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LE TONGLET TO RUN LIMITED PSM SCHEDULE WITH FAMILY TEAM IN 2019

ENCORE - KENNY BERNSTEIN: BEFORE HE WAS THE KING OF SPEED

04_02_2010_bernsteinIt's hard to picture it now because he's been so big for so long, but even Kenny Bernstein was once a little guy like everybody else. He worked on the car, rode in the truck with the rest of the team, and once drove a truck by himself from Texas to Puyallup, Wash., to race, not knowing who was going to be there to help unload the car when he got there.

"Prudhomme, Force – probably anybody you can think of – started out that way," Bernstein said. "People see what we have today and presume everything was handed to us. Trust me, it wasn't. Almost all of us had nothing when we started except a love for the sport."

Ever heard the one about how Bernstein got his original Budweiser deal by towing his car to Budweiser's St. Louis headquarters and unloading it in the parking lot for employees to see on their way to work? It's true.

ENCORE - SCHUMACHER REMEMBERS: THE UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED WONDER WAGONS

3schuIf you ask former Funny Car driver, turned championship team owner, Don Schumacher, Ralph Nader spoke too soon.

Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile book was published in 1965 with the first chapter devoted to the Corvair.

Schumacher is confident had this book been written in 1973, the Vega panel wagons he ran under the Wonder Bread sponsorship would have had a chapter of its own, too. While Schumacher readily admits this was the most popular Funny car he ever fielded amongst race fans, he absolutely categorized the off-the-beaten path ride as the most dangerous too.

“Unsafe at any speed for sure,” Schumacher said. “The panel wagon on a race track was certainly unsafe. Actually, Chevy gave me three of them that I had across the country that I drove on the road. I mean one was in California, one was in the Chicago-land area, and I think the third one may have been down in the southeast. We flew into that airport and used that vehicle to get me to whatever match race I was going to. They were perfectly fine on the road; they just did not translate into being a good race car.”

CREW CHIEF BARLAM IS BACK WITH VANDERGRIFF’S TOP FUEL TEAM

 

NHRA Top Fuel crew chief Joe Barlam has rejoined Bob Vandergriff Racing.

Barlam, who was a co-crew chief at Don Schumacher Racing for the dragster driven by Leah Pritchett for most of the last three full seasons, confirmed to CompetitionPlus.com that he has signed back on with Vandergriff Racing.

“Ron (Douglas) obviously was the crew chief here (at Vandergriff Racing) last year and now that there are two cars, they need two Rons,” Barlam said with a chuckle. “We are going to kind of run them together because they don’t always race at the same time and we will just kind of combine everything.”

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING: MICKE AND THE BEASTLY '78 MALIBU

 

At first glance, the 1978 Malibu Mark Micke drives isn't overly intimidating. Those who know this car and driver understand fully that looks can be deceiving.

Jason Carter owns the Radial vs. The World Car and Micke drives it.

Earlier this year, Micke drove the boxy looking vehicle to the victory at the most prestigious event in Drag Radial competition by winning the $101,000-to-win Sweet Sixteen developed and promoted by Donald "Duck" Long, the Pied Piper of small tire racing. Micke stopped the timers with an outstanding 3.62-second pass at 214.79 mph that lowered the previous elapsed time record by nearly a full tenth.

ARP QUESTION OF THE WEEK - DID YOU PLAY WITH DRAG RACING-THEMED TOYS AS A KID?

In this week's ARP Question of the Week, we want to know, did you play with drag racing-themed toys during your childhood. If so, we'd like to know what your favorite drag racing toy was back in the day. Please vote, but also list what it was in our comments section. 

CA.-BASED NHRA STARS PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY TRAGIC FIRES

 

Three of NHRA's nitro-racing superstars are giving back to their community this week.

California natives Jack Beckman, Ron Capps and Leah Pritchett watched in horror as their state suffered tremendous devastation due to the Camp and Woolsey Fires that consumed large portions of Northern and Southern California last month.

CORNWELL QUALITY TOOLS NEW OFFICIAL TOOL OF JOHN FORCE RACING

John Force Racing announced that Cornwell Quality Tools, a family owned business since its inception, will become the official tools of the 20-time NHRA world championship team beginning in the 2019 season. Cornwell Quality Tools, founded in 1919 by Eugene Cornwell in Northeast Ohio, will be celebrating 100 years of creating the best quality tools out of the best quality materials when it joins John Force Racing during the 2019 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

“We are looking forward to this new partnership with Cornwell Tools,” said John Force, CEO and owner of John Force Racing and driver of the PEAK Coolant and Motor Oil Chevy Camaro. “Cornwell Tools and John Force Racing share the same commitment to family. We’re a family run business, our teams and sponsors are our family out there on the road. Cornwell will be joining that family and we’re excited to be celebrating their 100 year anniversary with them in 2019.”

CRUZ PEDREGON INKS ASSOCIATE DEAL WITH SIBERIAN COOLERS

 

Siberian Coolers will take the jump into the Nitro ranks with two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion Cruz Pedregon, as an associate sponsor for the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

“It is very exciting to have new companies come onboard with us and into the sport of drag racing,” said Caleb Cox, Cruz Pedregon Racing general manager. “Being at the race track for anywhere between 12 to 15 hours a day, we need to make sure that the team’s drinks are staying cold throughout the day, which makes Siberian Coolers an ideal match for what we do. They are perfect for every professional to sportsman racer and it’s great for any outdoor activity you may have.” 

LABOR OF LOVE FUELS THIS VIDEOGRAPHER'S PASSION

 

 

According to official videographer Jimmy Biggs, he has the best job on the grounds during each event for the Tulsa-based Frankenstein Engine Dynamics Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS).

"It's a labor of love; it really is," Biggs insists. "I consider it a privilege and an honor to tell the stories of the race teams and sponsors that make the Mid-West Pro Mod Series happen. And everybody has a cool story. With this whole industry it's like that because everybody comes from different backgrounds and has different experiences. Plus, everyone knows 99.5-percent of all drag racers are great guys and my experience with the Mid-West Series absolutely confirms that."

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