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

ROOKIE PSM RACER MAKES NHRA DEBUT IN TRIBUTE TO FATHER, GANN

 

Pablo González Matos had one drag bike, and he raced it to six national championships in Puerto Rico. But when his son Pablo showed a real interest in following in his father’s treadmarks, Dad quit to throw his resources into his 16-year-old’s program. It was a smart move, for Pablo González went on to match his father in Puerto Rican motorcycle titles.

That was 24 years ago, and Friday at Gainesville Raceway, at the start of pro qualifying for the NHRA season-opening Amalie Oil Gatornationals, Pablo González Matos’ son was paying him back, paying tribute to his sacrifice.

The younger González, a Southeastern Drag Bike Association 6.0 Index bracket-racing champion who lives a couple of hours away at Orlando, made his debut in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, riding Blake Gann’s EBR V-twin that honored yet some else who helped his career flourish. González’s bike was one that his longtime friend Shawn Gann used to compete in what’s known today as the Camping World Drag Racing Series.

The popular, flamboyant, and friendly Shawn Gann passed away suddenly last May. But this remembrance has brought his and González’s relationship full circle. This was the race at which the González family met the Ganns, exactly 30 years ago.

CAPPS, TORRENCE, ENDERS, SAMPEY PROVISIONAL NO. 1 QUALIFIERS AT 2021 NHRA GATORNATIONALS

TORRENCE TO THE TOP AT SEASON OPENER THANKS TO MOTIVATION FROM DOM LAGANA

The 2020 NHRA season was a rough one for a lot of people.

It was especially hard on Steve Torrence and his Torrence Racing team.

FEELING LIKE A ROOKIE AGAIN, CAPPS QUICKEST ON DAY ONE AT GATORNATS

Ron Capps is one of the living legends of the sport of drag racing.

The 2016 Funny Car world champion has 66 wins on his resume. He has more than 760 round wins and more than 560 total races under his belt.

WELCOME TO THE ERA OF ERICA

 

Oh so much has changed in the Pro Stock class since 2010. Greg Anderson had won yet another championship, a fourth, and was vaulting into the stratosphere of class legends. Today he still commands respect with his 94 victories (second only to John Force among active drivers), 840 round-wins (fourth-most in NHRA history), and 106 No. 1 qualifying positions. But July 1, 2012, the tide shifted. Anderson still won plenty more races (although none since Dallas 2019). What shifted the momentum that evening was a young woman from Houston and her victory at Chicago – against rival Anderson in the final round, which made it all the juicier for her. She became the first woman to win a Pro Stock race.

She said Anderson “grabbed my shoulder and said, ‘Well deserved.' That means a lot, coming from [him].” She referred to him as “an 800-billion-time champion and somebody I’ve been trying to beat for eight years.” But at that point, Anderson already was perturbed that he had made “the history book now for the wrong reason,” he said. “The bottom line is this has been a long time coming for Erica. You knew she was going to win soon. I didn't want to be the guy on the other end, but I am now,” he said. “And it's probably going to open the floodgates for her."

PPG RENEWS TASCA RACING SPONSORSHIP IN 2021

 

PPG will continue its sponsorship of the Tasca Racing team throughout the 2021 NHRA season. 

Led by Bob Tasca III, team president and driver, Tasca Racing is running a full schedule in the Funny Car category of the NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series. The team’s 11,000-horsepower PPG Ford Shelby Nitro Mustang will display the PPG logo in every race this year.

PPG will serve as Tasca Racing’s primary sponsor for two key races – the New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire, set for June 11-13, and the Mile High Nationals at Denver’s Bandimere Speedway from July 16-18. PPG is also Tasca Racing’s secondary sponsor for all other races this season, which begins in March at the AMALIE® Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and runs through November.

SECOND-GEN TF RACER MIKE BUCHER TO MAKE TOP FUEL DEBUT AT GATORS

 

Mike Bucher has achieved a lifetime drag racing goal.

Bucher obtained his Top Fuel license Wednesday and will compete in the season-opening 52nd annual AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway March 12-14.

“I want to make it clear that God did this, and he gets the glory, the thanks, the credit, above and beyond anyone else,” said Bucher, 58. “I believe he’s helping me. I asked him to, and I feel his presence. I made five passes, and we had car struggles the first two runs because it was the beginning of the year and two passes were good. The third one went well, 4.03 (seconds) at 276 (mph). The next one I had to pedal it (at West Palm Beach), the car put the front wheels up and went toward the centerline. The last run it took a 4.30 to get my license, and I ran a 4.30.

ANOTHER YEAR, SAME QUESTIONS FOR DOUG KALITTA

 

 Some of Doug Kalitta's favorite times are getting out at the annual pre-season test events and knocking off the rust. They are also the time he hears the same old questions over and over.

"Is this going to be your year?"

Kalitta understands no one is trying to insult him. He knows they just want to see him win. It goes with the territory of being a contender multiple times and coming up short in the end.

For Kalitta, it's motivation.

BLAKE ALEXANDER HEADS INTO SECOND SEASON PARTNERED WITH JIM HEAD RACING

 

If there's one thing Blake Alexander has learned in a year of driving for Jim Head, it's that attention to detail is paramount. It's not that Alexander, a talented driver who has won in Top Fuel dragster but still seeking his first in Funny Car, didn't exercise this approach.

It's just when you work with Head; the level is pretty high.

"Never scared to try new things and learn a lot about how to do business operationally, from a racing perspective, and it parlays over from his other business," Alexander added. "We're business partners. We operate together, but separately. At the end of the day, we both have responsibility to each other to do well and we always are striving for that."

J.R. TODD: THE KID THE SPORT HAS WATCHED GROW UP

 

The drag racing community might find it hard to believe since it watched him grow up.

J.R. Todd, the energetic and talented drag racer who worked his way from Junior Dragster competition to the nitro ranks, is turning 40 years old in December.

Todd drove the Kalitta Motorsports-fielded DHL Toyota to a 3.927, 324.20 best in testing at the PRO Winter Warm-ups at Palm Beach International Raceway.

He drove his way like a seasoned veteran, even though there are those who still call him "kid."

"When I worked at Gilbertson, I was definitely a kid then," Todd said. "Looking back at pictures of seeing how young I looked and how much skinnier I was. And one of the guys that always hung out there with Nicky and me was Berserko Bob [Doerrer]. He came and saw me the other day, and just, he's like, "Man, how old are you now?"

Pages