Mickey Thompson announces Pro Bracket Radial tire for 2015 debut

MickeyThompson-Pro-Bracket-Radial-tireMickey Thompson has introduced their Pro Bracket Radial tire specially designed for the weekend bracket racer.

“When radial tires were first introduced in drag racing, they were fast, but they often proved to be unforgiving at the starting line,” said Jason Moulton, Product Development Manager at Mickey Thompson. “We’re closing this gap in radial tire technology with the new Pro Bracket Radial. These tires will run well using more air pressure providing a stable feel and response at the top end of the track.”

The Pro Bracket Radial delivers low rolling resistance, no rollout contrast, and zero growth for consistent down-track times. Scheduled for availability in February 2015, the Pro Bracket Radial will debut in five popular 15-inch fitments. For more information go to www.mickeythompsontires.com.

VP Racing Fuels continues supports for NHRA racers although no long ‘official fuel’

vp_fuels_logoVP Racing Fuels will continue programs to support NHRA Sportsman racers in 2015.

“VP Racing Fuels remains committed to actively supporting NHRA Sportsman racers and the wider drag racing market as we have for nearly 40 years,” said Steve Burns, VP’s Founder and Director-R&D. “While VP will no longer bear the title of Official Racing Fuel of NHRA beginning next season, we’ll never abandon the Sportsman racers or forget our friends in the Pro ranks whose longstanding support formed the foundation of VP’s success as a company.

“Going forward, we’ll continue to post awards for NHRA divisional and national events through the NHRA contingency program as we always have,” Burns continued. “We’ll also continue our ‘Top 10’ program including some enhancements, wherein racers who finished in the top 10 in each class in 2014 will be entitled to free or half price fuel at each national event they attend in 2015. This program will be repeated for racers who finish in the Top 10 in 2015, after which they can redeem their fuel awards in 2016.”

VP fuel trucks will be at a great number of NHRA divisional events to provide fuel service in 2015. In addition VP continues to be the Official Fuel of high profile tracks including Atco, Cecil County, Lebanon Valley, Epping, Bristol Dragway, Orlando Speed World Dragway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Royal Purple Raceway, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and many more.

For details regarding VP’s contingency programs or to find the nearest VP dealer, racers can contact their regional VP distribution center: VP East (DE) 302-368-1500 or jimkelly@vpracingfuels.com; VP South (GA) 706-335-3355 or robert@vpracingfuels.com; VP Midwest (IN) 812-466-1175 or jason@vpracingfuels.com; VP Central (TX) 210-635-7744 or bhorton@vpracingfuels.com; and VP West (CA) 951-696-5100 or mark.ticen@vpracingfuels.com.

Focus and Fiesta fests added to Fun Ford weekend at Memphis

Memphis International Raceway (MIR) has announced that FocusFest and ST Fest will be joining next year’s Fun Ford Series event on August 28-29. These one-of-a-kind festivals bring together Focus and Fiesta car owners from all over the country to celebrate their favorite manufacturer and take part in racing, car shows, an audio competition, a swap meet and much more.

FocusFest is the largest Ford Focus event in the country and since 2008, these dedicated car enthusiasts have gathered at various locations across the country. The ST Fest is a new festival which unites Focus ST and Fiesta ST owners from around the nation. In 2015, FocusFest and ST Fest will caravan to MIR on the same weekend as the annual Fun Ford Series event and take part in the two-day event.

The Fun Ford Series will return to MIR for the fourth consecutive year. It has something to offer every Ford enthusiast, from Ford-powered and Ford-bodied racers looking to make a pass on the historic MIR drag strip to Blue Oval restoration experts showing off their finished masterpiece or searching for that hard-to-find part at the swap meet.

WE’VE GOT MAIL

WE’VE GOT MAIL

Jok Nicholson’s most recent article in Dead-On garnered the most mail that we have received on one subject in quite a while. Here are our readers’ responses.

A Couple of Things

Nailed it... The only problem I have with is 1) I'm kind of old school. I have all the bells and whistles that were current 5 years ago but it’s gotten so out of hand that it’s not even in my dreams to go back to a big money race. Sure I could go spend a few bucks and get current but the 2nd problem is I'm not smart enough to use it.

Whatever happened to cut a good light and play the finish line. It is a crying shame to go to the buy-back window with a 6-thousand package. Great article.

