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PARKER SETS BLIND DRIVER RECORD

 

Dan Parker didn't quite produce the numbers he wanted in his first time driving a racecar in almost nine years.

But it's a start.

Parker, who was blinded by a crash in his Pro Mod car at Alabama Dragway, made two runs at Spaceport America in New Mexico over the weekend. The East Coast Timing Association sanctioned the event, and Parker's second pass -- livestreamed by motorsportsmaniatv.com and competitionplus.com -- produced a speed of 153.8 mph.

TORRENCE DEFEATS KALITTA IN EPIC TOP FUEL FINAL IN ARIZONA DESERT

The Top Fuel final round of the NHRA Arizona Nationals was a battle between reigning champion Steve Torrence and Doug Kalitta, the man he defeated by a mere three points for his second straight title last November.

It was a showdown between the class dominator who didn’t enter the season-opener at Pomona two weeks ago and the perennial contender who did show up at the Lucas Oil Winternationals and won for the third straight time.

JOHNSON JR CLAIMS FUNNY CAR CROWN AT ARIZONA NATS

Back in 1989, Tommy Johnson Jr. made his debut in the nitro ranks in Phoenix – competing in Top Fuel.

The talented, versatile driver has come a long way since. Sunday he captured his 20th career NHRA national event title and 18th in Funny Car.

POINT STANDINGS FOLLOWING 2020 NHRA ARIZONA NATIONALS

Point standings (top 10) following the 36th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the second of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -

THREE-TIME PRO STOCK CHAMP ENDERS TAKES PHOENIX VICTORY

Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock champion Erica Enders is back in the winner’s circle.

Enders clocked a 6.531-second time at 210.44 to defeat Bo Butner’s 6.606-second lap Sunday in the finals of the Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

MARONEY SHAKEN BY ACCIDENT THAT KILLED THREE HIGH-SCHOOLERS

 

Jim Maroney knows how excited he was when the NHRA races came to the Phoenix area and he and his father Jack Maroney (who raced a ’70 Vega) went to what’s now Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park – it was called Firebird Raceway then – to watch all the exotic drag racing cars and get close to the action in the pits.

So the Top Fuel driver from nearby Gilbert was delighted to host a group of students from Gila Valley high schools and Eastern Arizona College this past Friday in his pit during the Arizona Nationals at Chandler. He was proud to show off his American Flowtech / WSM Auctioneers Dragster. After all, it was his first home-track event as an independent team owner – and it took him back to the days when he wanted to get up close to a team and watch all the details.

After Funny Car owner-driver Bob Tasca III ignited sparks of career hopes in them during the Y.E.S. (Youth and Education Services) Program Friday morning, sharing with them the opportunities not only in drag racing but also as future mechanics for America’s Big Three automakers, this smaller group of students from south of Phoenix migrated to Maroney’s pit.

DOUG FOLEY BACK IN THE GROOVE

 

Doug Foley updated his Top Fuel license and gathered fresh data on this same racetrack during a preseason test session in late January. And what he learned was enough to help him clock a 3.878-second, 311.13-mph pass and vault him into the No. 14 slot in Sunday’s starting lineup. In his first NHRA start in almost 11 years, he’ll meet No. 3 Leah Pruett in Sunday’s first round of eliminations.

The Don Schumacher Racing-built Foley and Lewis Strutmasters.com Dragster made its 2019 debut at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at Concord, N.C., near the team’s home base. Todd Paton drove the car that weekend. Since then, his Scott Gaddy- and Jack Wyatt-led team spent months preparing for this first of 10 scheduled events this season.

In this first race for Foley since 2011, he has support from Burns Mechanical, DDP Roofing, Inc., and Red Line Synthetic Oil, in addition to Strutmasters.com.

JUSTIN ASHLEY FIXES, FLIPS AND FUELS NEW MEMORIES IN PHOENIX

 

Justin Ashley has learned a lot about driving a dragster since earning his Top Fuel license in 2017. When pressed to reveal the most profound lesson he has learned in his short four-race driving career, it's a no-brainer for the driver of the Dustin Davis Motorsports Strutmaster.com entry who’s starting a career-best fifth Sunday at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

"Stay balanced," Ashley, the 25-year-old successful real-estate developer on New York's Long Island and host of the online series “Fix, Flip, Fuel,” said.  "It's not an easy thing to balance work and racing, and being at the racetrack and engaging in all the things that are going on and then actually have to sit in the car and focus on driving.

"Sometimes, it's easy to get distracted by all the outside noise. The most significant thing I've learned is to be able to balance everything and once I'm in the car, put all my emotions away and just focus on solely the task at hand and doing the best job I can to help my team."

HAGAN MAKES PERSONAL HISTORY IN PHOENIX

 

Matt Hagan made a little personal history Saturday with his 3.859-second pass at 331.61 mph in the Mopar Dodge Charger Hellcat Funny Car.

It was more than just his third straight top-qualifying position – a first in his career – and his second at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. It also was his 38th No. 1 spot, which pushed him past Tony Pedregon on the class list and ties him with legend Kenny Bernstein for fifth.

Hagan, last year’s race winner here, said, “I passed Tony Pedregon on the list, and I’ve got so much respect for him. He’s a real wheelman, and I’ve always looked up to him.”

JOHNSON, TORRENCE AND ENDERS WIN IN FRONT OF SOLD OUT ARIZONA NATS CROWD

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