Lepone earns Pro Street Wally at NMCA West

DH_JoeLeponeJr
Great weather and the keys to the legendary Pomona Raceway quarter mile made for some close, door to door racing over the weekend for the third edition of NMCA’s West Coast Shootout. Joe Lepone Jr. took home the Wally in the Pro Street class.

Lepone had issues in the first round of qualifying when the car was pushed back off of the starting line with fuel system problems but then, in round two, nailed the quick time of qualifying with his 6.233, 234.41-mph blast. However, while going through lights, the hood scoop on Lepone’s ’70 Duster launched into the air with a puff of smoke, hanging the throttle wide open and putting the engine on the limiter.

Lepone’s team sat on their time as the final qualifier was drastically shortened due to Fairplex sound curfew regulations. Lepone would run on raceway without the hood scoop on his Pat Musi-built, 903 cubic-inch, nitrous fed engine.

Mike Bowman’s ’68 Chevelle was the quickest in Friday’s Test-N-Tune with his 5.974/253.04, but qualified sixth with a 6.702 ET. Bowman made it to the final round, finding a match up with Lepone. Lepone carded another 6.23 to Bowman’s 6.61 and a trip to the winner’s circle.

See the complete race report at http://www.dragracingonline.com/raceresults/2013/xv_5-nmca-1.html. ((Darr Hawthorne photo)

Nitrous continues to rule in second Big Dog Shootout

Danny Perry

Danny Perry

Last month, there was a weather delay that took several cars away from the traditional first Thursday of the month for Piedmont Dragway’s ZDD-sponsored Big Dog Shootout. May proved to be just as temperamental as the weather again delayed racing for a week, but the second Thursday in May held perfect weather and 12 cars were on the property to qualify for the eight spots that make the porcelain dog trophy such a coveted piece in drag racing competition.

Qualifying was touch and go as several competitors didn’t hook up at all with only one round left. In the end, Jason Harris’s Pat Musi-tuned, Robert Hayes-built Pontiac Warbird sat on the pole with a very impressive 3.882 at a whopping 192 mph in the eighth mile. Second was Keith Floyd’s blown Camaro at 3.890/189 mph. Third was last month’s winner Chris Rini’s ATI Camaro at 3.90/188. Fourth was Danny Perry’s Jerry Bickel ’12 Camaro with Sonny Leonard power at 3.91/189. Fifth was Ed Hoover’s blown Trussel Camaro at 3.933/191 followed by Matt Giangrande’s brand new Rick Jones ’13 Camaro at 3.946/188 and Todd Tutterow protégé, Kevin Rivenbark in the blown Galot Motorsports Firebird. The final spot went to Tutterow’s blown Camaro at 4.022.
On the outside looking in were Brian Teachman, Travis Harvey, Jeff Blasi and Andy Beal. This set the eliminations with four nitrous and four blown powerplants in competition.

The first round had Perry starting his march to the finals with a 3.87 over Hoover’s 3.93; Giangrande used a 3.93 to take out Rini’s very close 3.99; Floyd used a 3.88 to eliminate Rivenbark’s red-lighting 3.91; and Harris held off Tutterow’s 3.93 with a 3.87.

In the second round, Floyd’s Camaro would not fire while Perry used a 3.89 to defeat Harris’s off-pace 5.69.

In the final, Perry unloaded a bracket-like 3.90 to defeat Giangrande’s off-pace 6.15 in a battle of nitrous-powered Camaros.

John Lassiter

John Lassiter


A total of 12 competitors showed up for Renegade competition with Tim Lawrence unloading a whopping 176-mph charge to qualify on the pole with a 4.12 ET. In the finals, John Lassiter defeated the number-six qualifier Billy Albert.

