Rumor Mill

:::::: Rumor Mill ::::::

UPDATED: AJ, LANGDON RUMORS IN GAINESVILLE

A rumor floating around Gainesville suggests that following the NHRA Gatornationals team owner Alan Johnson and his driver Shawn Langdon will migrate to a current two-car team on the tour for the balance of the 2015 season. There’s talk the team’s current driver will move over to the second team car with his crew chief, while the part-time driver of that team will step aside. Meanwhile if this comes to pass Johnson’s race hardware will likely be sold.

AREND EXTENDS HIS DRIVING RESUME?

Our reliable sources tell us, in a last minute decision, veteran journeyman Jeff Arend will race this weekend's Good Vibrations March Meet. However, we are told Arend will not drive a nostalgia flopper, but instead the Cheetah front-engine dragster in Nostalgia Top Fuel.

 

TASCA TO MAKE ANNOUNCEMENT SOON?

Our sources tell us former factory Ford Funny Car racer Bob Tasca III will soon return to competition albeit on a part-time basis. We are told Tasca will soon announce a four-race schedule to begin at the NHRA 4 Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway. 

MCCULLOCH HEADED TO BVR?

The BVR team continues to grow and in the latest news floating around Indianapolis, we hear their latest addition is tuner Jason McCulloch. McCulloch has been a part of the Alan Johnson team since it was formed and was most recently on the Shawn Langdon-driven Knuckle Sandwich Top Fuel. If McCulloch ends up over at Vandergriff's team, as our reliable source declares, it could very well answer the question regarding the future of the Johnson operation. 

A FORMER GM RACER RETURNS HOME?

Word has it a Funny Car driver who cut his teeth in racing GM-bodied floppers is expected to announce a new alliance with the manufacturer in the next two weeks. Could this be a reintroduction of the Camaro to nitro racing?

NHRA PRO STOCK TAKES ANOTHER HIT?

NHRA Pro Stock has already had some hits before the season began, and from what we hear the hits will continue to come. A reliable source tells us there's a strong liklihood one of the 2014 national event winners may be on the sidelines for at least the first two events of the season if not the whole tour. With the departure of 2013 series champion Jeggie Coughlin and Dave Connolly, the class can ill-afford to lose any more participants.

COMINGS AND GOINGS IN THE NITRO WORLD

We are told of at least one driver leaving his current ride and another new face entering the Funny Car ranks this season. A source tells us Jeff Arend will not return in 2015 as driver for Jim Dunn Racing. On the other hand, we hear that past NHRA Heritage Series champion John Hale will be on the tour full time. Although we haven't heard anything official on Hale's situation, our sources indicate it's a dunn deal. 

THOMPSON HEADED TO JFR?

Multiple sources have confirmed veteran assistant crew chief Ronnie Thompson has left Al-Anabi Racing and headed for John Force Racing where he will join Todd Smith with the Brittany Force dragster.

JFR SKIPPING PBIR TEST?

The traditional PRO Winter Warm-up at Palm beach International Raceway has long been a destination for the leading NHRA fuel teams during late January. We are told John Force Racing will skip the annual visit to South Florida and will instead test at Wild Horse Motorsports Park outside of Phoenix, Az. JFR is not the only fuel team expected to be there prior to Pomona.

BIG DEAL FORTHCOMING FOR MATT SMITH RACING?

We are told Matt Smith Racing will soon announce one of the larger multi-year sponsorship deals in the Pro Stock Motorcycle division. Our sources tell us the plan is for Smith to field two bikes in 2015, one for him and the other for wife Angie. Matt Smith Racing will reportedly still lease race engines. 

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