Three days, three Wallys for Demke and Harker

RM_ChrisDemke-TADChris Demke swept the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway last weekend, clinching the championship on Friday, winning the rained-out Carolina Nationals on Saturday, and claiming the NHRA Nationals event win on Sunday.

In the delayed Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals Demke defeated Don Nolan and Richard Bourke in rounds one and two before meeting up with five-time Lucas Oil World Champion Bill Reichert in the semifinal. Demke clicked off a 5.309-second pass at 272.83 mph to defeat Reichert’s 5.449, 268.22 and lock up the 2014 championship.

The Tujunga, Calif., resident then beat Randy Meyer from Spring Hill, Kan., in the final with a 5.292, 275.79 run to Meyer’s 5.339, 217.84. Meyer was one of a few drivers chasing Demke for the championship and looks to finish in the top 5 in points.

RM_SteveHarker-TAFCJoining Demke in the winner’s circle was Steve Harker in Top Alcohol Funny Car, who outran Dale Cox Jr. in the final posting a run of 5.510, 263.77 to Cox’s 5.713, 250.32 in his losing effort. Harker, Gainesville, Ga., beat Mark Rogers and Tony Bogolo in the early rounds then won over Dale Brand in the semis with a 5.545 second, 263.10 mph lap. Harker drove a 2006 Monte Carlo while Cox was in a 2011 model.

Like Demke, Harker won both events last weekend and clinched his class championship.

See all the results of the Maple Grove National event here. (Richard Muir photo)

Lots of loot awaits IHRA sportsman champions at Memphis this week

Returning for its 13th season, the Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries and Junior Dragster SuperSeries, both presented by AMSOIL, are once again taking the IHRA spotlight.

The 2014 SuperSeries programs will once again award championships in the Top, Mod and Junior Dragster categories in addition to handing out over $240,000 in cash and prizes to racers at the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway the weekend of October 10-11.

And once again, taking center stage this year is the prize package awarded to the winners of the three classes. The Top ET and Junior Dragster champions will both take home brand new dragsters courtesy of TNT Supercars and JR Race Car, while the Mod ET champion will take home a brand new race trailer courtesy of Performax Trailers. Additional prizes will be awarded to all three champions in Memphis.

The two turn-key dragsters and race trailer are just part of the amazing prize package that the winners of the Top, Mod and Junior Dragster classes will take home in 2014. Each prize package includes $10,000 for the championships in Top and Mod and $3,000 for winning the championship in Junior Dragster. The packages also include a number of additional prizes, including a week-long vacation package to Aruba, a championship-edition Ironman and champion’s ring.

Joseph Bagwell was the Top ET winner at the Division 2 championship event.  (IHRA photo)

Joseph Bagwell was the Top ET winner at the Division 2 championship event. (IHRA photo)

A total of 48 participants advanced to the 2014 Summit Racing Equipment SuperSeries World Championship runoff from competitions in North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Texas and Alberta and will now compete for a world championship and lucrative championship prize package in one of the most prestigious grassroots racing programs in the world.

The competition in Top ET, Mod ET and Junior Dragster will feature 16 drivers in each class competing for the title. The winners and runner-ups at Summit Team Finals competitions in Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9 and winners in Divisions 5, 6 and 7, plus one wild card recipient in each class, will make up the field.

Forty-one IHRA sanctioned tracks will make up this year’s field of 48 drivers, with seven tracks having more than one driver make the field.

This year’s Summit SuperSeries participants in Top ET are Joseph Bagwell, Cody Bayus, Mark Brewer, Courtland Carter, Terry Goff, Scott Henderson, Kevin Henry, Jeffrey Jones, R.W. Jordan, Shane Maddox, Lee Marcum III, Jerry Norton, Amber Rose-Smith, Gary Smiley, Robert Smith and Nathan Thornsley.

In Mod ET the field consists of Bobby Arnett, Ian Bernard, Kris Bunch, Sonny Freeland, Benny Gossett, Ernie Humes, Billy Janousek, Jerry King, Rodney Lunsford, Ken Myrick, Mark Pressey, David Richardson, Greg Sauvage, Dean Smith, Gordie Stevens and Sambo Tyra.

