Monday, January 31, 2011


GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2011) – NHRA announced today that competitors in the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series will now be racing for the coveted NHRA Wally Trophy at each of the nine points earning events during the 2011 season.  “Class size” Wally trophies will be awarded to each event winner in classes running for and earning NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series points. Car counts for the series have grown each year and with the addition of the Wally trophy being awarded to the 2011 event winners, NHRA and the host tracks expect the growth to continue.

The series, entering its fourth season, consists of 14 classes of competition highlighted by Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters and Nostalgia Funny Cars.  Each class competes and earn points at five of the nine events except for Top Fuel which will be contested at four events.  The series kicks off at Speedworld Dragstrip in Wittmann, Ariz., for the Arizona Fuel and Gas Championship, March 5-6, then heads over to Auto Club Famoso Raceway for the historic March Meet, March 18-20.  The series then makes stops at Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif; Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho; The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas; and Sacramento Raceway, Sacramento; before heading back to Famoso for the 20th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California in October.

Year end series champions receive an NHRA Champions Wally, champions jacket and a share of the year-end bonus purse.

Texas Top Fuel Legend Vance Hunt on Racin' & Rockin'!

Click to see the photo! 
Racin' and Rockin': Texas Top Fuel Legend Vance Hunt on Racin' & Rockin'! by Bill Pratt. On Monday, January 31, 2011, legendary 1950s and 60s Texas Top Fuel racer Vance Hunt joins us! Vance was one of the top racers in the country from 1958 to 1971, racing and trading wins with fellow legends like Don Garlits and Chris Karamesines. Vance also burned up the funny car class with a series of Hunt & Taylor Mustangs. Join us as we swap tales with one of the true icons of the sport.


Southwestern International Raceway to host third stop on 2011 Nitro Jam tour

Norwalk, Ohio, January 31, 2011 – After a few weeks of deliberation culminating with a unanimous vote by the racers, the International Hot Rod Association and Feld Motor Sports is proud to announce that Tucson, Ariz. based dragstrip Merles Southwestern International Raceway has joined the IHRA family of member tracks.

Merles Southwestern International Raceway has confirmed that the venue will be sanctioned by the IHRA and, according to new owner LJ Motorsports and CEO Bernie Longjohn, the IHRA affiliation will bring with it many racer friendly programs including the Summit SuperSeries and Teen Championship Racing, culminating with the southwestern United States debut of the fastest growing motorsports event in the country as Nitro Jam comes to SIR the weekend of March 25-26 with one of the biggest shows of the year.

"We here at Merles Southwestern International Raceway are thrilled to be teaming up with the International Hot Rod Association in bringing great racing, great shows and a fresh start to the Tucson area," Longjohn said. "This is a great partnership, not just for local racers, but for the entire region as we welcome an incredible Nitro Jam show to the track the last weekend of March and present many great racing options for the fans. It is sure to be a great event and a great year for everyone here at SIR."

The Tucson region has always had a rich tradition of great motorsport events and now Merles Southwestern International Raceway can proudly say that the best is coming March 25-26 as the Arizona Nitro Jam invades Tucson with the world's fastest cars and stars and a show that is sure to rock southwestern Arizona.

It will also be the farthest west the IHRA and Nitro Jam has ever traveled in the United States.

"We are thrilled to welcome SIR to the IHRA family and we are even more excited to bring a Nitro Jam to the western part of the United States and give those fans a unique show they can't see anywhere else," said IHRA President Aaron Polburn. "We have an incredible show lined up for Tucson that includes four nitro classes and a finale Arizona fans won't soon forget.

"We will also be working with Southwestern International Raceway to bring other unique and exciting programs to the track in the future as the IHRA continues its expansion west."

The 2011 Arizona Nitro Jam Tour will feature the world's fastest race machines as Top Fuel dragsters invade the Arizona strip, in addition to championship Prostalgia Nitro Funny Cars, insane Nitro Harleys, out-of-control Fuel Altereds, flame-throwing jet dragsters and the "Cool Bus" wheelstanding school bus. And it will all be capped off with a historical finale as, for the first time ever, fans as SIR will witness the legendary Grave Digger monster truck take on a 30,000 horsepower jet semi in a showdown between two of the most exciting trucks in the world.

