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Editor & Publisher, CEO Jeff Burk
Managing Editor, COO Kay Burk
Editor at Large, Bret Kepner
Editor at Large, Emeritus Chris Martin
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Nostalgia Editor, Brian Losness
Contributing Writers, Jim Baker, Steven Bunker, Aaron Polburn, Matt Strong
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European Correspondent, Ivan Sansom
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Editor & Publisher
CEO Jeff Burk
COO Kay Burk
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Director: Casey Araiza
Director: Dave Ferrato
Contact: Casey Araiza
Renovation work cancels May 12 ...
A major renovation project reaches near completion at National Trail ...
Furches takes Superchargers ...
The Rocky Mountain Superchargers started off their 2017 season at Pueblo ...
Another one bites the dust: ...
The Columbus, Ohio-based McAttack is the latest Nostalgia Funny Car team in the ...
John Zappia heads for USA to ...
Jon Van Daal, DRO’s Australian correspondent, reports that ten-time Australian ...
Tucson Dragway Reunion held ...
“Attention in the pits, attention in the pits!” Legendary announcer Jon “Thunder Lungs” ...
Rain and cold over eastern half ...
The torrential rain that has caused flooding in the Midwest, now is moving to ...
Pritchett to be featured on ...
Leah Pritchett, NHRA Top Fuel points leader and Don Schumacher Racing ...
Racers getting ready for DRO ...
The 2017 DRO AA/FC Challenge season begins on the quarter-mile at ...
ET DRAG RACING
NEWS & ANALYSIS
John Zappia and the Fuchs Monaro’s successful start to 2017 has continued with the team earning the WA Top Comp Championship at recent Perth Motorplex Grand Finals.
In a field containing some of the toughest blown alcohol racers in the country, the feat was never going to be easy and while some hurdles were thrown at the team they eventually proved good enough in a critical race against chief rival Adam Marchant. It was Zappia’s first Top Comp championship since 2010.
Zappia’s first qualifying pass was a pedaling 5.84, with the car doing a spectacular wheelstand, owing to the extra horsepower from the conditions and the tight track.
Running late in the compulsory qualifying session after some oil down delays, Zappia was able to improve to a 5.78 to qualify second but some sparks from underneath the car indicated all was not well.
“We didn’t know where the sparks were from initially but we figured the clutch would be a good start,” he said. “We started changing the gearbox ratio when we got back and we missed inspecting the inside of the clutch can properly. We then realized late that the clutch had broken a lever and we had a race against Adam Marchant coming that was going to decide the championship.”
With the clock counting down, the team made the decision to run the clutch with just five levers and hope it would be enough to take out Marchant’s tough Top Alcohol dragster.
“We watched Pino Priolo take out another of our rivals, Steve Aldridge, ahead of us, so then I knew it was up to me,” Zappia said. “It shook the tires because it needed more clutch but we got the job done with a 5.91, which secured us the Top Comp championship and a place in the B Final.”
Arriving back in the pits and with turnaround time limited following more delays, Zappia and the team made a rare decision to withdraw from racing.
“Had we been in an A Final we might have given it a shot, but we knew we had won the championship and we didn’t want to risk running the car with the clutch below its best,” he said.
“The good news was that by us withdrawing, our almost-team mate Kelvin Lyle got to race in the B Final and run another five-second pass, adding on to his earlier 5.92 personal best which was great to see.”
While Zappia expected some record times might have been available, the margins were thin for quick performances.
“The car performed well engine wise, but we didn’t get a full clean pass - we were making horsepower, we just couldn’t use it. The cold air combined with stoppages meant the track was colder and trickier than we are used to here in Perth.”
As always, Zappia was looking at the positives of his mechanical troubles.
“It was good to find the problem. You run valve springs and con rods for so long, but you run clutch levers forever and they do a lot of work. Everything has a life and the consistency this team has involves working out what the safe life is for a part.”
The Fuchs team will now run their maintenance on the car and do some close checks before loading up for Sydney in May and the Winternationals in June. [04/21/17]
Two-time NHRA world champion Del Worsham is hoping that his past successes at the NHRA SpringNationals will aid him in beginning a streak with three 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races in a row.
At the last race, in Vegas, Worsham lost to Matt Hagan in the first round. However, the SpringNationals is only the fifth event of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, so it’s still early in the season. For now, Worsham and his team are choosing to just focus on making their car consistent and reliable.
“I’m hoping with the stuff we learned in Vegas and the testing we did on Monday out there, that we made progress and that we’ve got a car that’s consistent in going down the race track. We’ll work on making it fast after we’ve got a car that we know what it’s going to do,” Worsham said.
“For the last two weeks we’ve been working hard at basically just preparing ourselves for these three races in a row. We’re racing in Houston, Charlotte, and Atlanta, and it’s a lot of racing,” Worsham said. “We’re still working on our new body. It’s at the point now where it’s just about ready to go on the track, so we may run the 2018 Camry at the four-wides.” [04/21/17]
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 4 - April 2017
Ace photographer Ron Lewis will be posting some photos from the NHRA SpringNationals in Houston on the DRO Facebook page this weekend. Along with the NHRA pros, look for the small-tire Redempton racers. [04/21/17]
America’s Car Museum is blowing the top off its Summer Drive Series with a gathering of vintage convertibles going on display in the Route 66 Gallery starting, April 21.
ACM’s Route 66 Gallery is known for featuring vintage American cars from the golden age of motoring – the ’50s and ’60s. To pay homage to the historic Route 66 – “The Mother Road” – the primary means of interstate transportation a half century ago, ACM will be rolling in an assortment of convertibles from the era.
The full list of vehicles in the upcoming display include: 1955 Packard Caribbean; 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner; 1957 Chevy Bel Air; 1957 Ford Thunderbird; 1960 Pontiac Bonneville; 1962 Pontiac Catalina; 1963 Ford Thunderbird; and 1968 Pontiac Firebird Sprint. [04/21/17]
AODE/4R70W Hi Stall 12” Direct Replacement Converter
Performance Automatic has combined a true performance feel and value price from its 12” Hi Stall Super Streeter torque converter. This unit, the PA45252, features modified internals to provide great off the line starts while retaining remarkable street ability and factory lock up. Fully balanced and tested, this unit provides a stall speed 600-900 RPM over stock configurations. The PA45252 fits all AODE/4R70W transmissions using the OEM style flexplate. [04/21/17]
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VP Racing Fuels® has announced the appointment of Donato Bonacquisto as Director of Marketing. In that position, Bonacquisto will be responsible for advertising, sponsorships, event management and public relations in support of all VP business divisions including Race Fuel, Branding and Consumer Products.