Finally, making up this year’s Junior Dragster field are Jeremy Barbee, Brandon Butler, Parker Dotson, Katlyn Hall, Justin Hutto, Leendrick Lacle, Chad Logan, Lizzie Low, Paige Montgomery, Allison Muchler, Ethan Ochitwa, Tyler Poindexter, Noah Pollard, Johnny Tolisano, Michael Wayne Turman and Dawson Wiggins.

Racers win JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals at Las Vegas

Local racers Leo Shaver of Las Vegas and Daniel Henderson of Henderson, Nev., won for the hometown fans at last weekend’s NHRA JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals and the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Shaver won in the Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley-Davidson with a 9.783 at 131.18 mph on his ’87 Kawasaki beating Ron Alves, Colusa, Calif. The win also clinched Shaver his first NHRA Pacific Division Championship.

The 19-year old Henderson drove his ’02 dragster to a lap of 9.082 at 158.38 mph to hold off Steve Casner, Sheridan, Calif., for the Super Comp trophy. He was out first and never looked back.

The 19-year old Henderson drove his ’02 dragster to a lap of 9.082 at 158.38 mph to hold off Steve Casner, Sheridan, Calif., for the Super Comp trophy. He was out first and never looked back.

In Top Dragster it was Chris Thode, Manteca, Calif., beating Andy Spiegal, Acton, Calif., with a run of 7.026, 190.46 mph to Spiegal’s quicker 6.849, 187.36. Wayne Newman and Steve Downs faced off in the Top Sportsman final. Downs, Edgewood, Wash., took the early lead but Newman, Lancaster, Calif., ran him down with a 7.501, 184.40 lap to Downs’ 7.786, 175.84.

The Comp Eliminator title went to Tony Mandella, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with a .007 second reaction time and a run of 8.825 at 126.76 mph in winning over Aaron Strong, Auburn, Wash., who fouled at the start.

The Comp Eliminator title went to Tony Mandella, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., with a .007 second reaction time and a run of 8.825 at 126.76 mph in winning over Aaron Strong, Auburn, Wash., who fouled at the start.

NHRA Lucas Oil racers will be back at The Strip at LVMS for the Toyota NHRA Nationals, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 and the following weekend for the final LODRS divisional event of the 2014 season.

COMP: Tony Mandella, Rancho Cucamonga, ‘00 S-10, 8.825, 126.26 def. Aaron Strong, Auburn, Wash., ’98 S-10, 8.652, 130.13.

SUPER STOCK: Leo Glasbrenner, Chino, Calif., ’97 Firebird, 9.988, 130.13 def. Andrew Durham, Arcadia, Calif., ’11 Challenger, 9.737, 138.73

STOCK: Scott Burton, Golden, Colo., ’70 Firebird, 10.497, 115.92 def. Ryan Mangus, Rialto, Calif., ’67 Camaro, 11.695, 111.69

SUPER COMP: Daniel Henderson, Boulder City, Nev., ’02 dragster, 9.082, 158.93 def. Steve Casner, Sheridan, Calif., ’07 dragster 9.114, 177.30

SUPER GAS: Aaron Kinard, San Marcos, Calif., ’63 Corvette, 10.059, 152.38 def. Dave Cook, Burlingame, Calif., ’55 Thunderbird, 10.040, 144.13

SUPER STREET: Dave Hall, Winters, Calif., ’72 Challenger, 11.042, 128.44 def. Wayde Samuel, Morrison, Colo., ‘65 Chevelle, 11.022, 143.05

TOP DRAGSTER: Chris Thode, Manteca, Calif., ’00 dragster, 7.026, 190.46 def. Andy Spiegel, Acton, Calif., ’12 dragster, 6.849, 187.36

TOP SPORTSMAN: Wayne Newman, Lancaster, Calif., ’94 Lumina, 7.501, 138.73 def. Steven Downs, Edgewood, Wash., ’01 S-10, 7.786, 175.84

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Leo Shaver, Las Vegas, ’87 Kawasaki, 9.783, 131.18 def. Ron Alves, Colusa, Calif., ’80 Kawasaki, 8.398, 142.64 (Tim Marshall photos)

Specialty Shootout winners take Saturday SPORTSnationals spotlight

Saturday’s NHRA JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals action was highlighted by a slew of specialty shootout events and heads-up class racing in both Stock and Super Stock. Jesse Adams and David Cook led the list of Shootout winners and the winner’s circle celebration.

