Motz returns for NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park

While blasting down track in his jet engine-powered Kenworth truck and burning down signs in the process, Bob Motz has fascinated fans and formed friendships at Summit Motorsports Park for years, and while it looked as though he had his final performance at America's Racetrack last year, he's making a return for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals this year.


In his highly combustible capsule, he'll lay flames and fly to 200-plus mph after the final pair of nitro-gulping cars cruise down track on Friday, June 23, and again after the final pair of nitro-gulping cars cruise down track on Saturday. His Friday performance will be followed by a colorful and cascading display of fireworks.


"I was thrilled to hear that Bob had these dates available, and I'm excited that he's back racing and will be joining us for this event," said Bill Bader, Jr., Summit Motorsports Park president. "It's a very big deal for our fans, and it's another ring in an already very big-ring circus."


While Motz performed as recently as last year at the 39th Annual Kelly Services Night Under Fire at Summit Motorsports Park, it has been several years since he has performed as part of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park. 

Rickie Smith working on other Pro Mod cars

Jonathan Gray’s Camaro has the same sponsor as Rickie Smith’s. 


Sitting 381 points back of Mike Castellana makes it unlikely defending champion Rickie Smith can garner a fourth world championship, but he hopes to continue to make life difficult for the crowded NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series class.


That means trying to race to more victories, but also helping Jonathan Gray and Khalid alBalooshi get to the winner’s circle. Smith, a legend in Pro Mod racing, is again making the tuning calls on alBalooshi’s car in 2017, while Gray drove Smith’s Camaro in his absence after back surgery and will be driving a separate car the rest of this season.


“Jonathan is real excited and he wants to race the rest of the year, so the goal is to get through the year with all three of us,” said Smith, who will be making the tuning calls for Gray as well. “I want to see them do well and see my car continue to run well. I would like to get these guys a win and I know they can do it. It’s not about cutting a light all the time. It’s about getting one end to the other and being consistent so I can be consistent in making the tune-up. The driver plays an important part and all of that is getting better and better.”


The Pro Mods race this weekend at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

SEMA adds category to ‘Battle of the Builders’ competition

Builders with a car or truck on display at the 2017 SEMA Show, to be held October 31–November 3, in Las Vegas, may now enter the SEMA Battle of the Builders® competition by applying online. The program recognizes and brings increased media exposure to top vehicle builders, their vehicles and the products that make the vehicles unique.


Now in its fourth year, the SEMA Battle of the Builders program shines the spotlight on the amazing talents and craftsmanship of builders who have already proven themselves by being a part of the SEMA Show.


New for this year is the expanded “Young Guns” category—a program that was introduced in 2016 to provide heightened exposure for up-and-coming builders. As part of the Young Guns program, SEMA has partnered with AutoCon, Bonnier Corp. and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association to award builders age 27 and younger (as of November 3, 2017) who do not have a vehicle at the Show an opportunity to participate in SEMA Battle of the Builders. Partnering organizations will award six winners at select regional events a prize package that includes an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2017 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot at the Show and automatic entry into the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition.


Winners from the partnering organizations will then compete in Battle of Builders at the SEMA Show, alongside the builders who entered with a feature or booth vehicle from the annual trade-only event. All competitors, their vehicles and sponsoring exhibitors receive increased exposure at the SEMA Show and the possibility of being featured in a one-hour, nationwide television special that will air on the Velocity Network.

Some FC racers not allowed as Holley Hot Rod Reunion starts

Tony Bartone competed at the March Meet, but wasn’t allowed at Bowling Green. 


They're down to four Nitro Funny Cars after Thursday tech inspection at Bowling Green, Ky. NHRA tech officials bounced Troy Ray from competing because they evidently didn't like Ray's Logghe chassis car even though the chassis has a current SFI tag and the car had been allowed to compete in previous HHR events at Bowling Green when former NHRA employee Steve Gibbs was in charge.


