North Carolina racers dominate Holcomb Civil Wars event

Jason Tyson straightened up for the final round and was the X275 runner-up.  (Gary Rowe/Raceworks)

Jason Tyson straightened up for the final round and was the X275 runner-up. (Gary Rowe/Raceworks)

Outlasting weather interruptions and final round rival Jason Tyson, Josh Gross drove his 2000 Chevy Camaro to victory in the featured Outlaw 275 class at the annual Holcomb Motorsports Fall Civil Wars event at Rockingham Dragway.

See all of the results here.

JEGS renews SPORTSnationals sponsorship through 2016

JEGS Mail Order will continue as the title sponsor for all three NHRA SPORTSnationals events through 2016. JEGS Mail Order came on board with the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series “triple crown” in 2005, one year after NHRA reinstituted the event.

The three NHRA SPORTSnationals events include the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La.; the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio; and the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Competitors in Competition Eliminator, Stock Eliminator, Super Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster compete for more than $50,000 at each of the SPORTSnationals.

“JEGS Mail Order is pleased to continue the tradition of sponsoring all three NHRA SPORTSnationals events,” said Scott Woodruff, director of media and motorsports for JEGS Mail Order. “Simply put, this is a perfect fit for JEGS Mail Order and an opportunity to give back to the sportsman racing community.”

Earlier this year, JEGS extended its sponsorship of the JEGS Allstars event, a race-within-a-race bonus program for the best of the best LODRS competitors, through 2016.

Repeat winners visit Maple Grove Victory Lane at Ghosts and Goblins

Barry Sauder  (Don Carrick file photo)

Barry Sauder (Don Carrick file photo)

For the first time in nearly two months, E.T. bracket cars were back in the spotlight Sunday, Oct. 27, at Maple Grove Raceway as the annual Ghosts and Goblins at The Grove returned to mark the beginning of the end of the 2013 season.

The annual event has a Halloween theme and several racers and their families took part in the festivities. Prizes were awarded for such categories as best costume, best decorated pit area and best costumed pet. There was trick-or-treating in the pits throughout the afternoon.

On the track, several Maple Grove regulars from the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail returned and a few of them returned to PPC Lubricants Victory Lane. The race was run at eighth-mile due to track conditions.

In Super, Barry Sauder (Ephrata, Pa.) was the winner of an all door-car final. In a 1972 Nova, he ran 6.755 seconds at 102.01 mph that was .005 over his dial-in. That would’ve been tough to beat for runner-up Mike Barber (Douglassville, Pa.), who ended up breaking out.

Gary Simpers (North East, Md.) continued his hot October at The Grove in Pro. He won the golf cart top prize at the E.T. Shootout during the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals and was among the dozen drivers remaining when the 10K Footbrake Nationals was called.

This time, he won with a final pass of 6.528 at 95.44 that was .018 over the dial-in. Runner-up Butch Weinreich (Jarrettsville, Md.) was .012 over, but has a slower reaction time.

In Street, Paul Werner (Sinking Spring, Pa.) won yet another race, though he was driving his son Adam’s ’81 El Camino instead of his usual ’80 Malibu wagon. In the final, he had a .007 reaction time and race to a 7.572 at 89.85 mph finish that was .042 over. Runner-up Bob Ormsbee (Harrisburg, Pa.) was .025.

Top Biker Kyle Gockley (Mohnton, Pa.) was yet another repeat winner. Riding a ’03 Hayabusa, he beat sled rider Brad McWilliams (Coatesville, Pa.) with a great reaction time and a pass of 5.973 at 115.25.

In Junior Dragsters, Hollie Ray-Bausher (Shillington, Pa.) got the nod when runner-up Jeremy Ketterer (Sellersville, Pa.) broke out. Ray-Bausher took her ’05 Lighting on a pass of 7.935 at 83.21.

Phil Feger (Red Lion, Pa.) took the Trophy class in a ’99 Mustang, beating Nathan Beideman (Parkesburg, Pa.) by going 8.8.23 at 79.81.

There is one more race on the schedule for the ’13 season. The Turkey Trots E.T. bracket race will be run Saturday, Nov. 2, to conclude the Maple Grove season.

