Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nichols Looking To Sew Up First Championship In New Prostalgia Class

Championships in 10 different classes to be decided at World Finals Nitro Jam in Virginia 

PETERSBURG, Va. (September 30, 2010) – When the 2010 racing season began, Steve Nichols was just like everyone else in the new Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car class. He was the new guy in a new classroom just looking to find his footing.

Now, eight months and nine events later, Nichols has risen to the head of the class and looks poised to claim his first ever funny car championship when he takes his “Mill Road Boys” 1970 Camaro to the World Finals Nitro Jam October 15-16 at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Nichols began the season with a win in Palm Beach and now looks poised to wrap up his first championship

“We certainly knew we had a car that could be competitive this season, but what we didn’t know was whether or not we could put it all together and stay out front,” Nichols said. “Obviously we started the year strong and ended it even stronger and now we are just one weekend away from winning the inaugural Prostalgia championship with the IHRA. It is a pretty neat deal.”

And what a year it has been for the “Mill Road Boys” team.

Nichols began the season with the second-ever victory in the new class at the season opening Palm Beach Nitro Jam in Florida and followed that up with two more wins during the months of July and August. He then peppered in half a dozen more final round appearances over the course of the season to essentially run away with the inaugural Prostalgia championship. Nichols was also aided by a strong showing during the Nitro Jam western swing to help him gain valuable points over the competition.

Thanks to those three wins and a good showing out west, Nichols has been able to hold off a hard charging Peter Gallen who has done everything in his power to make up the now 54-point gap between himself and Nichols. After missing the trip west, Gallen has won three of the last eight races and added another three runner-up finishes to close in on the championship lead he once held, but the bonus points Nichols earned out west could essentially seal his fate.

Nichols has been among the most consistent cars in the new Prostalgia class

Gallen has won a class-leading six times this year and holds an impressive 21-6 round win-loss record, unfortunately of those six losses three have come to Nichols. Still, Gallen has had a tremendous year with nine final round appearances in 18 races should prove a factor once again in Virginia.

Nichols, on the other hand, has been to seven finals with three wins and has a 24-12 round win-loss record. And with another strong showing in Virginia, Nichols will lock up his first championship after seven years driving his ’70 Camaro. He made his debut in the “Mill Road Boys” entry in 2004 and went on to set several records including being the first driver to record a five-second pass in a Chevy-powered nostalgia funny car.

Since setting that record, Nichols has switched back and fourth between the Chevy engine and his new Hemi this season with mixed results. Despite the varied success, Nichols has been able to stay out front all season long and it appears that success will finally pay off later this month.

Just 54-points behind Nichols is six-time Prostalgia winner Peter Gallen

In Virginia, Nichols will need to keep his car out of trouble and keep winning rounds to stay ahead of Gallen. In addition to Gallen, Nichols will also be up against a slew of talented drivers including the hottest driver as of late Rick Krafft, along with Greg Jacobsmeyer, Mike McIntire and many of the other top teams on the Nitro Jam tour.

Don’t miss the crowning of champions in all three Nitro Jam professional categories October 15-16 at Virginia Motorsports Park at the World Finals Nitro Jam in Petersburg.

ADRL Announces “Battle For The Belts” Matchups For LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VI

O'FALLON, MO (September 28, 2010) — The American Drag Racing League (ADRL) has released the matchups in all six classes for the LenMar Motorsports ADRL World Finals VI and the prestigious Speedtech "Battle For The Belts."
The innovative, eight-spot elimination tournament to determine a world champion in every ADRL class (Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Extreme 10.5, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Extreme Pro Stock and Pro Junior Dragster) takes place on Oct. 22-23 at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX.
ADRL drivers earned points during the 2010 ADRL Tour for their racing performance, record-breaking runs and event participation. Only the top eight drivers in each class advanced and last weekend's double-race (Dragstock VII and the Ohio Drags IV) at Summit Motorsports Park was the final opportunity to earn a spot into the field.
The points leader in each class also receives a first-round bye.
The following is a list of the top eight qualifiers in each class and how the first-round matchups will stack up at Texas Motorplex.


