IHRA moves March event from San Antonio to Baton Rouge


The San Antonio Nationals originally scheduled for March 13-14 in San Antonio, Texas has been postponed. Replacing that date on the 2015 Nitro Jam Schedule will be the return of the Mardi Gras Nationals at State Capitol Raceway, Baton Rouge, La.

“Time was simply running out for a resolution that the track could reopen in time to host the San Antonio Nationals in March,” said IHRA President Scott Gardner. “Our parent company, IRG Sports + Entertainment, have been in negotiations to purchase the facility for the past six months and are still pursuing the purchase of this facility. The only thing IRG was not able to confirm for us was a final timetable for the transaction, which is why we had to make this change in the schedule. We are optimistic we will return to San Antonio this fall once the ownership and direction of the facility becomes clear.”

Professional classes at the Mardi Gras Nationals will include Funny Car, Nitro Harley, Pro Stock, Jet Dragster and exhibition runs of the Fire Force Jet Fire Truck. The sportsman program will be E.T. bracket classes. The Pro-Am classes will not compete at this event, mainly due to a lack of notice for the Division 4 Summit Pro-Am competitors.

The IHRA 2015 Nitro Jam season will open February 6-7 at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.

Big purse, free entry for Hoosier Carolina Coalition racers

 Defending champions in the Hoosier Carolina Coalition Series as Charlie Doss of Statesville in Top Eliminator (shown), Terry Rucker of Benson in Mod and Ashleigh Stafford of Kernersville in Jr. Dragster.  (Gary Rowe / Raceworks photo)

Defending champions in the Hoosier Carolina Coalition Series as Charlie Doss of Statesville in Top Eliminator (shown), Terry Rucker of Benson in Mod and Ashleigh Stafford of Kernersville in Jr. Dragster. (Gary Rowe / Raceworks photo)

An increased Top Eliminator purse and free entry in Modified (Footbrake) are among the enhancements expected to draw record numbers of bracket racers to the 2015 Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition Series.

The four-race series is hosted by Rockingham Dragway, Piedmont Dragway, Farmington Dragway and Galot Motorsports Park (formerly Dunn-Benson).

At each event, champions will be crowned on both Saturday and Sunday with series points awarded for both participation and rounds won. Top Eliminator race winners will earn $5,000 with $1,500 to the runners-up and $500 each to the losing semifinalists.

Although the entry fee is being waived in the newly designated Modified category, winners nevertheless will earn $1,000 on each day of competition. In addition to Top Eliminator and Modified, Jr. Dragster champions also will be determined on a daily basis with competition in the first three rounds restricted by age: 11 and under drivers on one side of the bracket; 12 and older on the other.

Racers will earn three entry points for every event, a potential six points each weekend. A single point will be awarded for each round won and, at the conclusion of the final event in the series, three bonus points will accrue for racers who participate in all eight races.

The series kicks off March 7-8 at Rockingham before moving to Farmington on April 18-19, Piedmont on June 20-21 and concluding at Galot on Aug. 29-30.

ATI starts in-house contingency program for 2015

ATI-Race-to-win-logoATI Performance Products, Inc., has decided to discontinue their participation in the NHRA Contingency Program and to administer their own contingency program for NHRA national and divisional event races.

The rules will remain the same as before with one addition.
1. The car owner/racer has bought an ATI Transmission or Converter in the past 3-5 years or has sent the unit in for an overhaul after that time frame from when it was new.
2. The racer has a clearly displayed current Transmission and/or Converter decal on both side of the car, they are visible from 90 degrees, are not cut or stacked and are not reproduced in a different size or color.
3. Decals are in place for Round 1 and throughout the entire event
4. Racer does not have a competitor’s decal on the car for the same product(s) being claimed from ATI
5. Racer has filled the Claim Form, Ad Release Form and required W9 form

New for 2015 is that ATI requires a photo of the car with the ATI Valid Contingency(s) clearly showing and the side of the car in the winner’s circle or on the track.

For more information go to www.atiracing.com.

NHRA makes two significant changes for 2015

Two huge changes from the NHRA norm recently. The first is that after 27 years the NHRA has decided that they will multiply the championship points won at Indy by one and a half for the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle racers. This is a serious and most welcome move by Tom Compton and his team to restore the significance of the U.S. Nationals as the premier drag race.

It’s worth noting that the NHRA will not benefit financially from this move. It was truly an altruistic gesture to raise the stature and drama of the U.S. Nationals, which is the final regular season event before heading into the Countdown to the Championship.

