Haney takes two WMPMS championships at Throwdown

Keith Haney (far lane) took the Pro Mod championship with his win over Jim Sackuvich. 


Keith Haney still can’t quite believe he won the final event of the 2017 Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) inaugural season, as well as wrapped up two MWPMS class championships during the Throwdown in T-Town, Oct. 13-14, at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park.


Haney prevailed in the Pro Mod final thanks to a starting-line advantage over Jim Sackuvich to cap off a come-from-behind, championship-winning campaign in “Notorious,” his nitrous-boosted 2016 Camaro. He doubled up with a semi-final finish in “Enigma,” a nearly identical-appearing second car that delivered the 2017 MWPMS Radial vs. the World crown for Keith Haney Racing (KHR).


In Radial vs. the World, Texas racer Brandon Pesz had been driving “Enigma” for Haney at four previous MWPMS events this year and based on the strength of one win and a runner-up finish, he had the car on top of the points standings. With a prior racing commitment, however, Pesz was unable to compete at the Throwdown, so Haney stepped in for his first “twofer” experience as a driver in competition. And unlike Pro Mod, where points are not transferable between drivers, the MWPMS awards RvW points to team owners since multiple drivers throughout the year are common in the class.



Scott Lowery, DeWayne Mills, Daniel Pharris, Mark Micke, Mark Woodruff and Haney advanced from the first round, but in round two Mills would defeat Lowery, Haney would take down Micke, and Pharris put an end to Woodruff’s title hopes. The win also earned Pharris a bye through the semis and although Mills put Haney on the trailer, he had become mathematically out of reach of the KHR team for the championship. Unfortunately, however, threatening weather arrived late Saturday night just before the RvW final between Mills and Pharris, so the race was cancelled and the purse split.


Haney said he donated half of the $10,000 he received for winning the Pro Mod race to Chad Reynolds of Bangshift.com, who was running the live online feed from the Throwdown, as well as racing the Chevy station wagon previously campaigned by his wife, Daphne, who recently succumbed to cancer. 

Seven rookies vie for NHRA award

Seven rookie drivers representing the four NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories, Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, were announced today by officials from NHRA and Automobile Club of Southern California as the eligible candidates for the 2017 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award.


The candidates for the award are, in alphabetical order: Troy Coughlin Jr. (Top Fuel), Joey Gladstone (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock), Jonnie Lindberg (Funny Car), Andie Rawlings (Pro Stock Motorcycle), Shawn Reed (Top Fuel) and Mike Salinas (Top Fuel).


The award, which recognizes the top rookie competitor in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and offers a $20,000 prize and traditional trophy to the winner, will be presented during NHRA’s annual championship awards ceremony on Monday, Nov. 13, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood, Calif.


The nation’s leading auto racing journalists will select the winner through a voting system based on the following criteria: number of events competed in, performance on and off the racetrack, participation in NHRA promotions and relationships with fans, sponsors and media. 

Torrence thanks those who helped at Dallas


Steve Torrence, who survived a terrific crash at Dallas, has sent an open letter thanking those who helped get the back-up dragster prepared for his semifinal round.


It states in part: Above and beyond Steve’s crew, we would like to thank all of those who contributed to the Herculean effort that enabled us to bring a car back to the starting line for the semifinals: Scott Palmer Racing, Nitro Ninja Racing, Billy Torrence Racing, Aaron Brooks, Todd Paton and anyone else that we might have overlooked in all the turmoil.  A special thanks to our chassis builder, Morgan Lucas Racing, and Richie Crampton for fabricating a quick, fast but very safe race car.


Unfortunately, despite everyone’s efforts, we didn’t win the semifinal round but we did leave with the points lead and when everyone gathers in Las Vegas in another week, we’ll be ready to re-join the battle for the Mello Yello Championship.


Thanks so much.


Steve, Kay and Billy Torrence 

Gateway schedules two ‘Last Chance Drags’

Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, will host two "Last-Chance Drag Races" on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 4. On the schedule are Jr. Dragsters and both Street Bike and Bracket Gambler races. 

Polburn has ‘The Last Word’ in October

Read former IHRA president Aaron Polburn’s column on an old friend and a new friend at here

Rocky Mtn. Superchargers travel east to Missouri

The Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Superchargers (RMS) traveled to Missouri for the American Hot Rod Reunion at MoKan Dragway October 15. It's one time that nostalgia racers bring to the track some of the most interesting rides from years gone by. They still put on a powerful show with Henry J gassers and push-started dragsters reminding the fans of the early days of the sport.


