‘Bloodhound’ is off the leash!

The “Bloodhound” SSC car was rolled out of the hanger just before sunrise to greet the press. Over 200 members of the media from 10 countries around the world are in attendance.

At close to 1:30 p.m. local time at Newquay Aerohub in Cornwall, UK, the “Bloodhound” SSC car made its first two runs for demonstration, achieving 202 and 210 mph for each pass.


RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, the driver of the car, hit his speed marks with precision. Andy was the driver of the “Thrust” SSC car and is the world's fastest man with the current world Land Speed Record of 763.035 mph.


Sometime in 2018 the “Bloodhound” car will make its way to South Africa and build its way up to break that record and crest 800 MPH in the process. Then that data will be given a close look as the car ramps up to the intended 1,000 MPH design speed.  

Can Troy Coughlin win Pro Mod championship at Vegas?

Troy Coughlin may be a two-time champion in the J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, but he's never entered the final race of the year with the points lead. That'll change this weekend at the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals when he arrives at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 26-point cushion over Mike Castellana.


After chasing Castellana and his powerful Frank Manzo-tuned supercharged Camaro for most of the season, Coughlin and crew chief Steve Petty put their twin-turbo JEGS.com Chevrolet Corvette C7 into the top spot with a huge victory over Khalid alBalooshi a few weeks ago in St. Louis.


"We've never had the points lead at any time in the past except for the two times when we clinched our two championships in Vegas," Coughlin said. "We've obviously had great cars the last six seasons but we always seem to be chasing someone. Now the tables have turned.


"We know exactly what we need to do this weekend. We need to qualify in the top half of the field and go to the semifinals at the very least. Then it doesn't matter what else happens. We'd like to qualify in the top four and win to close the season in style, with the championship and another Wally."


His two Pro Mod titles came in 2012 and 2015, while he finished second in 2013, 2014 and 2016. 

Pritchett hopes to move up in points at final two races

Pennzoil also was the major sponsor of the dragster at Las Vegas this spring. 


Leah Pritchett heads to Las Vegas this week with Don Schumacher Racing's Pennzoil Top Fuel dragster team intent on a miraculous end to her first full-time professional season.


When the Countdown playoff began on Sept. 15, she was seeded third and 30 out of the points lead after being atop the Mello Yello Series points standings for the first five months of the season. When the Las Vegas race begins she will be 180 points out of the lead and a longshot to leave the season-finale two weeks later in Pomona, Calif., that was her home track when growing up in nearby Redlands, with the championship.


Despite a disappointing four races to start the Countdown, her Pennzoil/Papa John's Pizza/FireAde team had an incredible 18-race regular season when they won four titles in six final rounds, earned six poles and reset the world elapsed time record twice.


"This season has been a learning season, specifically what it takes to maintain a championship-caliber level, and a win or two would create even more momentum. We have the mentality of nothing to lose and everything to gain."


Pritchett and other DSR drivers will have an extended stay in Las Vegas when they participate in the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show at the Las Vegas Convention Center where she and DSR teammate Matt Hagan will co-star at the massive Pennzoil display.  

Tucker to drive Shane Gray’s Pro Stocker at Vegas

Shane Tucker of Australia will drive a Gray Motorsports Camaro SS in Las Vegas instead of his Hot Wheels Car Care Products Camaro. Tucker has competed in seven Pro Stock races this season.


“Collectively, as a team, we decided that this was our best option for our race program,” Tucker said. “We just need to test before we come back out with our car. Shane (Gray) gave us an opportunity to drive his car and hopefully it’s an opportunity we can take advantage of.”    

Like father, like daughter for the Franklins

Musi Racing Engines powered Tommy Franklin to the PDRA Pro Nitrous championship. 


Tommy Franklin secured the 2017 PDRA Pro Nitrous world championship, successfully defending his 2016 championship. En route to this latest title, Franklin had four number-one qualifier awards, effectively giving him the 2017 Flatout Gaskets Nitrous Wars title as well.

Amber Franklin


Franklin and his team carved out a special piece of history for themselves as his eldest daughter, Amber, took home the 2017 PDRA Pro Junior Dragster world championship this season as well. The father/daughter duo is one of the first, if not the first, to win championships in the same season.


