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

HOLLEY NATIONAL HOT ROD REUNION HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum officials have announced the postponement of the 2020 Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance held at Beech Bend Raceway, Bowling Green, Kentucky. The annual three-day event, originally scheduled for mid-June, has been rescheduled to August 20-22 at Beech Bend Raceway.
 
We made this difficult decision as we see the effects this pandemic is having on our country, fans, sponsors, and racers. We believe this is the right decision since social distancing and reducing gatherings of people has been implemented in most areas of the country.

TIM WILKERSON ISSUES THE FOOD IS FUEL CHALLENGE

Wilkerson's Service Center, owned and operated by NHRA nitro Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson, is hoping to inspire the community to rise in support of those who need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilkerson, driver of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, is aiming to help raise $1 million for the Central Illinois Foodbank with what the nitro pilot is calling the "Food is Fuel Challenge." The foodbank is near and dear to Wilkerson's heart as it serves the Springfield, Ill., community that he has called home all of his life.

BILL BADER JR. MAKES IT OFFICIAL THAT NORWALK FACILITY NO LONGER PART OF NHRA'S 2020 SCHEDULE

 

Summit Motorsports Park, the crown jewel of drag strips in Ohio, confirmed today via a statement their NHRA Mello Yello Series drag racing originally scheduled for June 25 - 28, 2020, has been cancelled, not postponed.

The first hint of the track not returning as part of the NHRA’s Covid-19 rescheduling came when an unofficial proposal of a 16-race schedule which was leaked did not include the popular facility located in Norwalk, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland.

While NHRA yet to make the cancellation official, track owner and operator Bill Bader Jr., made it official in a statement posted on the track’s website.

FLASHBACK: JEGGIE IS A SPECIAL GUEST

When six-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., one of the most prolific drag racers of all time, was invited to a private tour of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) inside the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado Springs, he jumped at the chance.
 
Conceived at the height of the Cold War of the 1950s as a fail-safe location against the threat of long-range Soviet bombers, the NORAD Combat Operations Center became the center of North America's aerospace defense when it opened in 1966. Together with our Canadian allies, NORAD has protected North America from attacks by sea, air and space ever since.

NO NEWS IS STILL NO REAL NEWS FOR NHRA IN SCHEDULE REVISION

 

NHRA was expected to issue a press release on May 4, 2020, one which was supposed to include a revised schedule of 16-consecutive weekends starting in August at Pacific Raceways in Seattle. Instead, NHRA confirmed the postponement of races in June and July.

MAKING HAY WHILE THE SUN IS OUT TAKES ON DIFFERENT MEANING FOR KALITTA MOTORSPORTS

PRO STOCK DRIVER, BUSINESSMAN MATT HARTFORD SURVIVING THROUGH COVID-19 RACE STOPPAGE

 

With NHRA races on hold due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Matt Hartford has been focused on the business he partially owns with investors Total Seal Piston Rings based in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Total Seal is deemed an essential business as we supply piston rings from everything to aerospace to industrial to over the road cars to race cars,” Hartford said. “Total Seal has been able to stay open the last six weeks that this has all been happening. Fortunately for our employees and for Total Seal and our customers we’ve been able to still provide product as needed.

It definitely had a major effect on our revenue, however, with Formula 1, NASCAR, professional drag racing and all racing around the world parked, obviously, the racing side of our industry has slowed up tremendously. The other part of our business has slowed down, but not stopped.”

MOTORSPORTS DEVELOPER'S PURCHASE OF MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY FALLS THROUGH

 

Chris Winter, a partner with King of Prussia, Pa.-headquartered Motorsports Developers of King Prussia, has confirmed to The Capital Sports Report that the group’s proposed deal to purchase Maple Grove Raceway has been off the table since February.

He said he cannot comment further on the situation because of a non-disclosure agreement.

However, a private source, who has requested anonymity, has indicated that Motorsports Developers of King Prussia, which also includes Joseph Casella and Jordan Levitt, remain interested in purchasing the facility near Reading, Pa.

TEAM OWNER HADDOCK ON ‘WRONG SIDE OF THE DOLLAR’ – OR IS HE?

 

Bob Bode knows his virtually self-funded Funny Car is a money pit. But having a little extra coin in his pocket (“When we do not run the car, I always have extra cash”) isn’t much of a trade-off for not racing right now. “Emotionally, it is depressing,” the Barrington, Ill., owner-driver said. “It kind of showed me what retirement will be like, and it looks pretty boring. So we will keep racing, whenever it is time to go again.”

Nearby in Chicagoland, in Lincolnshire, T.J. Zizzo said slapping siding on one of the family-owned auto body shop buildings or sanding filler putty on car-repair seams isn’t what jazzes him. “I live for driving a race car. That’s why I get up in the morning. That’s why I work 70 or 80 hours a week. I’m an excitable person because I get to go 330 miles an hour,” the Top Fuel racer said. If he didn’t get to, in his words, “feel the rush of 11,000 horsepower shimmy through my body” for the rest of 2020, he said, “emotionally, I would be a wreck” and financially “it would be devastating.”

GARDNER’S KNOWLEDGE AN ASSET TO SSG DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED STRETCH

 

During the ongoing emergency suspension of drag racing, rumors have floated, racers and fans alike have formed their own forecasts, and the NHRA has been communicating with all sorts of sources about when and how the sport will be able to resume.

Scott Gardner, a partner in Straightline Strategy Group (SSG) – which operates the teams for Top Fuel’s Clay Millican’s and Funny Car’s Paul Lee – might have the best insight of anyone.

For 18 years, Gardner and wife Laura owned and operated Cordova Dragway Park in Illinois and managed Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas for a nearly two-year stint. In between those tasks, he served as President of the International Hot Rod Association. For about three years he has teamed with Doug Stringer and J.J. Koehler at SSG and coordinates the marketing effort.

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