Nicholson’s ‘Strange Tales from the Road’ continues

One of the winningest bracket racers ever, Gary Williams, took home the first $10,0000 check at Bradenton’s Fun in the Sun when Jeff Strickland turned it red by .004. (Jok Nicholson photo)

One of the winningest bracket racers ever, Gary Williams, took home the first $10,0000 check at Bradenton’s Fun in the Sun when Jeff Strickland turned it red by .004. (Jok Nicholson photo)

Part 3 of Jok Nicholson’s tales from racing in the Florida Winter Series event is now available at http://etdragracing.com/magazine/2014-autumn/strange-tales-from-the-road-part-3

Nicholson says the first Fun in the Sun event at Bradenton was a success for promoters Scott Weney and Scotty Richardson. Tragically, Weney suffered a fatal heart attack and died after the event was concluded.

Spradlin takes NHRA Division 2 Top Dragster championship

Spradlin takes NHRA Division 2 Top Dragster championship

Spradlin takes NHRA Division 2 Top Dragster championship

Casey Spradlin and the Southeastern Hose-sponsored team from Ranburne, Ala., finished at the top of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Southeastern division Top Dragster championship points battle for the second time in three years.

Spradlin has had a remarkable run over the past five years that has seen the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman driver win Southeast division championships in both IHRA and NHRA competition.

Spradlin went into the final race trailing and came out on top with a clutch final round appearance that secured the championship by a scant one point.

IHRA introduces ‘no box’ 11.50 index heads-up class for 2015

This new class is a perfect fit for our project car driven by Jok Nicholson. The Firebird was built to run 11.50 so you might see Nicholson and the “Ten the Hard Way” project car at one of the IHRA races that have the class.  (file photo)

This new class is a perfect fit for our project car driven by Jok Nicholson. The Firebird was built to run 11.50 so you might see Nicholson and the “Ten the Hard Way” project car at one of the IHRA races that have the class. (file photo)

In an effort to grow its sportsman programs and continue to provide an abundance of options for its competitors, the International Hot Rod Association has announced a brand new, entry-level sportsman index class that will be run at select events in 2015.

The new class, currently labeled the No Throttle Stop (NTS) 11.50 class, will be run at four events in 2015 and will feature entry-level, heads-up index racing for racers without the need for additional expenditures.

“This class will be a way to introduce heads-up racing to a large number of No Box competitors who want to try ‘old school’ index racing without major changes to their vehicles,” said Skooter Peaco, VP of Race Operations. “We will be testing the viability of the class in four distinct regions on the IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. We look forward to seeing how this class develops throughout the year.”

The NTS 11.50 class will be run in conjunction with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series events at San Antonio Raceway (March 13-14), Bradenton Motorsports Park (April 17-18), Maryland International Raceway (June 19-20) and US 131 Motorsports Park (August 7-8) and will provide a great new option for No Box racers to compete during IHRA national event weekends.

Mid Atlantic .90 Association schedules five double-event weekends next season

midatlantic90assn-logoThe 2015 Mid Atlantic .90 schedule will once again consist of 10 races on five weekends ranging from tracks such as Atco Dragway, Maple Grove Raceway and Cecil County Dragway. As always the series will consist of three categories of Super Comp (8.90), Super Gas (9.90) and Super Street (10.90). Separate events will be held each day.

Due to the bracket finals being held at Atco on the last weekend of September, Mid Atlantic .90 Officials were forced to find a new date for the second Atco event.

May 2 & 3: Spring Kick-Off, Atco Dragway, Atco, NJ
May 16 & 17: Sportsman Circuit Shootout, Maple Grove Raceway, Mohnton, PA
July 11 & 12: Uncle Buck Memorial “Pig Roast,” Cecil Co. Dragway, Rising Sun, MD
July 25 & 26: Atco Dragway
Aug. 29 & 30: Season Finale & Championship Weekend. Maple Grove Raceway

For information on all three series go to www.midatlantic90.com or contact Rob Keister at Rekeister@aol.com.

IHRA expands sportsman program at some Nitro Jam events

Tom Koontz, 2014 IHRA Top Sportsman champion.  (IHRA photo)

Tom Koontz, 2014 IHRA Top Sportsman champion. (IHRA photo)

The International Hot Rod Association will be returning to national event-style drag racing for its sportsman competitors beginning in 2015 with increased payouts, contingency and prestige at Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series events across North America.

