The viewership on FS1 of the NHRA Heartland Nationals from Topeka, KS, was 424,000 (0.34 rating). That is up from the May 7 Atlanta show that had 378,000 viewers and a 0.24 rating.
In comparison, leading the motorsports category for the weekend was the NASCAR All-Star Race on FS1 with 2,868,000 viewers and a 1.63 rating. Leading all sports was the running of the Preakness horse race on NBC with 7,542,000 viewers and a 4.56 rating. [05/23/17]
The Outlaw Class is one of the seven Heads-Up classes that will be featured this weekend during the 9th Annual Street Car Showdown, which kicks off the Muscle Car Series at Minnesota’s Brainerd International Raceway. More than 300 drag racers are expected to compete in the three-day event, which includes the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Harvey West Memorial Day Classic on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course.
The Outlaw Class in Brainerd International Raceway’s three-race Muscle Car Series couldn’t get any closer for the top three drivers last year. Greg Schmidt finished as the series champion but was only one point ahead of defending champion Warren Peterson and Bubba Romanyshyn, who tied for second place.
In addition to Pro Outlaw and Outlaw, the Muscle Car Series’ Heads-Up Classes include King Street, Real Street, True Street and the new 660 Outlaw Street. The race also has 10 Index Classes, the winners of who have a separate run-off to crown the Index Class Champion. Three Strip Eliminator classes, Truck Eliminator, and Manual Transmission class round out the race schedule. It’s a full weekend of racing, with qualifying that runs Friday and Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday. [05/23/17]
Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, will host Fun Ford Weekend and a unique free-to-enter E.T. Bracket race on July 7-8. Fun Ford celebrates all things Ford and Mercury with an all-Ford drag racing program and car show.
To run in the Friday night bracket race (for all makes and models), the driver just has to purchase a restricted-area pass ($15 but does not include a time trial) or a test ‘n’ tune entry ($30 and includes a time trial prior to first round of eliminations.) Racers will run to the eighth mile.
Saturday, July 8, will feature the Fast Ford (Electronics/Super Pro) class running on the eighth mile. All other classes will run the quarter mile: Quick Ford Challenge (Non-Electronics/No-Box), Ford Street Bracket (DOT tires), Classic Ford Trophy Bracket, Tuff Ford Truck Trophy Bracket, Mustang Trophy Shootout Bracket, and 4-Cylinder Ford Trophy Bracket.
A free entry car show will be held along with the Gateway E.T. Bracket series classes on Saturday afternoon: Super Pro (eighth mile), Pro (eighth mile), Sportsman (quarter mile) and Super Pro Motorcycle (quarter mile). [05/23/17]
GM Performance Automatic Transmission Rebuild Kits from McLeod by Raybestos
McLeod Racing has joined forces with Raybestos Powertrain to present a new line of Performance Automatic Transmission Rebuild kits. The kits feature National Oil seals and Far Pak gaskets for superior sealing capabilities. Teflon coated rings make tighter seals and OEM thickness grooved friction plates increase the holding capacity. All filter materials are brass allowing better flow and filtration. Some kits include Kolene plates, which create a stronger seal than stock to prevent warping. A few of our more popular applications are for the Classic GM transmission such as Power Glide TH350 and TH400. Perfect for a Classic GM and hot rod build. With a holding power for up to 1000 HP these kits are great to be used at the track as well. [05/23/17]
Top Fuel rookie pilot Troy Coughlin Jr. has a weekend off from driving the 10,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports SealMaster/Toyota nitro-powered dragster and will pilot his sister's brand-new JEGS.com Super Comp rail at this weekend's JEGS SPORTSnationals at Kentucky’s Beech Bend Raceway Park.
His 16-year-old sister, Paige, plans to begin racing extensively this summer.
"I'm really lucky she's letting me drive it because she is absolutely in love with this dragster," Coughlin said. "She's been making some test runs, doing launches and short hits to get used to it and we plan to get her back in the seat after this race is over to get her some more seat time. But for this weekend, I get to race it, which is cool."
