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BUTNER EARNS UNLIKELY CHAMPIONSHIP THROUGH SEASON OF PERSEVERANCE

It was a championship comeback for the ages.

And it was orchestrated by one of the most unlikely men in all of NHRA drag racing.

HIGHT TURNS REBUILDING YEAR INTO SURPRISING SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP

This was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

It was supposed to be the year that Robert Hight, crew chief Jimmy Prock and the entire John Force Racing-backed team put together a solid foundation in an attempt at contending for a Funny Car world title next year.

As it turns out, this team is a little bit ahead of schedule.

Hight capped what can only be described as a dream season Sunday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with a stunning title win over rival Ron Capps to earn his second NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car championship in one of the most trying weekends you will ever see for an eventual champion.

MUSI REMINISCES ABOUT STRONG 2017; WITH EYES ON 2018

Count Lizzy Musi as someone who wasn’t ready for the 2017 PDRA season to end.

But an impressive finish, coupled with the overall success of Musi Racing Engines, already has the Pro Nitrous standout anxious for 2018 to begin.

Musi won back-to-back races at GALOT Motorsports Park and Virginia Motorsports Park to close the year in PDRA, finishing third in points and ending the season as the speed record-holder.

Continuing to show rapid improvement behind the wheel of her Dodge Dart, it puts Musi on track for what she hopes will be an even bigger 2018.

BOAT CHAMP REED WILL HAVE 10 TOP FUEL RACES IN 2018

Shawn Reed, fresh from his fifth Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series championship in 13 seasons, qualified 15th and will give No. 2 starter Clay Millican a run for his money in Round 1 of Sunday’s eliminations.

And the Seattle-area native said he plans to return next season for 10 races.

“We got funded for 10 more races next year, with Hughes Oilfield Transportation, my longtime sponsors in the boat. They’ve been helping me in the car. And we just announced that Global came on for 10 races next year, as well. So you know that, their help along with my sponsorship from Barbara Hughes, hopefully we’ll be having a car in the mid- to low-[3].70s next year and be able to compete more than we have this year at the 10 events that we go to.”

PDRA INTRODUCES RULE CHANGES FOR PRO BOOST AND PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE

During Tuesday’s live Facebook show, “Live with Lee,” PDRA announced rule changes to Andy McCoy Race Cars Pro Boost and Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle. The rule changes follow an impressive fourth season for the organization and serve as an effort to continue improving the series.

Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle rules are widened to allow for more bike participation, namely by opening the field to turbo applications. “We recognize that times are changing, and we need to change with them,” explained PDRA’s Bob Harris. “In recent years turbos have become a strong contender in a variety of categories, including Pro Mod bikes. By allowing them into the field, we are staying current and strengthening the program.”

MID-WEST PRO MOD SERIES RELEASES 2018 EVENT SCHEDULE

Fresh off its inaugural, five-event season, the Tulsa-based Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) announced an expanded seven-race schedule for next year, with a tentative eighth event still in the works. Additionally, a sister organization, the Mid-West Outlaw Radial Series (MWORS), was created to race alongside the MWPMS, with a standalone Drag Radial event scheduled for March in Tulsa.

“What we’ve done is work together with the race tracks and promoters to create a points series for the Drag Radial guys. Instead of them just going from race to race, hoping to win or maybe finish runner-up, we wanted to give them the incentive to compete for a season championship,” Mid-West Pro Mod Series organizer Keith Haney explained.

BRITTANY FORCE CONTROLS EMOTIONS, TAKES SMALL STEPS TO TOP FUEL TITLE


While her famous father fell to his knees on the starting line Sunday at Auto Club Speedway during the NHRA Finals, dumbstruck and sobbing in some mix of pride and overwhelming personal sentiment, Brittany Force looked like the pillar of poise.
 
She spoke decisively about how she held up throughout her 2017 NHRA Top Fuel journey and how her historical championship played out. She sounded fearless, exactly what one would expect from somebody who drives a noisy, smoke-churning, nitromethane-gulping, 10,000-horsepower race car called the Monster Energy Dragster.

ASHER'S FINALS INSIDER - FINAL EDITION

Jon Asher, the seasoned Senior Editor for CompetitionPlus.com, will bring you his five decades worth of insight to the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Ca.. Follow along daily with the seasoned journalist as he brings you this weekend's race from a different angle - HIS!

YEAR RACING WITH DAD AGAIN MELLOWS WORSHAM

 

In Del Worsham’s life, he has Mello Yello and just plain mellow.

He said dad Chuck isn’t ornery and impatient. But then again, the racer with both a Top Fuel and Funny Car championship said this season of leaving the high-budget, high-pressure world of drag racing and going back to the father-son arrangement has given him a new perspective, too.

He said Chuck Worsham is “much mellower, much mellower than he was in the early days. But I found out yesterday that there still is a little glimmer of hope that he still has a little snap in him.”

CRAMPTON HOPES DRIVING GIG CONTINUES

 

Richie Crampton builds race cars at Morgan Lucas Racing and maintains several others, including those of Steve Torrence and Scott Palmer and says he’s “just pretty lucky” to be doing what he loves for a living.

But it’s no secret he’d like to return to his role next year as driver of the SealMaster Dragster at Kalitta Motorsports. Crampton stepped in at Indianapolis in September when Troy Coughlin Jr. opted to return to the sportsman ranks.

And the consensus is that he has done a commendable job in his pinch-hitter function.

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