Street Machine Nationals set for Sept. 28-29 in Springfield, MO

The 25th Anniversary O’Reilly Auto Parts Fall Street Machine Nationals will be held Sept. 28-29 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Mo. This is the second year in a row for the location. Hours are 9-5 on Saturday and 9-3 on Sunday.

A burnout contest, Show-N-Shine judging, a dyno challenge and pinstriping by Von Hot Rod will be part of the attractions along with a demolition derby and family activities.

All makes, models, and years of street machines, street rods and two-wheel drive trucks and SUVs are welcome to attend. For more information go to

NMCA gears up for World Finals Oct. 3-6 at Bowling Green

Jake Conant’s 2003 Cobra Jet  (NMCA photo)

Jake Conant’s 2003 Cobra Jet (NMCA photo)

VMP Superchargers will once again sponsor the 3rd Annual Terminator / GT500 Shootout at the NMRA World Finals event at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Ky., the weekend of Oct. 3-6. The Terminator / GT500 Shootout will reunite some of the fastest Cobras and GT500s in the U.S. competing in a heads-up winner take all format at the NMRA’s largest event.

For Terminator / GT500 Shootout class rules or questions, please email Jim at or call him at 636-219-2674. For more information on the NMRA Kentucky event go to or call 714-444-2426.

Good news for TAFC drivers: Manzo to retire from driving at end of 2013

Sheikh “KH” Al Thani and Frank Manzo confer earlier this year at Sonoma.  (Gary Nastase photo)

Sheikh “KH” Al Thani and Frank Manzo confer earlier this year at Sonoma. (Gary Nastase photo)

For those of you who missed the NHRA broadcast from Charlotte (and that would be most of us), Frank Manzo announced that he would not be driving next season. He is a multi-time champion in Top Alcohol Funny Car.

This is my last year,” said Manzo Sunday on ESPN3′s online broadcast. “We’ve got a lot of work to do on the Pro Mod with Sheikh Khalid (Al Thani, owner of Al-Anabi Racing), and right now that’s my first priority.”

Quick 8 Outlaws series ends 2013 season at Orangeburg, SC

MT_RobbieMatthews-57chevy-sideThe Quick 8 Outlaws return to action this Saturday, Sept. 28, at Orangeburg Drag Strip. This will be the last event of the 2013 season for the Quick 8 Outlaws at Orangeburg.

Robbie Matthews in the Kauffman Motorsports ‘57 Chevy (shown) is riding a wave of momentum. Matthews was the number-one qualifier at the last Orangeburg event before the rains came. The Blade Runner Racing Team with wheelman Alan Pittman will be in competition. Look for Pro Modified Legends Sonny Tindal and Ed Hoover. Steve Bray will also be there.

Saturday the gates open at 10 a.m. The first round of qualifying for the Quick 8 Outlaws will be at 1 p.m. and the second round will be at 3. (Matthew Trivette photo)

OktoberFest of Drag Racing is Oct. 5-6 at Cordova

The Super Shifter "True Grit" Camaro blasts off the starting line at Cordova Dragway Park.

The Super Shifter “True Grit” Camaro blasts off the starting line at Cordova Dragway Park.

The OktoberFest of Drag Racing will be Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6, at Cordova Dragway Park, Cordova, Illinois. The event features a big-payout bracket race on Saturday and the points finale for the Layne Automotive and Speed Super 16.

On Sunday the popular Ozark Mountain Super Shifters along with the Cordova Bracket classes will conclude the 2013 points season. Lederhosen are optional.

NMRA Adds Coyote Modified Class to its Heads-Up Drag Racing Program


Coyote Modified will be NMRA’s newest heads-up drag racing category in 2014. The largest all-Ford national event series is taking aim at one of the hottest segments in the high performance aftermarket, the Coyote 5.0L powerplant.

“As the biggest Ford drag racing series we have a commitment to the racers and sponsors to grow sportsman, heads-up drag racing and adding Coyote Modified is a big step forward,” said NMRA Tech Director Dave Werremeyer.

Coyote Modified will run under the class designation of CM and will attract boost and nitrous infused Coyote-powered cars. Coyote Modified has been built with special attention on aftermarket manufacturers, late-model tuner shops and speed shops, and of course the sportsman drag racer. This heads-up eliminator is a stripped down category when compared to a previous NMRA mid-level power adder class. The goal is to have few barriers to entry and let the power adders dictate the mechanical limits instead of a long list of specs. This new theme will generate a wide range of competitors that can enter, which can include everything from street cars to purpose-built racecars.

For more information on the class go to

Challenger Drag Pak named third Mopar ‘Top Eliminator’

Mopar’s “Top Eliminator” program added the 2010 “Knox CoMaking its debut at Indianapolis, the 2010 “Knox County DrilleMopar’s “Top Eliminator” program added the 2010 “Knox County Driller” Mopar Challenger Drag Pak owned by Brent Jones, 41, of Wheatland, Ind., as the third 2013 winner in the long-running customized and performance vehicle program. Competing at the 59th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Jones is the first Mopar-powered Sportsman racer to receive the award that highlights passionate and dedicated Mopar enthusiasts who display unmatched skill in modifying or preserving a classic or modern-day Chrysler Group vehicle.

As a new addition to the program, the third vehicle selection focused on the top rides that raced at the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway this past Labor Day weekend. Similar to the current “Top Eliminator” criteria, this program expansion honors an entrant’s performance and personal statement brought to life in the vehicle they compete in during race weekends.