T.J. has won three Super Gas and two Super Comp races at the national level, and has three more divisional wins in Super Gas. He's also a past Division 3 champion in Super Gas, and has four Super Pro bracket racing titles to his credit.
Uncle Mike Coughlin will be racing at the SPORTSnationals in Top Dragster. At last weekend’s Cavalcade of Stars in Norwalk, Ohio, he lost in the quarterfinals in a double-breakout with Zach Sackman. We’ll have all the Cavalcade results and photos coming later in DRO.
"We found some things that need tidying up so the guys will be working hard to get ready for a Wednesday departure to Bowling Green, Ky.," Mike Coughlin said after Norwalk. "It's a big race weekend for us, obviously, being the title sponsor of the event.
"The JEGS SPORTSnationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park is probably one of the biggest stages anywhere for Sportsman racing. We get a lot of compliments and feedback on this race and we're always working to make it better. It was a great turnout last year and should be even better this time because they fixed a parking issue that caused some problems last year.” [05/23/17]
Linda Vaughn at last year’s SEMA Show.
Seven California racers took home wins from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Pacific Division event at Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway over the weekend. Racers from all over the state were represented in the final rounds making this a golden weekend for NHRA racing in California.
It was a brotherly dual in Super Comp where Val Torres, Chino Hills, Calif., faced off against his brother Gabriel Torres, La Puente, Calif. Gabriel was better off the line posting a 0.018 second reaction time and a winning run of 8.920 seconds, 166.25 mph. The more experienced brother, Val, who has six wins in Super Comp alone, had a 0.032 second reaction time and posted a runner up finish of 8.910 seconds, 173.09 mph.
Riverside, Calif., competitor Ken Etter, took home the trophy in Super Stock after a near perfect reaction time of 0.001, off the tree. Etter, posted a winning run of 10.244 seconds, 126.79 mph over Gregg Luneak, Vista, Calif., 10.589 seconds, 125.05 mph runner-up finish. Luneak gave Etter a great fight to the finish running 0.009 to his dial-in.
In Super Street, it was Trey Vetter, Henderson, Nev., running 10.908 seconds, 129.19 mph and taking the hole shot win over Pete Zak, Torrance, Calif. Vetter was off the line first and held off Zak, who posted a 10.903 second, 134.28 mph runner- up finish.
Scott McClay, Tehachapi, Calif., took the Comp Eliminator win by posting a time of 7.371 seconds, 180.86 mph over Joe Mozeris, Phoenix, Ariz. Mozeris had a quicker run down the lane, running 7.019 seconds at 190.54 but transmission-builder McClay was away first and held his starting line advantage taking the holeshot win.
Pacific Division racers will have a month off and then head to Sonoma Raceway for the fourth divisional race July 21-23.
STOCK ELIMINATOR: Tim Seymour, San Dimas, Calif., '16 Camaro, FS/B, 9.424, 134.91 def. Ryan Mangus, Rialto, Calif., '67 Camaro, G/SA, 11.305, 115.67.
SUPER GAS: Randy Bowers, Riverside, Calif., '69 Camaro, 9.887, 158.32 def. Evan Kowalski, Riverside, Calif., '05 Corvette, 9.876, 163.14.
TOP SPORTSMAN: Jeff Gillette, Benicia, Calif., '06 GTO, 7.131, 179.47 def. Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah, '68 Camaro, 7.495, 153.06.
TOP DRAGSTER: Dave Cook, Novato, Calif., '07 TNT, 7.417, 181.42 def. Thomas Bayer, Alta Loma, Calif., '03 Undercover, 7.398, 168.47.
SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Rick Newport, Bluffdale, Utah, '95 Suzuki Gsxr, 8.476, 155.85 def. Brockman Roberts, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., '10 Hayabusa, 8.591, 155.61. [05/23/17]
Texas Raceway was host to the DRO AA/FC Challenge in years’ past.
