The annual visit to the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in the wine country near San Francisco means more to 2012 Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman than going for his third Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event title this season with Terry Chandler's Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team.
The race week starts Thursday, July 27, for Beckman when he is the emcee for the 11th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night Charity Dinner to benefit Speedway Children's Charities. The special event at StoneTree Golf Club in Novato, Calif., is dedicated to the memory of Eric Medlen, the former Funny Car driver who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley not far from his home track.
One of Beckman’s crew chiefs is John Medlen whose son Eric succumbed to injuries sustained from a testing accident in 2007.
"Eric Medlen Nitro Night always has been special for me, but it has meant even more since I started to work with John," said Beckman. "Everybody loved Eric and this night is how we show that, and thanks to Eric we get to help a lot of kids’ programs through Speedway Charities." [07/26/17]
Last weekend in Denver, Tim Wilkerson and the Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang Funny Car went wheels up twice. The unintentional wheel stands caused damage to both of the chassis that the team brought for their Western Swing run. After Denver, Wilkerson's crew had to pick up a new Murf McKinney car in order to continue racing. They will debut that chassis this weekend at the 30th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, the 15th race of 24 in NHRA's 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
"We had such a good car last weekend, and with what happened, I learned some things I shouldn't do there. I'll remember that for next year, but right now we're just focused on Sonoma," said Wilkerson.
After the disappointing Denver race, the team – with support from sponsor Jason Curry and Curry's Transportation Services – split duties. Some headed to McKinney's shop in Indiana to exchange the broken chassis for the new, while the other crew members pointed West to get the remainder of the equipment to Sonoma. [07/26/17]
NHRA officials announced today a special pair of exhibition races this Saturday, July 29, at the 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway.
The race will be comprised of eight of the West Coast’s finest big tire race cars and eight small tire race cars. The teams will get a single time trial on Friday to set the field and eliminations will begin on Saturday.
Racers in the small tire field will include George Raygoza, Jermaine Boddie Jr., Billy Hespeler, Scott Ray, Chris Alston, Ryan Jones, Steve Kuhls, and Armen Maghdessian. The racers in the big tire category will include Jermaine Boddie, Cole Dow, Shaun Burr, Troy Baugh, Monti Fitzgerald, Rod Burbage, Chris Dullinger, and Chris Poncia.
The winner of the exhibition will receive a special acrylic Wally produced by NHRA.
Team Boddie Racing, who organized the exhibition race, traces its roots to the 1960’s racing in the Bay View district of San Francisco and has grown with the guidance of the Boddie family. Currently their group hosts events across the West Coast where grudge racers vie to be the best of the best. [07/26/17]
Rosie Kossuth in the “Lady Max” Dodge will be at Gateway, along with the other racers and Victory NSS series director, Chris Schneider (behind car in yellow shirt).
The August 3-5 speed spectacular at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, combines Mid-West Pro Mods and Street Car Super Nationals (SCSN) with nostalgia drag racing.
SCSN classes include Mid-West Pro Mod Series, Radial vs. the World, Limited Drag Radial, X275, MX235/Outlaw 8.5, 6.0 Index, 7.0 Index and Jr. Dragster.
Nostalgia classes are the Nostalgia Drag Racing League (NDRL) and Victory Nostalgia Super Stocks (NSS). [07/26/17]
Tulsa’s own Keith Haney (shown) and Todd Martin will be taking part in the Pro Mod competition.
The PDRA Summer Drags will return to Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park on Aug. 10-12. The series last was at the track in 2015.
Thursday is open testing, with sportsman qualifying beginning on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and professional qualifying at 3 and 8 p.m. Final qualifying will be Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Eliminations begin at 4 p.m. for sportsmen and 6 p.m. for the pro classes.
Tickets are available at here. [07/26/17]
The Agent noted that TV ratings for this year’s Brickyard 400 on NBC scored a rating of 3.3, an unexpected 18 percent increase over last year’s race shown on NBCSN (NBC Sports Network).