No. 7 Qualifier Quain Stott will race No. 8 Qualifier Jason Scruggs to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Josh Hernandez finished atop the points standings and will receive a
first-round bye
No. 2 – Alex Hossler will face the winner of Stott and Scruggs
No. 3 – Frankie Taylor will face No. 6 Qualifier Gaylen Smith
No. 4 – KH Al-Thani will face No. 5 Qualifier Todd Tutterow

Notes: Todd Tutterow made the biggest jump this weekend, moving up three spots after winning Dragstock VII and advancing to the semifinals of the Ohio Drags IV.


No. 7 Qualifier Stan Allen will race No. 8 Qualifier Steven Vick to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Rickie Smith finished atop the points standings and will receive a first-round bye
No. 2 – Jim Halsey will face the winner of Allen and Vick
No. 3 – Shannon Jenkins will face No. 6 Qualifier Charles Carpenter
No. 4 – Burton Auxier will face No. 5 Qualifier Randy Weatherford

Notes: This lineup changed several times over the weekend at Summit Motorsports Park. Allen and Vick both jumped into the top eight after productive days at Dragstock VII.


No. 7 Qualifier Kenny Doak will race No. 8 Qualifier Dan Millen to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Gary White finished atop the points standings and will receive a
first-round bye
No. 2 – Billy Glidden will face the winner of Doak and Millen
No. 3 – Spiro Pappas will face No. 6 Qualifier Chuck Ulsch
No. 4 – Jeff Naiser will face No. 5 Qualifier Todd Moyer

Notes: Millen jumped into the field after advancing to the finals of the Ohio Drags IV, while Pappas jumped into the third spot after winning Dragstock VII.


No. 7 Qualifier Lance Hines will race No. 8 Qualifier Charlie Prophit to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Ashley Owens finished atop the points standings and will receive a
first-round bye
No. 2 – Terry Schweigert will face the winner of Hines and Prophit
No. 3 – Kim Morrell will face No. 6 Qualifier Ronald Procopio
No. 4 – Travis Davis will face No. 5 Qualifier Eric McKinney

Notes: Prophit slipped into the field after a good weekend at Summit Motorsports Park, while Morrell moved to the third position after going to the Dragstock VII finals.


No. 7 Qualifier Jeff Dobbins will race No. 8 Qualifier Elijah Morton to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Cary Goforth finished atop the points standings and will receive a
first-round bye
No. 2 – John Montecalvo will face the winner of Dobbins and Morton
No. 3 – Brian Gahm will face No. 6 Qualifier Cale Aronson
No. 4 – Pete Berner will face No. 5 Qualifier Bob Bertsch

Notes: Dobbins jumped back into the field after running well at the Ohio Drags, while Aronson moved several spots after advancing to the finals at Dragstock. Berner also climbed four spots over the weekend.


No. 7 Qualifier Tia Tutterow will race No. 8 Qualifier Ty Tutterow (in a sibling vs. sibling matchup) to earn a spot in the field.
No. 1 – Morgan Benfield finished atop the points standings and will receive a
first-round bye
No. 2 – Timmy Clifton will face the winner of Tia and Ty Tutterow
No. 3 – Tyler Allen will face No. 6 Qualifier Alexander Oppen
No. 4 – Kendall Thiesse will face No. 5 Qualifier K.J. Nowling

Notes: Benfield jumped to No. 1 after winning the Ohio Drags, while Ty Tutterow moved into the top eight after winning Dragstock.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Drag racing/industry pioneer interviews at the SEMA SHOW

Parma Heights, Ohio (29 September 2010) The Quarter Mile Foundation has announced an ambitious schedule of interviews for the PROJECT 1320 documentary series to be done at the 2010 SEMA Show.

“SEMA and the SEMA Show management have provided the Quarter Mile Foundation with the facilities next to the show floor which have made this all possible,” noted Foundation Chairman, Traci Hrudka. “The room, which is very near our East Lobby display location, will let us work almost seamlessly to organize and expedite the interview filming process.

