:::::: News ::::::


mmps_30_logo_220.jpgRickie Smith thought he was in big time trouble. He had just made what he thought was a strong run when an IHRA official walked up to his car and told him “they want to see you on the starting line.”
“What for?” Smith asked.
The official said nothing as he attached a towrope to Smith’s 1978 Mustang II and proceeded to tow him to the starting line. Every conceivable thought ran through his head as the ATV slowly churned its way up the return road in front of the crowd.
Smith gradually noticed the cheers of the crowd gathered at Rockingham Dragway for the 1980 IHRA U.S. Open Nationals. He surmised that he had done something “pretty good.”
What Smith didn’t know immediately is that he’d performed a feat that no other Pro Stock driver had been able to accomplish in national event-legal trim. Not even Bob Glidden, Bill Jenkins, Ronnie Sox, or Warren Johnson had pulled off what he did.


yatesDSB_0365.jpgPontiac's Jim Yates is hoping some midyear performance improvements in his Wiley
X Eyewear GTO will be just what the doctor ordered to secure a 15th career
top-10 finish. The veteran driver needs to get around a pair of pretty
formidable opponents with only three races remaining on the NHRA schedule, and
putting together a string of round wins at this weekend's 2nd annual Torco
Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals would go a long way in securing the desired outcome
for the resident of nearby Occoquan, Va.

"Right now we're excited," said
Yates. "We've come down to the end of the year, and we're in position to get a
top-10 finish and maybe get a race win. It's the same excitement you get at the
beginning of the season. It's so close that we feel like we can achieve it, and
we're going to do our best at the next three races to get there. 

of the exciting things for us is to be a player in the Countdown. Not that we
are actually competing for the championship, but if we perform to our potential
we can have a lot of fun, and make or break it for some of the racers in the
Countdown. Being a spoiler is certainly a good reason to get out of bed and go
to work everyday. It makes it kind of fun. They put these Countdown cars up on a
pedestal, and we want to knock the legs off those pedestals and bring them back
down to earth a little bit. The last six or seven races we've had a pretty
strong showing. Bill Jenkins is working up there in Malvern, Pa., rebuilding
engines and giving us a good strong horse to ride." 

Since late June,
the Wiley X Eyewear Pontiac has run markedly better than it did during the first
half of the season and the results have put Yates in position for a strong
finish to 2007. Currently 11th in the standings, Yates has advanced beyond the
first round in five of his last six starts including a semifinal round run at
Memphis and a No. 2 qualifying effort, his best of the year, at Indianapolis.
That has moved him to within 10 points of 10th-place V. Gaines and to within 52
points of ninth-place Richie Stevens Jr.



UPDATE 10 - 2  10:30 PM, CST - John Force got a reality check Tuesday and the 14-time NHRA Funny Car Champion
found he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

 Faced with the knowledge that he can’t put weight on a badly broken left
ankle for at least 60 days and the realization that his severely damaged right
knee and foot simply won’t hold him up, Force finally acquiesced to the wishes
of orthopedic surgeons treating him at Baylor University Medical Center.
 The upshot is that the injured icon will remain at Baylor for an
undermined amount of time under the supervision of trauma specialist Dr. Michael
Foreman, orthopedic traumatologist Dr. Alan Jones and orthopedic surgeon Dr.
David Zehr and immediately will embark on a more intense physical therapy
 Although, with assistance, he has been up on his feet since the Sept. 23rd
accident at the Texas Motorplex that left him seriously injured for the first
time in his 30-year career, reports that the 125-time tour winner has been
walking have been greatly exaggerated. 


Miller Electric Mfg. Co. has been
named the “Official Welding Equipment supplier of Cagnazzi Racing”.

