‘Mopars at the Rock’ winners announced for all-Chrysler event

Charles Terrell of Kernersville, NC, took out defending champion Vick Helms of Catawba, SC, in the quarterfinals but couldn’t get past Oakboro’s Joe Hartsell (shown) in the combined Pro ET/Footbrake final round of the 27th annual Griffin Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep MOPARs at the Rock all-Chrysler event Saturday, March 31, at Rockingham Dragway.


Hartsell parlayed a .016 reaction time with a track time of 5.453 seconds (against a 5.400 dial-in) to get his 1971 Dodge Dart into the winners’ circle.


Leon Hudson of Rustburg, VA, claimed the featured Small Tire Shoot title, sponsored by Lenny Melton in memory of “Bullet Bob” Reed. In the “Bullet Bob” Reed Memorial Hemi Challenge, Chuck Hilton overcame an enormous reaction time disadvantage to run down the Barracuda of Jason Sisk in the final round.


‘BULLET BOB’ REED MEMORIAL HEMI SHOOTOUT: Chuck Hilton, .452, 9.405 on a 9.340, 143.14 mph, def. Jason Sisk, .199, 9.888 on a 9.550, 138.98 mph.


CHALLENGER SHOOTOUT: Rick Cline, Fairmont, .062, 14.103 on a 13.850, 97.57 mph, def. Jon Sipple, Mooresville, 2016 Hellcat, .312, 9.887 breakout on a 9.900, 137.55 mph.


CHARGER SHOOTOUT: Greg Do, Charlotte, .058, 12.087 on a 12.000, 111.68 mph, def. Mike England, Morganton, .383, 11.309 on a 10.950, 128.11 mph.


SMALL TIRE SHOOTOUT: Leon Hudson, Rustburg, VA, 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, 5.477, 128.10 mph, def. Scott Cheek, Greensboro, 1968 Dodge Dart, .208, 5.404, 130.02 mph.


SUPER PRO/FOOTBRAKE: Joe Hartsell, Oakboro, 1971 Dodge Dart, .016, 5.453 on a 5.400, 117.50 mph, def. Charles Terrell, Kernersville, .041, 5.936 on a 5.860, 116.67 mph.


TROPHY ELIMINATOR: Jason Wirth, West Columbia, SC, 2006 Dodge Charger, .186, 12.994 on a 12.950, 107.81 mph, def. Thurman Warren, Dunn, 2014 Dodge Ram truck, .050, 14.289 breakout on a 14.300, 90.90 mph. 

PDRA headed for GALOT this weekend

Tommy Franklin 


The Professional Drag Racers Association opens its fifth season of all eighth-mile drag racing this weekend at the PDRA East Coast Spring Nationals, April 5-7, taking place at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, NC.


One of the stars to watch is Tommy Franklin, the back-to-back and defending world champion in Pro Nitrous. Franklin and his “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro got a preview of the competition last month when he won the first GALOT Motorsports Park Mad Mule race.


“We won the last 2017 GALOT Mad Mule race in November, then the first 2018 Mad Mule race in March,” said Franklin, the co-founder and principal owner of the PDRA. “There was a lot of tough competition, so it definitely wasn’t easy. Everyone has been doing their homework over the winter, so I think GALOT is going to be a fast race for every class.”


In addition to Pro Nitrous, the PDRA East Coast Nationals will feature four other professional classes: Pro Extreme, Pro Boost, Extreme Pro Stock and Pro Extreme Motorcycle.


The PDRA’s sportsman ranks will be represented by Top Sportsman and Top Dragster, which will each have an Elite 16 class and regular 32-car field this season. The future stars of the sport can be found in Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster. The Edelbrock Bracket Bash, a class for local bracket racers, is also back for 2018.


Joining the PDRA this weekend and at select events throughout the 2018 PDRA tour will be the increasingly popular Pro Outlaw 632 class and the small-tire stars of Outlaw 10.5. Pro Outlaw 632 will compete at all eight races except the Summer Nationals in Michigan, while Outlaw 10.5 is on the schedule for the East Coast Spring Nationals, the Firecracker Nationals in Virginia, the Super Strip Nationals in Ohio, and the World Finals in Virginia.  

New car, new look for Jeg Jr. at Vegas

So long, bright yellow!


Five-time Pro Stock world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. will sport a new look at this weekend's 19th annual Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals when he unveils a new flat-black JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro.


