Racers Out Run the Rain at 51st Annual Gatornationals

Racers Out Run the Rain at 51st Annual Gatornationals Image

As the Hurricane Season always means there is a daily chance for rain in Florida, NHRA racing officials moved up the start time for Sunday’s final rounds of the 51st annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Fortunately for racers and race fans alike, the elite classes of the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing championship finished before the rains came. At the end of the day, it was redemption for some drivers and business as usual for others as Steve Torrence, Ron Capps, Alex Laughlin, and Matt Smith took home a Wally in their respective classes from the historic Gainesville Raceway track. A limited number of race fans were allowed in the grandstands, as the NHRA had posted strict rules and requirements for safely attending event, which included a face covering over both the mouth...

September 28, 2020
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Rickie Smith Celebrates His First Win in Pro Mod for 2020

Rickie Smith Celebrates His First Win in Pro Mod for 2020 Image

No one in the pits at Gainesville Raceway during the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod division of the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing championship would have doubted Rickie Smith’s dominate runs at the 51st Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals. Smith didn’t post the fastest speed of the event that honor went to Kris Thorne with a 253.75 mph pass in Round One. He also did not post the lowest ET or quickest reaction time at Gainesville, as those honors went to Khalid Albalooshi (5.739 ET) and Todd Tutterow (.006 RT) respectively. What the legendary Pro Mod driver did do was to lay down elimination runs at 249.81 mph, 249.07 mph, 249.53 mph and 249.63 mph with an average reaction time of 0.045 seconds. That consistency is why Rickie Smith is the most successful driver in the history of E3 Spark...

September 28, 2020
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Two Time Winners Take Center Stage at U.S. Nationals

Two Time Winners Take Center Stage at U.S. Nationals Image

Stevie “Fast” Jackson, Shawn Langdon, Jack Beckman, and Erica Enders-Stevens each walked away with the second U.S. Nationals win of their career on Sunday at the DENSO Spark Plugs event in Brownsburg, Indiana. It was the sixth of eleven events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the third consecutive event of 2020 season at Lucas Oil Raceway for the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod division. Jackson defeated Todd Tutterow in the Pro Mod final with a near perfect .006 reaction time to claim his second U.S. Nationals Wally and the tenth Pro Mod win of his career. The doorslammer class lived up to its reputation for extreme runs down the quarter-mile strip with Kristopher Thorne and Steve Matusek destroying their turbocharged rides in separate round one accidents....

September 8, 2020
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E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Reigning Champ Wins U.S. Nationals

E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Reigning Champ Wins U.S. Nationals Image

Stevie “Fast” Jackson, the defending E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Racing Series champion, grabbed his first win of the 2020 season on Sunday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Jackson outdueled Todd Tutterow in the final round of the 66th annual NHRA DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals. The third Pro Mod event of the season was presented by ATI ProCharger with all three races held at the Indianapolis track over the past six weeks. Tanner Gray, who had claimed his second ever victory in Pro Mod at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals, was eliminated in second round action by Mike Janis. The winner of the rain-delayed NHRA Lucas Oil Summernationals final round was Chad Green, who claimed his first Pro Mod Wally by defeating a hard-charging Jason Scruggs on Saturday. Green was hoping to...

September 7, 2020
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Matusek and Thorne Escape Serious Injury at U.S. Nationals

Matusek and Thorne Escape Serious Injury at U.S. Nationals Image

One thing is for certain, when the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod division takes to the track; it is going to be exciting. In the NHRA’s run-whatever-engine you choose class, brute power and explosive speed are never a problem. But, keeping a doorslammer on the straight and narrow for a quarter of mile can be. During the opening round at the 66th running of the DENSO U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, fans witnessed separate first-round accidents during Pro Mod eliminations in Indianapolis on Sunday. First up was Kristopher Thorne who entered the event with an early season points lead. Thorne lined up next to the Number One qualifier, the legendary Jason Scruggs. Thorne had a near perfect run that started with an amazing .006 RT to Scruggs .039 reaction time. By mid-track, Thorne had...

