Glen Gray, NHRA’s Vice President, Technical Operations, confirmed to Competition Plus Friday, John Force Racing, Alan Johnson Racing, which manages the two-car Top Fuel operation of the Al-Anabi Racing Team, and Bob Tasca III’s Funny Car team were all fined by NHRA for modifying parts without NHRA’s approval.
“They submitted parts and those parts were approved,” Gray said. “Then they modified the parts without getting approval. That’s what they were fined for.”
Gray said Force was fined $10,000 - $2,500 for having unapproved modified parts on each of his team’s four Funny Cars. AJR was fined $5,000, $2,500 for each dragster and Tasca was fined $2,500 for having the unapproved modified part on his team’s lone nitro Funny Car.
“The parts on Force’s cars and Tasca’s car were approved mid last year and the parts that were approved on Alan Johnson’s cars were approved several years ago,” Gray said. “Then they modified those parts this season without getting approval (from NHRA). They were detected between races right before we went to Bristol, (Tenn.) June 15-17. I saw them in a picture (the unapproved modified parts of all three teams) after Englishtown (May 31-June 3).”
According to Gray, he called and informed John Force Racing and Alan Johnson Racing of their fines on Wednesday. Gray called Tasca Thursday.
“The phone calls were backed up by letters,” Gray said.
Johnson had the following comment about NHRA’s fine.
“Our modification to the injector was for clearance issues and not for a competitive advantage,” Johnson said. “We accept the fine for not properly notifying the NHRA tech department of the modification.”
Force had no comment on the issue.
Gray cited a similar example when Don Schumacher Racing’s U.S. Army dragster driven by Tony Schumacher didn’t pass a post run tech inspection following Top Fuel’s second qualifying session April 27 at the Spring Nationals at Houston.
“The Army car at Houston had modified a part without approval and it was detected at the race track so they lost a run,” Gray said.
Schumacher’s 3.778-second qualifying run was nullified.
Gray also addressed allegations of NHRA teams using traction control devices.
“We are aggressively looking for anything that is not legal, including traction control,” Gray said. “We have not (caught anybody) in Top Fuel and Funny Car (for using traction control devices). We have had in the past, traction control spotted out on Sportsman classes nothing this year though.”
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