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

THIS MONKEY WILL RUN LOOSE IN 2014?

There's a reality show presence coming to NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing. We are told the driving force behind the Discovery Channel's Fast & Loud show Richard Rawlings will be putting his endorsement on the Top Fuel dragster campaigned by Kebin Kinsley. The dragster will feature the Drag Monkey clothing line. We are told they will run a limited schedule to finish out 2013 but initial plans are headed toward a full schedule next year,

ANOTHER FACTORY HOT ROD DRIVER CONSIDERED FOR TF?

While there has been much speculation about the one Pro Stock driver headed to Top Fuel, word has it a second factory hot rod driver has also received serious consideration. Is Pro Stock becoming the new training ground for future Top Fuel stars?

PRO STOCK DRIVER HEADED TO BVR FOR TWO-CAR TEAM?

Just days after we published our report on Bob Vandergriff Jr.'s uncertain future in drag racing, comes word the picture is getting clearer. Reportedly, Vandergriff will not only run a C&J sponsored entry  but a second one full-time as well. A third car hangs in the balance with either full-time or part-time status.

POINT LEADER SITTING OUT TWO-THIRDS OF WESTERN SWING?

Point leader Erica Enders-Stevens' name is no longer on the entry list for the NHRA events in Sonoma and Seattle, lending to speculation to the time will skip two-thirds of the Western Swing. There's no official statement yet, but with the reality of the team sitting two races, there's still enough of a point lead they will still have a lofty lead if they return in Brainerd.

CREW CHIEF CHANGE FOR CONNOLLY FOLLOWING NORWALK?

Sources have confirmed with CompetitionPlus.com that a crew chief change on the Gray Motorsports Camaro driven by Dave Connolly transpired following the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk as well as another personnel change. The team had no comment on the issue.

UPDATED: UNEMPLOYED TUNER HEADED BACK TO THE SHOW?

Though there's no official statement from Don Schumacher Racing, we are told Chris Cunningham has been hired to serve as assistant crew chief to Rob Flynn on the Valvoline Funny Car driven by Jack Beckman. 

A FORMER MAJOR SPONSOR RETURNS IN 2015?

Could a former major sponsor be returning to the pits in 2015 with a leading team? This is the word floating around the pits at Bristol Dragway.

ZIZZO CLOSE TO NEW DEAL?

Popular Chicago fuel racer TJ Zizzo faced a bleak prospect of racing this season when title sponsor Peak chose not to renew contract. Word comes from one of our close sources that he's finalizing the details on a deal which will bring in a sponsor new to professional drag racing. We are told an announcement could come within the week.

BIKES GET CHECKED AFTER FOUR-WIDE

Two races ago, the NHRA confiscated heads from the leading Top Fuel and Funny Car teams to check against the initial submitted parts for approval. Word comes to us that three of the Buell Pro Stock Bike teams had heads taken by the NHRA technical department, and according to one of the teams, the heads might not be back in time for the next two events. Thus far this season, the Buell teams have qualified No. 1 at both events but on race day remain winless.

MORE NHRA TV DURING THE COUNTDOWN?

There's no doubt, in the sports television world, football broadcasting is gigantic. Unfortunately the king is most active during drag racing's championship season. We are told, the NHRA plans to announce more rebroadcasts of the off-peak qualifying shows this fall. Our sources tell us a second broadcast of the qualifying shows will air at 1 PM on Sundays in time slots likely not to be preempted by live television.

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