Other winners were William Charles in the 4.90 Extreme Eliminator. Rick Whaley won the O’Reilly Auto Parts Outlaw Doorslammer Eliminator. Billy Baker won in the Mickey Thompson 6.00 Eliminator category and Jeff Faucette won the Deep Creek 7.49 Rico’s Real Street Eliminator. (Greg Burrow photos)

Maple Grove Raceway to host Lucas Oil NHRA Northeast Division

The NHRA Northeast division Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event presented by Penske arrives at Maple Grove Raceway May 24-26. The event is one of 44 scheduled across the country where drivers earn points leading to divisional, regional and national championships as well as a chance at a share of the year-end purse of more than $519,000.

Categories include Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. The division’s MXI/Magnaflux Top Sportsman and Top Dragster Series’ presented by Select Performance will also run in conjunction with the event.

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

JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout slated for July 19-21

The 2013 JEGS Summer Door Car Shootout will return to I-57 Dragstrip in Benton, Ill., on July 19-21 and will feature over $40,000 in cash purses in addition to more than $25,000 in prizes awarded directly to the competitors.

This season’s SDCS will feature a new Friday event, the Auto Meter Pre-Game, with a warm-up winner’s purse of $2500. Saturday and Sunday’s Main Events remain unchanged from year’s past, as both the Moser Saturday Main Event and BRODIX Sunday Main Event feature $7,500 to the winner.

Jesse Bobo, the 2012 Ohlins King of Illinois.  (file photo)

Jesse Bobo, the 2012 Ohlins King of Illinois. (file photo)


The SDCS will once again play host to a pair of 100%+ payback bonus events on Saturday night. The Meziere Enterprises Quick 16 will showcase the quickest and fastest cars on the property, while the “high rollers” will have an opportunity to compete in the unique Ohlins King of Illinois. Last year’s King, Jesse Bobo, left the SDCS with a whopping $14,500 cash and a set of Ohlins LMP shocks.

In addition, the SDCS once again will reward over $25,000 in prizes and awards to racers who fall short of the big money.

Connolly gets sponsor to go for Stock championship

DaveConnolly-Chevy-Stock-side

Drag racer and crew chief Dave Connolly will contest the national Stock Eliminator championship this year after inking a major sponsorship deal with Berger Chevrolet and its online parts division, GMPartsNow.com.

Connolly will be driving and tuning the stunning 2012 COPO Camaro he recently raced to a strong semifinal finish at the 4-Wide NHRA Nationals, which sported a “Grumpy’s Toy” tribute paint scheme. A salute to Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, Connolly’s mentor, will remain on the car, taking up new residence on the rear fenders.

Connolly will not only race in at least seven points meets, but he’ll also take part in a series of shootout events against other COPO Camaros, Ford Mustangs and Dodge Chargers.

Connolly has tentatively scheduled the following events: the Div. 2 race, May 23-26, in Commerce, Ga.; the Toyota Summernationals, May 30-June 2, in Englishtown, N.J.; the Div. 3 race, June 7-9, in Chicago; the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals, June 14-16, in Bristol, Tenn.; the O’Reilly Route 66 Nationals, June 27-30, in Chicago; the Summit Nationals, July 4-7, in Norwalk, Ohio; the U.S. Nationals, Aug. 28-Sept. 2, In Indianapolis; the Div. 5 race, Sept. 5-8, in Earlville, Iowa; the NHRA Nationals, Sept. 13-14, in Charlotte; and the Div. 2 race, Oct. 11-13, in Reynolds, Ga. (photo courtesy Cagnazzi Racing)

Piedmont Dragway to host North/South Shootout in November

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One of the most popular events in the history of Piedmont (NC) Dragway is the North/South Shootout. This event is set to resume on November 2-3 this year with the Big Dog regulars taking on the NorthEast Outlaw Pro Mods. This year’s edition will have a slightly different format in that drivers will compete in a team atmosphere on the eighth-mile track.

Big Dog competitors be the top five points earners in 2013. Cars from the NEOPM group will consist of four cars with an alternate.