Lyle Byrum, El Paso, Texas, was out first on Adams, Yuba City, Calif., but Adams took it at the strip with a 6.288-second lap at 218.83 mph as Byrum broke out with a 6.757 on the 6.76 dial.

Navato, Calif., resident Cook beat out Monte Green, Haxun, Colo., in a battle of Mustangs. Cook went 7.103, 184.37 in his 2003 and Green was 7.034, 196.59 in his 2008.

Punch Johnson and Michael Miller captured the Super Comp and Super Gas Shootouts with Punch defeating Matt Woodard and Miller knocking out Aaron Kinard. Punch, Seligman, Ariz., went dead on 9.050 at 168.60 for the win and Miller was off by just .001 of a second running 10.051 on the 10.05 dial.

Chris Cannon II took on former division champion Mike Blodgett in the Super Street Shootout and took the win by .004 of a second with a hole shot running 11.125 seconds at 136.32 mph to the quicker Blodgett at 11.083, 129.32.

The win in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson went to Doug Schumann of Hesperia, Calif., on his ’98 Suzuki who clocked in at 8.385 at 156.75 mph to down Rick Newport, Buffalo, Utah, 8.271, 151.77

In the Super Stock Class eliminations a pair of late model cars faced off in SS/DA with Andrew Durham taking the win in his ’11 Challenger over Dave Bridgewater and his ’12 Camaro while Don Keen drove his ’65 Mustang past Gregg Luneack and his ’65 Nova Wagon in the SS/KA class.

Among the Stock Class winners were Tibor Kadar over John Cooper in A/SA and a battle of ’64 Fairlanes, Las Vegas runner Errol Farmer beat Brad Burton with his ’70 Barracuda and Chuck Echmalian, Huntington Beach, Calif., knocked out Mike Loge with a perfect reaction time in his ’69 Camaro.

DeFrank takes third Divisional Super Stock win at RMR’s Night of Fire

After a rained-out event on Saturday night, Rocky Mountain Raceways was able to cap off its 2014 Young Kia Drag Strip season with the crowd-favorite Night of Fire, which included the Lucas Oil Divisional Series and jet cars.

Jimmy DeFrank got the trophy at Sonoma too.  (Bob Johnson photo)

Jimmy DeFrank got the trophy at Sonoma too. (Bob Johnson photo)

Jimmy DeFrank, Chatsworth, Calif, worked his way through the field and ran 9.266 seconds at 145.96 mph in his final round victory over Justin Lamb, Henderson, Nev., who clocked in at 9.238 seconds, 144.46 mph. It was a good drag race between both of the drivers but DeFrank had the better light and pulled away to take the win. This was DeFrank’s third Pacific Division win in Super Stock this year. He received his other divisional wins at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and at Sonoma Raceway.

Ralph Van Paepeghem (near lane), from Garden Valley, Idaho, won in Competition Eliminator, posting a 7.560 ET at 168.66 mph over Utah local, Alan Ellis’s 6.836 at 195 mph. Van Paepeghem parlayed a starting line advantage and held off a hard-charging Ellis.  (Chris Dake, Creative Resource and Design photo)

Ralph Van Paepeghem (near lane), from Garden Valley, Idaho, won in Competition Eliminator, posting a 7.560 ET at 168.66 mph over Utah local, Alan Ellis’s 6.836 at 195 mph. Van Paepeghem parlayed a starting line advantage and held off a hard-charging Ellis. (Chris Dake, Creative Resource and Design photo)

Utah locals Ed Olpin and Doug Watts faced off in the final round of Top Sportsman. Olpin bested Watts for the win, running a 7.577 on his 7.57 dial-in at 182.62 mph. However, the race was over on the starting line as Watts red lit, ending his hopes of victory. Olpin took home the Top Sportsman Wally at this same event in 2013.

