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Despite a dearth of news from the NHRA regarding pre-season testing at Palm Beach International Raceway (it’s an IHRA-sanctioned track, you know) the Agent has been able to get a little news. The big speeds from the Kalitta cars on Wednesday and Thursday reportedly were accomplished despite the new lower rev-limiter numbers. As the Agent understands it, the rev-limiter is not in effect from the moment the throttle is moved but rather at a certain time point during the run. Agent 1320 hears that there will be reprogramming of the MSD-built device mandated by the NHRA to shorten the time in the run that the rev-limiter is activated.
One of the Agent’s operatives says that Morgan Lucas had to make a business trip back to Indianapolis and in his absence Doug Kalitta drove his car in testing.
Brittany Force was testing her new Top Fuel dragster and unlike the car unveiled at the big announcement at Force World headquarters this car had the driver canopy like what Tony Schumacher ran on his car the second half of the 2012 season. [1/18/2013]
NHRA officials announced today changes to the 2013 Oildown Policy for Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events. The most significant oildown policy change includes the elimination of points penalties during the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Participants qualifying for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship begin the playoffs with one credit and points penalties will be waived during those final six events. Monetary fines will remain in effect for the entire 24-race season.
In addition, NHRA announced that the in-season testing policy, initially implemented at the request of Top Fuel and Funny Car teams in 2009, has been discontinued. During the off-season, team owners asked NHRA to reconsider the limitations, and as a result there will be no in-season testing policy.(The Agent wonders if missing out on lucrative match races at tracks such as Summit Raceway Park and Cordova Dragway Park has any effect on this issue?)
Recognizing the need to continue to deter oildowns at national events, NHRA has increased the monetary fines. The fine for a first violation at an event will increase to $1,500 in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, with subsequent violations at the same event doubling to $3,000. Monetary fines for Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will remain the same as 2012.
In addition to the monetary fines, teams will also lose NHRA Mello Yello championship points except at the final six events of the season. Points penalties remain the same as 2012. The 2013 NHRA Oildown Policy is available at www.nhra.com. [1/18/2013]