‘Tar heels’ lead PDRA winners

Jay Cox (far lane) got the Pro Nitrous win over Jason Harris.


Competitors from the Tar Heel State nearly swept the Professional Drag Racers Association East Coast Spring Nationals as Jay Cox led a host of fellow North Carolinians into the winner’s circle at GALOT Motorsports Park.


Cox, from nearby Smithfield, recorded a string of 3.6-second passes to secure the season-opening win in Pro Nitrous over 2014 Pro Nitrous world champion Jason Harris. Joining Cox in victory were Pinetown’s Terry Leggett in Pro Extreme, Jacksonville’s Elijah Morton in Extreme Pro Stock and Bahama’s Rodney Williford in Pro Extreme Motorcycle. Lugoff, SC’s Jeremy Ray was the winner in Pro Boost.


Second-generation drag racer Johnny Pluchino scored the event victory in Pro Outlaw 632, while Canadian John Carinci earned the Outlaw 10.5 win.


The winners in the PDRA’s expansive offering of sportsman classes were Donny Urban in Top Sportsman, John Prime in Top Sportsman 32, Kevin Brannon in Top Dragster and Josh Duggins in Top Dragster 32. In Pro Jr. Dragster, Anthony Suppers used a superior reaction time and a 7.919 to defeat No. 1 qualifier Noah Cornatzer’s 7.905, both on a 7.90 dial-in. The Top Jr. Dragster final round was also decided on the starting line, as Logan Westmoreland drove his Half Scale dragster to a 9.109 on a 9.05 dial-in to take down Chris Hancock and his 8.949 on an 8.83 dial. Smithfield’s Jason Stowe won the Bracket Bash competition in his ’92 Chevy S-10.


We’ll have the complete race report tomorrow. The next stop on the 2018 PDRA Tour is the PDRA North-South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway, May 3-5.   

Anderson does it again

Greg Anderson got the second-round win in the K&N Horsepower Challenge over Jeg Coughlin in his new “basic black” Pro Stocker.


Saturday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a very good day for Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro driver Greg Anderson. Anderson claimed a record seventh K&N Horsepower Challenge trophy, and along the way he earned the 95th pole of his career in qualifying for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.


The K&N Horsepower Challenge victory was Anderson's third consecutive win in the special race that pits the best of the best in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category against one another for the $50,000 purse and major bragging rights.


"This blows my mind," said Anderson. "K&N has just been so wonderful to this class and this sport. It's an honor to get that big check up there. That's big money to us, and that will go a long way towards making these racecars go faster. I can't thank K&N enough.


Anderson knocked out Erica Enders in the first round with a 6.689-second pass at 206.20 mph to a 6.721, 204.35. In round two, the driver of the red Summit Racing Chevy won a close one over Jeg Coughlin Jr. The two were just .002 apart as they left the starting line, but at the top end, it was Team Summit power for the win with a 6.749, 204.88 to a 6.795, 202.39.


On the other side of the ladder, KB Racing-powered Bo Butner was making his way to the first K&N Horsepower Challenge final of his career in just his second time competing in the event. Butner got the best of Vincent Nobile with a killer .006 launch to his opponent's .033 and a strong 6.716, 203.52 to beat a 6.718, 204.57.


Butner's second-round match with fellow Sportsman standout Drew Skillman was the closest of the day, with Butner getting the win light by .002-second along with a ticket to the final. Butner was .038 at the tree to Skillman's .022 and laid down a 6.751, 203.16 to a 204.79.


The final round marked the third all KB Racing money round in the history of the Challenge. This time, it was decided at the starting line when Butner saw a .163-second red light.  

Dragstrip Memories returns to present Canada’s drag racing history

After a year’s hiatus, Dragstrip Memories will again present the largest collection of historic drag racing cars and memorabilia in Canada. The show will be held at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, Ontario, on Sunday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


More than 50 race cars will be on display including jet-powered vehicles, front engine dragsters, Pro Mods, several Gassers along with Stocks and Super Stocks. There will also be club display from the Hamilton-based Road Runners, the Rod Masters and the East London Timing Association.