Similar to regular Big Dog competition, each car will receive two shakedown runs but under the team concept, first round will feature competitors paired by team captains. Each team will then receive two points for each win with a bonus of one point going to low ET of the round, regardless of win or lose. The team behind in the second and third rounds will be able to choose competition first with the tie breaker after three rounds being a runoff featuring cars of each team captain’s choice.

Winners will split $10,000 and losers will split $5,000.

For more information on this event, contact Kevin Shipmon of Piedmont Dragway at 336-449-7411 or John Mazzorana at 516-857-3120 regarding either organization.

Many racers headed for Norwalk’s Cavalcade of Stars

After rain ruined the first two events on the Division 3 drag racing schedule, the racers are hoping to finally get their seasons underway in Norwalk, Ohio, this weekend at the 7th annual Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser.

MikeCoughlin-new-Camaro-side

Mike Coughlin will wheel his new JEGS.com Chevy Camaro in the Top Sportsman class and third-generation racer Troy Coughlin Jr. will maintain his hectic racing schedule by competing in both Super Comp and Super Gas. Troy Jr. will also have a second chance to win in Super Gas because the event will feature that class’s completion from the rained-plagued Indianapolis event. (photo courtesy race team)

BobBauer-GTO

This weekend will be a somewhat eventful one for the K-100 Fuel Treatment team as it marks the first on track appearance for the GTO driven by Bob Bauer in the Top Sportsman class. Also, this weekend marks the first time back on the track for Bauer after his season-ending crash late last year. (photo courtesy race team)

The NHRA Harley-Davidson Drag Racing Series also will be competing at the Norwalk event.

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Larry “Drums” Brancaccio and Bammer Racing will participate in their first event of the season. (photo courtesy race team)

JanetteThornley-bike

Rider Janette Thornley will be flying in from the West Coast and the rest of the Dream Chaser Racin’ team, Freddie Robbins and Buddy Foss, are loading the bike and will leave North Carolina Thursday afternoon for Norwalk. (photo courtesy race team)

Sacramento holds National Open and Junior Divisional

Pro 7.0 Final

The Pacific Division NHRA National Open and Jr. Divisional was held at Sacramento Raceway on May 4-5. On Saturday, Bill Windham combined a 0.081 Reaction Time with his Fiat’s 7.040 to take the 7.0 Pro win over Mike Cross, whose dragster had a 0.144 RT and a 7.054 ET.

Other Saturday winners were Joe Janisch (Super Pro), Don Morris (Pro), Vinnie Schenck (Sportsman), Ashley Morris (Jr. Comp), Summer McCallson (10-12 Jr. Dragster), T. Nash Ruckman (13-14 Jr. Drag.), Charlie Ruckman (15-17 Jr. Drag.) and AJ Cameron (Wicked 330).

Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Pete Kaiser made it to the winner's circle, this time celebrating his son Peter's victory in the 8-9 year-old Junior Dragster class on Sunday, May 5. Peter (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) defeated Tabitha Boardman of Las Vegas in the final round, 13.05, 49.64 mph (12.96 dial) to a losing 13.28, 49.41 mph (13.30 dial). Tabitha was looking for a "double" as she won the class final during Saturday's eliminator.

Nostalgia Top Fuel driver Pete Kaiser made it to the winner’s circle, this time celebrating his son Peter’s victory in the 8-9 year-old Junior Dragster class on Sunday, May 5. Peter (Pleasant Hill, Calif.) defeated Tabitha Boardman of Las Vegas in the final round, 13.05, 49.64 mph (12.96 dial) to a losing 13.28, 49.41 mph (13.30 dial). Tabitha was looking for a “double” as she won the class final during Saturday’s eliminator.

