:::::: News ::::::


The biggest buzz throughout the IHRA World Finals in Rockingham, NC, was the announcement of the 2008 Knoll Gas
Nitro Jam schedule. The big news coming out of that schedule was that the
Amalie Oil Texas Nationals will be contested as an eighth-mile event in 2008,
and in 2009 the tour’s first stop at Pittsburgh
Raceway Park
will be eighth-mile as well.

“Last season we really
learned something in San Antonio,”
IHRA president Aaron Polburn said. “While the quarter-mile has been the
standard for drag racing for a long time, we learned an eighth-mile national
event is a viable, exciting format. The buzz and excitement the Amalie Oil Texas Nationals
generated caused us to take a good, hard look at this format. We’re very
excited to grow this race and build our eighth-mile national event slate in the

Reaction was mixed among the
drivers. Some favored it while some opposed it, but most were pleased that IHRA
announced the change early, giving teams lots of time to prepare.


SC’s Andy Kelley, a nitro Funny Car driver on the IHRA tour, decided to get a
little creative in his mission to secure sponsorship for the last race of 2007
and possibly beyond. While exploring all the standard avenues, Kelley and his
marketing team listed a one-race sponsorship on eBay that would allow the high
bidder primary signage on Kelley’s Firebird for this weekend’s World Finals.
Unfortunately, no one reached the auction’s reserve price or opted for the
$10,000 “buy it now” option before the auction ended.

“We had a good bit of response
from it, but to be honest, I think a lot of people thought it was a joke,” said
Kelley. “This is the real deal though. We are out here running well and we are
fourth in the points. We’re going for this thing.”

Though their eBay venture
didn’t quite work out as planned, the Kelley team admitted they aren’t scared
to “experiment in public” and plan to try it again.


Less than 24 hours after Shannon Jenkins drove his
Reher-Morrison-powered GTO to the quickest nitrous-assisted Pro Modified pass
in IHRA history during the IHRA World Finals in Rockingham, NC, Jim Halsey lowered it another .006 to a 6.071 in the first
round of eliminations on Sunday. The difference: Halsey utilizes Gene Fulton
horsepower, and has become the Spartanburg, SC-based engine builder’s flagship
hot rod since Jenkins’ and Mike Castellana’s defection to the Reher-Morrison

“That 6.0 run was
something we have been trying to do for a long time,” Halsey said. “Normally
we’re pretty upset when we lose a race, but we’re thrilled to leave here as the
quickest nitrous car on the planet.” 



The father was living up to his
former reputation. The son was just trying to earn his


DSA_8025.jpgThis tale of the generations centers
around the Cannons, father Scotty and son Scott, both of Lyman, South
and well known in doorslammer


This past weekend, in Rockingham, NC, they pulled off a feat that no other
professional father/son tandem in drag racing has ever managed to accomplish.
They qualified tops in their respective professional categories. Scotty was the
No. 1 qualifier in Top Fuel while Scott, who answers to Junior, also secured top
honors in Pro Modified – a classification the elder Cannon once ruled with an
iron fist.


Junior could only stand in awe on
the Rockingham Dragway starting line Saturday evening as Scotty sealed the deal
with a 4.603 elapsed time at 307 miles per hour. That was almost a carbon copy
of when Scotty watched Junior lay down a 5.96 elapsed time to not only nail the
pole position but also claim the bonus points associated with the Last Man
Standing award.


10-21-07nhrachassis.jpgThis is a story filled with intrigue, personal animosities, political ramifications, obfuscation and denial. 

It’s also a story about potentially saving lives. 


This is an incredibly complex subject, one no journalist currently covering drag racing is probably capable of writing about in a comprehensive manner without assistance.  At the same time it’s a subject that must be covered because lives may be at risk if everything that’s happening largely behind the scenes and out of the public’s view doesn’t become public knowledge.  There are some involved in this situation who would prefer we didn’t take on something they’ll contend we know far too little about.  That may be true – but we know how to conduct research, and we know how to find the individuals capable of answering what might appear to an expert to be naïve questions.


No single incident caught the attention of the drag racing public as quickly and pervasively as John Force’s crash in Texas on September 23rd.  Covered extensively by the cameras of ESPN2, the story was quickly picked up by the wire services and spread nationally.  Unfortunately, the on-camera ESPN talking heads made numerous comments during the re-plays of the accident that had no basis in fact, and resulted in a lot of erroneous speculation on the Internet.  The commentators weren’t really at fault, as they had nothing to go on other than what they were seeing on the screens in front of them, and television abhors silence.


NHRA drag racing stars Scott Kalitta and Hillary Will will be taking part in two
unique upcoming events to further support the United States military personnel
serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. Both drivers and their race cars will
be appearing at two of this country’s largest and most well-known military

The first event will be held at the “Home of the Fighter Pilot,” Nellis Air
Force Base near Las Vegas on Oct. 24, in advance of the NHRA POWERade Drag
Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Oct. 25-28. The
second event will be held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, near San Diego,
Calif., on Nov. 5, following the final NHRA national event of the 2007 season at
the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 1-4.

Kalitta drives the bright yellow and red, 8,000-horsepower DHL Toyota Solara
Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports, a four-car, professional drag racing team
based in Ypsilanti. Will is also a member of the Team Kalitta family. She drives
the 325-mph Support Our Troops and Families Top Fuel dragster that is owned by
Ken Black and managed by Kalitta Motorsports.


Fans are invited to lunch with one of the hottest young talents on the NHRA
POWERade Series circuit, Pro Stock's Dave Connolly, from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday
at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino, 3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South, Las
Vegas. A Q&A will be followed by an autograph session with Connolly, driver
of the Torco Chevy Cobalt, who enters the seventh annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA
Nationals this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the heels
of  an incredible five wins in a


Bruce Litton overcame years of championship frustration Sunday,littonDSA_9811.JPG claiming his
first IHRA series championship in impressive fashion by winning the Top Fuel
championship at the 12th annual Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam World Finals at Rockingham

Although he clinched the $150,000
championship with a first round win over veteran Luigi Novelli of Crete, Ill., the
51-year-old Indianapolis businessman closed the deal by
stopping six-time former IHRA Pro Modified Champion Scotty Cannon in a classic
final round.

Litton won one of three championships
that remained undecided entering Sunday’s eliminations, but was the only new
champ to also win the race.


Point standings (top 10) for IHRA professional categories following the IHRA
World Finals Presented by The U.S. Air Force featuring UTI
CHampionship Sunday at Rockingham Dragway, the last of 11 events in the $19.5
million 2007 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series


Final round-by-round results from the IHRA World Finals Presented by The U.S.
Air Force featuring UTI CHampionship Sunday at Rockingham Dragway, the 11th of
11 events in the $19.5 million 2007 Knoll-Gas Nitro Jam Drag Racing


ROUND ONE -- Kevin Jones,
5.142, 228.92 def. T.J. Zizzo, 9.954, 77.79; Jeff O'Neill, 4.755, 314.68 def.
Terry McMillen, 5.222, 188.02; Scotty Cannon, 4.933, 261.22 def. Bobby Lagana
Jr., 6.955, 116.36; Bruce Litton, 4.679, 316.82 def. Luigi Novelli, 11.719,

SEMIFINALS -- Cannon, 4.824, 276.13 def. O'Neill, foul; Litton, 4.707,
313.07 def. Jones, 5.076, 236.34;

FINAL -- Litton, 4.606, 318.92 def. Cannon,
5.014, 234.82.