IHRA Sportsman qualifying, finals to be run in front of Nitro Jam audience at most events

ET Drag Racing columnist Michael Beard is a regular IHRA racer and multi-time champion.  (file photo)

ET Drag Racing columnist Michael Beard is a regular IHRA racer and multi-time champion. (file photo)

Sportsman racers looking for a little more action and a little more time in the spotlight will get their wish at all Nitro Jam/Pro-Am combination events in 2013.

Beginning with the San Antonio Nitro Jam in April the International Hot Rod Association will have a new qualifying schedule that will give all participants a round of qualifying on Friday night just prior to the Nitro Jam professional rounds at all Nitro Jam/ Pro-Am events.

The move will place sportsman racers center stage Friday night during the opening round of Nitro Jam and will cut down on Saturday’s schedule to better allow for an earlier finish with all finals scheduled to be run during Saturday’s Nitro Jam finale. Saturday winners will also receive a special-edition Nitro Jam Ironman and increased contingency.

“We are always looking for ways to incorporate our incredibly talented sportsman racers as part of the Nitro Jam show and we felt that this is a perfect way to put our racers in the spotlight while also ensuring that sportsman eliminations don’t run late into the night on Saturday,” said Skooter Peaco, IHRA Vice President. “This will give us an opportunity to showcase our racers Friday night and also allow us to better manage Saturday’s schedule so that the final rounds can be seen by the thousands of Nitro Jam fans.

“After watching entry patterns last year 90 percent of the competitors are already on the property Friday evening anyway so really it is a win-win for everyone.”

Racers will get one round of qualifying on Friday prior to the Nitro Jam professional rounds and one additional round of qualifying Saturday morning at all Nitro Jam/Pro-Am combination events. Eliminations for Saturday’s race will take place throughout the day with the semifinals and finals being included as part of the Nitro Jam show Saturday night.

Sunday’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am presented by AMSOIL race will be run as originally scheduled.

The new qualifying schedule will begin at the San Antonio Nitro Jam April 5-7 at San Antonio Raceway and will be in effect at the Bradenton, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Grand Bend, Martin and Memphis Nitro Jam events.

2nd Annual CHP Nationals event (all-GM) announced

CHP Nationals LSXProMedia Events, the company that produces the NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, will once again host the largest all-GM event of the year. The 2nd Annual Chevy High Performance Nationals will take place at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., the weekend of May 31 – June 2.

The Chevy High Performance Nationals will feature a huge all-GM car show. Chevrolet Performance is putting up big money for five heads-up LSX race classes with the pinnacle being LSX Drag Radial, a turbocharged, supercharged, and nitrous-powered GM class with speeds upwards of 200 mph.

Also on tap is the 3rd Annual Street Machine Challenge and Top Ride Shootout, an invitation-only event, where top suspension manufacturers will be seen pushing many high profile street machines on the dragstrip, 60 to 0 braking challenge, and autocross course.

There will be plenty of race classes for all levels of competition beginning with the Summit Racing-sponsored bracket competition. Want to know who has the fastest GM-powered street cars? There will be a TREMEC True Street class with nine different class winners.

Other attractions of the Chevy High Performance Nationals include a huge manufacturers midway, a giant used parts swap meet, a burnout contest, and much more. For more information go to www.CHPnationals.com or call 714-444-2426. (NMCA photo)

Sun finally shines on Rockingham Dragway’s Carolina Coalition Bracket Series

EricAman-dragsterFor Mt. Olive, North Carolina’s Eric Aman, the reward was worth the wait. After three consecutive postponements due to weather, the former Rockingham Dragway track champion claimed a $6,000 top prize Sunday, Feb. 24, as the Top Eliminator Champion in the rain-shortened opening event in the Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Bracket Series.

In addition to the cash, Aman also took the Coalition points lead as well as lead in the race for the 2013 track championship in the Ronnie Roberts Racing dragster. See all of the results in our Race Coverage.

Huddleston to sponsor ADRL Jr. Dragster classes and Nowling sons

HuddlestonPerf-logoThe ADRL has signed a multi-year, multi-faceted partnership with Huddleston Performance, a leader in the junior dragster industry, to be the title sponsor for the ADRL’s Top Junior Dragster and Pro Junior Dragster classes as well as the “Official Junior Dragster Engine of the ADRL” for the next three years.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership,” said Huddleston Performance Owner Bo Huddleston. “The ADRL has shown a tremendous commitment to the growth of junior dragster racing. They, like us, realize that the future of this great sport depends on the next generation. We are looking forward to a great future together.”

