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

SAMPEY NAILS HER MARK IN READING'S OPENING SESSION

Getting off to a good start in qualifying has not been iconic Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angelle Sampey’s strong suit in 2021. 

Alongside Ryan Oehler during Friday’s lone session at the Mopar Expresslane NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., the past NHRA champion hit her mark with a 6.761 elapsed time at 198.85 miles per hour. 

PEDREGON HEADS INTO SUNDAY READING ELIMINATIONS AS THE TOP FUNNY CAR TEAM

 

It’s been said drag racing is a right time, right place sport. For two-time Funny car champion Cruz Pedregon, getting on the good side of the ladder was the key headed into the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, the first race of the seven-event NHRA playoff series. 

Getting on the right side of the ladder required a significant accomplishment, going to No. 1 in stellar conditions, beating out the likes of equally determined Funny Car teams. It also required Pedregon to pull off a feat that has eluded him for six years. Pedregon had to nail down the No. 1 qualifying position. 

Pedregon set himself in the catbird seat on the strength of a 3.875-second run at 326.00 miles per hour during Saturday’s final session at Maple Grove Raceway. The biggest perk of qualifying No. 1 is Pedregon will get a first-round bye run. 

TJ SUBBING FOR HAGAN AGAIN IN READING

 

Tommy Johnson Jr. and Matt Hagan have a whole new dimension to their professional relationship. Last year, the two Don Schumacher Racing drivers battled each other to the final day of the season at Las Vegas, and Hagan claimed his third series crown while denying Johnson his first. Now, as Hagan continues to recover from a nasty bout with COVID, Johnson is his ally. He is substituting for Hagan behind the wheel of the Mopar Dodge SRT Hellcat for the second straight race. 

“Last year, Matt and I battled it out for the championship, and now here I am trying to help him win it,” Johnson said. “And it would be cool to be a part of another championship for him.” 

Hagan told The Capital Sports Report’s Anthony Caruso that he possibly could remain sidelined for next week’s Countdown Race No. 2, at zMAX Dragway at Charlotte. Hagan said he expects to be back in the cockpit at St. Louis, at the Sept. 24-26 Midwest Nationals at World Wide Technology Raceway at Madison, Ill. 

VIDEO FEATURE: 16 MINUTES OF WHY THE NHRA U.S. NATIONALS IS AS GREAT AS IT EVER WAS

This video is for those who say Indy is just another race on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series.

Leave it to video Picasso Les Mayhew to deliver 16 minutes of pure awesomeness from major league drag racing's most prestigious drag race. He's captured everything from the absurd to the most incredible moments from not only the viewpoint of a seasoned media member but also from a drag racing fan.

So, show them this video the next time you hear a "Negative Nelly" proclaiming Indy isn't what it used to be. It's as good as it ever was.

B. FORCE, HIGHT, KORETSKY AND SAMPEY GRAB PROVISIONAL NO. 1 SPOTS AT MAPLE GROVE

WAS IT A THROTTLE BLIP OR A DRY HOP?

In the 1990 motion picture Days of Thunder, fictional stock car racers Cole Trickle and crew chief Harry Hogge had a conversation regarding interpretations in racing.

The conversation went something like this.

Harry Hogge: Cole, you're wandering all over the track!

Cole Trickle: Well, this son of a bitch just slammed into me!

Harry Hogge: No, no, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you, he didn't slam into you, he RUBBED you. And rubbin', son, is racin'.

VETERAN PSM RIDER STEVE JOHNSON TALKS HIS RESURGENCE IN 2021

Steve Johnson is a true veteran of NHRA’s Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks, competing in 456 races in the class with seven national event wins.

However, there was a time not long ago when Johnson was searching for answers to go quicker, and it seemed like retirement might be a possibility.

EPA FINES SPEED SHOP AS PART OF ITS NATIONAL COMPLIANCE INITIATIVE

RICKIE SMITH MAKES A GRAND RETURN TO NHRA PRO MOD

He's like the grumpy uncle who went on vacation from the family get-togethers.

After missing three of the NHRA Pro Modified family get-togethers, multi-time champion Rickie Smith returned to the high horsepower gathering at the Dodge NHRA U.S. Nationals with a lesson showing "Unk" still has elder status.

Smith qualified No. 1 in Friday's lone session and hung around until the semi-finals when his nitrous-injected Camaro drifted out of the groove, where he wisely lifted. He was very much capable of winning, as fellow nitrous racer Jeffrey Barker went on to nail down the crown for the bottle rockets. 

GRIEF MANAGEMENT A TOPIC TODAY AS RACERS RECALL JOHNSON, TRETT 25 YEARS AFTER DREADFUL U.S. NATIONALS

Tom Weisenbach is Director of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences, a group of professionals dedicated to the scientific, medical, and educational aspects of the human element in motorsports. It explores the latest innovations and initiatives in motorsport safety.

Ironically, his first job in the industry brought him to Indianapolis Raceway Park (now Lucas Oil Raceway) 25 years ago. There and then, with the double deaths of Top Fuel driver Blaine Johnson and Top Fuel Motorcycle racer Elmer Trett at the 1996 U.S. Nationals, Weisenbach got a harsh introduction to the unforgiving and sobering side of racing.

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