Doug Johnson, also from Utah, claimed the Top Dragster win over Barbara Burt, from Laramie, Wyo., running 7.417 on a 7.38 dial-in.

Barry Willoughby, Park City, Utah, took home the win in Super Gas. Willoughby had a winning run of 10.354 seconds, 147.88 mph to defeat Steve Williams, Beaumont, Calif., who posted a runner-up finish of 10.404 seconds, 145.86 mph. Williams was late on the tree and Willoughby was able to get his ’67 Camaro down the track to take home the Wally.

In Super Comp, Steve Casner, Sheridan, Calif., defeated Patrick Maher, Aurora, Colo., posting a winning run of 9.377 seconds, 172.94 mph. Maher had a runner-up finish of 9.354 seconds, 176.12 mph. Casner had the starting line advantage over Maher and was able to hold on to the lead to take the win.

Ed Olpin, Pleasant Grove, Utah, who won at Rocky Mountain last year, was able to repeat this year and take home the Wally in Top Sportsman. Olpin faced off against Doug Watts, Syracuse, Utah, and posted a winning run of 7.577 seconds, 182.62 mph in his ’68 Camaro. Watts went red on the tree giving the win to Olpin.

In Sportsman Motorcycle Series presented by Harley-Davidson, Benjamin McEwan had a great reaction time of 0.005 and posted a winning run of 9.946 seconds, 122.00 mph and defeated Leo Shaver, Las Vegas, who had a runner-up finish of 9.810 seconds, 133.90 mph.

Pacific Division racers head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the next NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, November 6-9.

2012 COPO Camaro set to NHRA specs goes to Mecum Auction

Mecum-2012-COPO-CamaroIntroduced at SEMA 2011, the Chevrolet COPO Camaro was specially built to NHRA competition specifications, including a full chromemoly roll cage and solid rear axle. Standard sound deadening, the rear seat and power accessories were deleted, and every car came with racing bucket seats, a driver safety harness, racing floor shifter and Chevrolet Performance gauges.

The second-generation 2012 COPO was available with a choice of 3 different engines developed to align with the top classes in NHRA’s various Stock Eliminator and Super Stock ranks. This 2012 COPO, number 58 of 69 produced in 2012, is powered by the 4.0L Whipple-supercharged LSX iron-block 327 CI engine rated at 550 HP at 7,500 RPM mated to an extreme heavy duty ATI Racing Products 2-speed automatic transmission and Strange Engineering 4.90 rear end.

This COPO Camaro will be sold at the Mecum Auction held in Chicago on Oct. 9-11. Presented as Lot S149, the car is scheduled to cross the block
 on Saturday, Oct. 11.

IHRA names McMahan as Director of Track Development and Southeast Division

ChrisMcMahan-head-IHRAIRG Sports + Entertainment and the IHRA welcome Chris McMahan as the Corporate Director of Track Development and Division Director for IHRA’s southeastern region.

McMahan will oversee track relations and serve as race director in IHRA’s Division 2. He will also work directly with IRG’s extensive network of member tracks, overseeing track development for all IRG facilities. McMahan will be based out Memphis, Tenn., in addition to attending IHRA events throughout the southeastern region.

McMahan will take on the newly created role after serving as Operations Manager at Cordova Dragway Park and previously spending time as General Manager of Route 66 Raceway, Pacific Raceways and Palm Beach International Raceway. He is also a former racer, campaigning cars in Pro Stock, Competition Eliminator and Pro Street during his career. Overall, McMahan brings with him over 20 years of experience in the motorsports industry.