HP will also be a major sponsor and provide engines and clutches to the two-car Al-Anabi Racing Junior Dragster team of KJ and Joey Nowling. KJ, a multi-time ADRL national event winner, will compete in the Pro Junior Dragster division and his younger brother, Joey, will be making his ADRL debut in the new Top Junior Dragster class.

Vic Puglia Racecars returns as builder of Junior Summit SuperSeries prize dragster


Vic Puglia Race Cars, based in Buffalo, N.Y., will return as the official builder of the IHRA 2013 Junior Summit SuperSeries prize dragster awarded to the winner of the Junior Dragster World Championship at the Summit World Finals at Memphis International Raceway.

Vic Puglia Race Cars (www.vicpugliaracecars.com) is an award-winning shop that designs both Junior Dragster and full-size racecars and engines. Puglia is a graduate of the IHRA Junior Dragster program himself.

“I love what I do. I love what Junior Dragster racing meant for my family and what it means for kids today. It was such a rewarding family experience and something that was a big part of my life growing up,” Puglia said. “When I heard about the IHRA’s new Junior Dragster World Championship I knew I had to get involved. When I raced juniors we never had such a spectacular prize package and championship to compete for and for me to be able to contribute to that and award the winner a brand new car, it is such an incredible feeling.”

For more information on the Junior Summit SuperSeries and its lucrative prize package and for more information on the 2013 Summit SuperSeries dragster build, visit www.ihra.com/JuniorDragsters.

NHRA LODRS at Phoenix


Local racer Kevin Kleineweber took the Super Street title in his ’94 Hughes Performance Lumina

PHOENIX – Three Arizona racers took home the hardware from the NHRA Arizona Nationals and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series this past weekend at Firebird International Raceway.  Phoenix resident Kevin Kleineweber won in Super Street, Harry Doolittle, Wickenburg, Ariz., took the win in Super Stock, and Chuck Hawk, Tucson, Ariz., was victorious in Top Dragster

Kleineweber knocked out fellow Phoenix racer Ryan Giacone in his Hughes Performance sponsored ’94 Lumina in 11.001 seconds at 143.26 mph while Doolittle held off Mike Graham, Tempe, Ariz.  Hawk over powered Moe Trujillo with a lap of 197 mph in 6.914 seconds in his ’11 dragster.

Zack Torres and JR Lobner turned their trips to Phoenix into wins with Torres coming from El Paso, Texas, to beat Matthew Hawk (Chuck’s son) in the Stock Final for Torres’ first NHRA national event win of his career.  Lobner, Gardner, Kan., got the starting line advantage over Ted Carli, Temecula, Calif., to take his first win at the national level as well.

Brad Pierce picked up his fifth NHRA national event win beating Russ Ginger in Super Gas with his ’58 Corvette.

Brad Pierce and Jack DeRencin rounded out the winners taking the Super Gas and Super Comp titles respectively.  The win is Pierce’s fifth national in six final rounds as he took the hole-shot to beat Russ Ginger.  DeRencin, Buena Park, Calif., was near perfect running 8.905 on the 8.90 index to take out Jim Berry.

Most of the racers in competition this weekend will return to Firebird International Raceway on Thursday when they kick off an NHRA Pacific Division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series double-header.  The first of two events will run qualifying and time trials on Thursday with eliminations on Friday.  Racers in the Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car classes will join the action for the second race that will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3.

The following are the final results from the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway:

Super Stock -- Harry Doolittle, Pontiac Firebird, 12.069, 109.67 def. Mike Graham, Ford Mustang, 10.265, 129.74.

Stock Eliminator -- Zack Torres, Chevy Camaro, 11.622, 110.88 def. Matthew Hawk, Ford Mustang, 12.367, 100.56.

Super Comp -- Jack DeRencin, Dragster, 8.905, 164.47 def. Jim Berry, Dragster, 8.924, 166.89.

Super Gas -- Brad Pierce, Chevy Corvette, 9.899, 141.34 def. Russ Ginger, Dodge Aspen, 9.857, 161.21.