In addition to the Arizona Nitro Jam, Merles Southwestern International Raceway will also welcome the Summit SuperSeries, which provides local racers an opportunity to compete for a world championship, and many other great racer programs.

For more information about Southwestern International Raceway visit the track website at or check out to learn more about the Arizona Nitro Jam the weekend of March 25-26.

Today's Drag Racing News

Drag racers burn rubber
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IndyCar 2011: What to watch for
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's Drag Racing News

NHRA marking its 60th season
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Ruck and Maul: Lawrence of Arabia hopeful of Gulf investment in Wasps
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Car Club Challenge Assn Announces 2011 Drag Racing Schedule
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Kurt Busch going NHRA drag racing | Nascar Photos
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Today's Drag Racing News

Tax Accusation at NHRA
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B1 Racing's Talent Pool Positioned to Lead the Field
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Ellis Gets Buell Ride With Lartigue
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Veteran Pro Stock Motorcycle racer and crew chief Harry Lartigue has announced his plans to return to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series in 2011 with ...
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Drag racers hone their F1 skills
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Muhanna al-Naimi and Von Smith, two of Al-Anabi Drag Racing team's top drivers, have raced in the 'world's most realistic' Formula One racing simulator at ...
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Changes for some of the NHRA's female competitors
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Buddy Perkinson announces 2011 plans
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Grant at obp's Tech Talk - Drag Racing.
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Sanders wins east versus west Prostalgia Funny Car showdown

Lagana, Evans own Palm Beach once again; Dorn, Bennett win in debut

JUPITER, Fla. (January 28, 2011) – Just about the farthest point you can get from the sunny beaches of West Palm Beach, Fla. in the continental United States is the great state of Washington on the Pacific coast.

Approaching nearly 4,000 miles from the southern tip of Florida to the capitol city of Seattle, the differences between the two locations are great and the distance even greater. Still, despite the vast amount of land separating the two locations, it was a Seattle man that found himself in victory lane Friday night in Florida as Mark Sanders drove his race rig all the way across the country to lay claim to the first victory of the 2011 season at Palm Beach International Raceway Friday night.

Sanders, spending the past seven days on the road just to reach PBIR, defeated another newcomer, east coast native Paul Romine, in the Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car championship at the Palm Beach Nitro Jam on opening night. Other winners from Friday included Bobby Lagana (Top Fuel), Bill Evans (Pro Fuel), Steve Dorn (Nitro Harley) and Chris Bennett (Fuel Altered).

Mark Sanders.jpg
Sanders, from Seattle, Wash., won on opening night at the Palm Beach Nitro Jam

“The ‘Mr. Explosive’ team is back baby,” exclaimed Mark Sanders following his win. “We drove all the way across this great country to be here tonight and to get the win in front of these great fans is what it is all about. We went toe-to-toe with one of the best in the business and we were able to put down a really hot lap and come out of here with the first win of the year. Now let’s see if we can go out here and do this again tomorrow night.”

Sanders, driving the “Mr. Explosive” 1970 Nova, drove around Romine and the “Man-O-War” machine with a blistering 5.873-second lap at 242.28 miles per hour in the final. Romine, who just got edged at the line in a great side-by-side showdown, posted a 5.941, 240.12.

“What a great race between myself and that bunch,” Sanders said. “All these guys out here can really push you to your limit, but Paul really takes that to another level. It means even more to beat out a guy like him, but with two nights of racing, it is anybodies ballgame tomorrow.”

In the Prostalgia Funny Car consolation rounds all five drivers from last year’s championship top five were left watching the newbies do their thing. In those rounds defending champion Steve Nichols posted a win over John Dunn, Peter Gallen drove around Richard Hartman and Mike McIntire edged Greg Jacobsmeyer.

