Cold weather postpones racing at MIR for third weekend

The continued rash of cold weather across the south and eastern part of the U.S. has pushed the start of Memphis International Raceway’s season for a third time. The forecast temperatures hovering around the freezing mark combined with the possibility of more rain during the weekend has led MIR to call off Saturday’s Test N Tune session and Sunday’s Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams race.

“You hear third time’s a charm,” said MIR VP and GM Pam Kendrick, “we’re hoping this third time pushing things back will be the charm and there’s no better way to do it than with a full weekend of racing.”
The season is currently scheduled to kick off on March 7-8 with a newly added Test N Tune and Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams. The doubleheader weekend will feature Super Pro, Pro/Footbrake, DOT/Street, Junior Dragster, Top ET 1/4-mile, and Stock/SuperStock classes.

The Test N Tune session on Saturday, March 7, will run from noon-4 p.m. That event immediately will roll into the Summit Bracket Racing Series presented by COMP Cams with time trials at 5 p.m.

Weather postpones racers appreciation event at ‘The Rock’

Rockingham Dragway’s racers appreciation race is the latest victim of the Southeast’s raucous weather roller-coaster. The free entry event, which was to have been run this weekend, will instead be contested the week of June 27-28.

“We’re in a really unsettled weather pattern right now,” lamented track owner Steve Earwood. “Big freeze on Tuesday, sunshine on Wednesday, five inches of snow forecast for Thursday and, after that, who knows? They’re saying sun on Saturday, but with a high of 38, and then cold and clouds on Sunday. Not exactly ideal for racing, to say the least.”

With the postponement, the track will shift its focus to the March 6-8 Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition bracket races which will award points not only for Coalition championships in Top Eliminator, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster, but also for track championships.

Rockingham reschedules True Outlaw Street Drags to March

Due to rain Rockingham Dragway pulled the plug on the Sunday, Feb. 22, True Outlaw Street Drags and rescheduled for mid-March.

“We really didn’t want to postpone this one as there was a lot of momentum building with true street racers for this program,” said Steve Earwood.

The True Outlaw Street Drags will be contested on Sunday, March 15.

National championship to highlight 2015 NHRA Summit Racing Series

With the approximately 120 NHRA Member Tracks across the country kicking off their seasons, the long-running NHRA Summit Racing Series is once again officially underway. As has been the case since 2000, the season will culminate with the crowning of four NHRA Summit National Champions at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona during the Auto Club NHRA Finals.

The series, which boasts more than $1,000,000 in payouts throughout the year — with more than $600,000 up from grabs between the division finals and national championship – will provide the chance for four grassroots racers to earn the biggest title of their career and be crowned NHRA Summit Racing Series National Champions.

In 2015, the number of racers competing at and vying for a national championship title will increase to 32 as an eighth spot has been added to each of the four classes (Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman, and Motorcycle). A special drawing will take place later this year to determine which division will send the additional racer in each class.

The winner of the drawing, chosen from among the Race of Champions winners from Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, as well as the event winners from Divisions 6 and 7, will advance to the national championship as the eighth competitor. As always, each of the division champions (the Race of Champions winners in Divisions 6 and 7) will advance and set the eight-car field.

Nearly 3,500 racers will compete at the division finals, with 32 advancing to the national championship hosted at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, which includes a dinner banquet for them and their families at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum prior to the racing action on the track.

Eliminations are held on Sunday in conjunction with final eliminations for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the Winner’s Circle celebration.

2015 NHRA Summit Racing Series Division and National Championship Schedule

Sept. 17-19: Northeast Division 1, Atco Raceway, Atco, NJ
Oct. 9-11: Southeast Division 2, Atlanta Dragway, Atlanta, Ga.
Sept. 18-20: North Central Division 3, Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis
Sept. 25-27: South Central Division 4, Texas Motorplex, Dallas, Texas
Sept. 18-20: West Central Division 5, Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kan.
Sept. 4-6: Northwest Division 6, Firebird Raceway, Boise, Idaho
Oct. 2-4: Pacific Division 7, Auto Club Dragway, Fontana, Calif.
Nov. 12-15: Summit National Championship, Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, Calif.

