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DAVID RAMPY LEAVES DRAG RACING ON HIS TERMS

 

The impact of his decision has yet to hit David Rampy. 

Rampy, the 100-time NHRA national event winner, concluded his career as a team owner on Sunday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Ca., with a runner-up in Competition Eliminator. It was the first time since 1986 the multi-time sportsman champion had finished a season without a national event victory. 

"I really don't know how much I am going to miss it because that was the last race, so I probably won't feel the effects until the season starts next year," Rampy admitted.

TORRENCE TAKES ANOTHER TITLE BUT ACHIEVEMENT OVERSHADOWED

 

Ribbing Steve Torrence when she zoomed to within 16 points of him by winning the NHRA Top Fuel trophy Nov. 3 at Las Vegas, Brittany Force said, “Bet ya Steve-O is shaking in his boots.”

In pre-race ceremonies last Sunday at Pomona, just before he set out to repeat his 2018 series championship, Torrence declared, “These boots aren’t shakin’. They’re stomping today.”

Regrettably, Torrence stomped on his own hard-earned, well-deserved reputation as one of the steeliest single-team-overachiever drag racing ever has seen. An ugly exchange with first-round opponent Cameron Ferré marred his accomplishment of joining legends Don Garlits, Joe Amato, the late Scott Kalitta, Gary Scelzi, Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, and Antron Brown as the eighth Top Fuel driver to record back-to-back championships.

HOUSTON RACEWAY PARK MOVING FORWARD AS PLANNED

In drag racing circles, there has been some recent talk about the future of Houston Raceway Park.

On Thursday, a Houston Raceway Park spokesman told Competition Plus the real estate of Houston Raceway Park was sold but not the business.

UPDATED: PRO MODIFIED ICON JOHNNY ROCCA PASSES

 

Johnny Rocca, best known for his exploits in Gasser racing and later Pro Modified, died on November 19, 2019, following an extended illness.

Rocca, 77, passed away peacefully at his Winchester, Va., home, surrounded by his family.

STRUTMASTERS RENEWS AS MAJOR ASSOCIATE SPONSOR FOR JUSTIN ASHLEY

 

Strutmasters and Justin Ashley Racing have renewed their marketing partnership for the 2020 season as rookie driver Justin Ashley makes a run for the Auto Club Road to the Future Award. 

Strutmasters, the specialty company founded by Chip Lofton, signed with Ashley before the 24-year old driver had turned a tire in Top Fuel competition. Ashley's performance record in three races behind the wheel of the Dustin Davis Motorsports dragster, which included a semi-final finish and three round wins, impressed Lofton, almost as much as the team's professionalism. 

THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, OZUBKO HAS ADJUSTED TO SERVE THE INDUSTRY

 

Greg Ozubko has always had the soul of an entrepreneur.

From a simple start drawing cars as a kid of “five or six,” Ozubko turned his passion for art, business and drag racing into a career. As a teen, he sold the pieces he produced at home -- and school, as it would turn out -- to the competitors at his home track in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

That led him into the field of racecar design, then apparel, and today, in Alpharetta, Georgia, the 55-year-old Ozubko is among the leaders in his field. GOS Motorsports Graphics employs a half-dozen employees -- seven when the workload is heavy -- to keep pace with the demand.

AUSTIN PROCK NAMED 2019 AUTO CLUB ROAD TO THE FUTURE AWARD WINNER

 

Austin Prock, driver of the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing was named the Auto Club Road to the Future Award, NHRA’s Rookie of the Year Award, winner at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards banquet at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together. My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn't have done it without them,” Prock said. “I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight. They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

TONY SCHUMACHER NOT GIVING UP ON RACING AGAIN

 

Just as when the drag-racing community convened at Pomona in February, the Top Fuel class is doing so without eight-time champion Tony Schumacher, whose 19-year U.S. Army sponsorship vanished at the end of the 2018 season. He hasn’t competed since this race a year ago, when he was runner-up to Steve Torrence and finished second in the final standings.

But Schumacher insists he remains committed to driving again – and soon, he hopes. And he still said he and his Don Schumacher Racing marketing experts are more interested in finding a compatible business partner with whom the race team can work on a B2B basis.

CONSISTENCY KEY AS HIGHT COLLECTS THIRD FUNNY CAR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

At the 2019 NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona back in February, Robert Hight came out swinging with the quickest pass on day one of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. On day two he collected his first pole position of the year. On day three, he hoisted in first Wally.

Fast forward nine months and 23 races later and Hight ended the 2019 season exactly the way he started it – right at the top.

PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR ENDERS IN COLLECTING THIRD PRO STOCK TITLE

For the longest time, many wondered if Erica Enders would ever return to championship form.

Heck, even Enders herself wondered if she would ever be that same cutthroat, championship driver that took the Pro Stock world by storm with back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015.

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