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


edmcculloch.jpgOh, what Ed “Ace”
McCulloch would give for access to one of those miracle weight-loss
products.  You know the ones.  Their commercials proliferate late-night
television:  “Lose 60 pounds in 60 Days,

Easy Way

or “I lost (pick a number) pounds on the so-and-so weight-loss plan and so did
my wife.”

But alas, none is
applicable for McCulloch because the extra baggage isn’t around his hips.  It belongs to the NAPA Auto Parts Dodge
Charger that he tunes and Ron Capps drives.

New Funny Car rules
legislated this year piled on 100 extra pounds raising the minimum weight to
2,555 pounds, a number the former Funny Car and Top Fuel driver finds
overwhelming.  His gripe, he points out,
isn’t with the safety aspect.

“I’m all for safety,” said
McCulloch.  “I’m all for making these
cars safer. If we have to have a stronger car – which we do – I’m all for what
we have to do.”

McCulloch, a drag racing
veteran who began his successful driving career at the wheel of a late 1960s
push-started, front-motored Top Fuel dragster like everyone else drove at the
time, does have a few suggestions.


The following are the final pre-entries received for the 9th annual CSR Eastern Spring Test Nationals presented by Torco's CompetitionPlus.com hosted by South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga. 


hagan.jpgMatt Hagan’s vision for driving a Funny
Car went beyond what his mind could imagine. In a month, the former Pro
Modified driver will realize his dream when he fires his Torco-sponsored Funny
Car during the IHRA Texas Nationals in San Antonio, Texas.

Some of the grandest plans have humble
beginnings and for Hagan, a simple trip to watch the local racing at Elk Creek
Dragway located in the small town of Elk Creek, Virginia ignited his interest
in piloting a race car. Eight years old at the time, the visit had such a
profound affect on the youngster, Hagan was racing four-wheelers five years
later on Friday nights.

Once Matt was old enough to get a driver's
license, his father, David, invested in a drag car for his aspiring son.

“When I was 16 I got my first Chevy Nova,”
Hagan recalled. “I really didn’t know anything about race cars. The car was all
cleaned up and you could tell the guy who was selling it took good care of it.
He was telling me all about the car in terms that were Greek to me. I was in
way over my head. He could have sold me the biggest piece of junk in the world
and I would have been happy with it. Fortunately, it turned out to be a pretty
good car.

“We ran that car for about a year, then
decided to do some local Quick 8 races,” he said, continuing with his story.
“We bought another car, an old Trans Am with a 632 nitrous motor and two stages
of spray. We ran with a bunch of local guys and won a couple of races.


Dunkin signs test deal for
two races with David Powers Motorsports and development driver Zach Beard …


The Boston Business
Journal reports Top Fuel team owner David Powers will represent Dunkin Donuts for
at least two races in 2008 as part of a test sponsorship. The Canton,
Mass.-based Dunkin Donuts also struck a deal with DPM developmental driver Zach

The marketing agreement
lists the NHRA Gatornationals (Gainesville, Fla.) and the NHRA Southern Nationals (Atlanta, Ga.)
as the two races for the special program.


Top Fuel driver Antron Brown will visit Indiana State University (ISU) on March
5 to speak with students about careers in motor sports. The visit supports ISU’s
Team Sycamore Racing program. A question and answer session will follow Brown’s

Team Sycamore Racing (TSR) was
launched in January 2007 to give ISU students affiliated with the race team
experience in operating, managing and driving the TSR Super Comp dragster. The
team is advised by Randell Peters, assistant professor of industrial and
mechanical technology and coordinator of the automotive technology management

“I’m looking forward to speaking to
the students at Indiana State (University) and to motivate them to
pursue and achieve their goals in earning a career in motor sports,” Brown said.
“It feels good to give back and mentor these future racing professionals. I
never experienced anything like this in my younger days. I hope I can offer up
some useful advice.”


The following are the pre-entries received for the 9th annual CSR Eastern Spring Test Nationals presented by Torco's CompetitionPlus.com hosted by South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Ga. 


John Buttera, who left his stamp upon the drag racing world in the
1970s by building a series of winning Funny Cars and dragsters, created
some of hot rodding's most beautiful street rods of the 1980s and
1990s, and built the first billet wheels, died March 2 after a long
battle with cancer. He was 67.

Buttera began his career in his native Kenosha, Wis., when he teamed
with Dennis Rollain to form R & B Chassis. They fielded a very
light unblown fuel dragster, but a chance meeting with Mickey Thompson
in the staging lanes at the U.S. Nationals lin the late 1960s led him
to move to Southern California, changing his life forever.

After initially working for Thompson on his Ford-powered Land Speed
Record streamliner, he built Thompson's blue Mustang Funny Car in which
Danny Ongais dominated the 1969 season. He then opened his own chassis
shop in Cerritos, Calif., where he built a radical streamlined dragster
for Barry Setzer. His talents soon led such customers such as Don “The
Snake” Prudhomme, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, Don Schumacher, and
Shirley Muldowney to his door for both dragsters and Funny Cars. He
built Schumacher's 1970 Indy-winning Funny Car, the Hot Wheels entries
of Prudhomme and McEwen, the national record-setting Braskett &
Burgin Vega, and many, many more.


Atascadero, California-based reader Troy Berg scored the winner in our later informal "Name The Caption" competition. 


The prospects of Rickie Smith racing his new Chevrolet Cobalt Pro
Stocker in 2008 are slim, but that didn't stop him from showcasing the
potential of the car during the Mid-South Street Nationals in Memphis,
Tennessee. This triumph came in the maiden entry of the car.

event marked the first exposure for Smith the Outlaw Pro Street
division and although he didn't know what to expect initially, he
quickly found his groove with a 6.33 elapsed time at over 220 mph. This
came during a Friday afternoon test and tune.


Brett ‘The Boss’ Stevens from the
Jack Daniel’s Racing team was the standout performer over weekend at the Westernationals Drag Racing Championship
with a dominating display in the Top Doorslammer bracket, with teammate Troy
McLean also taking out Top Bike.


In front of a huge crowd at the Perth Motorplex,
Stevens lead from the start with a 6.02 second Top Qualifying effort before
charging through the Elimination rounds with consistent 6.0 and 6.1 second
passes at over 240 mph to take home the winners trophy.


In addition, he also took away the event low ET (6.01
seconds) and high mph (243.24 mph/391.45 kph) bonus points and has catapulted
himself to second place in the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship Series with
just two rounds remaining.


“We had a plan as a team coming into the
Westernationals to back up Kath’s (Stevens) World Record performances from
Sydney two weeks ago here in Perth with some good
results and I think we have definitely done that,” Stevens