Other Sunday winners were: Keith White (Top Comp), Chad Loge (Super Stock/Stock Combo), Tony Trimp (Super Pro), Steven Parrish (Pro), Dwayne Opperman (Sportsman), Thad Wiltz (Motorcycle), Charles Waggoner (Super Comp), Gary Cowan (Super Gas), David Myhre (Super Street), Charlie (Ruckman (Jr. Comp), Nick Hickman (10-12 Jr. Drag.), Krishton Trimp (13-14 Jr. Drag.), Madison Whitten (15-17 Jr. Drag) and AJ Cameron (Wicked 330). (Bob Johnson photos)

Indy NHRA LODRS rainout schedule announced

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, which has been twice rained out at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, will be completed with selected eliminator classes run individually at upcoming North Central Division events.

The completion of eliminations for Super Stock and Stock eliminators from the rained out Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis originally announced to be completed at the NHRA SportsNATIONAL OPEN over Memorial Day weekend is being moved to Friday, July 19, as part of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio.

“Based on racer feedback we believe that moving the Super Stock and Stock eliminations from Indy to another NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event will be more beneficial to a larger majority of racers in reducing additional travel for making up the event,” stated Jay Hullinger, NHRA North Central Division Director.

The balance of eliminations for the various classes will be contested in conjunction with other Division events in an effort to save some travel and to provide dual race opportunities. Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street will complete their eliminations this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park while Top Dragster, Top Sportsman and Comp will run eliminations in conjunction with the Lucas Oil event at Route 66 Raceway on June 7.

JEGS Allstar points for Super Stock and Stock from the Indy event will not be counted for 2013 or 2014. The same is true for JEGS Allstars points for Comp, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

The North Central Division’s 2013 JEGS Allstars team will be decided at Norwalk, Ohio the weekend of May 17-19.

NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series – Indy Completion Schedule –

Super Comp – Super Gas – Super Street
To be completed Friday, May 17, as part of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

Top Dragster, Top Sportsman and Comp
To be completed Friday, June 7, as part of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

Super Stock and Stock
To be completed Friday, July 19, as part of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio.

For additional information visit http://www.nhradiv3.com/.

MASSA begins season with double win by Stack

JimmyStack-2-trophies
Second generation driver Jimmy Stack Sr. took no prisoners at the Inaugural Mid Atlantic Super Street Association races held at Atco Dragway in Atco, NJ. Stack started from the #1 qualifying position in his Garbinski & Livezey ‘71 Challenger on Saturday. He was closely followed by Nick Mayo, Frank Quarino Jr., Ben Saia and Bill Trum.

For his efforts of qualifying number one, Stack received a bye-run in the first round. He then took down John Fedeli, Kevin Tiedemann and Jason Lawrence in the semis. In the finals Stack raced past Division 1 champion Matie Ganjoin and his 1969 Camaro. Ganjoin took down Mark Kelly in the first, Bernie Staub, Bill Trum and received a bye-run into the final round against Stack. In the final round Ganjoin got the jump at the start (.028 to .038) but, the high mph Challenger caught Ganjoin and forced him to break out giving the win to Stack 10.908 to 10.884.

The Sunday final round.

The Sunday final round.

On day two, East Chester, NY, resident Kevin Tiedemann took the number one qualifying spot in his 1970 Nova. He was followed by Bob Kodadek, Stack, Greg Kelly and Bernie Staub. Tiedemann took down 2012 .90 Nationals Champion Keith Mayers in the first round to earn a bye-run to the semi-finals. In the semi’s Tiedemann took down Bill Nycz 10.932 to 10.889 to earn a date with Stack. Stack who took down Dave Harvey Sr, Kodadek and Staub in the semi’s 10.957 to 10.891. In the finals Stack laid down an 8-thousandths package on Tiedemann. Stack took the advantage at the tree (.008 vs. .031) and laid down a perfect 10.900 to Tiedemann’s 10.897.

The Mid Atlantic Super Street Series will run race numbers three and four on May 18 and 19 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. For information on MASSA contact Rob Keister at 856-332-2851 or e-mail Rekeister@aol.com.