The 2015 edition of the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will return to the look and feel of traditional national event style class racing for competitors in Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod and Hot Rod.

The national event class racing program will feature a single race contested during the weekend with an increase in purse and contingency, a welcome change for racers, sponsors and fans.

“We are getting very positive responses from our contingency sponsors when we tell them we are getting back to the old IHRA sportsman racing structure at most of the NJDRS events” said Dan Driscoll, IHRA Contingency Director. “This is certainly an exciting time as the IHRA continues its journey back to its roots while bringing racers back into the national spotlight at IHRA Nitro Jam events.”

Qualifying for sportsman racers during Nitro Jam weekends will be held on Friday and Saturday, with eliminations beginning immediately following final qualifying. Sunday will be reserved for completing the event if weather prevents competition from being concluded on Saturday. The sportsman national event program will be contested at the NJDRS events in Tucson, San Antonio, Bradenton, Palm Beach, Cordova, Budds Creek, Grand Bend, Martin and West Salem.

In addition to the increased purse and contingency program, each of these sportsman national events will count as one Summit Pro-Am Tour divisional points claim. The Tucson and Cordova races will be “Wild Card” events where all competitors may use that event as an in-division points claim. A double-race weekend with Summit Pro-Am Tour point claims on both events will be held in Division 6 during the Edmonton and Spokane events. The top three in Summit Pro-Am Tour points at the end of the season will again meet at the Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway to race for the National Championship.

The new NJDRS national event payout structure has increased significantly across the board for the seven Summit Pro-Am classes and will be divided as follows: Top Sportsman and Top Dragster will receive $2,000 for an event win and $1,000 for runner-up. Second round winners will receive $200, with each additional round winner receiving $100 per round win. Competitors in Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod and Hot Rod will receive $1,500 for an event win with $900 for runner-up. All classes will receive $150 starting with a second round win with $50 increases for each remaining round won.

“We hope that the increase in event payout will solidify our position to our Pro-Am competitors. We are committed to doing everything within our control to make the racing at IHRA events a viable alternative when you are determining your racing plans for 2015,” said Mike Baker, IHRA Senior Director of Racing Operations.

Aman gets $20K at Doorslammer Nationals

CB_BrettNesbitt_EricAmanA record 225 entries shared in over $77,000 in cash and prizes at Loose Rocker’s 3rd Annual American Doorslammer Nationals presented by McCarty Auto Parts, hosted by Piedmont Dragway, November 7-9.

Eric Aman (far lane) got $20,000 by beating Brett Nesbitt in the final round of the main event.

See all the results here. (Chip Bralley photo)

American Doorslammer Nationals at Piedmont Dragway

Eric Aman (far lane) got $20,000 by beating Brett Nesbitt in the final round of the main event.  (Chip Bralley photo)


American Doorslammer Nationals at Piedmont Dragway

Aman crowned champion; Krushinskie, Johnson, and Pelo also score

A record 225 entries shared in over $77,000 in cash and prizes at Loose Rocker's 3rd Annual American Doorslammer Nationals presented by McCarty Auto Parts, hosted by Piedmont Dragway, November 7-9. Competitors flocked to "The Doorslammer Capitol of the World" in Julian, NC, from as far away as Georgia, Ohio, and even Canada to vie for the $20,000 top prize.

Mount Olive, NC's Eric Aman, a former IHRA Div. 9 Modified ET Champion proved his mettle off the top bulb, wheeling the Ronnie Roberts Racing "White Lightning" Nova to the winner's circle in Saturday's $20,000 main event.

Aman held off engine builder and TS/TD standout Brett Nesbitt of Graham, NC, in the finals, using a .027-backed dead-on 5.554 to encourage Nesbitt's 5.997 breakout (6.00 dial-in), despite a .006 reaction time. Aman advanced to the finals by defeating last year's $5K Finale victor Frank Mark, with a .010 at the tree and an .01-over 5.560 to Mark's .013 and 7.313 (7.29). Nesbitt had the semifinal bye run.

Of special note, Nesbitt recorded a perfect run on Friday, a feat that was duplicated by Stacker Steve of Murrysville, PA, on Saturday. Ironically, both perfect runs were posted in the re-entry round.

