Sportsman take NHRA SpringNationals wins

Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., and Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., led the racers to the winner’s circle for the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at the Houston SpringNationals.


Fans in attendance were treated to a special champions battle in the Top Alcohol Dragster final round. 2016 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series World Champions, Joey Severance and Mia Tedesco, Murrysville, Pa., clashed in the final rounds. Tedesco took home the 2016 LODRS Super Gas crown, Severance the Top Alcohol Dragster title. Severance had the better reaction time at .014 and never let up earning the win light at 5.203 seconds, 275.39 mph. Tedesco, tripped the clocks at 5.445 seconds, 264.70 mph.


Jay Payne 


California drivers Doug Gordon and Jay Payne, Claremont, Calif., squared off in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final round. Gordon grabbed the starting line advantage, as Payne had issues from the start. Gordon recorded his career quickest and fastest pass, along with the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend for the win; 5.428 seconds, 272.12 mph. Jay Payne finished at 11.171 seconds, 66.34 mph.


Kevin Helms, Schriver, La., nearly doubled up, winning the Stock Eliminator final round against Austin Ford, Spring, Texas; running 10.096, 121.74. But fell short in Super Stock against Norvell Bowers, Sulphur Springs, Texas. Bowers recorded his winning pass at 10.587, 124.18, Helms came in at 9.383, 130.15.


SUPER COMP: Alan Savage, 8.888, 182.01 def. Britt Cummings, 8.876, 166.23


SUPER GAS: Steve Collier, ’72 Vega, 9.900, 167.66 def. Roger Warren, ’63 Corvette, 9.899, 162.00


SUPER STREET: Chris Vang, ’67 Chevelle, 10.834, 137.72 def. Val Harmon, ’67 Nova, 10.876, 152.99


TOP SPORTSMAN: Keith Raftery, ’68 Camaro, 6.479, 195.68 def. Vince Hoda, ’68 Camaro, 6.851, 198.93


TOP DRAGSTER: J.R. Baxter, 6.130, 227.31 def. William Kruse, Foul-Red light

TOP FUEL HARLEY: Jay Turner (near lane), ’17 Triple J, 6.219, 222.47 def. Bob Malloy, ’04 Buell, 6.312, 209.88.

VOLUME XIX,  NUMBER 4 - April  2017

Tak is back

Takeshi Shigematsu was on board a Harley at Houston. Unfortunately, the rider from Japan was not able to make the eight-bike field. Shigematsu took the Top Fuel Twin win at last year’s ManCup Finals at South Georgia Motorsports Park. 

Pro Mods to race four-wide for first time, a worldwide leader in high performance parts, and Plugfones, a hearing-protection company, have been named co-presenting sponsors for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the eighth annual NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 28-30 at zMAX Dragway. It is the third of 12 races during the 2017 NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season, and the first time the series will take part in the unique four-wide racing format.


“We are very happy to bring the first-ever four-wide Pro Mod race to the fans along with our great friends at Plugfones,” said Troy Coughlin, one of four brothers that owns and operates JEGS High Performance. “As a Pro Mod racer myself, I can tell you we are super excited about racing four-wide. I truly believe the fans are going to love it. It’ll be so cool to see four Pro Mod cars ripping down zMAX Dragway at the same time.” 

After surgery, Gaydosh ready to race at Charlotte

John Gaydosh at the Gatornationals in March. 


Just two weeks after knee surgery, John Gaydosh is healed up and ready to race his Gaydosh Performance Pro Stock Camaro at the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals this weekend at zMAX Dragway.


“I injured my knee last summer and thought I was fine. But the week before Gainesville I re-injured it stepping out of a rig,” Gaydosh said. “When we got back from the race I had to have ACL reconstruction surgery.”


Gaydosh has exceeded doctor’s expectations in his recovery. His doctor cleared him to drive just one week after surgery and he has already returned to work this week.


Gaydosh is running a condensed NHRA race schedule in 2017 but wouldn’t miss the action of the 4-Wide Nationals. He has competed in the past five 4-Wide races.


“The 4-Wides are a little different. I’m confident I can concentrate even when three other cars on the track,” said Gaydosh. “This race is good for guys like me. Just one slip up by one driver can affect the other two drivers, giving me a chance to move out in front.”

No down-time for Brown after Vegas race

Antron Brown, the three-time and reigning NHRA Top Fuel champion, seemingly has a never-ending supply of energy and that's what he needs as he juggles family time, racing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and filming as a host on the upcoming return the internationally popular "Top Gear America" television program.


After winning the Mello Yello event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Brown has been spending his time crisscrossing the country for filming and squeezing family time in with his wife Billie Jo, and their three children near Indianapolis. And there was an appearance at the New York International Auto Show for longtime partner Toyota.


"It has been nonstop the past couple of weeks but I'm having a good time," Brown said. 'Top Gear' is a lot of fun. The coolest part about it is that it will reach 200 million people worldwide. We are going to spread some NHRA Mello Yello love across the globe. We will keep growing the sport. It's pretty huge."


At Las Vegas, Brown and the Matco Tools team led by crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald with assistant Brad Mason scored their first event title of the season and moved to third in Top Fuel points standings. Brown also became the first Top Fuel driver to win at least one race in 10 consecutive seasons.


"That's a testament to the team we've got here," he said. "It's not just our Matco Toyota team, but it's everyone back in the Don Schumacher Racing shop. There are a lot of people that make this thing work with their blood, sweat and tears and that's what makes something like this possible."


Brown was defeated in the semifinal at Houston last week by eventual winner Leah Pritchett. Now come two more weeks in a row at Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta. 


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