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S&W PERFORMANCE GROUP OWNER & FOUNDER WALT WENEY PASSES

The Weney family announced devoted husband, father of four children, accomplished businessman and drag racer, Walter Weney Jr., passed away peacefully on May 15th , 2020.
 
Walt was born in Pennsylvania, during the 1930’s and from an early age he was determined to make his mark on the world. Weney was 22 years old when he teamed up with friend and racing partner, Jim Amole, to launch S&W Speed Shop, in 1959. They quickly became recognized for producing state-of-the-art drag racing chassis and components. The sport continued to grow and so did S&W, by 1964 they were able to move their speed shop out of Walt Sr.’s 15 ft. x 20 ft. basement garage, into the first of three stand alone S&W Race Cars & Components manufacturing facilities. In addition to building his company, Walt won many races, championships and set drag racing records from the 1950’s until the early 1980’s. He was also the recipient of numerous racing industry achievement awards. In 1994, Weney expanded S&W to its current 27,000 sq.ft. size and continued to add new equipment and technologies, until his retirement in 2005. Even though he ‘handed the keys’ to the next generation, Walt continued to lend support from behind the scenes and attended the drag races whenever he could. He credited much of his success to his wife of 66 years, Vonda, their children, talented employees, business partners and loyal customers.

STEVIE "FAST" WOOOS THEM AT WOOOSTOCK 2020 DAY ONE

 

Stevie "Fast" Jackson, the reigning NHRA Pro Modified champion, proved that when it comes to Radial vs. The World competition, at least at Wooostock 2020, he didn't need to practice to be perfect.

Jackson drove his way to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position at the first major Drag Radial event since the pandemic halted live events.

Jackson stopped the timers at Darlington Dragway in 3.568 seconds at 212.87 miles per hour. Keven Rivenbark slid into the second spot with a 3.590, 205.67.

BANDIMERE SPEEDWAY PREPARING FOR NHRA NATIONAL EVENT

 

In an unofficial revision of the NHRA Mello Yello Series national event schedule – the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., near Denver, are second in line after Seattle – with Aug. 8-9 dates.

The Bandimere family executive team, which runs the speedway, is ready to make the most of its event, which changed dates because NHRA races were put on hold or canceled due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

“Here’s what happening because they are trying to cram a lot into a short period of time, NHRA is trying to make it as easy for teams as they possibly can,” said John “Sporty” Bandimere III. “They are trying to reduce their number of runs, trying to help them financially as well at that kind of stuff. Our event will still be a three-day event, we will still have racing going on Friday (Aug. 7), Saturday and Sunday. Your Saturday and Sunday are not going to look or feel any different than any national event you have attended here at (Bandimere). Qualifying, eliminations, those two days will look pretty normal.”

TEXAS MOTORPLEX SET TO START RACING WITH HISTORIC LONE STAR NATIONALS

The Texas Motorplex will be one of the first sporting venues in the state to host events following Governor Abbott’s new directives on public gatherings and sporting events. The Keurig Dr Pepper Lone Star Nationals presented by Driven Automotive Protection, a primarily participant only event, will be held May 21-23. The event will be an opportunity for race teams to test as well as race for one of the largest cash purses ever offered to Alcohol Funny Cars and Dragsters. The Mid-West Pro Mods will also be competing showing off their 200 mph door-slammer speed.

AN OPEN LETTER FROM RACERS FOR CHRIST

To Our Racing Community - For almost fifty years Racers For Christ has been dedicated to serving the spiritual and emotional support needs of the world of motorsports. Since 1982, NHRA has allowed us to provide chaplains for all of its national and divisional events.  We have taken this responsibility seriously, with grace and humility. When we are able to safely return to racing, our desire is to continue growing the ministry and serving the spiritual, emotional and practical needs of everyone at those events.  

After much prayer and careful consideration in our continuing efforts to keep pace with the changes in the motorsports experience as well as the industry and economy, the RFC Executive Committee and the RFC Board of Directors have made the decision to change our NHRA national event ministry leadership structure for efficiency. We will begin to utilize the existing team of Region Directors to represent RFC at events instead of one person traveling for the entirety of the season.  These Region Directors have been part of the national event ministry for many years; they are strong in their faith and they are very capable leaders.

SC GOVERNOR RESCINDS PERMISSION FOR WOOOSTOCK 2020 SPECTATORS AMID NASCAR BOMB SCARE

 

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has rescinded permission for spectators to attend Wooostock 2020, scheduled to begin Thursday, May 14, and continue through Saturday, at Darlington Dragway.

event promoter Keith Berry revealed the no-spectator reversal in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon.

SOUTH GEORGIA MOTORSPORTS PARK IS BUSY PREPARING FOR OPERATION IN THE NEW NORMAL

 

For Nelson Hoyos, the quarantine life has been anything but sitting around watching episodes of The Tiger King. H

oyos, General Manager for South Georgia Motorsports Park, has been busy getting all of those projects done at the track he's wanted to do for a long time but a virtually non-stop schedule never afforded the opportunity.

"We've been just doing general maintenance and keeping the place 'ready to open," Hoyos said. "[track owner] Ozzy [Moya] and ourselves, we've been talking about what do we do to improve the facility?" Hoyos explained. "We've been talking about doing some grinding work and some things to make the track better than what it is. He actually pulled the trigger on that and surprised us, made a deal with the Southeast Grinders and Stephan over there and they came in on a Friday, and we started grinding the track. We ground a little over 1,400 feet on both sides."

LIFE AFTER NITRO: JOE AMATO LIVES LIFE TO THE FULLEST

 

It’s pretty simple to sum up Joe Amato: He’s a man who’s done everything he set out to do, whether by necessity or by choice.

He began working in his father’s Pennsylvania speed shop starting at age 11. At 16, he dropped out of school to take over the business, and eventually turned it into an auto parts empire. At one point, five championships and 52 victories made him the winningest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history. And now, in retirement, he’s an experienced traveler who in 2021 anticipates completing visits to all seven of the continents on Earth.

In 1998, Amato sold the business that he, his brother and two partners built and retired from everything but racing and traveling.

ENCORE: CHARLOTTE 1974 - THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

9-11-08charlotte_1974.jpgLarry Carrier couldn’t wait to kick off the 1974 IHRA season in Charlotte, N.C.

Three days later, the IHRA founder and president couldn’t get out of town quick enough.

The only national event drag race staged on the hallowed grounds of what is now Lowe’s Motor Speedway featured plenty of entertaining and competitive drag races, but in the end a single-car crash accounting for three deaths cast a pall on the event. It was more than many could endure, especially Carrier.

So what inspired a race at what is now one of the most famous oval track racing facilities in the world?

Carrier’s networking prowess was the primary reason.

RALPH SEAGRAVES: THE MAN WHO TOOK DRAG RACING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

 

His name is rarely is mentioned when talk focuses on those who have advanced drag racing. It was 45 years ago that a corporate executive named Ralph Seagraves took drag racing to another level when few could envision there was such a destination.

Seagraves was the president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s Special Events Operations, later renamed Sports Marketing Enterprises, and was responsible for providing drag racing with its first major points fund sponsor.

Seagraves enabled drag racing to become a professional sport for more than just a select few drivers.

Seagraves and his team at SME also succeeded at a once-unbelievable task; i.e., uniting most of the American drag racing scene as one.

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