In another major change — which was made strictly to increase a revenue stream — NHRA’s National Dragster will undergo a massive change in content. For the last 60+ years National Dragster has been a magazine dominated by coverage of the professional classes of Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

In a letter to their advertisers the NHRA recently stated that going forward National Dragster will make 50 percent of their editorial content about the NHRA sportsman classes, 25 percent dedicated to NHRA’s ET and bracket racers with the pro classes getting just 25 percent of the editorial content.

Considering that probably 90 percent of subscribers to National Dragster are the sportsman racers who get that subscription with their mandatory NHRA membership, this seems like a good allocation of space in the magazine and may help get advertisers back.

SoCal Association Racing opens 2015 season at Fontana

John Castro, 2014 SoCal Super Street ChampionThe 2015 Southern California drag racing associations will open their season Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at Auto Club Dragway (www.autoclubdragway.com) in Fontana, Calif. Included in the pre-Winternationals event will be SoCal Pro Gas, SoCal Super Street, and the SoCal Drag Racing Association (SCEDA).

Reigning Southern California Pro Gas Association champion Val Torres Jr., heads the list of 9.90 second Super Gas cars heading to Fontana, along with dozens of other competitors looking to cash in on the Pro Gas purse and get their cars ready for Pomona. The Saturday event will be the Russ Harris Memorial Race sponsored by the Harris Family. The Sunday race will be the K&N/Lucas Oil Pro Gas Winter Nationals.

John Castro (shown) leads the SoCal Super Street contingent going into Fontana, as the 2014 series champion will be looking to open the new season the way he ended last year, with a win. Saturday’s race is a non-sponsored series event while the Sunday race will be sponsored by Randy Guitar and John Sapone.

The SCEDA series will also open at Auto Club Dragway, featuring a wide variety of classes from the Stock/Super Stock Combo class to Super Comp, brackets and Junior Dragsters. Last year’s Stock/Super Stock champion was Brett Brown, who drove his SS/MA Chevy Chevelle to the 2014 title. Matt Fischle was the Super Comp champion.

Gates will open at 7 a.m. on Saturday with racing beginning at 8, and on Sunday gates open at 7:30 with racing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Bob Johnson photo)

Kirk moves into Kelley’s Top Dragster at PDRA

JustinKirk-headJustin Kirk, a 22-year-old third-generation racer from Lenore, WV, is excited about stepping into Randy Kelley’s supercharged dragster and going after Rookie of the Year honors and maybe even this season’s PDRA Top Dragster championship.

“Last fall we were actually looking for a blower to put on my car, the one we ran at four races in 2013 with the ADRL, so we called Randy up to see if he had one or knew where we could look,” Kirk said. “He said he was cutting back a little this year and suggested maybe I should just drive his car. I wasn’t expecting that, to be honest, but it’s a great car and I couldn’t be happier about the opportunity. It’s like a dream come true for me.”

Kelley, owner of BWC Trucking in Ironton, Ohio, is a longtime IHRA and NHRA Top Dragster veteran with several race titles to his credit. He said he’d been running the car in some local Quick 8 races last year and even entertained the thought of racing with the PDRA himself this season, but work commitments made that impossible.

The dragster is a 242-inch wheelbase American-built chassis powered by a blown 540 Chevy motor built by Matt Hornbuckle at Performance Engineering in Ashland, Ky. A two-speed Powerglide transmits the power to the rear wheels.

The dragster is a 242-inch wheelbase American-built chassis powered by a blown 540 Chevy motor built by Matt Hornbuckle at Performance Engineering in Ashland, Ky. A two-speed Powerglide transmits the power to the rear wheels.

“I know it’s going to run in the 4.0s and we’re really looking forward to going into three seconds. That’s really what I’d like to see with Justin in it,” Kelley said.

“After they announced the Pro Stock deal, we kind of didn’t know whether we were still going to race my car with PDRA or just do some local bracket stuff and then this deal with Randy came along,” Kirk explained. “Hopefully next year they’ll add Pro Stock back, but we understood their decision and it is what it is. At least with this new deal we get to keep racing and stay in touch with everybody.”

New Super Gas car for Bogacki; new look for Super Comp dragster


When reigning NHRA Super Gas champion Luke Bogacki hits the track in 2015, it will be in a brand new car. The RacingRV’s backed, Charlie Stewart Race Cars-built ’63 Corvette roadster that he drove to the 2014 NHRA Super Gas championship has been sold.