Sanders and Romine, both newcomers to the Nitro Jam game, dominated in the opening round to set up and incredible matchup in the finals. Sanders had low elapsed time of the first round, blasting past last year’s Palm Beach winner Jacobsmeyer with a 5.826 second pass at 244.12 mph. Romine wasn’t far off his pace with a 5.886, 235.23 lap in a win over McIntire.

Top Fuel’s championship showdown between drivers Bobby Lagana Jr. and Bruce Litton produced without a doubt the best racing of the night as the pair ran side-by-side 300 mile per hour laps both times out. And in the final the pair saved the best for last as Lagana ran a near career best 4.886, 320.81 lap to Litton’s 4.925, 315.34. Lagana also edged Litton in the first pairing with a 4.928, 322.34 pass. The win is the 13th of Lagana’s career.

Bobby Lagana.jpg
Lagana picked right up where he left off in 2010 with a win Friday night

“What a way to start the 2011 season. We began last year with a win at Palm Beach on our way to the championship and hopefully that will bode well for us this season,” Lagana said. “We had two very fast laps tonight and we needed them to get around Bruce. I know we have even more in the tank for tomorrow so it should be fun.”

In Pro Fuel south Florida native Evans kept his nearly four-year win streak at PBIR alive with a victory over Mike Manners, kicking off his reign as class champion with his seventh career Ironman trophy.

And it wasn’t even a fight.

Evans cruised to the win when Manners failed to make the final call, a fortunate win against the man who posted the quickest lap of the night in round one. In the consolation matchup Robin Samsel posted a round win over Cherissa Smallwood when her engine went sour just off the line.

“I have won here at Palm Beach for four or five consecutive races. I don’t know what it is about this track, but we always seem to find ways to pull out the win,” Evans said. “We may not have been the fastest car tonight, but we still got the win. Hopefully we can make a few changes tonight and improve on our times.”

Even though he failed to make the final, Manners still produced low E.T. of the day in Pro Fuel during the opening round to reach the finals. Manners ran a 5.400, 270.70 in win over Smallwood, while Evans sailed past Samsel.

Two new classes were also a part of the festivities Friday night at Palm Beach International Raceway as Steve Dorn won the first Nitro Harley title in nearly a decade and Chris Bennett won in his first time out in the new Nostalgia Fuel Altered class.

Steve Dorn.jpg
Dorn welcomed Nitro Harley racing back to Nitro Jam with a win on opening night

Dorn won his first career Ironman trophy with a pair of consistent laps capped off with a 6.306, 220.01 lap in the final to drive around Mike Scott. In the consolation matchup Randal Andras came away victorious.

Dorn had low elapsed time of the opening round as well with a 6.378, 199.14 to reach the final, while Mike Lehman was just behind with a 6.962, 208.07 lap.

Rounding out the night was the Fuel Altered class headed by Bennett in the “Pure Heaven” machine. Bennett ran a 6.289, 218.80 in the final to down his nemesis Jason Richey in the “Pure Hell” Altered. Ron Hope in “Rat Trap” won the consolation pairing over “Nanook” star Ron Maroney.

Bennet and Richey both had an easy road to the final when their opponents both had issues on their runs. Bennet had low elapsed time of the opening round by a tenth of a second.

Nitro Jam will continue on Saturday with sportsman qualifying and eliminations beginning at 10 a.m. and day two of Nitro Jam at 6 p.m.

Bill Evans.jpgBill Evans

Bobby Lagana.jpgBobby Lagana

John Dunn.jpgJohn Dunn

Mark Sanders.jpgMark Sanders

Fuel Altered.jpgRat Trap Fuel Altered

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame announces 2011 inductees

Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame is proud to announce the inductees for the Class of 2011:
  • Jesse Baird- Louisville-Oval and Figure 8 Champion
  • Andy Vertrees- Louisville- Figure 8 Champion and Track Promoter
  • Elmo Guy- Bowling Green- Track Builder, Oval, Motorcycle and Drag Racer
  • Elmer Trett- Keavy- Champion Top Fuel Motorcycle Builder and Rider
  • Bill Roell-Lationia-Drag Racer and Race Car Painter
  • Gene and Alberta Barker-Morehead-Drag Racers and Track Owners
  • Hansel (Pop) Sullivan-Warsaw-Truck and Tractor Puller
  • Paul (Butterball) Wooldridge-Frankfort-Dirt Track Stock Car Racer