And in just her first year in Top Junior Dragster the youngest Franklin, Ashley, finished fourth in national points standings.


“We had a truly incredible season,” added Franklin. “Our Musi power stayed strong for us through every weather and track condition and my team worked hard to make this year a success while running three cars. Sharing this championship alongside Amber and having Ashley finish fourth in her rookie year means the world to us.” 

Summit Pro Stock drivers jockey for position as season winds down

Greg Anderson and Bo Butner are one-two in the Pro Stock points. 


With three drivers at the top of the Pro Stock points and only two events to go, it looks pretty certain that Summit will take the championship this year.

Teammates Greg Anderson and Bo Butner are one and two with reigning champ Jason Line third in the points, with just 30 points separating Anderson and Line.


"Without a doubt, our Summit Racing Chevy Camaros are fast – but like I said in Dallas, there are a lot of fast cars out there,” said Anderson. “The class is absolutely brutal right now, and those bonus points during qualifying are going to mean a lot. We have to go out there and get as many as we can, and then we have to go round-by-round and try to win this race.”


Butner, who made his Pro Stock debut in 2015, has four wins on his scorecard, each of them this season.


"I have confidence going into these last two races, and all year long we've been saying we want the KB Racing cars 1-2-3 at the end of the season,” Butner said. “We're close to that right now, we just have to keep it going. We know we have a good racecar, and so do Greg and Jason. We'll do our best to go some rounds in Las Vegas, and that's been a good track for me. Hopefully, we'll be able to hold off the other cars out there – we know we'll have our hands full, but it's already been a great season.”

Reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line has had a frustrating 2017 season. 


Line was a finalist at each of the last two events. Prior to that, he had not reached a final since winning the season-opener in Pomona.


"It's crunch time, and I hate pressure,” said Line. “I can't stand it, but I'm going to have to figure out how to harness that and do a better job of it. I like really boring, big points leads, and that is out the window. I'm going to have to step it up for sure. I've been incognito the whole year, which is not good. But we're trying to get it done now, and hopefully we can bring home that big check at the end of the year."  

Wolf and Booher Racing will end season at Las Vegas

Las Vegas is the last race of the season for Top Alcohol Dragster driver Kirk Wolf, who recently finished third in the NHRA North Central Region championship points. This weekend, Blendtek will take over the primary branding on the supercharged, Spitzer-built dragster.


“I’m pretty excited because the Zinger family – Bill, Steve, Kim and Kristy – are longtime friends of mine,” Wolf said. “It’s been an honor to have them on board with us all season and to now have them as the primary sponsor on the side of the car for this weekend. I hope we can represent Blendtek well and bring them back a Wally.”


Wolf enters Las Vegas with a full season of experience behind the wheel of the torque converter-equipped Booher Racing entry. He raced to three consecutive regional-event final rounds – one at Chicago and two at Indy – and won the second Indy race. He then recorded the world’s first 5.2-second pass for a torque converter car at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indy. Tuned by 2013 NHRA North Central Region champion Brandon Booher, Wolf has been in the 5.2-second range at all but two races since the U.S. Nationals.  

Zizzo returns for second event of the season

TJ along with his father, drag racer Tony Zizzo, at Joliet in July. 


After a quarterfinal defeat of event top qualifier Brittany Force at Route 66 Raceway this summer, TJ Zizzo and the Rust-Oleum Rocket team are pumped to return to the track for only their second race of the season.


“Someday, when we have a bigger budget, we'll go to more events, but until then, we don't want to stretch our budget to go to more events to look foolish,” said the Chicago native. “I don't think that's worth it. We've tried to do that in the past and it just did not work out in our favor and you end up going backwards.


"Our method of racing is a great method for teams without million-dollar budgets. It's a great method where your 13 volunteer team members come to the shop every Tuesday, every Sunday, regardless of whether we're racing or not and work on our stuff to have it prepared well for the event. That's the reason we can run well, because we prepare well before we even get to the race track. Our competitors and help we have out there help us in the right direction and we listen."


One of the secret weapons for Zizzo Racing over the years has been Mike Kern, a long-time second-generation racer who has been a constant for the team. Kern comes into the weekend with a new Wally, earned with Jim Young last weekend in the Nostalgia Top Fuel class at the California Hot Rod Reunion.  



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