(Michael Beard photo)

Saturday night also featured the Brodix Legendary 64 Shootout, with $4,000 on the line plus a $1,000 Brodix gift certificate. Lester Johnson of Cynthiana, KY, and his fan favorite "Dragzilla" Nomad wagon treated everyone to not only one massive wheelstand spectacle after another, but also a master class en route to the winner's circle.

LODRS Division 7 at Las Vegas

LODRS Division 7 at Las Vegas

Severance and Leanders lead winners  

Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., and Ulf Leanders, Viksjofors, Sweden, took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively at the Short Line Express Market Gambler Shootout at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Nov. 9. There was a 25-car field in TAD and 20 in TAFC and to make it into the top eight to qualify was a challenge with the great competition that was in attendance at this event.

Severance picked up his second win in a row after winning the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas last weekend. He worked his way through the field and ran 5.382 seconds at 270.32 mph in his final round victory over Mike Strasburg, Lehi, Utah, who smoked the tires off the line and did not make a pass down the track.

With a good pass right down the groove, Severance picked up his second win in the last two weekends in Las Vegas and also scored his 16th divisional win.

Scott Weney suffers heart failure at Florida race

Scott Weney holds the check for winning the Super Bucks Weekend at Atco, NJ, in August 2013. Farewell, friend. (file photo)

Scott Weney holds the check for winning the Super Bucks Weekend at Atco, NJ, in August 2013. Farewell, friend. (file photo)

Scott Weney of S&W Race Cars suffered a heart attack at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida on Tuesday, Nov. 18. He died Wednesday in the Intensive Care Unit of an area hospital.

Weney was attending the Nov. 14-18 Fun in the Sun event when he was felled by acute heart failure as the event was concluding. A defibrillator was used at the track and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Tragically, his wife, Candi, collapsed on Tuesday after learning of his medical emergency and was also hospitalized.

S&W Race Cars, Spring City, Pa., was founded by Scott’s father, Walt Weney, in 1959, the same year Scott was born.

This statement was released by S&W spokesperson Jill Canuso: “Scott Weney is now racing through the pearly gates and doing it at full throttle. Scott is survived by wife Candi, sons Rory and Dillon, brothers Michael and Gary, sister Terri, parents Walter and Vonda. The entire Weney family wants to express their gratitude to everyone who has prayed and offered support during these difficult days. They also wanted to clearly state that Scott spent his last moments at a place that he considered ‘home,’ which is the drag strip.

“His accomplishments are many and too numerous to list, but his most impressive include winning the 2000 IHRA Funny Car World Championship, becoming the President of S&W Race Cars, and his latest achievement of becoming a race series promoter, forming S&S Race Promotions with Scotty Richardson and launching the ‘Fun in the Sun’ Race Series. Please keep Scott and his family in your prayers. We will post additional details as soon as they become available.”

Our sincere condolences to the Weney family and S&W employees on this terrible day.

Street Car Super Nationals this weekend at Las Vegas

In last year’s Outlaw 10.5 final, Ken Shiota (near lane) turned on the red light, giving the win to Steve Nicholson.  (Paul Schmitz photo)

In last year’s Outlaw 10.5 final, Ken Shiota (near lane) turned on the red light, giving the win to Steve Nicholson. (Paul Schmitz photo)

The tenth edition of the Street Car Super Nationals (http://www.streetcarsupernationals.com/raci_info.html) presented by Chris Alston’s Chassisworks will be Nov. 20-23 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the expectation is that, once again, doorslammer records will be shattered.

“Every year,” said Pacific Street Car Association President Mel Roth, “we see records not just broken, but pummeled. We’ve seen it the last couple years here. We saw it this summer at the first St. Louis Street Car Super Nationals. Can we get a Pro Mod in the low 5.4s this weekend? Based on what we’ve seen in the past, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.”

With more than 30 Pro Mods signed up, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see records fall as soon as they take to the track later this week. Turky al Zafir set the ET record at 5.461 seconds in August at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis.

In addition to the Pro Mods, more than 30 Outlaw 10.5 cars, 40 Outlaw 8.5 cars, and 60 Drag Radial cars are expected to take to the track this week.

Alex Rogeo and Richard Kratz from sister publication, MoparMax.com, will be at SCSN and DRO staffers Tim Marshall and Jim Baker will be on hand to chronicle the action.