The 2011 Induction Ceremony will be held Sunday, August 14, 2011 at Swope's Cars of YesterYear Museum in Elizabethtown, KY.
More information on inductees coming soon.
Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame

Two-Car Team of Hossler, Todd Looking Forward To 2011 ADRL Season

O'FALLON, MO (January 28, 2011) – While he did not race a year ago, J.R. Todd spent plenty of time at American Drag Racing League (ADRL) events in 2010.

One of his usual stops was the pit of Pro Extreme driver Alex Hossler, where the duo talked, hung out and quickly became good friends.

That friendship turned into a partnership as they now form a two-car Pro Extreme team headed by Rob Flynn, Mike Guger and Al-Anabi Racing.

As teammates, the relationship has been just as fruitful and each has made quite an impact in the Arabian Drag Racing League, winning a combined three races. Todd, a former Top Fuel standout in the NHRA, has proven to be quick-learner in his stunning '57 Chevy, winning two races, while Hossler won the latest race at Qatar Racing Club (QRC).

Todd is currently in the points lead for the 2010-2011 with three races remaining, and the strong winter already has the team thinking big for the 2011 ADRL Tour.

"Hopefully we can pick up where we left off in Qatar here in the U.S.," Todd said. "We're going to run both cars and do whatever it takes to get them both in the 'Battle For The Belts.' Just to qualify in the ADRL is going to be a tough chore, but I'm looking forward to racing with (Hossler) here in the states. We both work together well and that's what it takes."

Todd struck up a friendship with Al-Anabi owner KH Al-Thani, which led to Todd attending a number of ADRL races during the 2010 season.

That eventually led to an offer to drive a PX car and his fast friendship with Hossler helped it become a two-car team.

Hossler has also enjoyed how the two cars have operated, as team has been behind every decision.

"We're definitely doing it the right way," Hossler said. "We trade information and we're swapping parts back and forth, seeing how they react differently with engine combinations.

"It's been awesome. I know if I can't win, I want to see my teammate do well."

Todd shares a similar notion and that teamwork is a key reason why the ultra-talented driver has gotten off to such a hot start in his Pro Extreme career.

Consistently putting up times in the low-to-mid 3.6s, Todd won Round Two at QRC, adding a second victory two races later.

He compared his Garrett Livingston-built '57 Chevy, which he admitted is a real "head-turner," to a Cadillac in terms of how well it has performed, and Todd has already exceeded his own expectations in Qatar.

"I've definitely been blown away with the results we've had so far," Todd said. "These cars have always been appealing to me and when I got offered to drive one, I couldn't turn it down.

"(The team) kind of thinks outside the box and things seem to work for us. It's been a dream to drive and we haven't missed a beat yet. It's been a win-win all the way around."

Hossler finally overcame a flurry of minor frustrations to win Round Five in Qatar, putting up a career-best 3.62 at more than 210 miles per hour in the process.

He has been impressed with the job Flynn and Guger have done, as they've pushed the envelope while still enabling his car to go down the track. Todd's laid-back and easygoing attitude has also meshed well with Hossler's intense personality.

"He's super cool and he's proven winner for sure," Hossler said. "He's already proven that in a door car. It's always going to help (me) succeed being around people like that."

Reaching the 3.5s is the next goal for both and, like Todd, Hossler is excited to see what the 2011 ADRL Tour will hold for the two-car team.

"There's a lot of good cars out there," Hossler said. "It's going to be real tough, but it's going to be fun."

Texas Top Fuel Legend Vance Hunt on Racin' & Rockin'!

Click to see the photo! 

