Large COPO Camaro field is ready for Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals

Dave Connolly drives a COPO Camaro – car #5 of the 2012 build – owned by Victor Cagnazzi. He was the first racer to win with a COPO Camaro in NHRA’s CC/SA Stock Eliminator class – and he did it a year ago at the U.S. Nationals. He’s seen here at Bristol in June.  (Chris Haverly photo)

Dave Connolly drives a COPO Camaro – car #5 of the 2012 build – owned by Victor Cagnazzi. He was the first racer to win with a COPO Camaro in NHRA’s CC/SA Stock Eliminator class – and he did it a year ago at the U.S. Nationals. He’s seen here at Bristol in June. (Chris Haverly photo)

Nearly 20 5th Gen COPO Camaro race cars will vie for coveted Wally trophies and national NHRA records when the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals kicks off this week at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis. It represents the largest gathering of the factory-engineered race cars since their 2012 introduction.

The COPO Camaro was developed by Chevrolet as a dedicated drag racer for NHRA Super Stock and Stock Eliminator classes.

“Chevrolet Performance is proud to be the title sponsor for the historic U.S. Nationals,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The largest, most prestigious race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule includes countless Chevrolet Pro Stock, Super Stock and Stock Eliminator racers, including a large number of COPO Camaros.”

COPO stands for Central Office Production Order and was originally used by dealers in the 1960s to generate special orders, mostly for fleet vehicles. Some racing-minded dealers used the system to create higher performance models that weren’t otherwise available, including the legendary 1969 Camaro ZL1, which featured an all-aluminum 427-cubic-inch engine developed for racing. Sixty-nine ZL1s were built and they’ve since become valuable collector cars.

“There’s no bigger event in sportsman racing than the U.S. Nationals and we’re going to do everything we can to bring home a national event win with our COPO Camaro,” said Connolly. “The COPO Camaro has reinvigorated the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes with the thrilling, heads-up racing that made the original muscle car era so exciting – and we’re competing in one of the most competitive classes with one of the most competitive cars. It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Indianapolis.”

The roster of COPO Camaro racers at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals also includes: Paul Cambria – 2012 COPO #3; Eric Reyes – 2012 COPO #4; Daren Poole-Adams – 2012 COPO #6; Jim Boburka – 2012 COPO #7; J.C. Beattie – 2012 COPO #8; Rhett Fulton – 2012 COPO #13; Todd Patterson – 2012 COPO #18; Robbie Massey – 2012 COPO #21; Stephen Bell – 2012 COPO #21; Brian Massingill – 2012 COPO #29; Bob Letellier – 2012 COPO #34; Jeff Myers – 2012 COPO #46; Jack Matyas – 2012 COPO #62; Clay Arnett – 2012 COPO #65; Paula Cambria – 2013 COPO #3; Bob Hochrun – 2013 COPO #4; Steve Novosel – 2013 COPO #45; and Mike Letellier – 2013 COPO #48.

Additional Camaro sportsman racers will also compete, including Mike Pustelny.

Glubke doubles up with Victory NSS and Pro ET wins with same Dodge

DM_StevenGlubke-64-maxwedge-DodgeAt the 60th annual World Series of Drag Racing at Cordova (Ill.) Dragway Park, there were 37 Victory Nostalgia Super Stock cars on the grounds, with 34 making the first round call. After six hard fought rounds, Steven Glubke came out on top. Steven won with his 1964 Dodge factory lightweight race car. This is a real Max Wedge car that he bought over 30 years ago, installed a Hemi and has raced ever since.

After winning Saturday night, Aug. 24, he decided to stay and run Pro ET on Sunday. There were over 200 cars in the class, and after nine rounds, Glubke earned his second World Series Championship in one weekend. With a buy-back round in Pro ET, Glubke won 15 consecutive rounds on Saturday/Sunday. (Dennis Mothershed photo)

Barnes and Stoneman take wins in TNT Super Series double header

The Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series ( held a western New York double-header on August 23-24. Caistorville, Ontario’s Ted Barnes won on Friday at Elegant Builders Raceway Park and Jamie Stoneman from Clarence, NY, won at Empire Dragway on Saturday.

