by Sadie Floyd Sat, 2017-04-01 09:18
Life for NHRA Competition Eliminator racer Mathew Leonard is all about setting personal goals and achieving them. Like many racers in the sport, Leonard was also introduced to drag racing at a very young age.
“I’ve been in drag racing my whole life,” Leonard said. “My father was one of the early pioneers of drag racing in Australia and we raced all across Australia when I was growing up. Since I was about ten or eleven, I’ve been at my family’s speed shop which is one of the oldest gas stations still operating in the world.”
In the late 1990’s, Leonard made his way to the United States to help fellow Adelaide, Australia racer Robert Schwab in Top Alcohol Funny Car in 1996 and returned in 1999 when Schwab made the jump to NHRA Nitro Funny Car. After his experience with Schwab’s team, he was invited to go on the NHRA tour as a crew member with Kalitta Motorsports.
by Bobby Bennett Tue, 2017-03-28 12:27
Will Hatcher's A/Dragster Automatic is at the top of the food chain as far as Comp Eliminator classifications are concerned. Even Hatcher, a diehard Division 5 NHRA drag racer, will admit the food supply has been dwindling over the last five years in Competition Eliminator.
Hatcher, along with a strong support system with the members of the Sportsman Racing Advisory Council are determined to save the harvest with an aggressive push to rebuild the ranks of the longtime sportsman racing division where drivers compete on a handicap system and no breakout.
Mon, 2017-03-27 14:46
Texas racing was on full display as local racers; Clark Smiley and Joel Covington celebrated with their teams in the winner’s circle following their final round wins at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, South Central Division, Texas Sportsman Challenge at Royal Purple Raceway.
Smiley, Denver City, Texas, ceded the starting line advantage to Ray Goodman, Boerne Texas in the Comp Eliminator final round. However, Smiley was able to pull out the win, registering a victory pass of 7.343 seconds, 183.72 mph; Goodman runner-upped at 7.435 seconds, 179.06 mph.
by Tracy Renck Sun, 2017-03-26 19:03
Top Alcohol Dragster driver Ashley Sanford confirmed to Competition Plus she will license in the Lagana family’s Top Fuel dragster April 3 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“This is crazy,” said Sanford, 23. “This is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl going to the race track with my family, I always aspired and looked up to the Top Fuel drivers, so this is surreal. It hasn’t even hit me yet that I’m going to be doing it, and I’m so excited. I’m just so grateful for this opportunity to get my Top Fuel license and having that piece of paper saying I can do it.”
This coming week – March 31-April 2 – the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals take place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tripp Tatum will be driving the Lagana Family Top Fuel dragster in Vegas.
by Bobby Bennett Sat, 2017-03-25 07:30
In the 1970s, there was no mistaking this sound. The high-winding, heaving flywheel grinding, gear-jamming symphony made up the orchestra of Modified eliminator. Called blue-collar class racing, Modified thrived in NHRA competition until it was disbanded and divided between Competition and Super Stock. This informative CompetitionPlus.tv video, tells the Modified story through the eyes of Mike Edwards, Vinny Barone, David Nickens, Gene Fulton and Jerry Coley.
by Todd Veney Fri, 2017-03-24 08:58
At the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Annie and Steven Whiteley became the first mother and son in NHRA history to double up at a national event, Annie scoring for the fourth time in her Top Alcohol Funny Car career and Steven for the first time ever in Pro Mod.
Team leader Jim Whiteley termed the landmark double-up for his wife and son nothing less than the highlight of his illustrious career. "This means more than any race I ever won," said Jim, who won 24 national events, 24 divisionals races, and two NHRA championships in Top Alcohol Dragster. "If none of us ever wins again, this weekend makes my whole drag racing career worthwhile."
by Bobby Bennett Thu, 2017-03-23 23:41
Reaching the final round only to lose isn't what almost drove Super Gas racer David Tatum to tears. Reaching the final round after falling victim to a despicable crime did.
Tatum, a past NHRA Super Gas world champion, is as gritty, and tough as they come but even the most seasoned, battle-torn veteran couldn't help but get a bit misty-eyed if they had to walk a mile in his shoes.
Tatum lost a close final round to his longtime friend Sherman Adcock in the NHRA Gatornationals, a little over three years to the date when his complete racing operation was stolen outside of his shop in Palmetto, Ga.
Tue, 2017-03-21 13:37
The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series South Central Division opens its 2017 season at Royal Purple Raceway for the Texas Sportsman Challenge. This is the first of seven events for the division that will run Friday through Sunday, March 24-26. Drivers will be racing to earn points leading to divisional and national championships, as well as a chance at a share of the year-end purse of more than $519,000.
by Bobby Bennett; Photos by Roger Richards Sun, 2017-03-19 13:58