The Reunion, presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts, is a tradition at the IHRA track and this year added the Funny Car Invitational. The funny cars, part of the Top Supercharged Thunder eliminator in the RMS group, was won by Oklahoma's Jordan Ballew in his “Ballew Thunder” entry (shown).


The long-distance award was easy to make as the Wetsch and Chase ‘57 Chevrolet "Wicked Quick" traveled all the way from Bismarck, ND, for the race.


Missouri's own Mike Kurz was the center of attention in his "Cashin' my Childhood" Plymouth Duster but his car did not cooperate, frustrating his efforts to take home the winner's trophy and more of the Contingency Connection prizes. That honor went to Ballew as his Chevy-powered Nova made three solid 4-second blasts on the MoKan eighth mile. 


Dragsters will have double event at CHRR, including Nightfire finals

Jim Murphy leads the points going into the CHRR.

Adam Sorokin is No. 2. 

The All American Fuel Dragsters coalition confirms that a full qualifying field of front-engine AA/Fuel dragsters are staged in for the 8-car Top Fuel Eliminations battle at the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA, October 20-22.


The Top Fuel tossup at Famoso is the last race for the hotly contested Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel championship title and marks the 26th running of the premier west coast vintage drag racing happening with legendary AA/Fuel racer and longtime NHRA chief starter Rick "The Iceman" Stewart as event Grand Marshal.


Current Top Fuel points leader Jim Murphy is gunning for his second championship title in the WW2 dragster with a narrow seven-point lead over No. 2 Mendy Fry, who took the Nitro Nationals win in her High Speed Motorsports dragster over Adam Sorokin in his small block Chevrolet-powered Champion Speed Shop fueler at Tulsa Raceway Park. Sorokin sits in the No. 3 spot, but potential points upsets are already in the lanes at Famoso as Sorokin and Murphy will settle their rain-postponed Nightfire Nationals Top Fuel final round score in qualifying prior to eliminations.


The Dragsters will join Funny Cars, AA/Fuel Altereds, front-engine blown alcohol and injected nitro A/Fuel dragsters, and a Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum curated collection of historic drag cars of every stripe that may or may not have tipped the can into the tank for the California Hot Rod Reunion.


Nitro-burning history will continue into Saturday night as the trademark Cacklefest makes its way on track with a parade and presentation of nitromethane heritage from dozens of painstakingly restored fuel dragsters. Push-starts are scheduled to occur throughout the weekend-long celebration.


Veteran DRO photographer Tim Marshall will be shooting the pictures while Nostalgia Editor Brian Losness will be posting on the DRO Facebook page throughout the championship event. 

NMCA West to cease drag racing; autocross continues

The NMCA has announced that 2017 will be the final season of NMCA WEST drag racing.


ProMedia, the parent company of the racing series, says that with only the two NHRA national events being held at Pomona, LACR and Carlsbad already closed, and Irwindale and Sacramento closing at the end of this year, the West Coast facilities are limited.


ProMedia says that NMRA and NMCA east events, which represent most of the company’s business, are thriving and growing. In fact, they are planning to increase the number of events in 2019 and beyond.


The NMCA WEST Auto-X Series, which has had participant sell-outs at each event this year, will continue with four events at Auto Club Speedway next season. Dates will be announced soon.   

‘Outlaw 632’ goes ‘Pro’ with PDRA in 2018

Ken Quartuccio is owner of East Side Auto Transport and a Pro 632 competitor. 


The Professional Drag Racers Association has announced that the Outlaw 632 category will be a part of the PDRA program again in 2018, with a fresh name, Pro 632. East Side Auto Transport will retain title rights of the category, which will be run at five of the eight races on the 2018 tour.


The class, birthed in Florida, has enjoyed a strong following by both racers and fans during its time with the PDRA. Named for the maximum cubic inch size allowed, East Side Auto Transport PDRA Pro 632 provides a more cost-effective option while still allowing racers to tour and compete for a championship in a national series.


There will be two major rule changes for Pro 632 next season: Any size clutch will now be allowed and each weight break will take off 100lbs from what was required in 2017. Complete rules are listed at www.pdra660.com.  



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