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WHERE IS AUSTRALIAN DRAG RACING HEADED IN A POST COVID-19 WORLD? - STEVE BETTES VIEWPOINT

 

The twin forces of a pandemic and economic downturn has provided a unique opportunity to reset the sport for the first time since the formation of ANDRA in 1973. The crisis will irrevocably alter how drag racing will be conducted in the future. There is no ‘snapping’ back to what was: in fact, that would be a wasted opportunity.

To get some skin on how Australian drag racing may rebound, Competition Plus has canvassed a broad cross-section of views from key stakeholders, racers, team owners and industry experts in Australian drag racing community. 

 

WHIT BAZEMORE ON THE MEND FOLLOWING BOUT WITH COVID-19

Whit Bazemore admits he took the coronavirus, the global pandemic which brought the world to its knees, seriously from the start.

Bazemore was diagnosed last month with COVID-19 and was hospitalized with severe respiratory issues as a result. He's on the road to recovery now, but to this day has no idea how he contracted what can be an invisible killer.

"I've been very careful," Bazemore said in an interview with CompetitionPlus.com. "I haven't eaten out, wear my mask in public all the time, really try to social-distance. I'm kind of antisocial, to begin with, so it's not that hard for me to try to be far away from other people as I can."

 

PLUCHINO REVELS IN SECOND PDRA EXTREME PRO STOCK VICTORY

 

Johnny Pluchino’s quest for his first PDRA Extreme Pro Stock world championship received a major boost on July 25 when the second-generation driver scored his second event victory of the season at the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown at Virginia Motorsports Park. 
 
The win gives Pluchino extra confidence as he prepares for his first quarter-mile NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock race of 2020 at the NHRA Indy Nationals, Aug. 6-9. 

PDRA ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS, RULE CHANGES

As the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) enters what is now the halfway point in its 2020 season, the all-eighth-mile series has announced updates to its schedule and its rulebook.
 
The PDRA and its racers will have to wait at least a year to make their Maple Grove Raceway debut, as local restrictions on spectator events have forced the cancellation of the PDRA Northern Nationals, originally scheduled for Aug. 20-22 at Maple Grove.

FORCE PARKS IT FOR 2020, PLANS TO RACE ANOTHER DAY

 

After four months of postponement and ever-changing scenarios, NHRA went forward with a revised Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule that restarted with two-consecutive races at the storied Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana. Sixteen-time Funny Car world champion and NHRA legend John Force sidelined his four-car team for the restart of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The driver of the PEAK BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS announced today that John Force Racing will remain parked for the 2020 season in order to come back at championship caliber. 

“When I first got into racing, I always had a love for cars, I loved the comradery of the team, I loved the competition. As I evolved, I realized what it took to become a winner. It took money and that’s when I started chasing corporate America. I had no personal wealth, I had to find sponsors to get me the crew chiefs I needed to win,” said Force, owner and CEO of John Force Racing. “As the winning happened, I found a new love. The fans. The fans are what kept me motivated and made me never ever think anything would come to an end. Even in the hardest of times, I call them crossroads, I got through it with the help of the fans and my sponsors. I went from a one car team to a multi-car team, to having machine shops, chassis shops and paint shops and the technology to win.

AERODYNAMIC SPECIALIST MIKE MAGIERA PASSES

MICKEY THOMPSON NITRO HARLEYS TO RUN AT NHRA INDY NATIONALS

 

The Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series has been added to the competition roster for the upcoming Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Aug. 6-9 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. 

The event will be the fourth of the season for the thrilling class, where riders cover the quarter-mile in just over six seconds at speeds approaching 240 mph astride their two-wheeled, nitromethane-fueled machines.

LONGTIME NHRA DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR DARRELL ZIMMERMAN HAS PASSED

 

Darrell Zimmerman, one of NHRA’s original division directors handpicked by NHRA founder Wally Parks in 1959 to oversee NHRA’s West Central Division comprising the nation’s vast Midwest breadbasket states, died July 29, just two days shy of his 87th birthday.

Zimmerman, who grew up hot rodding cars in Big Springs, Neb., in the late 1940s, where street racing was the means of expressing their need for speed. But in 1954 Zimmerman and a group of friends were able to convince the local county commissioners to hold a drag race on the straightaway of the local oval track.

DON SCHUMACHER MOTORSPORTS EXPANDING MANUFACTURING OPERATIONS BEYOND RACING

After more than 15 years of outfitting race teams with high-performance parts, Don Schumacher Motorsports Precision Manufacturing (DSM) is pleased to announce it is expanding into the automotive, defense, equipment/manufacturing, and aerospace industries.
 
Established in 2005, DSM was founded as a specialty parts manufacturer and R&D center for Don Schumacher Racing’s (DSR) fleet of championship-winning NHRA race cars, and has since grown to become one of the leading parts suppliers for race teams competing across multiple motorsports industries. Among its most high-profile projects are the DSM engine block and cylinder head assembly, utilized across the DSR teams, and a collaboration with Mopar, SRT, and BES Racing Engines to offer a variety of parts and components for the Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak race car. DSM is heavily involved in the NHRA’s popular Factory Stock Showdown Series, offering on-site parts support to Drag Pak owners, and was instrumental in Leah Pruett’s 2018 Factory Stock Showdown Series title campaign.

NHRA HEARTLAND NATIONALS POSTPONED UNTIL FALL DUE TO COUNTY RESTRICTIONS

NHRA has announced that the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park, scheduled for Aug. 21-23 in Topeka, Kan., has been postponed until the fall with an exact date to be determined, for pandemic-related reasons.

NHRA and Heartland Motorsports Park are working together with the Shawnee County Health Department to develop a plan to reschedule the event.

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