Many drivers get repeat wins at Gainesville; Maltba gets his first

Duane Shields did a bit of pre-season testing at Las Vegas.  (Eddie Maloney photo)

Duane Shields did a bit of pre-season testing at Las Vegas. (Eddie Maloney photo)

Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev. and Mickey Ferro, Stamford, Conn., took home the wins in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, Fla., in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Shields worked his way through the field and ran 5.327 seconds at 271.62 mph in his final round victory over Richard Bourke, Old Tappan, N.J., who clocked in at 5.360 seconds, 272.72 mph. Shields had a consistent race car throughout the event running in the 5.30’s in almost every run and qualified second with his run of 5.253 seconds.

In the final round, Bourke had some early tire shake but Shields led the whole way to take his 25th Divisional/Regional win in 38 final rounds. In their last three appearances in Gainesville Shields and the team have won all three events. Along with this event, they also won the NHRA Gatornationals and the Gainesville Regional event here last year.

Ferro faced off against Dan Pomponio, Berlin, N.J., and posted a winning run of 5.587/260.06 in his ’06 Monte Carlo. Pomponio drove to a 5.683 second, 256.41 mph lap for his runner up finish. Ferro started off with a great light in the final with a 0.013 reaction time and didn’t look back. With this win Ferro received his 16th Divisional/Regional win in his 33rd final round. Ferro was the number one qualifier going into the finals and in the final he matched his number one qualifying time and took the win.

Glen Treadwell, Sorrento, Fla., took home his 18th Divisional win with this final round win in Comp Eliminator. Treadwell faced off against Lee Sharp, Maryville, Tenn., and posted a winning run of 7.697 seconds at 170.82 mph.

In the Davis Golf Carts Top Sportsman Series, Jeffrey Barker, Kathleen, Ga., took home the win over Jeff Pittman, Conover, N.C. Pittman had the better light off the line but slowed and Barker was able to take his 13th Divisional win, 12th in Top Sportsman in 19 final rounds. Barker recorded a winning run of 6.796 seconds at 174.21 mph. Barker defended his championship where he won this divisional event a year ago.

Denver Maltba, Newland, N.C., won for his first time in Super Comp in a double breakout. Maltba scored a winning run of 8.870 seconds at 177.60 mph over Allison McLean, Inverness, Fla. Along with this being Maltba’s first ever win this is his first ever final round in a Divisional event.

Southeast Division racers head back to Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville for the next NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, March 6-8.

The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville:

Round 1
2) Duane Shields, Boulder City, Nev., 5.351, 268.71 def. 7) Tom Conway, Selkirk, N.Y., 16.265, 59.81;
4) Jake Allen, Jacksonville, Fla., 5.406, 265.85 def. 5) Jackie Fricke, Flemington, N.J., 5.602, 265.33;
1) Richard Bourke, Old Tappan, N.J., 5.290, 272.45 def. 8) Cherissa Griffis-Smallwood, Jacksonville, Fla., 6.101, 190.73;
3) Rich McPhillips, Phoenixville, Pa., 5.345, 277.32 def. 9) Wayne Morris, Lincoln University, Pa., foul;

Bourke, 5.413, 271.46 def. Allen, 5.476, 258.76;
Shields, 5.326, 270.43 def. McPhillips, 22.937, 27.01;

Shields, 5.327, 271.62 def. Bourke, 5.360, 272.72.

Round 1
5) Mark Rogers, Highlands, N.C., ’02 Firebird, 5.937, 208.17 def. 4) Todd Veney, Indianapolis, Ind., ’14 Camaro, 6.580, 208.33;
3) Dan Pomponio, Berlin, N.J., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.666, 257.33 def. 6) Kris Hool, Evansville, Wyo., ’06 Monte Carlo, 9.458, 108.53;
2) Matt Gill, W Bridgewater, Mass., ’08 Mustang, 5.818, 245.58 def. 7) Tyler Scott, Exeter, Ont., ’06 Monte Carlo, 6.163, 180.60;
1) Mickey Ferro, Stamford, Conn., ’06 Monte Carlo, 5.633, 258.52 def. 8) John Headley, Newportville, Pa., ’03 Mustang, 6.154, 208.84;

Pomponio, 5.616, 257.97 def. Gill, 5.712, 256.80;
Ferro, 5.615, 259.46 def. Rogers, 5.858, 239.65;

Ferro, 5.587, 260.06 def. Pomponio, 5.683, 256.41.