In addition to vendors, there will also be movies and videos, photos, magazines and automotive art. 

Rescheduled events to run April 20-22 at Gateway

The JEGS Super Quick Series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL, on April 20-22 with two complete events. The weekend begins on Friday, April 20, with tech inspection and a Test 'n' Tune session. Complete events will be run Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. This event originally was scheduled for April 6-8 but was postponed due to weather.


Class winners will be crowned each day and each event will have a separate purse. Winner's purses include: JEGS Super Quick ($2,000 and NHRA Wally trophy), Super Pro ($1,200), Pro ($1,000), Sportsman ($300), Motorcycle ($150), Jr. Dragster class run-off ($120), Trophy (trophy). 

Santa Pod’s ‘Festival of Power’ cut short by rain

Mark Huxley, Sportsman ET winner.


Our European correspondents, Ivan Sansom and Rose Hughes, tell us that the opening round of the UK National drag racing series was cancelled on Easter Sunday after succumbing to a combination of the weather and the condition of the newly laid all-concrete track at Santa Pod. The completion of the track had been delayed due to a damp and distinctly cool winter that has hit much of Europe. The track surface refused to respond to the valiant efforts of the Santa Pod crew to get it into shape in the bitterly cold and wet conditions that prevailed over the weekend, a situation not aided by two days of qualifying wiped out due to rain.


Although the intention was to run a one shot qualifying session on the Sunday followed by eliminations, racing was suspended for all but a handful of classes after some on-track incidents with the track deemed not in a fit state to permit the running of high horsepower vehicles in a safe and secure fashion. The state of the parking area also meant that the track had to advise spectators not to turn up unless they were already on site. It was not the most auspicious start for SPR after a significant investment in upgrades during the off season.


The classes that were run through to a conclusion saw Marc Huxley (Sportsman ET), Polly Judge (VW Sportsman) and Jordan Payne (Junior Dragster) emerge victorious on four wheels, while Jake Mecheall (8.50 Bike), Dave Bowe (9:50 Bike), Bradley Head (ET Bike) and Jack Shook (Supertwin Top Gas) took the honors in the bike categories. An abbreviated jet show was interspersed in with these six classes.


The officials at Santa Pod have just released a revised schedule of events covering the next month and it is hoped this will give time for the grounds to heal.  

British Hall of Fame announces 2018 Gala date and two new directors

At the 2017 Gala, British drag racing fans took part in a Bench Racing session sponsored by Beech Underwriting Agencies in the hotel’s Terrazza, or terrace, during the afternoon before the evening's three course dinner and prize ceremony. A large contingent of special guests included Connie Kalitta and Jim Oberhofer from Kalitta Motorsport and Steve Gibbs, former NHRA Competitions Director and now organizer of the Nitro Revival nostalgia gathering to take place this year in May at WeatherTech Raceway, Laguna Seca. Steve was presented with the Lucas Oil Global Achievement Award for his long career in the sport. 


The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has announced that its 2018 Gala will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17, at the historic Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge. The BDRHoF also announces two new Directors, and a new adviser to the Board.


Ian Hart has joined as Director in charge of sponsorship, and Nigel Payne is Director helping with transport arrangements. Ian and Nigel are known for their involvement in UK Junior Dragster racing, with sons Ruaridh Hart and Jordan Payne helping the BDRHoF alongside their racing activities. 2017 BDRHoF inductee Lesley Wright has joined as an adviser, and Guy Loveridge (previously a director) has become Adviser for Historic Motorsport.  

NHRA announces two days were sold out at Las Vegas Four-Wide

NHRA and The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials announced that both Saturday and Sunday saw sellout crowds for the inaugural four-wide event west of the Mississippi. This is the first time that the venue has had two sellout crowds at the spring race. 

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