VP doubles donations from pink containers during October

VP-Pink jug with tagVP Racing Fuels is marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month by doubling the amount of money it donates with each sale of its pink VP Motorsport Container®.

The pink containers were created to support Breast Cancer Awareness when introduced in late 2012. Since then, a portion of the proceeds from each sale throughout the year has been donated to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, but during each October the amount of the donation is doubled.

“Our pink Motorsport Container has resonated with many people inside and outside the racing community,” said Alan Cerwick, President of VP Racing Fuels. “So many people are touched by this disease, including those in the extended VP Racing Fuels family. To do our part, we’re committed to raising money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation in support of its cancer prevention research, education and community outreach programs.”

VP’s pink Motorsport Containers can be ordered online at or by contacting the appropriate regional VP distribution center to locate the nearest VP dealer.

Holley EFI racers finish well in Drag Week competition

Hot Rod Drag Week is the ultimate test of not just how fast a car is, but how reliable and consistent it is as well. Contestants must cover over 1,000 miles while making passes at five different drag strips along the way. It’s one thing to have a fast car, but an entirely different thing to be able to drive that car from track to track over the course of a week while traversing one third of America’s width.

EddieMiller-purple-DusterEddie Miller was able to bring home the win in the Pro Street Naturally Aspirated class. The infamous purple 1973 Duster didn’t face a legitimate challenger, as its average was over 1.5 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Miller’s 14.2:1 compression ratio 596 cubic inch big block Mopar is controlled by a Holley Dominator EFI system. The Miller-built powerplant ingests air through two 90 mm GM drive-by-wire throttle bodies, and cranks out 1150 horsepower on pump gas. Miller averaged 9.305 at 144.996 mph over the course of the week. (photo courtesy Holley)

Klaassen_JarrettFaggart-black-NovaJarrett Faggart claimed the first place hardware in the Street Race Small Block Power Adder class in his 1972 Chevy Nova. This car features a stock LQ4 short block with heads that were mildly ported by Jarrett, along with a cam and torque converter spec’d by himself as well. A Holley HP EFI system controls everything under the hood including boost, which is supplied by a single 76mm turbo. This stock suspension car averaged 8.68 @ 162.566 on Drag Week, and even clicked off a blazing 8.22 AT 164.65 afterwards when Faggart could run the car to its full potential. Not too shabby for a stock 6.0 with a stock truck intake. (Bad Brad photo)

ShaneMcClelland-white-NovaShane McClelland brought out his “Crusty Nova” again this year. The proven combo won the Saturday Heads-Up race and placed third in Super Street Power Adder. The Gen-3 6.0 with L92 heads is controlled by Holley Dominator EFI. Twin 62 mm turbos are responsible for pressurizing the intake. The car had an average of 8.75 at 157.11 mph for Drag Week. (photo courtesy Holley)

‘Shakedown’ returns to Norwalk track for second year


The Summit Racing Equipment Shakedown at the Summit presented by Mickey Thompson Tires will take place October 3-5 at Summit Motorsports Park. This marks the park’s second year presenting the event, which previously had been presented at Englishtown, NJ, by Pro Mod and Drag Radial driver Dave Hance (shown).

The classes contested are Pro-Line Racing Outlaw Pro Mod presented by Resolution Racing Services and G-Force Race Cars, Top Sportsman presented by Induction Solutions, Outlaw 10.5 presented by LaFontaine Performance Center, Precision Turbo and Stainless Works Outlaw Limited Street, Wiseco Performance Products X275 presented by TRZ Motorsports, Pro Street presented by Callies Performance Products, Team Z Motorsports Ultra Street presented by SpeedWire Systems and Top Fuel Harley.

Among those classes is a guaranteed purse of $119,800, and in addition, each winner will receive specially designed brass knuckles and cigars tucked in a wood display box featuring the park’s logo.

“The level of interest for Shakedown is even greater than it was last year,” said Bill Bader, Jr., president of Summit Motorsports Park. “It’s a completely unique event on our schedule and nothing else we offer is even close to it. Shakedown has quickly become a must-attend.”