Multi-time HHR N/TF champ Tony Bartone didn't get through tech at when the tech inspector reportedly found that their NHRA-mandated "Crawford flowed and sealed" pump had a broken wire and was therefore illegal. At least qualifying at this NHRA event will mean something as there are at least 10 Top Fuel cars on the premises trying to make the eight-car field.


Morning showers couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the 2017 NHRA Holley National Hot Rod Reunion presented by AAA Insurance at Beech Bend Raceway Park on the opening day of the three-day event. The event is a celebration of classic cars, nostalgic quarter-mile drag racing and numerous interactive displays at the facility.



1) James Young, Salem, Wis., '07 FED, 5.683 seconds, 243.94 mph

2) Jim Murphy, Santa Rosa, Calif., '13 Neil & Parks, 6.013, 192.58

3) David Miller, Cedar Hill, Mo., '05 Neil & Parks, 6.040, 192.63

4) Jason Greenwood, Racine, Wis., '10 Stirling, 6.462, 232.91

5) Mendy Frey, Los Angeles, Calif., '16 Hadman, 6.552, 145.88

6) Julius Hughes, Gainesville, Ga., '11 Horton, 7.018, 158.02

7) Tyler Hilton, Sharonville, Ohio, '12 Horton, 7.057, 211.10

8) Paul Schultz, Tulsa, Okla., '92 Stirling, 12.045, 74.29

9) Adam Sorokin, Glendale, Calif., '04 Sterling, 12.961, 65.75


7.0 PRO

1) Michael Sexton, Bloomington, Ind., '07 Neil & Parks, 7.0, 7.016 seconds, 0.016 (over index)

2) Gordon Horn, Rockport, Ind., '63 Chevy, 7.0, 7.070, 0.070

3) Larry Harlen, Rockport, Ind., '48 Anglia, 7.0, 7.073, 0.073

4) Robbie Freels, Island, Ky., '94 Canode, 7.0, 7.160, 0.160

5) Ron Huegli, Wilsonville, Ore., '76 Monza, 7.0, 7.163, 0.163

6) Ernie Lipinski, Willmar, Minn., '10 Neil & Parks, 7.0, 7.467, 0.467

7) Jacob Breerman, Rockport, Ind., '32 Bantam, 7.0, 7.774, 0.774

8) Don Nave, South Whitley, Ind., '12 Lake City Chs, 7.0, 10.706, 3.706

9) Steve Walczak, Rochester, N.Y., '32 Bantam, 7.0, 6.965, -0.035


7.5 PRO

1) Steve Matthews, Marietta, Okla., '70 Woody Gilmore, 7.5, 7.565 seconds, 0.065 (over index)

2) Jeffrey Ferguson Jr., Byhalia, Miss., '02 Spitzer, 7.5, 7.576, 0.076

3) Bo Boles, Slaughters, Ky., '23 Model T, 7.5, 7.579, 0.079

4) Don Moore, Hamilton, Ohio, '72 FED, 7.5, 7.677, 0.177

5) Todd Campbell, Hamilton, Ohio, '03 Schafer, 7.5, 9.130, 1.630

6) Darrell Eakle, Fairdale, Ky., '14 FED, 7.5, 19.292, 11.792

7) Bruce Hacker, Seagrove, N.C., '15 S & W, 7.5, 26.645, 19.145

8) Darrell Wathen, Utica, Ky., '41 Willys, 7.5, 7.499, -0.001

9) Tyler Allen, Manchester, Ky., '63 Corvette, 7.5, 7.438, -0.062

10) Randall Boles, Slaughters, Ky., '57 Chevy, 7.5, 7.432, -0.068



Eagle Field Drags are never a drag

Ed “Isky” Iskenderian, 95 years old, and Flaggin’ Earl were both at the Eagle Field Drags. Isky was watchin’ and Earl was flaggin’. See Earl at work and lots of cool, old race cars at the old airfield in Firebaugh, CA, at here. There is a second slideshow of gassers on the second page.  



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