Clay Millican, 244; 2. Rick Cooper, 175; 3. Doug Foley, 161; 4. Bruce Litton, 157; 5. Louie Allison, 128; 6. Bobby Lagana Jr., 99; 7. (tie) Paul Athey, 96; Roger Dean, 96; 9. Mitch King, 85; 10. Chris Karamesines, 69.
1. Quain Stott, 181; 2. Shannon Jenkins, 159; 3. Ed Hoover, 157; 4. Al Billes, 140; 5. Dennis Radford, 132; 6. Jim Halsey, 131; 7. Harold Martin, 93; 8. Eddie Ware, 90; 9. Rickie Smith, 77; 10. Charles Carpenter, 76.
1. Mark Thomas, 199; 2. Rob Atchison, 166; 3. Chris Foster, 132; 4. Thomas Carter, 120; 5. (tie) Terry McMillen, 113; Jim Sickles, 113; 7. Terry Munroe, 112; 8. Melinda Green-King, 97; 9. Mark Poyser, 89; 10. Tony Bogolo, 59.
1. Steve Spiess, 170; 2. Daniel Seamon, 150; 3. Jerry Haas, 149; 4. Robert Patrick, 144; 5. Pete Berner, 136; 6. Brian Gahm, 130; 7. John Nobile, 114; 8. Elijah Morton, 103; 9. Frank Gugliotta, 90; 10. John Montecalvo, 89.
- Seven winners of the JEG'S.com NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals are
now eyeing an even bigger and much more elusive prize – the inaugural
Jeg’s Crown trophy. The seven competitors – Mike Ashley, Michael
Johnson, Hugh Meeks III, Jeff Strickland, Mike Coughlin, Scotty Richardson
and Sid Norwood – who shared the winner’s circle at the recently
completed second annual Jegs.com NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem
Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La, can win the Jeg’s Crown by claiming
a second win at the Jeg’s Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus,
Ohio, July 28-31.
Any driver who sweeps both SPORTSnationals events can earn the Jeg’s Crown, a one-of-a-kind trophy that was handcrafted by artist Dan Dreisbach, who also works as a fabricator for Team Rahal.
Capturing the Jeg’s Crown will not be an easy task for anyone, but one driver who appears to have the best chance is Mike Ashley, the winner of the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod event in Belle Rose. Ashley has opened the season with three final round appearances with his Torco Race Fuels Mustang.
“First of all this is a beautiful trophy and anyone would be proud to own it,” said Ashley. “Winning one of these races is hard enough, but to win two would be extra special. Jeg’s is also a big part of our team, which makes it even more meaningful. Our team will probably do some testing in Columbus this summer; just to make sure we are prepared.”
For Super Comp champ Coughlin, the chance to win the Jeg’s Crown is especially rewarding since he is a member of the famed Coughlin family, who operate the Jeg’s Mail Order business.
“When we unveiled this trophy and saw how cool it was, we joked that it would be nice to keep it in-house,” said Coughlin, who won his first national event in more than a year when he claimed the Super Comp title in Belle Rose. “Now we have the opportunity to do just that. Winning this [Cajun SPORTSnationals] was great, but to win in Columbus, our home track, and to win the Jeg’s Crown would be the ultimate.”
Belle Rose Super Gas winner Richardson has won five NHRA national championships and has earned nearly every other major honor available to a sportsman racer during his Hall of Fame career. He agrees that the Jeg’s Crown would make a nice addition to his overstocked trophy case.
“It would be awesome to win both races and earn that trophy,” said Richardson. “Jeg’s has supported me throughout my career and in turn, I support anything that they’re involved in. I don’t race many NHRA national events anymore, but I am certainly planning to be in Columbus this summer.”
Some of the champions at the Cajun Sports Nationals, including Comp winner
Johnson, Super Stock champ Meeks, and Super Street victor Norwood, weren’t
initially planning to attend the Northern SPORTSnationals, but they are
now modifying their summer travel plans to include a trip to National
“Anytime you’ve got an opportunity to win something this prestigious, you’ve got to go for it,” said Johnson. “We’re definitely considering a trip to Ohio now. It would be quite an honor to win both events.”
Stock winner Strickland added, “Jeg’s has gone out of their way to make these [SPORTSnationals] events special. That [Jeg’s Crown] trophy is just another example of them going the extra mile for the racers. I didn’t think about the trophy until I won this weekend, but now I’ll be gunning for it in Columbus.”
(4-27-2005) – NHRA officials announced today that Garrett Turbos, the worldwide leader in manufacturing high performance turbochargers, has been named the Official Turbocharger for the NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing Series.
The official marketing partnership increases Garrett’s participation in the five-year-old series. Garrett Turbos also is the primary sponsor of the Bothwell Motorsports entry driven by Ron Lummus, who set the national record for elapsed time (7.99 seconds) and speed (182.33 mph) in the Hot Rod category at the 2005 season-opener at Moroso Motorsports Park.
“We look forward to generating even more awareness and recognition for Garrett Turbos performance through this official marketing partnership with the NHRA,” said Andrew Nunn, director of Garrett Aftermarket. “We are proud to support the turbocharged sportsman competitors from the NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing Series. We have been involved with NHRA for several years and we are certain that increasing our involvement with this official marketing program is going to provide us with a bigger platform to reach our target demographic. We believe it will have a direct impact on our sales and marketing efforts everywhere we do business.”
(4-27-2005) - Race fans attending the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend at Bristol Dragway, the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac on May 12 - 15 at Atlanta Dragway, or the Pontiac Performance Nationals presented by Summit Racing in Columbus, Ohio, on May 19 -22, will have an opportunity to win a piece of motorsports history.
For the eighth consecutive year, the Central Ohio Pontiac dealers will raise money for the Columbus Children's Hospital by raffling a Simpson Racing helmet signed by nearly 40 NHRA racers from the NHRA POWERade tour. Fans attending the Dave Gill Pontiac-GMC NHRA Fanfest in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, May 18, will also have a chance to enter the contest.
To register, contestants will donate one dollar for each entry form they submit at the Pontiac-GMC display on the NHRA Manufacturers' Midway. Special giveaways to contestants are also part of the helmet raffle. The helmet winner will be announced before the final round of the Pontiac Performance Nationals at National Trail Raceway on Sunday, May 22, and all proceeds collected from the raffle will go to the Children's Hospital. The winner does not need to be present on the day of the drawing and will have the helmet shipped to their home.
Founded in 1892, Children's Hospital, Inc. has developed into one of the largest and most sophisticated health care centers in the country, having more than 300,000 patient visits annually. Children's delivers high quality, cost effective care to all children, from newborns through age 21, regardless of patients' ability to pay. Last year, the helmet giveaway raised nearly $7,800 for Children's, a hospital recognized as one of the nation's premier pediatric care centers.
"Over the last seven years we've enjoyed raising money for Children's Hospital and have had tremendous success with this program," said Fred Simmonds, GM Group Manager for Drag Racing. "This is a great opportunity for those involved in our sport to pitch in for a good cause, and if you're a race fan, you couldn't ask for a better prize. The helmet fund raiser and drivers' visit lets us give something back to the community, to the Children's Hospital and to the kids there who are very special to us."
On Thursday, May 19, a group of GM racers will visit Children's Hospital
to sign autographs and meet some of the kids and hospital staff. Warren
Johnson's GM Performance Parts Pontiac Pro Stock car will also be there
on display. The 41st annual Pontiac Performance Nationals presented by
Summit Racing on May 19-22 is the eighth race on the 23-event NHRA POWERade
Drag Racing tour.
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