Super: Barry Sauder, ’72 Nova, .011 RT, 6.755 seconds, 102.01 mph def. Mike Barber, ’92 Mustang, .004, 6.237, 104.91.

Pro: Gary Simpers, ’64 Comet, .005, 6.528, 95.44 def. Butch Weinreich, .011, 7.502, 90.49.

Street: Paul Werner, ’81 El Camino, .007, 7.572 89.85 def. Bob Ormsbee, ’67 Camaro, .059, 7.285, 93.27.

Top Bike: Kyle Gockley, ’03 Hayabusa, .003, 5.973, 115.25 def. Brad McWilliams, ’97 Arctic Cat, .096, 7.301, 94.61.

Junior Dragster: Hollie Ray-Bausher, ’05 Lighting, .018, 7.925, 83.21 def. Jeremy Ketterer, .069, 7.953, 82.91.

Trophy: Phillip Feger, ’99 Mustang, .095, 8.823, 79.81 def. Nathan Beideman, ’98 Accord, .041, 11.005, 65.01.

Hanna released from Foster Racing

After a five-year run with the Foster Racing NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car, Crew Chief Will Hanna was informed the team was releasing him due to budget cut backs. Hanna and driver/co-owner Chris Foster won the 2012 US Nationals, two Division 3 Championships (2009, 2011) and finished in the top ten nationally three times. They also made the quickest two runs in the TAFC category this season to date at 5.476.

“I didn’t see this coming, but I understand,” said Hanna. “Like many of the Top Alcohol teams out there, Chris and his dad John primarily fund their racing out of their pocket. When the money gets tight, you have to make tough decisions. It’s really impressive what we were able to accomplish with the budget we raced on. I thank the Fosters for the opportunity they gave me to tune their car, and I wish them the best going forward.”

Mike’s Transmission powers A/Gas racers to CHRR performances

MikesTrans-AGas-car-FowlerMike’s Transmission racers took command in A/Gas at the 22nd annual California Hot Rod Reunion. Ray Padgett was the No.1 qualifier with a near perfect 7.601, followed by Brendon Frye in the No. 2 spot, both with Mike’s Transmission trannies.

No. 10 qualifier Al White laid down a string of 7.6 passes to meet Tom Fowler and his mildly qualified No. 23 Camaro in the final. With the sun off the track and temps in the mid 70s, these two Mike’s Transmission-equipped vehicles came to the line. White made a stellar 7.62 run, but it wasn’t good enough, as Tom Fowler drove across the line with a near perfect 7.61 pass to take the A/Gas victory at the 2013 California Hot Rod Reunion. (TimingTower Photo)

Jackson and Lombardo team up for 2014 campaign

Jackson-Lombardo-tafc-illustTwo of Top Alcohol Funny Car’s perennial championship contenders join forces as NAPA driver John Lombardo Jr. merges with Rick Jackson’s Centre Pointe team.

“Teaming with Rick Jackson will virtually double our resources and increase our ability to promote JLR, the class, and the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series,” Lombardo said. “Rick’s results speak to his commitment to performance, as do ours.”

Both partners in the new JLR team already have multiple national event victories,including a combined three this year, and both are among the quickest and fastest ever, with all-time bests in the mid-5.40s. Lombardo, currently second in the national standings, opened the season with a victory at the Winternationals, claimed his second regional championship in the last three years, and led the national rankings multiple times with a 25-11 win-loss record.

“NAPA, Lucas Oil, and the rest of our great partners are coming with me to Rick’s already strong program,” said Lombardo. “My equipment will be retained to work displays and customer events for NHRA and our marketing partners, bringing a Big Show feel to many of our national and LODRS regional appearances.”

Gray Motorsports and Cagnazzi Racing join; will build cars for Top Sportsman and Comp next season

Gray Motorsports and Cagnazzi Racing will combine forces in 2014 to create a powerful multi-car team set on winning Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championships. The two established NHRA Pro Stock programs will merge together as one and operate under the Gray Motorsports banner.