“We are concentrating on getting these first person narratives with the older members of the SEMA Hall of Fame, as well as other individuals who built and influenced drag racing and the performance aftermarket. As these men and women gather at the SEMA Show, the Foundation and the Association realized this was an ideal venue – rooms for filming were available, the annual SEMA Hall of Fame Luncheon and the electric atmosphere of the show itself bring many of these pioneers together.”
Plans currently call for 10 to perhaps as many as 12 interviews to be completed, and added to the interviews of Jon Lundberg and Dave McCelland which are have been finished. Currently scheduled for interviews will be Bob Airheart, Ed Iskenderian, Louis Senter, Carroll Shelby, “Speedy Bill” Smith, Don Smith, Linda Vaughn, “Doc” Watson and Alex Xydias. Among the group are manufacturers, racers, distributors manufacturers reps, and in the case of Linda Vaughn, a personality, who helped define the era.

Many of these individuals will also make personal appearances at the Quarter Mile Foundation/PROJECT 1320 display (Booth 26112) in the East Pavilion of the Central Hall signing autographs and reminiscing with show attendees.

“Without the help of the Association and the show management, this would have been a very difficult proposition,” said Ms. Hrudka. “The SEMA Show again provides the Foundation an excellent opportunity to showcase the PROJECT 1320 undertaking, and with the filming which will be occurring, we are anticipating a busy, rewarding week.

“I want to thank Chris Kersting and Peter MacGillivray and other members of the SEMA staff, and Chuck Schwartz of CONVEXX and his staff, for their continuing efforts to make this happen.”

The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501(c)(3)not-for-profit foundation, which is producing PROJECT 1320, a documentary film series about the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket.

JC Apparel Industries Named Official Uniform Provider of the ADRL

O'FALLON, MO (September 29, 2010) — The American Drag Racing League (ADRL) is pleased to announce that it has named JC Apparel Industries as its official uniform provider.

The 15-year apparel company has signed on to be the official uniform provider for the rest of the 2010 season.

"We are very excited about this relationship and we hope to continue to build on it," said Eric Cody, the Director of the Motorsports Division for JC Apparel. "The ADRL is one of the fastest-growing sanctioning bodies in drag racing and we are pleased to be a part of the ADRL and its future growth."

Cody was introduced as the Director of the Motorsports Division for JC Apparel in June after serving many years in the custom apparel industry.

JC Apparel Industries has acquired the proprietary internal art files created by Phoenix Custom Apparel, which is the key component in creating not just the images and colors of products, but also the unique sizing and variety of products.

"JC Apparel will continue to offer the best quality in uniforms that everyone has grown to expect," said Cody, who has more than 10 years of uniform experience in motorsports. "With our embroidered and screen-printed goods, we can provide anything and everything to make every ADRL team look great."

The new ADRL uniform debuted at Simpson Dragstock VII in Rockingham and will be on display for the rest of the 2010 season.

"We were very impressed with what JC Apparel presented to us and their uniform design is second-to-none," ADRL VP of Sales and Marketing Brian Evans said.

"The uniforms are comfortable, their top-notch design ensures a professional look and each of their uniforms makes them stand out. We are very excited to have JC Apparel as the official uniform provider of the ADRL."

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick Fuel Technology support of PROJECT 1320

Parma Heights, OhioQuick Fuel Technology of Bowling Green, Ky. has become the latest company to add its support to Quarter Mile Foundation and its PROJECT 1320, according to Traci Hrudka, Chairman of the Quarter Mile Foundation.

“I am pleased to have Quick Fuel Technology join with us to help record and preserve the history of drag racing,” said Ms. Hrudka.  “It is important to the Foundation to see our industry folks are understanding and seeing the need for PROJECT 1320’s endeavor to preserve and capture our heritage so it can be passed on to future generations, so those who follow will understand this sport and industry was built basically ‘by the seat of the pants.’

