Northeast Open Comp expands schedule and moves to Friday nights

NortheastOpenComp-logoStarting as a gathering of just three racers on a spring evening in 2009, John Hummel’s dream of providing drag racers across Western and Central New York an exciting form of “pro tree” racing that was designed to be very affordable and extremely competitive was born.

The Northeast Open Comp races at Skyview Drags in Tioga Center, NY. The 2013 Friday Nights and Win Lights schedule is: May 24; June 14; June 28; June 29; July 12; Aug. 9; Aug. 23; Sept. 6; Oct. 5; and Oct. 6.

The 2013 championship prize package has also increased to over $3,000 in prizes for the champion. Plus there are four really fun programs for the racers: E3 Spark Plugs is rewarding the winner and runner up of each race a complete set of spark plugs; Gearwrench is offering the Hardest Working Award where the team who works hard to overcome mechanical problems will receive a $125 tool set; and ACC Boss Hog Torque Converters What Gets You Off The Line Award where the driver with the best overall reaction time average for the season will win a custom-made Boss Hog Converter.
For additional information about the Northeast Open Comp Racing Series including rules, membership information and sponsorship opportunities visit

Million Dollar Race adds two Mini-Millions

TheMillion-trophiesFor the 18th straight year, the C.A.R.S. Protection Plus Million Dollar Drag Race will be held on the weekend of October 17-20. This year’s event will take place at Montgomery Motorsports Park in Montgomery, Alabama.

This year there’s a new twist on the same old successful event. For 2013, two separate Mini-Million events will take place with the first one on May 30 through June 2 at Montgomery Motorsports Park. For the second Mini-Million, the party will move northeast to Piedmont Raceway in North Carolina on August 15-18. Both events will feature warm-up races in addition to guaranteeing not only the complete purse but also the winner’s share of the Mini-Million to be at least $50,000, with increases starting at over 125 cars.

Jennifer Folk of Folk Promotions, the promoter of the race, said, “With its high entry fee, The C.A.R.S. Protection Plus Million isn’t for everyone, even though last year we had over 450 cars at the event. But the Mini-Millions will give more people an opportunity to race for some big money.”

At last year’s Million, young Ray Miller III added his name to an illustrious list of Million Dollar Race winners taking home an unheard of in drag racing, $225,000 with his victory. Regardless of the class or category in drag racing, the Million Dollar Drag Race has paid more money for a single race in all the years of its existence. The actual winner’s share is based on car count but the balance of the purse is guaranteed with the runner-up still receiving $50,000. For each of the 18 past winners, the money won has most definitely made a difference in their lives. And the new Mini-Million Series will assuredly do the same thing.

In addition to the main event, the Million also boasts two warm-up races and a third on Sunday with the actual Million race held on Saturday. The Triple 20s as they have been known to be called have become crowded affairs as racers look to score big in order to have the necessary entry fee money for the actual Million race. The same scenario will be in effect for the Mini-Millions.

For the second year anyone can take part in the Million affair by signing up for the VIP Club. With a $35 sign-up, you receive a T-shirt and are placed in the running for a brand new dragster chassis. In addition, for each round of every race at the C.A.R.S. Protection Plus Million, a name will be pulled from the ranks of the VIP club and awarded gift certificates from the various sponsors.

And with the help of a list of sponsors at least an “eighth-mile” long, the Million Dollar Series is one of the best when it comes to high-dollar bracket racing.

For more information, visit

Maple Grove’s Spring Footbrake races mean $10K to two winners

The Spring Pro Eliminator Footbrake Nationals will be run at Maple Grove Raceway on Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21, as two drivers will get a chance to come out of tax season with plenty of extra cash. A $10,000 first prize for each race is guaranteed.

A sister event to the annual Footbrake Nationals that are run in October, the race features door cars that run the quarter mile in 9.00 seconds and slower.

Racers can arrive on Friday between 4 and 8 p.m. to park in the pits and go through tech.

Gates open on Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. with a single time trial at 9 a.m. followed immediately by eliminations. A single round of buybacks will be available after the first round each day for $60. Drivers can enter the race for $130 each day. Crewmembers and spectators are $15 for adults. Children 12-and-under are free with a paid adult.