The live attendance for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway event was about 35,000 fans, one-fourth of what it was just five years ago.
However, many other NASCAR races are seeing double-digit ratings decreases. Fourteen of NASCAR’s first 16 races this year saw their TV audience shrink, nine of those by 11 percent or more.
Which brings us to the ratings for the last NHRA event in Denver. There were 868,000 viewers with a 0.56 rating, up from Joliet but down from Norwalk.
The TV audiences for NHRA coverage on FS1 this season have ranged from a low of 378,000 viewers (Atlanta) to a high of 1,179,00 (Englishtown). The Winternationals, shown on the big FOX channel, had the highest viewership of 1,224,000. [07/26/17]
Mother Nature wasn't so kind to Michigan’s Milan Dragway this past weekend. Michigan Mopar has been rescheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9, and the NHRA King of the Track race will be Sunday, Sept. 3. That means the State Championship Wally Plaques will be up for grabs on Saturday, Sept. 2, then the King of the Track Wally on Sunday, Sept. 3.
This weekend will see the Kickin' It Old School event on Saturday with a car show, Pin Up Girl contest, drag racing, Great Lakes Gassers, Nostalgia funny cars, stick shift racing, and more. The catch is that your car has to be 1972 or older to go down the track! [07/26/17]
Terry McMillen, driver of the AMALIE® Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR® Top Fuel dragster, has made some unusual promises in the past, but at this weekend’s 30th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals McMillen has reached a new level.
“I think the first thing I’m going to do when I get there is kneel down and kiss the track,” McMillen said as he traveled across Nevada en route to Sonoma. “We had a rough weekend in Denver. We just couldn’t seem to get a handle on the altitude at the Mile High Nationals. So, Sonoma’s sea-level conditions will be a welcome site for me. I can’t wait to get this car back to the set up our crew chief, Rob Wendland, has worked so hard on that has had us competitive all year long.”
McMillen holds the eighth spot for The Countdown with just four races remaining to secure a spot in the Top 10.
“We’re looking at this and feel like we have to find at least three more round wins between now and Indy,” McMillen explains. “Traditionally we always seem to find a race on the Western Swing and do well. Even then, we always seem to come up a point short after Indy. I’m not sure three more round wins will be enough to secure a spot in the Top 10, but that should get us in the mix. Every little point, every round win counts, our AMALIE crew is going to do whatever it takes to get us there. An event win sometime in the next month would go a long way as well.” [07/26/17]
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 7 - JULY 2017
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
DRAGRACINGOnline owes allegiance to no sanctioning body and will call 'em as we see 'em. We strive for truth,integrity, irreverence and the betterment of drag racing. We have no agenda other than providing the drag racing public with unbiased information and view points they can't get in any other drag racing publication.
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After nearly a four-year hiatus the third annual .90 Nationals will make its return to a new venue this weekend on July 29-30. Atco Dragway in Atco, NJ, which is known for big money bracket races will take the place of Numidia Dragway which held the event for three years (2011-2013).
The event will feature Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street along with the East Coast Stock/Super Stock group for the feel of a mini-Lucas Oil Divisional.
Friday the 28th will feature a track operated Test & Tune from 10-4:30 for only $75.00. On Saturday the 29th the gloves come off and drivers will get their crack at the first big jackpot of the weekend. A $2,000 to win purse will be up for grabs for all three .90 categories for only a $100.00 entry fee. If time allows the track a possible high roller, quick 32 event might be added for Saturday evening. On Sunday the 30th is the main event and a $5,000 to win per class and a Wally will await the winner for a $180.00 entry fee. Racing will kick off on both days at 9:30 am and will run to completion.
The NHRA Lucas Oil D-1 event will roll into Atco the following weekend and those wishing to leave their rigs at the track may do so in designated spots. For more info you can contact DJ Balducci at 856-768-2167 or Rob Keister at 856-332-2851 or go to www.atcodragway.rocks. [07/26/17]