“Marvin (Benoit, Quick Fuel Technology’s President and co-founder) has been very interested in PROJECT 1320 from the inception. He’s also a racer (Super Gas and Super Comp), and has been in the aftermarket in the fuel systems segment all of his life. He has a passion for the sport’s history, and has been part of the special relationship between the racer and the aftermarket, and wants others to understand why we have the insatiable quest to be better than the guy lined up next to us…on the track and in life.

“I want to thank Marvin and the entire Quick Fuel family for this support. The Foundation is looking forward to working with the company in the years to come.”

"Drag racing is unique in that at the end of the day we are all equal and here for the same reasons, I can think of no other sport with a bond of friendship and community so strong. Yet we seem to look at our accomplishments with perhaps too much humility at times’” said Benoit.

“There are those who look at our heroes and legends, and wonder why the story hasn’t been told by them. When we lose these stories about our past, we cannot recapture that feeling or texture of our early days. I want the history of my sport and my industry told by the guys who were there, and who can tell the story the way it was.

"For this reason, I feel it is my responsibility to help make the PROJECT 1320 documentary a reality. It will help tell my community’s story – my sport’s and my industry’s story – and yes, my company’s story too.”

The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501(c)(3)not-for-profit foundation, which is producing PROJECT 1320, a documentary film series about the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Final Results from Champion Raceway, Medford, Ore.


MEDFORD, Ore. (Sept. 27, 2010) – In the final results from the Northwest Championships at Champion Raceway and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., and Brian Hough, Junction City, Ore. took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively, for the final race of the North West Division.

Cowie faced off against Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore. and posted a winning run of 5.463 seconds, 260.46 mph. Severance drove to a 5.484 second, 259.76 mph lap for his runner up finish.

Hough worked his way through the field and ran 5.851 seconds at 247.93 mph in the semifinals over Shane Westerfield, Lake Forest, Calif., who clocked in at 5.949 seconds, 238.85 mph, to cement his final round victory.

Other racers visiting the winner’s circle this weekend were Aaron Strong, Auburn, Wash., in Comp Eliminator; Dallas Glenn, Covington, Wash., in Super Stock; Chuck Hawk Jr, Tucson, Ariz., in Super Comp; Joe Sorensen, Woodburn, Ore., in Stock Eliminator; Mike Ferderer, Buckley, Wash., in Super Gas; and Bill Gee, Silverton, Ore., in Super Street. In the division’s Top Sportsman class it was Wayne Newman, Lancaster, Calif., taking the win while Gene Heaton, Vancover, Wash., won in Top Dragster. Also taking home wins were Jeff Havens, Yakima, Wash., in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley Davidson; Tom Stockero, Bend, Ore., in Super Pro; and Patrick Arnott, Redmond, Ore., in PRO.

The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Champion Raceway:

2) Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., 5.539, 256.94 def. 3) Mike Austin, Medford, Ore., 7.694, 88.55
1) Shawn Cowie, Delta, B.C., 5.431, 262.59 def. 4) Johnny Ahten, Santa Clarita, Calif., broke

Cowie, 5.463, 260.46 def. Severance, 5.484, 259.76

Round 1
3) Shane Westerfield, Lake Forest, Calif., '05 Firebird, 6.032, 235.06 def. 4) Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., '06 Monte Carlo, 6.793, 168.77
2) Brian Hough, Junction City, Ore., '10 Monte Carlo, 10.231, 79.02 def. 5) Sean Bellemeur, Tustin, Calif., '05 Firebird, 13.787, 35.82
6) Jeff Ashwell, Keizer, Ore., '09 Mustang, 6.206, 198.58 def. 1) Doug Gordon, Paso Robles, Calif., '07 Monte Carlo, 7.450, 121.54

Hough, 5.851, 247.93 def. Westerfield, 5.949, 238.85

Hough, broke was unopposed

Aaron Strong, Auburn, Wash., '05 Cavalier, F/A, 8.163, 166.58 def. Pat Byron, Hoquiam, Wash., dragster, C/D, 6.965, 192.60