Ted Barnes has been running his 1972 Datsun 510 since the late 1980s. With a 383 small block Chevrolet for power, the car is capable of ET's in the 10.30 range. Barnes is also Director of Operations for the Joe's Transmission TNT Super Series. (Ron Rigby photo)

Ted Barnes has been running his 1972 Datsun 510 since the late 1980s. With a 383 small block Chevrolet for power, the car is capable of ET’s in the 10.30 range. Barnes is also Director of Operations for the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series. (Ron Rigby photo)

Barnes returned to the TNTSS winner’s circle on Friday, Aug. 23, marching through a 33-car field to victory. After qualifying seventh, Barnes met up with John Cira in round one. Cira had the tree .510 to .525 but let Barnes take the stripe running 7.013 to a losing 7.037.

Round two saw a staging battle between Barnes and Sam LoVetro Jr. Once the tree came down, LoVetro had a .004 advantage. At the big end with both running too fast, Barnes won with a 6.9829 to LoVetro’s 6.9820.

Past TNTSS Champion Dave Surmatchewski was up next. Barnes had three at the tree (.510 to a .513) and carried it through to the stripe, running a perfect 7.000 to Surmatchewski’s 7.005. Round four saw Jim Thomson go red, moving Barnes into the semi’s against Harris Phelps. There, Barnes was .515 to Phelps’ .532 and took the round with a 7.017 to a 6.999.

That left Chris VanBaalen in the final round. At the green, Barnes was behind .511 to .507 but he drove around VanBaalen and took the stripe running 7.017 to a losing 7.022, lighting the final beacon of the night with a margin of victory of only .002 seconds.

JamieStoneman -winnerSaturday at Empire Dragway saw 28 cars qualify for first round with Jamie Stoneman emerging victorious. After qualifying in twelfth spot, he took out Greg Kerl in round one when Kerl went red by .003. Round two saw Harry Phelps also go red and Stoneman run it out to a 10.905.

In round three, Stoneman used a .007 starting line advantage to push Jeff Sobczynski under the index to a 10.890.

A crisp ten-thousandths package for Stoneman in the semi’s (.508 and 10.902) was not needed as Mark Glomb went .499 red, advancing Stoneman to the final round.

There he met up with Andrew Stirk. Both drivers off the line clean, Stoneman .522 and Stirk .543, Stoneman never looked back and took the win running dead-on three (10.903) to Stirk’s 10.910.

Record number of sportsman racers at World Series; Denny Rankin wins twice with different cars on Sunday

Cordova Dragway Park track operator Scott Gardner reports there were a record number of sportsman entries for the World Series of Drag Racing this year: Friday – 245 (Gamblers race); Saturday – 275 (Gamblers race): and Sunday – 422 (sportsman finale) for a total of 942 sportsman entries for the weekend.

Drag racing historian Bret Kepner says there have been people who’ve won on two different days (like Glubke as noted above), but nobody had ever won two classes on Sunday until the 60th World Series. Denny Rankin, of Davenport, IA, won True Street in his Trans Am and won Super Eliminator in his Camaro. He won fourteen consecutive rounds on Sunday! (Mike Garland photo)

Wamser takes win at Rocky Mtn. Superchargers season finale

The Rocky Mountain Superchargers ( finished their season on Aug. 24 at S.C.R.A. Dragstrip in Great Bend, Kansas. Pam Wamser took her blown Studebaker to the win light with a 7.55 ET against Rick Kester’s injected front engine dragster. The RMSC had a great season covering five states in the Rocky Mountain region and are looking forward to expanded into new territory in 2014. (photo courtesy RMS)

Quick 8 Outlaws this Saturday at Orangeburg

The Quick 8 Outlaws will be in action this Saturday at the Orangeburg (SC) Drag Strip. The man with all the momentum is Robbie Matthews, who scored the last Quick 8 Outlaws event with a .003 holeshot over Ric Fleck. Fleck, the 2012 series Champion, will be looking for some revenge. He has been getting quicker at each event and has already posted several mid 3.80 passes.