Racin' and Rockin': Texas Top Fuel Legend Vance Hunt on Racin' & Rockin'! by Bill Pratt. On Monday, January 31, 2011, legendary 1950s and 60s Texas Top Fuel racer Vance Hunt joins us! Vance was one of the top racers in the country from 1958 to 1971, racing and trading wins with fellow legends like Don Garlits and Chris Karamesines. Vance also burned up the funny car class with a series of Hunt & Taylor Mustangs. Join us as we swap tales with one of the true icons of the sport.

Today's Drag Racing News

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Drag racers prepare for battle in first round of Pro Series
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If you like racing, you're going to love 'No Pits Racing'
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Where will all the dragsters go?
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Funny Car driver/owner Bob Tasca III, whose grandfather was instrumental in launching Ford's return to professional drag racing more than four decades ago, ...
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See's Candies opens Issaquah Commons shop Friday
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Ashley Force baby on the way
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T n t @ mooresville drag strip jan. 29 - Kawasaki ATV Forum
By brutemankelley
Assorted Competition For drag racing, TT, hillclimbing, and any and all other forms of racing. LinkBack · Thread Tools. Old Today, 08:05 PM. brutemankelley. Premium Member. Feedback Score: 1 reviews. brutemankelley's Avatar ...
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Drag racer Mike Austin on sports chat Friday
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

RJ Race Cars, Quarter-Max Named Major Sponsor For 2011 ADRL Tour

O'FALLON, MO (January 27, 2011) – The American Drag Racing League (ADRL) is pleased to announce RJ Race Cars and Quarter-Max Chassis & Racing Components as a new major sponsor for the 2011 season.

With nearly 25 years in the drag racing business, RJ Race Cars is widely-regarded as one of the top complete chassis fabrication shops and parts manufacturers in the business.

Owner and President Rick Jones is thrilled with the new partnership, which will also include a number of exciting future announcements.

"The ADRL has a great family atmosphere that I really like and there are so many people at each event," Jones said. "It's a great place for a lot of these racers and I think the future is going to be great. There is such a great atmosphere at these races.

"This will be good for us because it will generate more business for us, but it's a win for our customers and also gives the ADRL another business partner. It's good all the way around."

RJ Race Cars, which recently debuted a new PN car for Al-Anabi racing driver and class legend Shannon Jenkins, will have a strong and noticeable presence at each ADRL race, starting with the season-opening race on March 25-26 at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas

They will be in attendance for every event with a support trailer, offering parts and assistance to the teams and racers at all of the 2011 ADRL Tour stops. RJ Race Cars will also provide contingency for its customers.

"We are thrilled to have RJ Race Cars as a major sponsor in the ADRL. Rick and his team are dedicated to making unbelievable race cars and working with the ADRL will be the perfect scenario for everyone," ADRL VP of Sales and Marketing Brian Evans said.

"They are a great business partner and they will undoubtedly be a valuable asset to the ADRL racers in 2011."

After spending considerable time as a sponsor in the NHRA while his son, Rickie, raced in the Pro Stock division, Rick Jones was left impressed with the ADRL after attending a number of races in 2010.

Coming from a Pro Stock background, Jones was also thoroughly impressed with the remarkable doorslammer racing in the nation's premier eighth-mile drag racing league.

"There is nothing cooler than fast doorslammers going down the track," Jones said. "With all of these different car styles, it's a really, really exciting place to be."

RJ Race Cars has also quickly moved into building more Pro Nitrous, Extreme 10.5 and Pro Extreme cars.

"It's something new for us and it's definitely a new chapter for our company," Jones said. "It's going to be very cool and we really wanted to move into the this market. We thought coming on board with the ADRL would be a natural fit and we're very excited."

In addition to being a sponsor, Jones' son, Rickie, will also be racing in the class for the first time.

He participated in two Extreme Pro Stock (XPS) races in 2010 and the challenge of performing in a new and highly-competitive PN class is another aspect that has Rick Jones eager for the 2011 season.

"We've never raced nitrous before, but it's going to be something we're going to have a lot of fun with," Jones said. "I think Rickie will adapt well."