“Our new car will actually be a lot like the car that we just sold,” he explained. “We’d be foolish to try to reinvent the wheel: Charlie Stewart Race Cars is building the car again, and it will feature a ’63 body from the same mold as our previous car. Obviously we had a great combination, and while I was hesitant to make any changes at all I do believe that technology and knowledge continues to improve: while our new car won’t be dramatically different, I do expect it to be just a little bit better than the last one.”

Bogacki’s new Corvette will feature the same drivetrain as his championship machine: a Huntsville Engine & Performance built 582 cubic inch powerplant featuring a BRODIX aluminum block and BRODIX “Head Hunter” cylinder heads, backed by a BTE Top Sportsman transmission and 9” torque converter. RacingRV’s will return as the primary marketing partner of the Super Gas entry.

Bogacki will continue to field his American Race Cars Super Comp dragster, which will once again fly the K&N Filters colors in 2015.

Despite winning the Super Gas title last season, Bogacki endured a disappointing season in Super Comp. After finishing in the top three of NHRA’s national rankings in each of his three previous Super Comp campaigns – Luke finished second in 2010, third in 2012, and won the title in 2013 – he finished outside the national top ten in 2014. The season also marked the first since 2008 in which he failed to capture a Super Comp victory on either the NHRA Mello Yello or NHRA Lucas Oil tours.

“We didn’t have a good season in Super Comp,” Bogacki quickly admitted. “That’s the nature of competition at this level; it doesn’t take many mistakes or close losses to make for a forgettable year. We’ve got a great car, and a really good team going forward. I’m grateful to K&N for continuing our alliance. That was their first year as the primary partner on our dragster and we failed to get K&N to the winner’s circle. Thankfully, they see the value that we bring on the track and off; winning races is just icing on the cake – but that certainly doesn’t change the fact that I want to win races!”

Sunoco Race Fuels and all E.T. bracket class sponsors renewed at Maple Grove

money-trail-logoSunoco Race Fuels has extended its sponsorship of Maple Grove Raceway’s E.T. bracket racing series. The Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail series will continue at MGR through 2025.

“We are proud to announce our relationship with Sunoco Race Fuels will continue for another 10 years,” said Maple Grove Raceway Vice President & General Manager, Lex Dudas. “Sunoco Race Fuels has been an important partner for decades and a strong supporter of our local drag racers.”

All six of the Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail series class sponsors have renewed for the 2015 season. They include: Gold Rush Trailers (Super Pro), Ciccarone Racing Products (Pro), P.C. Richard & Son (Street), Reading Standard Motorsports, formerly known as Ray’s Yamaha (Top Bike), Universal Technical Institute (Jr. Dragster) and ATI (Stock/Super Stock).

The 15-race 2015 Sunoco Race Fuels Money Trail series is scheduled to begin on May 2 (after new paving on the track from the 770-ft. mark to past the finish line is finished) and conclude on Aug. 22.

MAY 2, 9, 16 (also Mid-Atlantic .90 Series), 17 also Mid-Atlantic .90 Series), and 31 (also East Coast Stock-Super Stock Series)
JUNE 20 and 28

JULY 4 (also National Dragster Challenge), 5 (also Scott’s Transmission Center Racer Appreciation Day), 11, and 12

AUGUST 1, 2, 8 (also East Coast Stock-Super Stock Series), and 22 (also NHRA King of the Track)

For more information call Maple Grove Raceway at 610-856-9200 or visit www.maplegroveraceway.com.

You could win a Racepak data system

teamracepak_logoRacepak announces a unique program, offering a very limited number of motor sports competitors the opportunity to obtain a free Racepak data system.

#TeamRacepak is a social media marketing campaign, offering select data systems to FIVE race teams, in exchange for social media documentation of the selected race teams 2015 racing season exploits.

Racers which are passionate about their sport, not camera shy, very social media savvy and most importantly are looking to improve on track performance via a Racepak data system are welcome to apply.

NHRA, IHRA, weekly bracket racers, 10.5, radial, road racing, circle track, off-road, short course off-road, RZR/ side by side, truck and tractor pulling, hill climb or any other type of motor sports competitor which can benefit from the use of a Racepak data system are encouraged to enter.

Complete details, including contest entry information, can be found at www.teamracepak.com. Entry deadline is March 31, 2015.