Super Street -- Kevin Kleineweber, Chevy Lumina, 11.001, 143.26 def. Ryan Giacone, Ford Thunderbird, 11.127, 119.57.

Top Dragster -- Chuck Hawk, Dragster, 6.914, 197.16 def. Moe Trujillo, Dragster, foul.

Top Sportsman -- JR Lobner, Chevy S-10, 7.457, 184.22 def. Ted Carli, Chevy Cobalt, 6.682, 207.75.

Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Bracket Series


ROCKINGHAM – For Mt. Olive’s Eric Aman, the reward was worth the wait.  After three consecutive postponements due to weather, the former Rockingham Dragway track champion claimed a $6,000 top prize Sunday as the Top Eliminator Champion in the rain-shortened opening event in the Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Bracket Series.

In addition to the cash, Aman also took the Coalition points lead as well as lead in the race for the 2013 track championship in the Ronnie Roberts Racing dragster.

Track owner Steve Earwood, who was forced to postpone his two-day season opener and the first day of the Coalition opener, doubled the purse for racers who had stuck with him through the opening two weeks.

That meant that Aman got a double dose as did Footbrake champion Daniel T. Leggett (right) of Lumberton ($3,000) and Jr. Dragster winner Nicholas Rabon on Florence, S.C. ($400).

The race also paid double points while serving not only as the opening race in the Carolina Coalition Series but also the first in the battle for track championships and positions on the team Rockingham Dragway will send to the Bracket Finals this fall.

Aman used a .008 reaction time to get past Raleigh’s Gary Ingold in the final after both drivers went exactly .011 under their target numbers.  In Footbrake, Leggett got a free pass to the cash when Benson’s Wesley Roberts, also part of the Ronnie Roberts Racing stable, was guilty of a final round foul start. 

Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams

Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams

Millington, TN (February 24, 2013) The weather was perfect at Memphis International Raceway for the 2nd points meet of the Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams and the racers were out in force.  Local racers will compete in a total of 14 points meets throughout the season at MIR.  As the season progresses the competition will build in intensity to determine who will emerge as the point’s leaders in each class.  The leaders in points earn the opportunity to participate in the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Team Finals October 4-6 and possibly the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals October 11-13 both hosted at Memphis International Raceway.

Buddy Ferrell from Brighton, TN takes the win over Kerry Caples from Bono, AR in the Super Pro Class.  Ferrell wins with a .014 second reaction time, 4.846 ET at 139.13 mph.  Caples with .024 second reaction time, 5.224 ET at 127.52 mph. 

Tommy Jackson, Jr. from Millington, TN in his 1982 Firenze emerges as the Pro Footbrake Winner with .016 second reaction time, 6.798 ET at 97.47 mph. 

New chassis gets Demke to TAD final round at Pomona

ChrisDemke-new-dragster_Aimee MaddernConsidering the team only had one full run on their newly acquired 2002 Uyehara dragster heading into the event, the weekend’s Winternationals was a very successful outing for the Maddern Racing team.
“To win it would have been awesome, but to make it to the finals with a new car and all of the engine problems that we ran into, it certainly exceeded our expectations,” said Top Alcohol Dragster driver Chris Demke. “I think we’re headed in the right direction with it. We’re slowly but surely learning what it likes. What it likes is an aggressive tune-up and it wants to go fast. We’re getting after it at the next one.”
See the race results here. (Aimee Maddern photo)

5-Day Brackets and Citrus Nationals rolled into one event at PBIR

PBIR-logoPalm Beach International Raceway has decided to combine the longtime 5 Day Bracket Championship and Bennett Auto Supply Citrus Nationals into one event to take place this November 6-10. The renamed 32nd Annual Bennett Auto Supply 5 Day Citrus Nationals will now immediately follow the Premier Winter Series Super Pro 4-Day Championship, the Super Buck Blast VII, at the South Georgia Motorsports Park, Oct. 31 – Nov. 3.

Palm Beach International Raceway has hosted the 5 Day Bracket Championship and Citrus Nationals as separate drag races for many years, starting back when the facility was Moroso Motorsports Park. However, PBIR’s management team made the decision to combine the two races into one to accommodate the racers schedule and travel convenience.