The Agent was saddened to hear that Texas Raceway in Kennedale definitely has closed. The race track a few miles southeast of Fort Worth was opened in 1961 and for the last few years was owned and run by Dave and Cindi McMillan.
The City of Kennedale has been trying to develop the area along New Hope Rd., where Texas Raceway and the dirt oval track, Kennedale Speedway Park, are located. The city government ruled against the continued operation of the track last fall, although the McMillans had hoped to race this year. That won’t happen. [05/23/17]
David Rampy’s Super Stock Camaro.
Rampy’s Comp Bantam.
At the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Southeast Division event at Atlanta Dragway, past national champions, Kevin Brannon and Jeffrey Barker, as well as a double up win from David Rampy highlighted the list of winners for the fifth of seven events in the Southeast division.
David Rampy, Piedmont, Ala., gained two trophies for his collection, taking home the win in Comp Eliminator and Super Stock. In Comp Eliminator Rampy ran down Jim Kimbrough, Pace, Fla., posting a winning lap of 7.230 seconds at 183.62 mph in his ’32 Bantam roadster. Rampy’s ’87 Camaro took the win in Super Stock at the tree, defeating Alain Cauchon of Drummondville, Quebec.
The 2015 Top Sportsman National Champion, Barker, Kathleen, Ga., crossed the finish line at 176.95 mph in 6.792 seconds in his ’06 Cobalt which held off Donny Urban, Selma, N.C., in his ’06 Cobalt for the win in the division’s Top Sportsman class. It was a battle of national champions in the Top Dragster class. The title went to 2015 Super Comp National Champion Kevin Brannon, Boiling Springs, S.C., who got the win over 2016 Stock and Top Dragster National Champion Jeff Strickland. Brannon covered the quarter mile in 6.169 seconds at 222.29 mph to Strickland’s 6.425 at 214.55.
In Stock it was Daren Poole-Adams, and Jeff Strickland making the trip to the final round. Poole-Adams, Shelby, N.C. got a big starting line advantage in his 2015 COPO Camaro and defeated Strickland in a ’17 COPO. Poole-Adams went 10.329 seconds at 120.67 mph for the win over Strickland, Red Bay, Ala., and his lap of 9.519 seconds at 132.08.
The next Southeast division NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event will be held at Silver Dollar Raceway on Oct. 14-15.
SUPER COMP: John Labbous, White House, Tenn., '13 Racetech, 8.908, 172.21 def. Bob Wolcott, Mc Donough, Ga., '00 Mullis, 8.892, 173.49.
SUPER GAS: John Taylor, Naples, Fla., '99 Dakota, 9.910, 161.27 def. Raymond Miller, Spring City, Tenn., '68 Camaro, 9.899, 161.79.
SUPER STREET: Gaines Hickman, Monroe, Ga., '65 Malibu SW, 10.963, 129.69 def. Bruce Berntsen, '70 Mustang, foul.
TOP DRAGSTER: Kevin Brannon, Boiling Springs, S.C., '12 Maddox, 6.169, 222.29 def. Jeff Strickland, Red Bay, Ala., '15 American, 6.425, 214.55.
TOP SPORTSMAN: Jeffrey Barker, Kathleen, Ga., '06 Cobalt, 6.792, 176.95 def. Donny Urban, Selma, N.C., '06 Cobalt, 9.188, 97.47.
JR DRAGSTER 6-9: Alayna Carden, dragster, 12.187, 52.89 def. Brendan Nuttall, dragster, 11.931, 51.46.
JR DRAGSTER 10-12: Tucker Brown, Blountville, Tenn., dragster, 9.114, 67.48 def. Seth Brooks, Surgionsville, Tenn., dragster, 8.958, 73.32.
JR DRAGSTER 13-17: Morgan Wilson, Laurens, S.C., dragster, 7.957, 77.76 def. Baylee Mize, Harriman, Tenn., dragster, 7.993, 80.95. [05/23/17]
VOLUME XIX, NUMBER 5 - May 2017
DRAGRACINGOnline will be published on or around the 8th of each month and will be updated throughout the month.
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