“This is a model that NASCAR embraced years ago because of all the performance and economic efficiencies,” said Victor Cagnazzi. “We believe that for NHRA and the sport of drag racing, this is a natural progression, and it’s a progression that we intend to lead.”

Also included in the merger will be the establishment of an engine and technology leasing program that will allow Pro Stock drivers and teams requiring varying levels of support to participate in the ultra-competitive class.

Gray Motorsports currently has a program in place that crafts engines for circle track racing such as 360 and 410 sprint cars, as well as IMCA competition that includes modifieds, late models, sprint cars, stock cars, and hobby stocks.

With the expansion of the in-house engine program and the inclusion of Cagnazzi’s existing personnel, development and leasing will soon extend to engines used in NHRA’s sportsman series categories of Competition Eliminator and Top Sportsman.

Carlyle sets LSX Drag Radial world record at NMCA final

Mark Carlyle and his IPS Motorsports team have been the class of the LSX Drag Radial field for some time now, and Oct. 11-13 at the NMCA’s World Street Finals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, they showed exactly why.

When the smoke cleared at the end of the qualifying sessions, Carlyle’s Corvette had simply crushed the LSX Drag Radial record and reset it at an unheard-of 6.697 at 217.84 mph – two-and-a-half tenths quicker than the nearest competitor, fellow Ohio resident and standout LSX competitor Mark Koehler.

Carlyle re-set his own record three times during qualifying, going quicker on every single pass when it counted, and he did so using the factory-style independent rear suspension.

During Sunday’s elimination rounds, Carlyle appeared to play it safe, never running quicker than 6.82 but outclassing the field in all respects, going on to win the race over number-seven qualifier Chuck Buckhart. He was never seriously tested during eliminations, as it seemed that each of his competitors encountered issues when the tree dropped. (video courtesy Hans Pierre Jr. at Free Life Films)

Holcomb Civil Wars at Rockingham, NC

Josh Nesbitt

Holcomb Civil Wars at Rockingham, NC

North Carolina racers dominate the war

Outlasting weather interruptions and final round rival Jason Tyson, Sanford’s Josh Gross drove his 2000 Chevy Camaro to victory in the featured Outlaw 275 class at the annual Holcomb Motorsports Fall Civil Wars event at Rockingham Dragway.

Although he qualified only fifth behind the 1968 Chevy Nova of Robby Keziah of Charlotte, Gross took out No. 2 qualifier Eric Autry in round 3 before getting a bye into the final round.

Tracy Cockman was the number-one qualifier in Comp.

While Gross took home the biggest paycheck of the weekend, Mooresville’s Jerry Cline and Elm City’s Michael Crumpler were the only multiple race winners. Cline drove to victory in both 6.0 Index races and then beat Bennett’s Howard Brewer to win Combo Eliminator.

Crumpler matched Cline’s performance in the 7.0 Index class but Brewer ended the potential of a showdown between the two when he beat Crumpler in the Combo Eliminator semifinals.

Other Sunday winners included Brian Tuten of Lexington, S.C., in X275; John Keesey of Coatesville, Pa., in King of the Street; and Dale Sanders of Eagle Springs in Open Comp.

Former IHRA champion and Rockingham Dragway track champion Chip Johnson’s bid for a Pro Tree Doorslammer victory was halted with the Fayetteville veteran splitting the winner and runner-up money with John Hodson of Graniteville, S.C., due to a massive oil-down in front of the final run.

Jonathan Wiggins was the Saturday Footbrake winner, his Dunn neighbor, Justen West, claimed the Open Comp money and Brandon Williams of Eagle Springs won the Pro Tree Doorslammer title.

Project 10 the Hard Way Rides Again!

We’re back in the shop until it is back on the track

The DRO/ project car "Project 10 The Hard Way" 1985 Firebird is back in the shop after about a year sitting outside waiting for me to "jump start the project again". Well, that time has arrived. We will be doing a bunch of "budget oriented tech articles" that I hope you will enjoy and possibly use the information to save yourself money on your drag car.

I have set a new goal for ‘10 the Hard Way’ and I am pretty darn excited about seeing how it works out in the end. Here are the plans for future articles: