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TASCA COUNTING HIS BLESSINGS AS HE'S CLEARED TO RETURN

 

NHRA Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III, who tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis, has been cleared to return to competition for the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals starting Saturday.

"I'm excited to be back, and I guess you could say I'm not a very good team owner," Tasca admitted. "I could hardly watch the race last weekend. Not being there with my team and having to watch it on TV was just gut-wrenching. I'm very, very appreciative of Jonnie Lindberg and what he did for me. Without any hesitation at all, he jumped in, and I thought he did an excellent job. But like anything else, not a car he's used to and just jumping in cold, it's not easy to do."

Lindberg drove his way to a quarter-final finish, scoring points for Tasca per new NHRA rules allowing for substitute drivers because of Covid-19 diagnoses. Tasca enters this weekend eighth in points on the strength of last weekend's team finish.

TEAM JEGS EXPANDS TO FIVE DRIVERS FOR JEGS SPEEDWEEK DOUBLEHEADER

There will be plenty of JEGS yellow and black at one of the high-performance auto parts giant's biggest events of the year, JEGS Speedweek, a double-header race taking place Thursday-Sunday at historic National Trail Raceway.
 
Reigning divisional and regional champions Mike Coughlin and Troy Coughlin Jr. will be joined by Paige Coughlin, Makenna Brown and Jeff Taylor in representing JEGS.com in a variety of classes in both races.

VIDEO RECAP OF 2020 NHRA E3 SPARK PLUGS NATIONALS

Billy Torrence powered his way to the Top Fuel win on Sunday as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series raced for the first time since February at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Ryan Oehler (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the third race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. It marked NHRA’s first event in more than four months after suspending competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

LINDBERG'S STINT AS A SUBSTITUTE DRIVER MAKES STRONG FIRST IMPRESSION

 

Likely, Jonnie Lindberg's stint as a substitute driver for Bob Tasca III at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals will be a one-and-done experience. Still, for the talented fuel driver and even more experienced Top Alcohol competitor, the opportunity to drive a front-running fuel car was a situation he intended to make the most of.

This reality is why Lindberg wanted to make an impression with the first hit.

"I knew there was only going to be two qualifiers, so I was ready to pedal it if I needed to," Lindberg said. "This team, they have their stuff together. Between Mike Neff and Jon Shaffer, it's, they're really smart. I had a lot of confidence going into Q1 because we did pretty good in testing."

KALITTA TO CAMPAIGN OSBORN DRAGSTER AT NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS

 

NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta will be campaigning a new look blue and white Top Fuel dragster adorned in the logo of Team Kalitta business partner Osborn, during the July 18-19 NHRA Summernationals in Indianapolis. The Top Fuel dragster will feature the Osborn livery for this race and the NHRA Springnationals in Houston, TX as well as Osborn associate branding at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN, Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, TN, and NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, NV.
 
The Kalitta and Osborn partnership was announced at the PRI Show in December of 2019 and since then both organizations have been working on a number of marketing initiatives leading up to the Top Fuel dragster debut. Osborn is running in parallel a season long consumer and industrial promotion which will culminate with fan and customer trips to the NHRA National event in Las Vegas later this season. Additionally, a number of product testimonial videos have been produced at the team’s Michigan shop and are being rolled out through Osborn and Kalitta social media channels.
 

NITRO PRICING HAS SMALLER NHRA TEAMS THROWING THEIR HANDS UP

 

While pump gas at local stations seems to be more affordable these days, the same can’t be said of nitromethane.

The price of what fuels the planet’s quickest and fastest vehicles has skyrocketed to about $1,680 for a 42-gallon drum.

And team owners Terry McMillen and Doug Stringer say that’s “insane” and “bizarre” and are calling for everyone to work together to fix what most definitely is a problem.

CORY MAC GETS ON THE FAST TRACK TO NEW NORMAL

 

The pandemic which brought the world to its knees back in March has forced many people to approach everyday life differently. For seasoned Top Fuel veteran Cory McClenathan, who is racing the consecutive Indianapolis events, as a retirement redo, has already learned the Top Fuel world he left is not the same world he's enjoying.

McClenathan is in an adjustment period, learning the nuances of a canopy-equipped dragster, after decades of driving a conventionally configured unit.

What might be a bigger adjustment than driving a canopy car is learning how to pack a parachute in a pit space previously used as a hospitality area and shared with Tony Schumacher, who is also racing for the first time in a while. To the right and left of them are Antron Brown and Leah Pruett. 

BO BUTNER RUNNING PRO MODIFIED AT NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS

 

Let the record reflect; Bo will know Pro Modified after next weekend's Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals.

Bo Butner, the versatile past NHRA Pro Stock champion, has raced several sportsman division successfully, will undertake the challenge of another professional division as he subs for Rickie Smith. Smith recently underwent back surgery.

Butner says filling in for a legend like Rickie Smith is a great opportunity.

CORONAVIRUS ECONOMICS HAS NHRA PRO DRAG RACERS COMPETING FOR REDUCED PURSES

 

In 2019 (and for the past several years), the winner of a Top Fuel or Funny Car race earned $50,000. Already that’s a losing proposition, considering the cost of sending a large crew on the road for hotel, airfare, rental cars, and meals – in addition to hauling the race cars down the road, fuel for the hauler and for the car, parts and equipment, and entry fees and insurance.

And the promise is $50,000 – if a racer has the car hold together for four straight runs with no opponent simply having a better car. That’s if track and weather conditions are favorable during the course of about six hours.

The runner-up has been pulling in $22,000. The payouts have awarded $18,000 to the semifinalists, $14,000 to second-place finishers, and $10,000 to first-round losers.

HUMBLE BILLY TORRENCE KEEPS FAMILY DOMINATION ROLLING

Billy Torrence’s even-keel personality never lets him get arrogant with an NHRA Top Fuel victory or upset about a loss, And he always describes himself as a member of the Capco Contractors Dragster team “by invitation only.”

After defeating points leader Doug Kalitta in the final round to win the E3 Spark Plugs Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceways at Indianapolis – and after eliminating his own son, reigning class champion Steve Torrence, in the semifinal – the elder Torrence continued to downplay his role on the team and in the sport.

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