NHRA LODRS Summer Showdown at Cordova, Ill.

NHRA LODRS Summer Showdown at Cordova, Ill.

Booher wins second, Brand stops Manzo

Brandon Booher ruled Top Alcohol Dragster for the second week in a row and Dale Brand won Top Alcohol Funny Car over Frank Manzo, running his lifetime win-loss record against the reigning world champ to 2-0 at the June 21-23 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Summer Showdown at Cordova Dragway Park.

Booher, who went the distance for the first time in his career just two weeks ago at Joliet's Route 66 Raceway, won a tight final over veteran Robin Samsel, 5.45 to 5.46, after taking an even closer semifinal win over Dave Hirata.

"Both of those guys stepped up," Booher said. "I was shooting for.40-flat or a .41 in the final, but I got a little greedy and shook and spun the tires. There he was – boom, right beside me – but the car made it through the shake without me having to pedal. I probably wrung out both gears a little more than I should have, but we got it done."

As in Joliet, Booher qualified father Aaron's AB Construction dragster in the No. 1 spot, this time with a 5.41 at 266.64 mph. He was right back in the 0.40s and mid-260s in all three rounds of eliminations, including a 5.47/264 in the opening round that eliminated returning veteran Paul Fishburn, and a 5.44 at 265 in the semi's that was just enough to hold off Hirata.

"Hirata sawed the Tree down, picked up a tenth, and almost beat us," Booher said. "We picked up in that round, too, because we weren't taking him for granted. This car has always been consistent but now it's consistently quick. It was a little stagnant the last few years, but now, instead of a car that can run 0.45 to 0.50 and a driver who can cut a light, we're running good, too. People come up against us, and it's not just 'Don't screw up and we've got this' anymore. They know we're here to play."

Samsel had his best outing to date, stopping Norwalk winner Marty Thacker, who surprisingly qualified just seventh, in the first round and 2012 Central Region champion and defending event winner Gord Gingles, who red-lighted, in the semi's. Samsel was off the mark with a solid 0.069 reaction time in the final, but Booher had it all the way with a 0.022 light and slightly better ET.

Beating Manzo will always go down as an upset, but Brand was right with the perennial world champ all weekend.

"Gainesville this year was the only other time we've ever lined up against Frank, but we just happened to be in the other lane when he had trouble," Brand said. "I don't look at that as beating Frank Manzo. This was a little more legit."

Long Gone Racing team dominates Mega Mopar at Maple Grove

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The Long Gone Racing team has been coming to Maple Grove Raceway for years, taking part in bracket races as loyal members of the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail E.T. Series.

Some of the racers also compete in Chrysler products, which made this past weekend’s Mega Mopar Action Series the perfect event for the Long Gone racers to show their stuff.

There’s no doubt they left their mark as they swept the bracket classes in the Sunday, June 23, round of racing. Matt Jolley (Bracket 1), Donald Long Jr. (Bracket 2) and Mark Ketterer (Bracket 3) all brought their Mopars to PPC Lubricants Victory Lane for a happy, but crowded, celebration with crewmembers, family and friends. (Photo courtesy Maple Grove Raceway)

JEGS Allstars compete this weekend at Route 66 Raceway

Sherman Adcock Jr. was the Super Gas winner at Bristol.  (Chris Haverly photo)

Sherman Adcock Jr. was the Super Gas winner at Bristol. (Chris Haverly photo)

Now celebrating its 29th year, the JEGS Allstars competition is one of the most highly anticipated events of the season for racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Racers can only qualify for one of the coveted spots on the JEGS Allstar team by winning a year-long competition within each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions.

The racers in the JEGS Allstars event will be competing for a share of more than $120,000 in cash awards posted by JEGS Mail Order. The overall team champions will split a $20,000 bonus.

Any driver who can win the JEGS Allstars on Saturday, June 29, and then return to win the NHRA O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals title the following day will automatically be eligible for a “double-up” bonus from JEGS Mail Order.

There are 11 former or current NHRA national champions racing in this year’s JEGS Allstars event. They are Bill Reichert, Randy Meyer, Frank Aragona Jr., Bruno Massel, Joe Santangelo, Jackie Alley, Jeff Taylor, Brad Burton, Al Kenny, Sherman Adcock Jr., and Jeff Lopez.

There are three women in this year’s JEGS Allstars field. Former NHRA world champion Jackie Alley will represent the Northwest Division in Super Stock while Lauren Freer will represent the Southeast Division in the Top Dragster class. Annie Whiteley will also compete for the Top Alcohol Funny Car title.

After winning ten JEGS Allstars titles in his career, Frank Manzo is not participating in this year’s JEGS Allstars event. As a result, the Top Alcohol Funny Car class will have a first-time winner this weekend.