ADRL Champion Alan Pittman could be the winner come Saturday night too. Also making his first start at Orangeburg will be Jr. Ward, who recently got a new power plant in his Corvette.

Phillips hoping for momentum going into Indy

NHRA Sportsman Racer and defending U.S Nationals Super Comp Champion, Tommy Phillips, took home his second Wally of the season and his 29th of his career with a Super Comp victory over Jimmy Paulson last week in Brainerd, Minn., at the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Phillips waded through six rounds of eliminations on his way to the finals against Paulson, making it the 37th final round appearance of his career.

Phillips, along with his Philco Race Services teammate Riley Ledbetter and their CBS ArcSafe/K&N Filters backed TNT dragsters, are now headed to Indianapolis for the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S Nationals. Both drivers will be doing double duty at the event running both of their dragsters in Super Comp as well as a vintage-bodied Corvette Roadster in Super Gas and a Super Stock Cavalier. (Auto Imagery photo)

Group 1 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage at Salt Lake City

Group 1 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage

at Salt Lake City

Championships end the season

The Group 1 classes were contested at the Aug. 23-25 inaugural NHRA Hot Rod Heritage event at Rocky Mountain Raceway in Salt Lake City, Utah.


In A Fuel six cars made the trip to RMR and Kin Bates is the leader after Q1 with a thundering 6.57.

After Q2 in A/Fuel it was Bates still on top, followed by Bill Wayne at 6.71, John Harless was third, Jerry Kumre, Jr. was fourth, and Delta, British Columbia’s Mike Pawluk was fifth. Rounding out the top six was John Evan.

In A/Fuel Kin Bates would face off against Bill Wayne in his super charged alcohol front motored machine for the title.

Wayne left first, however, it was red-light and good night, as Bates would take the win and the championship for 2013 with a 7.279-second run at 161.40 mph..

Kin Bates took home both the A/Fuel event win and 2013 A/Fuel Championship. This championship marks Bates’ sixth championship season with the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series.

Mouhayet sets 10.5 record in Australia at 252.95 mph

As seems to be the fashion down under Australians still do everything over the quarter mile whether it be fuel cars or 10.5 competition. Last Saturday Paul Mouhayet capped off three days of testing with the world’s quickest 10.5 tire speed over the quarter mile – a 252.95 mph pass well above the then standard. What’s more he also cracked the six second mark with a 5.990 pass.

Breaking that run down he had a 1.029 sixty-foot time, made it to the eighth mile marker in 4.03 seconds at 196 mph and then capped it off with the 5.990/252.95 pass. (Jon Van Daal photo)

Quick 32 Sportsman Series heads for final event of season

The next event for the Pro Modified Racing Association, the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series will be held at the Grand Bend Motorplex August 30, 31, and September 1 during the track’s Teamsters Canada Local 879 “Thunder by the Beach” weekend.
This will be the seventh of eight races in 2013 for the PMRA, and the sixth and final event for the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, and the PBSS, presented by Wiseco Performance Products.

Former Quick 32 Sportsman Series ( champion and Top Sportsman driver Kevin Wicke (shown) of Stratford, Ontario, leads that series, followed by the Ingersoll, Ontario-based Top Sportsman team of Wilson & Gray. Spencer Hyde, also in Top Sportsman, and also from Stratford, is next, with Top Dragster driver Melanie Simmons Salemi of Orillia, Ont., and another Top Dragster driver, Bill White of Gadshill, Ont., rounding out the top five. (Brad Turk photo)