Making its debut at Indianapolis, the 2010 “Knox County Driller” Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, finished in NHRA Super Stock racing configuration, sports a Mopar 5.7L HEMI engine and a Chrysler transmission. The build, which took more than two years, includes crushed velvet in the interior, including on the dash, seats, wheel tubs, door panels and floor mats. The custom paint is Pagan Gold and Candy Wine Red, with Gold Leaf HEMI logos on the hood scoop.

“It’s amazing, just a great honor,” said Jones, who also reached the final round of Super Stock H/A class eliminations at Indianapolis. “It was very rewarding, to see all the time and money spent on this project pay off, and in its very first event.”

“It’s a fun car to drive,” added Jones, who was also helped in coordinating the build by his father and co-owner, Donald Jones. “It’s cool to be the first race car recognized as a Mopar ‘Top Eliminator.” I was very surprised; I didn’t expect this at all. I’m going to put the trophy in the office, where everyone can see it.”

Making its debut at Indianapolis, the 2010 “Knox County DrilleCar builder Michael Roth, owner of MR2 Performance, spearheaded the project for Jones, with a total of 4,500 work hours logged to bring the vehicle to life and give it its unique appearance.

“I pride myself in attention to detail,” said Roth. “The crushed velvet on the interior matches with the paint scheme and also provides a 1970s-era Pro Stock vibe.” (photos courtesy Chrysler Group LLC)

JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals winners take trophies

JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals winners take trophies

For the second-consecutive year, David Billingsley was crowned the champion of the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway. Billingsley, of Decatur, Ill., successfully defended his title in the Comp Eliminator class when he drove his ’93 Cutlass to a final round win over local racer Chuck Haubiel of Gahanna, Ohio. Billingsley, who came from the No. 11 qualifying spot, won with an 8.70 elapsed time in his L/AA classed entry.

Stephen Belanger, of Elizabeth, Ind., had his work cut out for him as there were a total of 99 drivers competing in the Super Stock class. In the final, he drove his ’05 Cavalier to a 9.27 elapsed time to defeat veteran racer Kenny Schindler’s ’71 Corvette.

After many years of dedication and effort, Chuck Beach, of Delaware, Ohio, finally got to celebrate an NHRA national event title and he did it at his home track. Beach, in his ’68 Barracuda, used an 11.00 elapsed time to win the Stock final round over the ’00 Firebird of Leonard Mattingly. Beach had lost in the first round in three of his previous four appearances this season.

JEGS SPORTSNationals this weekend at National Trail

TJ-Coughlin-SuperComp-dragsterTroy Coughlin Jr. has proven adept at handling the pressures of NHRA drag racing in coolly winning three national events and a handful of sportsman and bracket races in his career. His famous racing father, grandfather and uncles have taught him to stay on an even keel, both in victory and defeat.

This year, T.J., as friends and family know him, has seen a significant uptick in the stresses of the job as he has been ranked at or near the top of the national and divisional leader boards in both his Super Gas roadster and Super Comp dragster.
This weekend one of his biggest events of the season, the JEGS Northern SPORTSNationals at National Trail Raceway in the suburbs of his native Columbus, Ohio. It’s a big race for his hometown, his family’s business, the 350-plus associates of JEGS High Performance who will be on hand cheering him on, and most of all his championship hopes.

“We’re fighting to the finish,” T.J. said. “There are still a lot of people in Super Comp and Super Gas, both in Division 3 and at the national level, that are in the hunt for these championships. It’s probably going to come down to a point or two in the end so every single round is crucial.
“We’re only collecting points in Super Comp this weekend, but we are racing both cars. I’ve already got enough events in Super Gas and I’m down to the SPORTSNationals and a Div. 2 race in Reynolds. Ga., in Super Comp. This weekend counts as a national event so it’s really important to do well. We have to make sure the car is perfect and I need to do my job behind the wheel every time we pull up to the starting line.”

To help him finish strong, T.J. will unveil a new Miller Race Cars dragster this weekend.

Aside from the JEGS SPORTSNationals, T.J. is one of 16 qualified drivers who will take part in the Moser Engineering Shootout, adding to the excitement of the weekend. The one-eighth mile bracket race will be held Saturday.

“Rob Moser and Tim Irwin set this deal up and it’ll be really cool,” T.J. said. “They take two cars from each class plus two wildcards and we all get after it. I’m racing the Vette (roadster) and that car’s been running really strong so it should be fun.” (photos courtesy JEGS)

Nice guys do finish first and there are plenty of them at this event

When a racer is in need, leave it up to his or her fellow competitors to come through in a major way. Such was the case Friday afternoon, Sept. 13, when Curt Fassler, looking after his daughter at a local hospital following an incident at the track, was given a big break by his fellow competitors and used that gracious gift to win the Top ET runoff at the Division 5 Summit Team Finals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.

Fassler’s heartwarming story actually began with a scare on Thursday when his daughter was involved in an on-track incident that injured her leg and left her in the hospital. Scheduled to run first thing Friday morning in the Summit SuperSeries runoff, Fassler’s competitors voted to delay the runoff until Fassler was able to return to the track.

Fassler tended to his daughter throughout the day Thursday into Friday and when he was finally able to return to the track Friday afternoon, he was surprised to find all of his opponents waiting patiently for his return.

Not wanting to waste this incredible opportunity, Fassler went to work and survived a trio of rounds to claim the Top ET runoff over Dragway 42’s Randy Biddle Sr.

See all of the results from the event here. (photo courtesy IHRA)