Last year, the team from the Pacific Division (Division 7) team claimed the overall championship for the first time since the inception of the program with a thrilling victory over the Southeast Division (Division 2) team. Both teams finished with 1,300 points and the Pacific Division squad earned the title via a tie-breaker.

This year there are two drivers who have qualified for the JEGS Allstar event in two separate classes. Sherman Adcock will represent Division 2 in Super Comp and Super Gas and Slate Cummings will represent Division 4 in Super Stock and as the Stock blocker. Adcock and Cummings also pulled double-duty at the 2012 JEGS Allstars race.

Following the overall team victory by Division 7 last year, the team from Division 5 remains the only one of NHRA’s seven divisions that has never won the overall team title at the JEGS Allstars.

The drivers in this year’s JEGS Allstars will represent 30 U.S. states and two Canadian Provinces. There are nine from California, six from Washington and five from Texas.

Former JEGS Allstars Comp champ Bruno Massel will return to this year’s event as a member of the Division 5 team. His father, Bruno, won the JEGS Allstars Super Comp title in 1989.

Western Conference Jr. Dragster finals this weekend at Denver

Bandimere Speedway will host the Trench Shoring Services NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals event presented by Lucas SlickMist & Mile Hi Foods, June 27-29. Nearly 400 racers from the NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League, ages 8 to 17 years, will compete for team and individual honors and a share of the nearly $50,000 purse.

Each of the ten members of the Team Champions at the Trench Shoring Services NHRA Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals event will receive the coveted NHRA Wally trophy. Individual champions will each earn $2,500; runners-up will each earn $1,250; semifinalists will each get $500; and quarterfinalists receive $250 each.

Sportsmen, Grudge racers take MIRock spotlight at The Rock

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Pro racers will be turning wrenches and flipping hamburgers as the Mickey Thompson MIRock Superbike Series spotlights its sportsmen and grudge racers this weekend in the Adams Performance Sportsman Summer Sizzler at Steve Earwood’s Rockingham (NC) Dragway. But the action will stay as hot as North Carolina’s Sand Hills sun all weekend long as the back gate takes over the big show.

Louis Concrete 4.60 will feature the quickest index bikes on the planet, launching hellbent assaults on the eighth mile pole. Winners so far in the new-for-this-year class have been Kenny Cornell, Ronnie Smith and Jeremy Teasley.

That’s right, pro racer Jeremy Teasley regularly goes deep in sportsman classes also, and you can expect to see him competing against race winning brother Cameron Teasley, defending class champion Shayne Proctor, Ben Knight and many more in MIRock Crazy 8s.

TM_AndyBaumbachFBR Shop 5.60 champ “Fearsome” Andy Baumbach (shown) can expect a vicious attack from fellow Virginia racer Jimmy “Hillbilly Hustler” Shifflett when those two hit the staging beams. Shifflett has practically owned the Maryland International Raceway portion of the MIRock Series so far this year and will be looking to extend his domination into Rockingham as well. Don’t expect April Rockingham winner Jerry Turner to let either of these two waltz their way to the winners circle.

Trac King/APE Top Sportsman and Brock’s Performance Street ET champ Boo Brown will be hustling all comers in both of those classes, including recent winner Terry “T-Bone” Singleton, Barry Pryer Sr., Baybay Yarbrough, Clay Davies, Mike Schultz, Mike Herman Jr. and many more.

Nitrous Express Pro ET champ Dale Hamilton is known to slice his way through huge fields and will be forced to do so again if he wants the trophy and check at the end of the day. Mike Rankin, Stanley Russell, Barry Purnell, Mike Herman Sr. and more will be standing in his way.

Grudge bikes will be making shakedowns between qualifying rounds all day long and taking over the track for a DJ’ed “Afterdark Underground” session deep into the night. Long-tail bikes like Eddie Kane, Ric Flair, Katrina and others will be clogging the lanes while hustlers like G. Wizz, CJ400, and Alex Bud Light run their motor-mouths. Meanwhile, riders like Johnny Locklear, Richard Gadson and others keep their heads cool and eyes focused on the big prize.

Davis ready to race with ADRL in Michigan this weekend

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Driving his black-and-gold colored, Tommy Mauney-built ’63 Corvette this weekend (June 29-30), at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, veteran Top Sportsman racer Ronnie “The King” Davis will enter the second half of the eight-race American Drag Racing League schedule determined to make a run up the points list.

Though currently 12th, Davis says there’s still time to qualify for the ADRL’s Battle for the Belts, a special event for the top eight in points this September at North Carolina’s historic Rockingham Dragway.
“Basically it comes down to going a few rounds and hopefully winning a couple of events and we’ll be right back in the thick of things,” the Suwanee, Georgia-based golf cart dealer said as he heads for the ADRL Summer Drags IX. “With $10,000 going to the Top Sportsman Battle for the Belts winner, you know I want to be included.”