COMPETITION ELIMINATOR: Glen Treadwell, Sorrento, Fla., Dragster, J/DA, 7.697, 170.82 def. Lee Sharp, Maryville, Tenn., ’09 G-5, D/SMA, 8.365, 143.69.

TOP DRAGSTER: Cameron Manuel, Winston-Salem, N.C., dragster, 7.084, 179.02 def. Jason Lynch, Pleasant View, Tenn., dragster, 7.136, 180.67.

TOP SPORTSMAN: Jeffrey Barker, Kathleen, Ga., ’06 Cobalt, 6.796, 174.21 def. Jeff Pittman, Conover, N.C., ’68 Chevelle, 7.527, 120.72.

SUPER STOCK: Jimmy Hidalgo Jr., Donaldsonville, La., ’99 Firebird, SS/GA, 9.934, 130.09 def. Jeff Adkinson, Damascus, Ga., ’00 Firebird, SS/IA, 10.006, 132.63.

STOCK ELIMINATOR: Kevin Helms, Schriever, La., ’10 Challenger, FS/C, 9.328, 143.61 def. Jeff Longhany, Wade, N.C., ’00 Firebird, A/SA, 10.183, 127.25.

SUPER COMP: Denver Maltba, Newland, N.C., ’12 Racetech, 8.870, 177.60 def. Allison McLean, Inverness, Fla., ’11 Miller, 8.857, 172.01.

SUPER GAS: Craig Porter, Silver Spring, Md., ’04 Mustang, 9.907, 167.63 def. Jason Lynch, Pleasant View, Tenn., ’63 Chevy II, 9.902, 164.85.

SUPER STREET: John Rollins, High Springs, Fla., ’72 Nova, 10.887, 132.17 def. Ronnie Maggart, Carthage, Tenn., ’70 Chevelle, 10.862, 149.31.

11.00 INDEX: Glenn Newmans, Alachua, Fla., ’91 S-10, 11.007, 107.10 def. Chip Rollins, High Springs, Fla., ’82 Malibu SW, 10.917, 112.71.

SGMP joins IHRA member tracks

South Georgia Motorsports Park has signed a multi-year sanctioning agreement to join the IHRA as a member track.

Located on U.S. 41 in Cecil, Georgia, South Georgia Motorsports Park is under new ownership. Ozzy Moya, of Orlando, Fla., also owns IHRA-sanctioned Lakeland Dragstrip in Lakeland, Fla., and Orlando Speedworld Dragway in Orlando, Fla.

“We are pleased to welcome Ozzy’s newest track to our IHRA family,” said IHRA President Scott Gardner. “South Georgia Motorsports Park is a beautiful facility and Ozzy is a respected member of the IHRA and drag racing community.”

Holley to sponsor Danchuck Tri-Five Nationals at Bowling Green

orange-56-ChevyHolley is the official drag racing sponsor for the first of what is sure to become an annual event in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals will be held at the historic Beech Bend Raceway, August 14-15.

The Holley Tri-Five Drags will feature three heads-up racing classes and two bracket classes just for ‘55-57 Chevys. Classes for DOT Stock, Junior Stock, and Nostalgia/Gasser will be heads up while Junior Eliminator and Top Eliminator will be bracket classes.

Drag entries are $100 and include admission for two, plus pit parking pass, and racer golf cart pass.

All racing will be quarter-mile. Friday the 14th will be tech, test & tune, and qualifying. Eliminations will take place on Saturday. Exhibition cars will also run both Friday and Saturday.