For more information, contact Maple Grove Raceway at 610-856-9200 or visit

Irwindale hosts second Summit Racing Series event

Southern California’s Irwindale Dragstrip hosted the second of their NHRA Summit Racing Series events over the weekend on the eighth-mile strip. With nearly 200 entrants the final rounds came down to winners in the following categories.

Bob Black from Garden Grove, Calif. won Super Pro with his 400 cubic inch small block-powered ’63 Nova over Mark Migashin from Torrance.

Bob Black from Garden Grove, Calif. won Super Pro with his 400 cubic inch small block-powered ’63 Nova over Mark Migashin from Torrance.

In the Pro category, Glendora’s Rod McGregor raced his ’69 Dodge Dart, powered by a 427 cubic inch MOPAR small block to a 6.58/103.51 mph victory over David Gabaldon from Los Angeles.

In the Pro category, Glendora’s Rod McGregor raced his ’69 Dodge Dart, powered by a 427 cubic inch MOPAR small block to a 6.58/103.51 mph victory over David Gabaldon from Los Angeles.

Mike Mercurio drove his ‘68 Dodge Dart with a 360-ci MOPAR to a 7.49 at 91.15 mph, winning over Ron McDonough from Lakewood in the Sportsman class.

Mike Mercurio drove his ‘68 Dodge Dart with a 360-ci MOPAR to a 7.49 at 91.15 mph, winning over Ron McDonough from Lakewood in the Sportsman class.

Alta Loma’s Tony Pellettera defeated Aaron Pike from La Mirada, Calif., in the Motorcycle final.

The third leg of the six race NHRA Summit Racing Series is on Sunday, May 5, when gates will open for Tech and Registration at 8 a.m. Irwindale Dragstrip also holds a weekly Test-N-Tune every Thursday. (photos by Adam LaVelle)

Mini-dragsters to hold big meet at Bowling Green

Mini-dragsters are basically Jr. Dragster-style vehicles but with much bigger motorcycle engines. There’s a big 1/8th mile meet for these at Bowling Green, KY, on May 4.

Sand drag racers Rod Trower and his wife, Dee, also have a couple of mini dragsters. Dee’s is powered by a 1000 Yamaha snowmobile engine on alcohol while Rod’s is a turbocharged Hayabusa. They race both on sand and asphalt.

For more information go to

Maple Grove opens 51st season with Bracket Warm-Up

John Seiverling and his fan club celebrate.  (photo courtesy Maple Grove Raceway)

John Seiverling and his fan club celebrate. (photo courtesy Maple Grove Raceway)

Six racers visited the Maple Grove Raceway Victory Lane April 7 after collecting wins in the E.T. Bracket Race Warm-up.

John Seiverling (Bethel, Pa.) won Gold Rush Trailers Super Eliminator in his 1971 Nova, defeating Mark Price (Collegeville, Pa.) and his ’05 M&M dragster in the final when Price left the starting line .002 seconds too soon. Seiverling followed through with a pass of 8.984 seconds at 147.76 mph.

In Ciccarone Racing Products Pro, former Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail class champion Dan Smith (Morgantown, Pa.) got off to a great start in his ’89 Baretta. He defeated Gary Simpers (North East, Md.) in the final with a run of 10.070 at 132.59. Simpers’ 64 Comet Wagon went 10.406 at 122.06.

Elise Renninger (Leesport, Pa.) once again took her ’63 Corvette to victory in P.C. Richard & Son Street. She defeated Brittany Heffelfinger (Wernersville, Pa.) by going 12.092 at 104.44. Heffelfinger, running in a’92 Mustang, went 12.770 at 99.11.

In Ray’s Yamaha Top Bike, Austin Youndt (Stevens, Pa.) had a good day on his ’86 Suzuki. He downed Bruce Gockley (Mohnton, Pa.) in the final with a run of 11.701 at 102.77, taking advantage of a great reaction time of .003.

It was a battle of Ketterer brothers of Sellersville, Pa., in the final of Junior Dragsters. It was C.J. who got the win light after brother Jeremy drew a red light at the start.

Kyle Gockley (Mohnton, Pa.) won Trophy in a Silverado pickup.

MSD products now available through Racepak

Racepak, the leading manufacturer of data acquisition and instrumentation products, is now selling MSD products direct from their facility in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

“It’s been a long time coming”, says Manny Grijalva- VP of Marketing and Sales, “our customers have been asking us for some time for the ability of combining these two great brands onto one order…it just makes sense. We appreciate the loyalty of our avid racers and will continue to develop programs that support this industry.”