Dallas Glenn, Covington, Wash., '96 Corvette, SS/JA, 10.960, 122.47 def. Jody Lang, Puyallup, Wash., '81 Malibu, GT/JA, 10.911, 117.31

Joe Sorensen, Woodburn, Ore., '69 Camaro, A/SA, 10.777, 122.32 def. Vincent Storms, Renton, Wash., '70 Challenger, D/SA, 11.466, 110.81

Chuck Hawk Jr, Tucson, Ariz., dragster, 8.919, 162.04 def. Tom Gresham, Gresham, Ore., dragster, 8.858, 164.43

Mike Ferderer, Buckley, Wash., '06 Grand Am, 9.946, 152.59 def. Randy Bowers, Riverside, Calif., '69 Camaro, 9.922, 141.71

Bill Gee, Silverton, Ore., '66 Chevy II, 10.948, 134.56 def. Ken Woodward, Lyons, Ore., '70 Nova, 10.887, 128.64

Wayne Newman, Lancaster, Calif., '94 Lumina, 7.620, 180.67 def. Chris Newman, Lancaster, Calif., '08 Cobalt, 7.520, 183.79

Gene Heaton, Vancover, Wash., dragster, 7.557, 179.18 def. Marc Heritage, Spanaway, Wash., dragster, 7.593, 175.80

Jeff Havens, Yakima, Wash., '95 Suzuki, 8.086, 162.51 def. Wayne Cox, Eureka, Calif., '07 Suzuki, 8.894, 144.63

Tom Stockero, Bend, Ore., '67 Chevy, 10.496, 147.58 def. Moe Trujillo, Boring, Ore., Dragster, 7.649, 170.47.

Patrick Arnott, Redmond, Ore., '82 Chevy, 11.966, 121.70 def. Ryan Warter, Olalla, Wash., '70 Nova, foul.

Championships To Be Decided At World Finals Nitro Jam

Close battles highlight Nitro Jam’s return to Virginia Motorsports Park

PETERSBURG, Va. (September 27, 2010) – In two of the tightest points races in Nitro Jam history, the championships in both the Top Fuel and Pro Fuel Dragster classes will go down to the wire entering the season finale at the World Finals Nitro Jam October 15-16 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg.

Only three points separate Top Fuel veterans Bruce Litton and Bobby Lagana Jr., while only one point separates Nitro Jam newcomers Bill Evans and Mike Manners in the brand new Pro Fuel Dragster class. A third driver is also a part of the Pro Fuel title chase as Jeff Hamelink sits just seven points back of the leaders.

Lagana will be seeking his first championship after a decade on the Nitro Jam tour

“It is a testament to the kind of competition we have had this year on the Nitro Jam tour,” said IHRA President Aaron Polburn. “People automatically assumed that, with the new format, championships and point races wouldn’t mean anything anymore in the professional categories. Obviously, with two of the closest races we have ever seen in Nitro Jam competition being decided in Virginia next month, that just isn’t the case.”

By far the closest battle this season has taken place in the brand new Pro Fuel category. Conceived last season as an exciting addition to the already established Top Fuel class, Pro Fuel has become a fan favorite with incredible side-by-side racing and runs quickly approaching the four second zone.

And out of that class has come an incredible championship battle between two of the most impressive showman in the sport today. Mike Manners, driver of the “Shredder” Pro Fuel Dragster, and Bill Evans, piloting the “Black Pearl,” have put on an incredible show this season with wild designs, race props and record runs nearly every weekend, but their battle in the standings will certainly go down as one of the best ever seen in Nitro Jam competition.

Manners leads the Pro Fuel standings by one point entering the World Finals

The third driver in the mix, Jeff Hamelink in the “Stealth” dragster, is also a part of the showdown as he sits just seven points behind the leaders. Seemingly a midseason lock to win the championship with a huge point lead following the western swing, Hamelink has seen his lead slowly disappear over the last four races before finally vanishing altogether earlier this month in Maryland.

Part of that comeback has been because Manners and Evans have combined to win five of the last eight races, while the other factor is the bonus points earned for setting records in the class. Over the last three races the duo at the top of the standings have traded the national record for elapsed time and speed at every event, with Evans getting the last shot in at New England Dragway earlier this month.