"We're doing something a little out of the norm for us with this flat-black Camaro built by Rick and Rickie Jones and the group at RJ Racecars," Coughlin said. "It's a great car that feels really comfortable and we've dressed it up with bright yellow JEGS logos on the doors as well as the traditional SS stripes. It's a really cool look I think the fans will like.


"This car was actually driven in a few events by Richie Stevens and later by Val Smeland but (team owner) Richard Freeman recently reacquired it and we decided after our somewhat roller coaster start to the season to put it in service and see if we can't break free and run at the top of the class again."


In addition to competing at the national event, Coughlin will also be among the elite eight racers in the K&N Horsepower Challenge. He has won that special event in 1999, 2000 and 2009.  

Burkhart to pilot Schwab’s Funny Car with fire safety sponsor

Funny Car veteran and multi-time national event winner Phil Burkart Jr. will reunite with team owner Robert Schwab at the upcoming Four-Wide NHRA Nationals behind the wheel of the TNT First Aid Funny Car.


Burkart and Schwab raced three events together in 2017 -- Pomona 1, Phoenix and Las Vegas 1 -- successfully qualifying for all three races.


Working as chief medic at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Utah, Midgley was on the scene 19 years ago when Schwab suffered severe facial burns when his car caught fire after Schwab was knocked unconscious when he contacted the retaining wall. The heat of the fire was so intense his helmet was melting onto his face.


"Jeff and my relationship was etched in stone in 1999 when he pulled my unconscious body out of my Funny Car," Schwab said. "I woke up with Jeff yelling 'Can you hear me?' to which I responded, 'Get this (bleeping) helmet off me,' because it was burning me and I couldn't breathe. A lot of things lined up that day to make it possible for me to even be here today. I'm honored to now be working with Jeff to get the word out about his First Aid kits, BurnFree and the Virtual Medic phone app."


Midgley is a veteran medic and safety specialist who has developed a variety of first aid products for use in homes, businesses, race tracks and transporters. Moto-FAK was built from Midgley's personal experiences gleaned from his many years treating patients in drag racing, Indy Car and NASCAR.  

‘Save the Racks’ promotion in Diesel racing adds dollars for research

Hot Shot’s Secret, manufacturer of a full line of performance enhancing fuel and oil additives, is very pleased to be partnering with National Hot Rod Diesel Association  racer and pro puller, Amalee Mueller, to “Save The Racks.” Mueller, the 2017 Pro Stock Champion in the NHRDA Sled Pulling Series is also an avid bow hunter and outdoorswoman. When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago, she branded her Dodge Cummins powered pull and race trucks with Save The Racks to raise awareness and support her mother’s fight against breast cancer.



Hot Shot’s Secret will support Save the Racks by donating $50 for every pass made during the drag racing series, and will provide a $250 bonus for a second place finish or a $500 bonus if Amalee wins the class. Starting the season at the March 16th season opener of the NHRDA Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Drag Racing Series in Chandler, AZ, Amalee won the 10.90 index class, racking up a donation total of $850 from Hot Shot’s Secret.


In addition, Hot Shot’s Secret will also make donations following the same schedule for all passes run by Amalee’s father, Edgar Artecona, to support this worthy cause. All funds collected throughout the season will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation during the NHRDA World Finals at Texas Motorplex on Oct. 12-13, which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness month. Save the Racks t-shirts will be sold at the races in the Hot Shot’s Secret booth with 50% of the purchase price to be added to the donation as well.


Next event on the NHRDA schedule is the Nor Cal Diesel Nationals April 13-14 at Sacramento Raceway.  

Australian Queensland Championship series begins 2018 schedule

Russell Grulke 


More than 100 racers headed to Roma’s Ironbark Raceway last weekend for round one of the 2018 Summit Racing Queensland Championships.


Taking victories were Warren Dun (Street Bike), Liam Holt (Junior Dragster), Michelle Roydhouse (Street), Craig Shelswell (Super Street), Dylan Everett (Modified Bike), Dan Morton (Super Sedan), Katie Cunningham (Modified) and Russell Grulke (Outlaws).


“We are running an Outlaw car now – you start off in an old bush banger and work your way through as you can afford to do it! We put a new set-up into the car at the weekend with what was pretty much a whole new motor and electronics, so we could stop blowing it up!” Grulke laughed.


Other dates for the 2018 Summit Racing Queensland Championship are June 29-30 at Palmyra Dragway and Sept. 22 at Benaraby Raceway.  

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