Racepak is known for its data acquisition tools such as their V300SD or V500 data recorders. With over 60 channels of data, these recorders are an essential tool for any professional racer to have in their arsenal. The latest innovation, SmartWire™, is a power control module that solves the wiring complexity of any race car.

Racepak is bringing together the best in ignition and data acquisition under one roof to make it even easier to achieve success on the track. Call Racepak’s customer service line at 949-709-5555 or go to to find out more about which MSD products are available.

VanDerGeld team ready for its second Quick 32 Sportsman Series season

BS_BrodyVanDerGeld-dragsterWith a successful first season in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts, the Top Dragster team of Brody and Tom VanDerGeld will be looking to continue their game plan for 2013.

“We’re very happy with our first year,” noted father Tom VanDerGeld, team owner and crew chief for the effort. “We were pleased with the performance last year, and Brody was the only rookie to qualify for each event.”

Former two-time Junior Dragster champion Brody did qualify for each Quick 32 Sportsman Series race in the vehicle, although he did not win any races.

There will be few changes to the car for the upcoming season except for some engine work performed by Kirk Silbermann of Ajax Engines. The big 706-cubic inch engine sits between the rails of a Dan Page chassis that has been updated by Lowdown Hot Rods, and features an Aeromotive fuel system and Induction Solutions nitrous setup. A modified two-speed Powerglide built by Joe’s Transmission Service sits behind the engine.

The first event in the 2013 Quick 32 Sportsman Series ( will be held May 10-11 at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, one of six races this year. (Brennan Shortall/ photo)

Inaugural Spring Fling starts at Las Vegas

The inaugural K&N Spring Fling Vegas opened Wednesday, April 10, for parking and tech inspection at The Strip at Las Vegas Speedway. This bracket racing event promoted by Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo will host racers competing for a cash purse. Also featured is the 64-car Ultimate Shootout with the winner and runner-up both receiving brand new race cars from Don Davis Race Cars and RaceTech Chassis.

On Saturday, ten drivers will be randomly selected to compete in the $20,000 Challenge. Each of the ten will get one shot at the track with any driver recording a .00X reaction time receiving $100 cash. If any or all of the drivers should record a “trip-zip,” perfect .000 reaction time, those will be rewarded with a $1,000 cash prize.

Add in over $38,000 in prizes to be awarded to each of the best losing packages during each round of eliminations courtesy of a number of manufacturers, a free Saturday night barbeque and the usual ‘Fling atmosphere that has made the Spring Fling 20s presented by Sparco in Bristol, Tenn., famous, and the western racers and fans should see quite an event.

Troy Coughlin Jr. ready to chase bracket racing title at Piedmont this weekend

TroyCoughlinJr-trophyAfter a successful stint in Super Comp and Super Gas races that culminated with a victory at the recent NHRA Gatornationals, Troy Coughlin Jr. and the JEGS Mail Order team will now switch their focus to big money bracket racing during this weekend’s $50,000 Top Eliminator Classic on the eighth-mile track at Piedmont Dragway in Greensboro, NC.

Coughlin will be driving his uncle Jeg Coughlin’s JEGS Mail Order dragster in the event, which features three separate races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, paying the winner $5,000, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

“[Piedmont track operator] Gilmer Hinshaw and his crew do a great job and we really enjoy racing there,” Coughlin said. “This event runs very smoothly and the track surface is second to none. It’s everything you’d want as a racer.”

Coughlin, who will be joined at the Piedmont race by crew chief Jay Schroeder and traveling buddy and fellow racer Kenny Underwood, will need to be sharp as he plans to take advantage of a unique rule that allows one driver to “double-enter” the same car using two different competition numbers. That means that Coughlin will have two opportunities to win each race and a total of six entries for the weekend.

“It’s very hectic to double-enter the same car but you just have to make sure you have the extra discipline and attention to detail,” Coughlin said. “After every round, you have to make sure you pull up in the shortest line so you can come back around quickly and race the second entry. I’ve done it before so we have a pretty good routine. It’s just a matter of sticking with the program.

“The cool thing is it increases your chances to win.” (JEGS photo)