Donnie Matthews

Restrict electronics

FINIALLY!!!!! Someone actually addresses the issue. I own a pro/et Camaro that I'm going to race in 2015 after sitting out a number of years. Personally I want to race and have a chance. I believe in test and tune sessions to perfect my craft but it stinks when electronics or the progression of electronics make things almost impossible.

At my local track I've witnessed heavy eliminator cars run like a finely tuned Swiss watch. It got to the point I could predict their numbers once I saw their initial run. 
Yeah, they would seemingly "tank" a run but you could figure out the deal.

They should restrict/ban the use of electronics in the "non" electronic classes and do what it takes to inforce it. Like you said, if they want to run that stuff let them have at it in their own class - give us long timers - former racers - returnees and newbees a chance...

Harry ut. Garland III

Ask NHRA to clarify

Hi Jok, I read your article and wanted to ask you to do something for me and your readers: on NHRA's NHRA racer website, on "Tech Tuesday" ask them what is legal as far as rev limiters and their use in Stock and Super Stock.

The reason for this is that last year I ran a Super Stock car at the 2013 AAA Finals and when I was near this car at about 1,000-foot mark I could hear his car missing or on the rev limiter. Had I lost I would have told NHRA's Bruce to check his car, but what would they look for? You’re right, I don't know either, so it would have been a moot point, but I would have asked this racer what that missing was.

Let me know and the collector tethers are still working.

Thanks.

Fred Moreno

Super Stock #7171

The top 5%

Just thought I would chime in here on your latest blog, I guess that is what they call it these days. I doubt you know me my name is Jim Whalen, I live down in central Illinois. I first remember you from going to Texas in early '90s and freezing at Motorplex and Kennedale.

I started racing about 1978 so I have seen several things. I had Gebhardts build me a new dragster in 1996 and ran several big money races with it. Didn't take long to figure out what was going on; sold it back to them after that season and went back to a door car.

Back then 95% of the money was being won by 5% of the racers, at the big races. Were they better? Maybe. Better equipment, possibly but actually a lot of the same names are still winning today. Once in a while somebody might sneak in and win but not often.

Funny thing is you can go to any local track and have a small package put on you every weekend. My son and I have a stocker we bought from Gary Emmons now. Both of us drive it, I race at the IHRA and Heartland events and he runs at the NHRA events. It is back to fun now and old dad can still win an event.

I enjoy your stories.

Jim Whalen

Another Musi daughter to drive in PDRA competition

TriciaMusi-headFor as long as Tricia Musi can remember she’s wanted to drive race cars. In her younger years she watched father, Pat Musi, build his engine business and field his own cars. In more recent years Tricia, 22, has supported her sister Lizzy as she sprung into the professional eighth mile spotlight.

In 2015 the youngest Musi daughter will field the car previously driven by Lizzy, a 2010 Dodge Stratus, in PDRA Top Sportsman. Under the hood will be a 903 ci Musi powerplant. The operation is owned by Mike Bankston, who Tricia notes as being a major force behind making her dreams come true.

“He’s been the support for everything,” Tricia said of Bankston. “I am extremely thankful for Mike Bankston. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am now, and I am more than excited to be a part of the Bankston Boyz Team. I truly have got a blessing from the Lord above that I would not change for the world.

“I’ve been wanting to do this my whole life. I’ve worked and worked and worked. My dream was to one day get in a race car. I told my dad that I need to get in a race car. I grew up around it. I’ve pulled motors apart. I worked on Rickie Smith’s car. We won Bristol together in 2013. It’s been awesome, and I’m so excited for next year.”

New class for fast cars next season at Eddyville Raceway Park

Eddyville Raceway Park will introduce a brand new class to run four times in 2015. The Midwest Super Quick class will be open to any car and will use a 4.00 index on the eighth mile.

“We have racers with Top Alcohol dragsters and Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds, and Pro Mods in the Midwest that are not competitive at a divisional or national level or don`t want to travel, all capable of running low 4`s, just looking for a place to race,” said track owner Gerald Kramer. “This will also give the track an exciting group of cars to showcase at select events.”

This class will use a Chicago elimination format with two qualifying runs and the two closest to the 4.00 index running the final. Racers will have a free entry along with three crew persons free.

Payout will be on a performance basis for the two qualifiers and for the overall win and runner up.

Kramer will be at the PRI Show this week and will meet with anyone interested in this class at the IHRA booth on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. He can also be reached by email at manager@eddyvilleraceway.com or by phone at 641-780-3514.

NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Finals return to same tracks in 2015

The next generation of the Coughlin dynasty, Kelly Coughlin, in her Jr. Dragster.  (file photo)

The next generation of the Coughlin dynasty, Kelly Coughlin, in her Jr. Dragster. (file photo)

The 2015 NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League’s Western Conference Finals will return to Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City and the Eastern Conference Finals to Bristol Dragway in Tennessee.
The Western Conference Finals will take place on July 16-18, while the Eastern Finals will be held July 23-25.

In 2015, both tracks will also be hosting activities and events throughout each of their respective race weekends in addition to the racing action that will occur on the track. Both will also host events earlier in the week leading up to the Conference Finals events.

Bristol Dragway has played host to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2004 and Rocky Mountain Raceways acquired the Western Conference Finals from Denver’s Bandimere Speedway last season.

Nearly 1,000 young racers compete for individual and team honors at the Conference Finals. Each winner will take home the NHRA Wally champion’s trophy as well as a share of the event purse.

Dead On – Why is bracket racing the only form of racing without rules?

Why is bracket racing the only form of racing without rules?

I have known for a while that the sport I have had so much involvement in and passion for has been “broken” for several years. I realize we have lots of safety rules, procedures to follow, rules about certain things you can and can’t do, but we are missing perhaps the most important rule of all: ignition rules. I have decided to lay it all out for everyone to read and hopefully talk about. Then, maybe come up with a workable solution. I will not bitch about one thing that I cannot offer a “fix” for or at least a couple of ideas to get us back to where bracket racing needs to be to survive and grow.

I am trying to make you racers aware and to discuss what I am talking about. The reason is I see something that I have been a part of for 40+ years falling apart because of several reasons I’m going to talk about. I do want to be clear on one thing before I get going. I am not going to accuse anyone of cheating. I don’t think the racers using the latest forms of engine RPM controls are cheating because there are no rules against what they are doing. They are simply smart enough to use the available technology.

The problem is a general lack of rules pertaining to ignitions, data acquisition systems and electronic fuel injection. Until there are specific rules to prevent the use of Programmable RPM to Time controllers (Slew Rate Programs), programmable electronic fuel injection that can be programmed to do Slew Rates plus change fuel delivery, timing and even more, there will be no parity in bracket racing. I can respect the racers who figure out how to use programmable engine acceleration rates to make their cars more consistent but I cannot understand why the tracks and track owners, NHRA, IHRA and other sanctioning bodies have let it get out of control.

Let’s start with what I have witnessed firsthand during the Florida Winter Series tour I have been on. Cars that can keep the same dial-in not only throughout the day but from day to day and day to night racing. Huge swings in the atmospheric conditions, so much so that some cars I know are consistent were struggling .03 to .04 run to run and especially day to day. Maybe some cars are just “better”, right? I can’t say that is impossible but I will say I think it is unlikely.

If you are not familiar with something called a Slew Rate, which is the ability to program your ignition to create an RPM-to-Time ignition program, let me try to explain it real quickly by using an example.

You have a form of data acquisition on your car that you can look at or transfer to your ignition program. Naturally this means you have to have a “programmable ignition system”. You make a series of runs and determine you have a nice engine RPM graph that your car seems to like. You simply have to program the feature of the ignition system that allows you to set an RPM limit for every 1/100th of a second. You plot the graph out in the Programmable RPM screen so that your “race setup” is 150 to 200 RPM below the actual good run you made. Here is where it gets strange and where we need rules.

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New class for fast cars next season at Eddyville Raceway Park

Eddyville Raceway Park will introduce a brand new class to run four times in 2015. The Midwest Super Quick class will be open to any car and will use a 4.00 index on the eighth mile.

“We have racers with Top Alcohol dragsters and Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds, and Pro Mods in the Midwest that are not competitive at a divisional or national level or don`t want to travel, all capable of running low 4`s, just looking for a place to race,” said track owner Gerald Kramer. “This will also give the track an exciting group of cars to showcase at select events.”

This class will use a Chicago elimination format with two qualifying runs and the two closest to the 4.00 index running the final. Racers will have a free entry along with three crew persons free.

Payout will be on a performance basis for the two qualifiers and for the overall win and runner up.

Kramer will be at the PRI Show next week and will meet with anyone interested in this class at the IHRA booth on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m. He can also be reached by email at manager@eddyvilleraceway.com or by phone at 641-780-3514.