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WES BUCK FORMS DRAG RACING PROMOTION MASTERMIND GROUP

Drag Illustrated Editor-In-Chief Wes Buck has announced the formation of “Wes Buck’s Drag Racing Promotion Mastermind,” an exclusive membership-based group that will include track owners, race promoters, motorsports manufacturers and sponsors, and other experts in the drag racing world.

The “Drag Racing Promotion Mastermind” will give members insight in taking their event, series, facility and brand to the next level, allowing them the opportunity to learn from and network with some of the biggest names in the sport.

PATTERSON ELITE ADDS FORMER ASTRONAUT TRAINER TO LEADERSHIP TEAM

Patterson Elite Performance announces the addition of Valori “VeeJay” Booth as a new member to the leadership team at their performance racing engine shop in America’s heartland.

Since the 2016 retirement of Allan Patterson, the company’s founder, his son, Todd, has taken the reins, running the daily operations of the world-class race shop.

UNDERDOG STINNETT SEEKS RECORD-SETTING REPEAT AT LIGHTS OUT 9

 

After qualifying number one in Radial vs. the World (RvW) a few months back at No Mercy 8, Marty Stinnett returns to South Georgia Motorsports Park this week as somewhat of an underdog for promoter Donald Long’s Lights Out 9 event. That may be hard to believe, but in a class dominated by full-tube-chassis, big-cubic-inch, Pro Mod-style entries, Stinnett’s 1993 Fox-body Mustang once resided in an actual Ford dealership and is now motivated by a twin-turbocharged, small-block Chevy. He concedes the car “is a bit of a dinosaur” with its stock wheelbase and largely metal body, but it remains competitive and for now at least, it’s one he can afford to race.

“It is a little different and maybe not what you’d expect to run so good, but a smart man named Keith Berry once asked me, ‘If you did the same thing as everybody else was doing, what would be your advantage?’ We’ve kind of taken that to heart,” says Stinnett, who set the eighth-mile record for small-block radial tire cars to 3.75 seconds with that qualifying run last fall.

AREND TO DRIVE CALIFORNIA HUSTLER AA/FC

 

Don Nelson, owner of Nelson Racing LLC, confirmed the driver of his California Hustler nitro funny car for the 2018 NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series will be Jeff Arend, starting in testing this weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

“Arend is a solid race car driver and has driven just about every kind of fuel car, my crew chief Ronnie Swearingen and I looked long and hard at all the candidates available, both Ronnie and I agreed on Jeff Arend,” said Nelson.

Arend comes to the California Hustler nitro funny car with four career NHRA National event wins having competed in nine final rounds. He recently drove for funny car legend Steve Plueger and his Plueger Racing Chevy Impala as well as the Kalitta Racing Patron funny car, substituting for Alexis DeJoria.  He’s driven in the NHRA Heritage Series in Dale Pulde’s War Eagle funny car, in the Black Sunshine AA/Fuel altered as well as the Cheetah front-engined top fuel dragster.

SCHUMACHER GELS EARLY WITH NEFF

 

U.S. Army Dragster driver Tony Schumacher still has the highest respect for former crew chief Mike Green – and the highest hopes for that same kind of success with new tuner Mike Neff.

“Mike Green and the entire Army team, we had a lot of success over the years. We had a lot of great years. The last two weren’t as spectacular as we had hoped. I think, myself, even Mike Green, the Army, we just expected better results and we had to make a change,” Schumacher said.

“Mike is an incredibly capable guy, a fantastic crew chief, a great team leader, and everything about him is good. But we had to make a change. We needed to see results, and we were running out of time for that,” he said.

Even though he knew a switch was inevitable, Schumacher said at first he resisted not Neff himself but the notion.

OLYMPICS SPECIAL FOR JEGGIE COUGHLIN


Pro Stock ace Jeg Coughlin displays in his home the Olympic torch he carried in 2002 preceding the Winter Games at Salt Lake City. (Photo courtesy of Team JEGS)

The distance, by coincidence, was a quarter-mile. Jeg Coughlin had traveled 1,320 feet many, many times, but this trip was different. He was on foot, carrying the Olympic torch through his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, as part of the relay preceding the Winter Games at Salt Lake City. In later years he competed against NASCAR stars in the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Challenge to raise critical funding for the U.S. Bobsled team. In 2010, he was a guest of Team USA at the Winter Games at Vancouver.

So with the kickoff of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, opening this same weekend as the Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Coughlin reminisced.

UPDATE: BRITTANY FORCE RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

Newly crowned NHRA Top Fuel champion Brittany Force got a rude awakening in Round 1 of the season-opening Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.

Her Monster Energy Dragster hit both guard walls hard at about 150 mph during her race against Terry Haddock. Force was conscious and alert when emergency personnel reached her, and she exited the dragster. But she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.

HAGAN SWEEPS WINTERNATIONALS FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT YEAR

The Winternationals.

It is one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar. A win here can make your season and place you onto a who’s who list of drivers that have accomplished the feat in the 57 prior trips at the southern California track.

KALITTA, OBERHOFER TAKE FIRST STEP TOWARD ANOTHER TOP FUEL TITLE RUN

A number of factors played into Jim Oberhofer’s decision to give up a prestigious Vice-President title at Kalitta Motorsports.

Not the least of them is this yearning to give Doug Kalitta the NHRA Top Fuel championship he has come so close to seizing. He has 44 Wally trophies. He has raced in 92 final rounds. His victories total is fifth-best in class history. He earned the 1994 USAC Sprint Car championship. He has a lovely family in Ann Arbor, Mich., and a charter airlines business that keeps him busy nearly nonstop.

UPDATED: TOP FUEL CHAMP FORCE MENDING FROM VIOLENT FIRST-ROUND CRASH AT POMONA

Brittany Force found out the brutally hard way Sunday that an 11,000-horsepower, nitromethane-powered Top Fuel dragster is no respecter of newly crowned champions.

A violent, wall-tagging crash that sent her to a local hospital for evaluation triggered a rash of engine explosions and accidents that marred the first round of nitro eliminations at the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif.

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