U.S. Army Dragster driver Tony Schumacher still has the highest respect for former crew chief Mike Green – and the highest hopes for that same kind of success with new tuner Mike Neff.
“Mike Green and the entire Army team, we had a lot of success over the years. We had a lot of great years. The last two weren’t as spectacular as we had hoped. I think, myself, even Mike Green, the Army, we just expected better results and we had to make a change,” Schumacher said.
“Mike is an incredibly capable guy, a fantastic crew chief, a great team leader, and everything about him is good. But we had to make a change. We needed to see results, and we were running out of time for that,” he said.
Even though he knew a switch was inevitable, Schumacher said at first he resisted not Neff himself but the notion.
The distance, by coincidence, was a quarter-mile. Jeg Coughlin had traveled 1,320 feet many, many times, but this trip was different. He was on foot, carrying the Olympic torch through his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, as part of the relay preceding the Winter Games at Salt Lake City. In later years he competed against NASCAR stars in the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Challenge to raise critical funding for the U.S. Bobsled team. In 2010, he was a guest of Team USA at the Winter Games at Vancouver.
So with the kickoff of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, opening this same weekend as the Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Coughlin reminisced.
Written by Susan Wade, photos by Dave Kommel, Jeff Burghardt Mon, 2018-02-12 18:00
Newly crowned NHRA Top Fuel champion Brittany Force got a rude awakening in Round 1 of the season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.
Her Monster Energy Dragster hit both guard walls hard at about 150 mph during her race against Terry Haddock. Force was conscious and alert when emergency personnel reached her, and she exited the dragster. But she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Written by Larry Crum, photos by Roger Richards, Dave Kommel Mon, 2018-02-12 12:00
It is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar. A win here can make your season and place you onto a who’s who list of drivers that have accomplished the feat in the 57 prior trips at the southern California track.
Written by Susan Wade, photos by Roger Richards, Dave Kommel Mon, 2018-02-12 12:00
A number of factors played into Jim Oberhofer’s decision to give up a prestigious Vice-President title at Kalitta Motorsports.
Not the least of them is this yearning to give Doug Kalitta the NHRA Top Fuel championship he has come so close to seizing. He has 44 Wally trophies. He has raced in 92 final rounds. His victories total is fifth-best in class history. He earned the 1994 USAC Sprint Car championship. He has a lovely family in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a charter airlines business that keeps him busy nearly nonstop.
Written by Susan Wade, photos by Dave Kommel, Jeff Burghardt Mon, 2018-02-12 11:00
Brittany Force found out the brutally hard way Sunday that an 11,000-horsepower, nitromethane-powered Top Fuel dragster is no respecter of newly crowned champions.
A violent, wall-tagging crash that sent her to a local hospital for evaluation triggered a rash of engine explosions and accidents that marred the first round of nitro eliminations at the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.
When Jim Oberhofer started working for Kalitta Motorsports, Doug Kalitta was the bottom-end specialist for uncle / boss Connie Kalitta’s Top Fuel dragster. Oberhofer is in his 10th season as crew chief for Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools Dragster. They won their first event together in 2009, and now Oberhofer has stepped down from his position as Kalitta Motorsports Vice-President to concentrate on his crew-chief duties and giving his driver, a 43-time winner, his first title. The team’s goals, Oberhofer said, are “to win a championship, plain and simple.”
He said to do so “would be very special. Doug’s more than just a driver to me. He’s like a brother. We’ve had a lot of great times and some struggles here, as well. I’ve been with the Kalitta organization for 30 years. We’ve always had great drivers here at Kalitta Motorsports, because that’s what Connie has wanted. We’ve been fortunate over the years to have some great drivers, and this group that we have right now is special. They’ve won a lot of races between them. The talent here is unbelievable. We all work together. We’re one team with four cars.”
Sunday's final Sportsman results from the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The race is the first of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
Point standings (top 10) following the 58th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the first of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -