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ENCORE - WJ’S WHITE KNUCKLE RIDER

Every high profile drag racer has that one car that just didn’t meet their expectations.

ImageScotty Cannon had his 1997 version of the 1941 Willys, the first car he ever failed to qualify after winning five world championships and he had been the only driver to qualify at every Pro Modified event up until that point.

Bob Glidden had his Ford EXP, a Pro Stock car built at the urging of Ford to run under the pounds-per-cubic format and converted to 500-inch competition. Glidden said it was the worst car he ever owned in his career.

 

ImageScotty Cannon had his 1997 version of the 1941 Willys, the first car he ever failed to qualify after winning five world championships and he had been the only driver to qualify at every Pro Modified event up until that point.

Bob Glidden had his Ford EXP, a Pro Stock car built at the urging of Ford to run under the pounds-per-cubic format and converted to 500-inch competition. Glidden said it was the worst car he ever owned in his career.

CHRISTMAS VIDEO TREAT: DRAG RACER, THE MOVIE

As part of our CompetitionPlus.com holiday tradition, we've searched the YouTube.com site for rare and entertaining videos to pass the time during your time away from work.

MONTECALVO'S PDRA PS CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWCASES SONNY LEONARD'S LONGEVITY IN BIG CID ENGINES

 

When John Montecalvo first approached Sonny Leonard about purchasing a new powerplant for his IHRA Pro Stock entry, the legendary engine builder wanted nothing to do with him. Now, the newly crowned PDRA Pro Stock world champion is the longest-standing continuous customer for Sonny's Racing Engines.

"It was the late-'90s and I was with another engine builder, but I realized Sonny was the leader of the pack. He was building motors for Doug Kirk, Billy Huff, Harold Denton, who was number one and my mentor back then, and they were all winning races left and right," Montecalvo recalls. "But Sonny thought I was just going to take his engine to my guy and copy it, so he wouldn't sell me one.

CPTV ENCORE - A JOHN FORCE CHRISTMAS

Christmas time is about family, and for one storied drag racer, a metal toy log truck.

Sixteen-time NHRA champion John Force opens his heart about a five-year old's Christmas, and the challenges of growing up poor in the 1950s. This 20-minute video will tug at your heart, and if you are not careful, will have you shedding a tear or five.

A very emotional video where Force talks about his youthful lesson of learning the real meaning of Christmas. 

ENCORE - MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCK RACING'S EARLY YEARS - FINAL INSTALLMENT

9-11-07mmps.jpgIn the early 80’s, the growing popularity of the IHRA mountain motor Pro Stock class made a huge ripple in the great drag racing pond – a ripple felt all the way past the front doors of NHRA headquarters in Glendora, Ca.

Headlines once reserved for Bob Glidden, Lee Shepherd, and Frank Iaconio now featured such names as Rickie Smith, Warren Johnson, and Ronnie Sox. The IHRA Pro Stockers had blasted their way into the 7.90s during the 1980 season and the 7.80s one year later.

Never mind the fact the NHRA had just staged the closest point championship in the history of the class, a battle that went down to the final run of the season. The IHRA had seven-second Pro Stockers and wasn’t afraid to flaunt them to the media.

NHRA cars ran 8.30s. IHRA cars ran 7.80s. Get the picture?

In the weeks prior to the end of the 1981 season, the NHRA announced that they would do away with the pounds-per-cubic-inch format and adopt an IHRA-type program.

Instead of the sky-is-the-limit mentality of the IHRA, however, the NHRA put a 500-inch ceiling on their “mountain motors.”

ENCORE: THE EARLY YEARS OF MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCK, PT 2

8-27-07mmps.jpgIf one moment defined the Mountain Motor Pro Stock movement, it was the first-ever seven second run. That day in April 1980, had the same effect on the class as putting a man on the moon had for space travel. It might as well have been. Seven second Pro Stockers were science fiction in those days.

If one can consider it wrong to cross a time barrier, then Rickie Smith was the guilty party and the sports reaction caught him off guard. In fact, the hard-nosed racer feared he had done something wrong when an IHRA official sought to escort him back to the starting line. His transgression, a seven-second ET slip in winning the first round during the IHRA Pro-Am Nationals in Rockingham, NC.

“I was happy that I had won, but the next thing I know, I had a race official coming over to me and telling me to follow him,” Smith said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I thought I was in trouble. I had every thought running through my head that you could have. But, then I got to thinking, if you’ve done something wrong, they don’t usually pull you up in front of the crowd to throw the book at you.”

The only book the IHRA had in mind to throw at Smith was the history book. He had, in legal trim, traveled where no Pro Stock racer had gone – into the sevens.

PECK RACING AA/FC TO RUN 2020 SEASON WITH QUOTEWIZARD SPONSORSHIP

 

Peck Racing, a Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car team that competes in the NHRA Heritage and UNFC series, will be partner with QuoteWizard, an online Insurance marketplace as its primary sponsor for the 2020 season.  

“PeckRacing is beyond thrilled to join forces with QuoteWizard in the 2020 season,” said Michael Peck, team owner. “We are even more excited about introducing the NHRA fan base to QuoteWizard’s Insurance marketplace.  Our fans and followers will quickly realize there is a lot of money to be saved when using QuoteWizard to shop for your Auto, Home, Life, Health and Medicare insurance.

ENCORE - THE ORIGINAL PRO NITROUS: THE AHRA PRO STOCKERS

6-4-07ahra.jpgA common misconception suggests the origin of nitrous-injected doorslammer racing can be traced back to the International Hot Rod Association’s Top Sportsman division. In fact, the first organized competition for nitrous-aided door cars dates back to the American Hot Rod Association's Pro Stock class. During the last four years of the AHRA’s existence, officials bucked conventional Pro Stock regulations of the day by allowing the use of nitrous oxide.

In 1980, Pro Stock was a class in transition. On the National Hot Rod Association side, Pro Stock cars were running on a pounds-per-cubic-inch basis with special weight breaks and/or handicaps based on the make of car. The IHRA took advantage of their rival’s complicated and rather unpopular structure and countered with a simplified unlimited cubic-inch format. As a result, the first Pro Stock car to break into the seven-second zone was racing under IHRA sanction

So where does AHRA Pro Stock fit into the equation? At the start of the 1980 season, the AHRA was deep in the same quagmire as the NHRA, struggling to maintain a level playing field through the use of a cumbersome rules package. To their credit, those in charge of the AHRA recognized the quandary they were in, and they reacted accordingly, making sweeping rules changes. 

The 1980 AHRA Pro Stock season had gotten off to a lackluster start, but that was soon to change. The organization decided that implementing a Mountain Motor format was the best way to give the class the publicity it deserved, and inject new life into it.

There was a major problem, however.

FOX SPORTS, NHRA ANNOUNCE 2020 MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING TELEVISION SCHEDULE

FOX Sports and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) today announce the release of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series television schedule, highlighted by live FOX broadcast network coverage of four consecutive summer events, including the  “Western Swing” (Denver, Sonoma and Seattle), as well as the iconic U.S. Nationals from Indianapolis on Labor Day Weekend.

The 24-event 2020 FOX NHRA season opens Sunday, Feb. 9, with the 60th Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals live from Pomona, Calif., at 5:00 PM ET on FS1. Fifteen of the season’s final 16 events are scheduled to air live, including the season finale Auto Club NHRA Finals from Pomona.

DARRELL RUSSELL TRIBUTE SONG WAS A NATURAL FOR THIS COUNTRY SINGER

 

Given her lineage, you’d think it would be relatively effortless for Laura Black-Wines to whip up a song.

But penning a tribute to late Top Fuel racer Darrell Russell was no simple task for the Park Hills, Mo., resident. To do it justice -- to capture the spirit of a man loved by his peers; one about whom no one had a bad word to say -- proved difficult.

So she approached conquering the task in the best way she knew: She turned to a higher power.

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