IHRA loses one quarter-mile track, adds two eighth-mile tracks

The 710 Dragway in North Carolina and Douglas Dragway in Georgia are the latest tracks to join the IHRA Member Track family. This announcement coming on the heels of quaarter-mile Rockingham Dragway changing to a NHRA sanction.

The 710 Dragway is an eighth-mile, all-concrete facility located in Rowland, NC. Built in 1962, the facility was completely renovated in 2013 and reopened in June of 2014. The track is currently under the leadership of owner and operator Jerry Oxendine. 710 Dragway will join IHRA’s Division 9 Raiders.

“Under the guidance of Jerry Oxendine, the old facility was completely leveled and rebuilt with the racer and race fan in mind,” said Phil Gingerich, IHRA Director of Track Development. “In addition to a great new facility, the track has brought in all of the latest equipment: New tractors, new drags, new cleaning equipment. They bought the best of everything, which will only help increase the presence of this facility in eastern North Carolina.”

Another track that has recently undergone a facelift is Douglas Dragway, located in the southeastern part of the state in Nicholls, Ga. Sitting on 135 acres, Douglas Dragway features an eighth-mile dragstrip, half-mile banked oval track, a restaurant, and plenty of accommodations for racers and fans alike. Douglas Dragway will join IHRA’s Division 2 Heat Wave.

Rogeo finishes in top three in two PSCA classes


Alex Rogeo, Senior Editor of sister publication MoparMax.com, claimed dual top-three points finishes in the Pacific Street Car Association 2014 championship. The PSCA season started in February in Las Vegas and finished in October in Fontana, Calif.

“Of course, we’re racers and we come to every race and every season wanting to win,” said Ms. Rogeo. “But when you consider that in my Street Muscle class 104 racers were on the points board and in my Bracket-1 class 83 racers were on the board, objectively double top-three finishes is a really good accomplishment.

“All twelve classes had undecided championships coming into the PSCA Finals race,” continued Alex. “We turned on four win lights in a row on Sunday, unfortunately we needed to turn on six to have claimed the championships. I won’t lie, it was disappointing in the moment. We and our partners worked so hard all year long for this, and after the last round, well, it hurt to lose. I would have loved to claim the championship for my crew and my marketing partners, but Larry Pittenger [now 2014 Street Muscle champion] and Dave Albers [2014 Bracket-1 champion] did a great job and I congratulate them on their titles.”

“We struggled with hooking up on the starting line in the middle of the season,” said Richard Kratz, Alex’s crew chief and Mopar Max Editor. “I take the blame for that; it took us too long to figure out why the zone between tire spin and tire shake was so narrow throughout the summer. Once we figured out the issue and Dave Beckley at Mountain View Performance applied his considerable skills to changing our rear suspension and Elwin Luzon and Mike Judson at Mickey Thompson Tires helped us get the right tires and procedures in place, the car was transformed.” (Edwin Akpaita photo)

‘Search for a Champion’ Contest Now Open for Entries

SearchForAChampion-logoThe 2015 “Search for a Champion” racing sponsorship contest is now open for entries. Sponsored by Champion® Spark Plug, the annual contest enables grassroots racers throughout the U.S. and Canada to compete for $125,000 in sponsorships by submitting a 2-minute video profile at www.AlwaysaChampion.com. Champion spark plugs, chemical additives and other products are distributed by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation.

Search for a Champion will once again offer 15 $5,000 racing sponsorships and one $50,000 grand-prize sponsorship to grassroots racers whose videos best demonstrate their commitment to winning with the help of “Performance Driven™” Champion spark plugs. The first 200 racers to submit videos will receive a free Champion “swag” bag containing a hat, t-shirt and contest decal.

Search for a Champion is open to racers in three broad categories of engine-driven competition – Asphalt, Dirt and Water/Snow. Winners will be selected in part through online votes cast by consumers. Entries may be submitted today through Jan. 4, 2015. Consumers will be able to view each video and vote for their favorites at www.AlwaysaChampion.com between January 6 and February 3, 2015. Voting for the $50,000 Search for a Champion grand prize will take place February 24 through March 24, 2015.

Tulsa holds double event on Nov. 1 to end season

Mater, the jet tow truck, will make its first appearance in Oklahoma on Saturday.

Mater, the jet tow truck, will make its first appearance in Oklahoma on Saturday.

The last race of the 2014 season at Tulsa Raceway Park (www.tulsaracewaypark.com) will have two races in one on Saturday, Nov. 1 — the Sonic Rush Tour along with the Radial Revenge Tour final rounds.

The Radial drag cars will run all day for over $35,000 in purse money. Sonic Rush rounds will be at 6:30 and 9 p.m.

In addition to racing, there will be a costume contest for parents and kids, and the kids will be trick or treating at the trailer decorated for Halloween.

Cottrell sweeps the California Hot Rod Reunion

TM_BobbyCottrell-3-wins-trophiesMany racers put in extra effort to obtain wins at race events throughout a season. Very few if any can claim the level of success that Bobby Cottrell obtained at this year’s California Hot Rod Reunion. Cottrell drove two cars in two classes, the 7.0 Pro dragster of the Turk Brothers and the Archibald Racing A/Fuel dragster, as well as tuning his own 7.0 Pro dragster with Jesse Adams handling the driving duties.

If being involved in three cars wasn’t enough, Cottrell pulled off the amazing feat of winning the event in A/Fuel and winning the “A” field in 7.0 Pro — and then his dragster driven by Adams won the “B” field of 7.0 Pro. His win in 7.0 Pro also clinched back-to-back season championships in 7.0 Pro by a mere 3 points.

TM_BobbyCottrell-Afuel-dragsterA/FUEL: Bobby Cottrell, N & P, 6.355, 216.06 def. Bill Wayne, Uyehara, broke.

TM_7.0-final-EilyStafford_BobbyCottrell7.0 PRO: Bobby Cottrell (far lane), 7.033, 179.18 def. Eily Stafford, Hansen, 6.994, 194.80.

TM_7.0-B-final-JoeySteckler_JesseAdams7.0 PRO B: Jesse Adams (far lane), Dragster, 7.046, 180.38 def. Joey Steckler, Corvette, 7.094, 199.85. (Tim Marshall photos)

Maple Grove ends season with Race 4 Ronald’s House, raises almost $9K

Local drag racers once again gave back to their community when they competed in the second Race 4 Ronald’s House charity event of 2014 at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa. All proceeds from the entry fees were donated to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. Drivers and riders raced for trophies, plaques and gift cards.

A total of 179 racers competed and close to $9,000 was raised for Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia (http://www.philarmh.org/). The race was contested on a 1/8-mile track.

“Today definitely was one of the most successful Race 4 Ronald’s House events,” said organizer Denny Parisan. “It was the seventh Race 4 Ronald’s House and we raised close to $9,000. It made me happy to see we had so many people — not only beginners but also seasoned drivers — come out and join the fun, all for a trophy.”

Many local businesses provided gift cards to be used as prizes for the participants. David Dissinger, Director of Speed Shops for Pep Boys Auto Parts Stores, donated $1,000 to the event. Shawn Brobst, MGR’s Director of Retail Operations, donated 10 percent of the proceeds from the Sunday food, beverage and souvenir sales.

The event originally was scheduled for Aug. 24 but was postponed to Oct. 26 due to rain. The event marked the final race of the 2014 season at MGR.

RM1 (Novices): Shannon Cain (Blacksburg, Va.) Infiniti G37X, .289 9.00 9.104 sec./71.81 mph def. Brian Osborne (West Chester, Pa.) 2012 Ford F-150, .382 9.50 9.644 sec./73.32 mph.

RM2 (Experienced): Jeff Burnley (Palm, Pa.) 1979 Chevrolet Malibu, .015 7.39 7.424/89.71 def. John Grater (Zieglerville, Pa.) 1970 Ford Torino, .090 7.36 7.370/95.67.

JohnBisci-photo_BobOrmsbee-MapleGrove-Gamblers-winnerGambler Race: Bob Ormsbee (Harrisburg, Pa.) 1967 Camaro, .037 6.98 7.004/95.25 def. John Grater (Zieglerville, Pa.) 1970 Ford Torino, .100 7.36 7.377/95.64. (John Bisci photo)

NHRA Supports Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge at SEMA Show

HotRoddersofTomorrowThe National Hot Rod Association is supporting the next generation of auto experts through the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. The NHRA has donated its table at the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show Banquet to the top two teams competing in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge at SEMA. The SEMA Show will be held Nov. 4-7 in Las Vegas.

“So many of the participants in our Engine Challenges hope to one day be employed by teams competing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, so this is a big deal to these kids,” said Rodney Bingham, president of Hot Rodder of Tomorrow. “It makes the whole experience of coming to Las Vegas even more fun.”

Along with seats at the SEMA Show Banquet, NHRA is awarding the top two teams tickets to an NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event that’s closest to their school.

Aussie Cannuli to drive final two NHRA events for Kon Rodz Racing TAFC

JohnCannuli-headNHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Team Kon Rodz Racing has reached a two-race deal with veteran ANDRA Top Alcohol Funny Car driver John Cannuli. Cannuli, currently third in point’s standings in the ANDRA Series in Australia will drive for Kon Rodz at the Vegas and Pomona rounds. Cannuli is the brother-in-law of Pro Stock driver Shane Tucker.

Kon Rodz Racing’s full time driver, Sean Bellemeur, had previously agreed to drive his family’s Funny Car for the Vegas and Pomona rounds.

“I got to sit down with Spiro and Stefan Kontos in Indy and we discussed the possibilities,” Cannuli said. “It has been a dream of mine to compete in the United States and I am very confident in the operation Spiro [Kontos, team owner] has put together with Stefan. I look forward to representing Australia as I make my American debut with Kon Rodz and hope to contend for round wins. They have a great team leader in Randy Anderson and I am confident we can do well. The ultimate goal is to qualify well and consistently go down the track.”

Spiro Kontos said, “We’re working through a bad luck streak as of recent, however our team has now relocated to Glendale, Ariz., and now that the car is constantly being worked on, I am confident that we can represent Australia well with John and go some rounds to conclude the season. I am excited to see what the future holds and we may see John driving at more NHRA races in 2015.”

Fickler returns to Aeromotive

KyleFickler-headKyle Fickler has been appointed as the new Director of Business Development for Aeromotive Inc. Fickler will oversee all Sales Reps, Product Training and OE Business.

“We are excited to welcome Kyle back to our team,” says Aeromotive Founder and President, Steve Matusek. “I have known Kyle for quite some time and have a great deal of respect for him. We are looking for him to have a positive impact on our business and help us continue to mature as a company.”

Fickler was employed at Aeromotive Inc. for 8 years prior to leaving to serve as VP of Sales at Weld Racing, a position he held for 6 years. Fickler currently sits on the SEMA Board of Directors after serving as the Chairman of the SEMA Motorsports Parts Manufacturer Council (MPMC). He also serves on the NHRA Performance Aftermarket Advisory Council (PAAC).

Fickler is an active NHRA Super Comp racer as well.