Now, thanks to a number of record-setting performances, Evans, Manners and Hamelink are just a single weekend away from claiming the inaugural Pro Fuel championship.

Evans battled his way back into the picture with a record-breaking performance earlier this month in New Hampshire

“We have the record for now, but who knows how long that will hold up. We were talking with Mike at New Hampshire and he said they have a better shot at setting the record in Virginia. That is actually scary when you think about it,” Evans said. “Who knows? It might come down to another record or one of us sweeping both races. All I know is it is about to get interesting.”

While Manners enters the final race of the season with the lead, it is actually Evans who holds the most wins in the class. After kicking off the season with a weekend sweep and establishing the record for the class, Evans has since lowered the Pro Fuel national record by two tenths and nearly 20 mph while racking up six wins in six final round appearances. Manners has four wins in seven finals. Hamelink, after a slow start, has come on strong as of late with two wins in five finals including appearances in the finals of both rounds at the most recent Nitro Jam event.

“This has been a wonderful season and we have enjoyed competing with all of these guys out here,” Manners said. “Now, after a long season, it looks like it is all going to come down to a win here or a record there. It is going to be exciting and we are certainly going to give it everything we have.”

The other points race to watch at the World Finals Nitro Jam is Top Fuel.

Litton is seeking his second Top Fuel title in four years

After trading the points lead five times this season and combining to win 13 of 18 races, the championship in Nitro Jam’s quickest and fastest class will come down to who has the hot hand in Virginia as only three points separate Lagana and Litton.

Thanks to a pair of final round appearances in New Hampshire, Litton has once again reclaimed the championship lead as he looks for his second career Top Fuel title. Litton, who is in the top five in every Nitro Jam statistical category, won his only championship in 2007.

“We have had a great year in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist dragster and we are very excited to be in the hunt entering the final race of the season,” Litton said. “Bobby and that group have had an incredible year and I couldn’t think of a better team to be up against to decide the first championship under the new format.”

Behind Litton is the man many people consider the “Peoples Champion.” In his decade long Top Fuel career Lagana has been close to winning it twice, but he has never been able to seal the deal. Still, his fan interaction and go or go home racing style has made him a fan favorite on the tour and has garnered him a huge following. If Lagana can finally seal his first championship in Virginia it would be a very popular win amongst Nitro Jam fans.

Hamelink is the third player in the Pro Fuel points chase

“It would mean the world,” Lagana said. “We have put in as much blood, sweat and tears as all of these other teams with half of the budget to work with. We love racing and we love putting on a show and if we can cap our tremendous year with a championship Ironman it would be validation for all the time and money we have invested in this sport.”

Lagana has had a career year with seven wins in 11 finals after going to only 12 finals in the previous 11 seasons. Litton has also had a tremendous year, winning six times and finishing runner-up six times. Thanks to that success Litton has now tied seven-time champion Clay Millican with 60 career final round appearances. Litton is also third in career wins with 22 Ironman trophies.

With only one race remaining, fans will be in for one of the most exciting Nitro Jam events of the season as two of the three professional classes will come down this one race October 15-16 at the World Finals Nitro Jam at Virginia Motorsports Park.

1968 Bakersfield Fuel Memories on Racin' and Rockin' This Week!

Click to see the photo! Bill's Notes: 1968 Bakersfield Fuel Memories on Racin' and Rockin' This Week! by Bill Pratt. On Friday night, October 1, 8-10 PM Eastern Time, Racin' & Rockin' with takes you back to Bakersfield 1968 as we host a discussion with George "The Stone Age Man" Hutcheson and Larry Crossan, the man who has restored the famous Stone Age Man AA/ Fuel Dragster! The Drag Racing List of the Week will be the Top Fuel winners at the Bakersfield March Meet from 1959 to 1988. And throughout the show we'll be playing and discussing Hit Records, featuring the great songs that led the Billboard charts in 1968!

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