September 7, 2020
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Results of Rain Delayed Finals from Lucas Oil Summernationals

Results of Rain Delayed Finals from Lucas Oil Summernationals Image

Rookie Justin Ashley Claims 1st Top Fuel Victory In Top Fuel, rookie Justin Ashley advanced to his first ever NHRA Top Fuel semi-final round with elimination wins over Shawn Langdon and Doug Kalitta at the rain delayed Summernationals last month at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The final round matchup is a first ever meeting between Leah Pruett, who had eliminated Lex Joon and Billy Torrence (the most recent NHRA Top Fuel winner at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals) and the 25-year old rookie driver of the Strutmasters.com dragster. Ashley nailed a .055 RT to Pruett’s .102 RT and never looked back on his way to a final round matchup with T.J. Zizzo. On the top side of the ladder at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals, Zizzo posted early victories over Terry Totten and Todd...

September 6, 2020
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Chad Green Earns First E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Wally

Chad Green Earns First E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Wally  Image

The long-awaited final round of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod event that was postponed last month, when rain besieged the Lucas Oil Summernationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, was run on Saturday at the DENSO Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals. Both Chad Green, pilot of the Bond-Coat nitrous-powered Corvette, and Jason Scruggs, driver of the Jerry Bickel-built Camaro, were seeking their first ever class win. After a near dead-even start, Green had to the chase Scruggs down the track and caught the soybean farmer from Tupelo, MS as the two neared the finish line. Green posted a winning run of 5.823-seconds at 250.09 mph after a .047-second reaction time in Bond Coat Corvette snatching the Wally from the hands of Jason Scruggs who had the early advantage following a .049...

September 5, 2020
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New Hope to End Andretti Curse at Indy 500

New Hope to End Andretti Curse at Indy 500 Image

After Sunday’s round of Pole Qualifying for the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, the Andretti family had something special to celebrate. Marco Andretti, a third-generation driver of one of the world’s premier racing families, posted a four-lap average speed of 231.068 mph to bump five-time Indy car champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon from this year’s pole. In light of the questionable “Andretti Curse”, drivers and crews lined up to congratulate the grandson of Mario Andretti, who was the last Andretti to sit on pole back in 1987, the same year Marco was born. Marco and Scott Dixon were the only two drivers in the “Fast Nine” that seemed comfortable with a strong tailwind, as Indy requires a skillful balance of on-board...

August 17, 2020
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Tanner Gray Claims 1st Pro Mod Win in Three Years

Tanner Gray Claims 1st Pro Mod Win in Three Years Image

In what would be the first completed round of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod series in 2020, Jonathan Gray crawled behind the wheel of a second entry for the injured Rickie Smith at the Dodge NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway to grab the win and take the season's points lead. At last weekend’s Lucas Oil Summernationals, Gray lost in the first round of eliminations after posting a 5.865 ET to Kris Thorne’s 5.837-second pass. Gray’s last appearance a top the podium in the doorslammer class came three years ago at the Indianapolis track, when he claimed his only other victory in the Pro Mod division. Jonathan Gray’s day started with a close win over Jeffrey Barker having posted a 249.35 mph run to Barker’s 249.26 mph pass. In Round Two, Gray relied on a...

August 11, 2020
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Usual Suspects Show Up Big at Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals

Usual Suspects Show Up Big at Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Image

At the last round of the 2020 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals, former world champions and many veteran winners of NHRA national events were eliminated one-by-one. Before heavy rains washed out the final rounds of the day, the improbable results during eliminations had race fans wondering if Keyser Söze was going to mysteriously advance. Nonetheless, the world of drag racing returned to normal last weekend at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals also hosted at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. In Pro Stock division, five-time NHRA world champion Jeg Coughlin, Jr. eliminated Val Smeland, Alex Laughlin, and Greg Anderson to meet up with his nephew Troy Coughlin, Jr. in the Funny Car finals. Troy Jr. had eliminated Kyle Koretsky as well as hard-chargers...

August 10, 2020
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