Davis will have the nitrous oxide-injected Roush Yates 822-cubic-inch engine in his Corvette tuned up for the task. (Ian Tocher photo)

Sportsman Racing Series adds Super Gas for Canada Day Spectacular Race Weekend

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Bracket race competitors in the DSE Automotive Sportsman Racing Series will be Cayuga Dragway this weekend for the second annual Canada Day Spectacular. The two-day event will represent points races numbers three and four in the chase for a share of the $14,500 Sportsman Racing Series year end purse.

The Canada Day Spectacular also highlights the return of the Stefko Racing Engines Super Gas Category for the 2013 season, which brings with it a new guaranteed purse and special Qualifier awards for both Saturday and Sunday’s #1 qualifiers. Thanks to John Stefko and Stefko Racing Engines, racers in the 9.90 index class can look forward to racing for atleast $500 to win and $200 to Runner-up with the purse going up to $600 to win and $300 to runner-up and $120 semifinals at a minimum of nine cars. (Stacee Kenington photo)

Oh-so-close weekend for Nicholson

JB_Nicholson-Oldsmobilology
Editor Jok Nicholson had a fun (and very hot and tiring weekend at Cedar Falls). He reports he got the “Project Oldsmobile-ology” Cutlass into the finals of Super Pro each day but got shut out of the Winner’s Circle.

In the final round Saturday Rob Livingston put a perfect reaction (!) up against Nicholson’s 0.012 and then kept the nose of his Nova in front of the Olds by 0.003 for the win.

In the Sunday final round Nicholson had the better light but one rip of the throttle (trying to make sure he didn’t break out) let a very fast Gary Loffelholtz Mustang (dialed 7.62 in the quarter mile!) take a 0.002 win.

“Should have trusted the Olds,” Nicholson admits, “it would have put us in the Winner’s Circle.” (file photo by Jeff Burk)

Precision Turbo & Engine to sponsor ADRL Outlaw 10.5 Shootout at Rockingham

Precision Engine and Turbo
Precision Turbo and Engine has joined the ADRL as an official sponsor and will contest the Precision Turbo and Engine Outlaw 10.5 Shootout at Dragstock X at Rockingham Dragway this September 6-8.

More details including payout and qualifying structure for the Precision Engine and Turbo Outlaw 10.5 Shootout will be announced soon.

“We’re proud to support the classes and organizations where our customers are running,” said Harry Hruska, President of Precision Turbo & Engine. “This collaboration has been in the works for quite some time now, and we’re glad to see it come to fruition. Overall, the future of the Outlaw 10.5 class is bright, and PTE is excited to be on board, giving some of the quickest and fastest a place to show their stuff.” (photo courtesy Precision Turbo & Engine)

NMCA announces Ford Racing Cobra Jet Showdown at Summit Motorsports Park

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The NMCA Flowmaster Muscle Car Nationals will host the Ford Racing Cobra Jet Showdown Presented by Diversified Products Marketing, a special event to be run in conjunction with the 7th Annual JE Pistons NMCA Muscle Car Nationals, at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, August 23-25.

All 2008-2014 Cobra Jet owners are invited to participate. The Cobra Jets will be showcased in three no breakout Eliminators; two heads-up classes and a competition Index (CIC) class:

CJ-TS (Top Stock): Stocker trim Cobra Jets utilizing the 2.3-liter or 2.9-liter supercharger or 427/428 cid naturally aspirated engines.
SS-CJ (Super Stock): 4.0-liter supercharged Cobra Jets in SS trim.
CJ-CIC: A separate class, where Cobra Jet racers not competing in either of the heads-up classes can race against each other at the Showdown for a cash purse.
CJ-TS and SS-CJ will run modified NHRA Stock and Super Stock rules, respectively.

King of the Cobra Jets: Heads-up class winners will race each other with a handicapped start based on their quickest time, with no breakout, to crown the 2013 King of the Cobra Jets. All prize money is courtesy of Ford Racing and Diversified Products Marketing.

All three Cobra Jet Showdown classes will qualify on Friday, and run on a Sportsman ladder with a 0.500 full tree for Saturday eliminations. Each class will feature a $2,300 purse and the overall winner of the Showdown (King of the Cobra Jets) will receive an additional $1,000. The race is scheduled to be completed on Saturday, August 24, so competitors can travel on Sunday to Indy to get in line for the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

To reserve parking or for rules questions please contact Gene Bergstrom with NMCA at 714-460-3813 or by e-mail at gbergstrom@promediapub.com.