"With our in
house chassis fabrication department it is important to have the best welding
equipment in the industry," Dan Pikarsky, Team marketing Manager said. "Our Chassis department takes pride in the workmanship
as well as the craftsmanship on each race car chassis we build. We don’t have an
assembly line operation here at Cagnazzi Racing, we hand fabricate each part of
our race cars in house. When it comes time to secure the pieces with smooth
welds and proper heating for maximum strength and safety we choose Miller
Welders. "


mwscscHAMP.jpgAs the twentieth season draws to a close for the Midwest Super Comp
Series, with one race left remaining, Dave Livesey clinched the 2007
championship. Livesey led the points standings from the first of the
season by winning four of the first five races.


swingle.jpgConnie Swingle, one of the true pioneers of drag racing, passed away Sept. 29, peacefully in his home in Oklahoma City, Okla.,
the city of his birth. He was 72. Swingle had health problems for the
last 10 years and finally succumbed to cancer. His faithful nurse,
Virginia, was at his side.

After serving in the Air Force in the late 1950s, he moved to Tampa Fla.,
and arrived at Garlits Automotive Inc. in 1960 and began welding and
became one of the best welders in the world. Don Garlits' Swamp Rat
III-A had been started, so “Swingle,” as he liked to be called,
finished the project and took the new chrome moly car on tour. Swingle
won many races with the car, the biggest being the Hot Rod Drags at
Riverside Raceway in 1962.

Swingle was instrumental in the success of the Garlits chassis
business from 1961 through 1964, at which time Garlits relocated to Troy, Mich., a suburb of Detroit.

Swingle went west and joined up with the
“Old Master,” Ed Pink. Driving Pink's AA/FD, Swingle enjoyed his
biggest win at Fontana Dragstrip in the fall of 1965, when he beat
Garlits in the final for the Mickey Thompson 200 mph Meet and took home
all the gold, about $10,000, a very large purse for that era.


Ed "Ace" McCulloch will be the Grand Marshall at the 16th annual California
Hot Rod Reunion October 12 through 14 at the AAA Auto Club Raceway in
Bakersfield, California. A special reception will take place on that Friday
night at 7pm in a huge suite at the Double Tree Hotel. At 9 pm, just outside of
the hotel, a special fire-up by the Ace will take place in the 1965
Northwind fuel dragster.
This car started Ed's storied career in the sport when he drove it to beat "Sneaky" Pete Robinson for the #1 spot
in the nation back then. The car was found in Canada by Jack Coonrod and with a
group of 40 people, over a 16 month period, rebuilt the car to give "Ace" "one
day in the sun" after his long bout with cancer.


At this weekend’s, Oct. 5-7, annual running of the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA
Nationals at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., Doug Kalitta,
driver of the 330-mph, “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, is looking forward
to seeing “329” next to his name Sunday, and not necessarily in the illumination
of the light bulbs of the finish line scoreboard at VMR.

At the previous event in Dallas, Kalitta reached the 325-round win milestone
in the Top Fuel class, drag racing’s quickest and fastest racing division. He is
hoping to add four more to that total this weekend and pick up a long overdue
win for him and his Mac Tools team in the 2007 POWERade Drag Racing Series.


Terry McMillen, driver of the Foley/Lewis Torco Nitro Top Fuel Dragster
backed by Evan Knoll, will make his NHRA debut this week at the Torco
Race Fuels NHRA Nationals October 5-7. The race held at Virginia
Motorsports Park is one that McMillen has been looking forward to all
year long.

"We circled these dates on our calendar right away," McMillen said.
"Evan Knoll does so much for drag racing and this is one of the many
events that he sponsors, so we wanted to be here to support him and to
gets some Top Fuel NHRA experience."
"I'm lucky enough to work along side of Evan at Torco," McMillen
continued. "He's really a great guy to work with. When it comes to
racing, no one does it better. He gives us the best tools to work with
and now this opportunity to race with the best of the best. It's pretty


CompetitionPlus.com has confirmed that IHRA alcohol Funny Car racer Dale
Brand’s business was affected by a tornado that hit Sully, Iowa.

Brand was racing this
weekend in Budds Creek, Md., when the severe weather hit his Co-Line
Manufacturing business sending sheet metal flying and damaging walls. Debris
from the accident reportedly wrapped around nearby homes.

No one was in the building
or at home when the storm hit and no injuries were reported.

Brand has made a
triumphant return to the IHRA Funny Car class in qualifying No. 1 during the
last two events.

Torco's CompetitionPlus.com has tried unsuccessful to reach Brand for comment.