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LAST SURVIVING MEMBER OF GORDIE BONIN'S 1970S FUNNY CAR TEAM PASSES

 

Steven Edward Hutcheson, 81, the last surviving Gordie Bonin's 1979 U.S. Nationals championship team member, has died. He passed at 8:15 AM, July 11, 2024, at the home of his son, Ted Chavarria, and Rita Chavarria, his daughter-in-law, following a brave battle with cancer.

MOVE OVER WRIGLEY FIELD - PACIFIC RACEWAYS WILL BE RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS

Pacific Raceways President Jason Fiorito would like to take credit for doing something no other promoter has yet to do at the drag strip outside Seattle, WA, but he won't.

For the first time in history, drag racing will run under the lights at the strip, and the experience is likened to August 9, 1988, when iconic baseball venue Wrigley Field played its first game at night hours.

NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 3:30 PM and 8:15 PT on Friday, July 19.

NHRA REVEALS 20-RACE SCHEDULE FOR 2025 SEASON

The 2025 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series schedule will feature multiple milestone anniversaries within a 20-race schedule. Drag racing’s longest-running professional series revealed its 2025 schedule this morning. 
 
Three races will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2025 and culminate with the 60th annual In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals in Pomona. The NHRA revealed weeks ago that the 2025 season will begin in Gainesville, Fla., for the third straight season.

The three silver anniversary events will be both events at The Strip in Las Vegas and the Route 66 Nationals in Chicago. Older milestones include the 65th anniversary of the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona and the 40th anniversary at Firebird Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Texas Motorplex in Dallas, and Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.

THERE'S A REASON WHY JOHN FORCE'S PARACHUTES DIDN'T DEPLOY BUT NOT OFFICIALLY

Once again, the conspiracy theorists are wrong. The pins were not left in the parachutes. The parachute cables were, but not because of any negligence.

Though not an official NHRA statement, NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart provided insight during Joe Castello's WFO Radio Show as to why the parachutes on John Force's Funny Car failed to deploy during a horrendous accident on June 23, 2024, in Dinwiddie, Va. 

Reinhart revealed in a conversation with NHRA's Lonnie Grim that the Leahy Device, that safety system that automatically triggers the parachute under specific scenarios worked as it was supposed to. However, in this instance, extreme damage to the area surrounding the parachute mechanism caused it not to work as designed.  

FORCE MOVES ON TO REHAB CENTER

 

The last 15 days have been challenging for 17-time Funny Car champion John Force. But in the last week, the results have been encouraging for Force, who suffered a horrendous crash on June 23, 2024, in Dinwiddie, Virginia. 

REMEMBERING THE DAYS WHEN PRO GAS INSPIRED A TRANSFORMATION OF SPORTSMAN DRAG RACING

Two cars roll to the starting line. One is a stick-shifted '64 Corvette with a Doug Nash 4+1 transmission with a heavy flywheel winding, just like a rotary telephone of the 1970s. A 1968 AMX with a big block and automatic transmission is in the other lane. 

The light flashes green, and the wheels are up off the line. They are side-by-side down the dragstrip until the AMX pulls ahead at the stripe, recording a 9.90-second elapsed time at 130 miles per hour. No, this was not Modified Eliminator class eliminations. It was, instead, just one of the early racing in Super Gas racing. 

There was little to no electronics in these earlier days, and using nothing more than a mechanical throttle stop was the name of the game when this trend started to make its way to the national event scene of drag racing. 

DRAG RACER FATALLY INJURED AT NHRA D1 EVENT

A drag racer has died as the result of his injuries sustained while competing at the NHRA Division 1 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Lebanon Valley Dragstrip in Upstate, New York.

A social media post by his family identified the driver as Newburgh, NY-based Top Sportsman drag racer Bill Janke. He crashed while competing in Sunday's eliminations, which have been postponed until Monday.

UPDATED - JOHN FORCE MAKES IMPROVEMENT IN LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY

John Force is traveling at a steady pace on the long road to recovery. 

In a statement issued by John Force Racing on July 5, 2024, the 17-time Funny Car champion continues his recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as a fractured sternum and a right wrist injury. These injuries were sustained when the engine in his PEAK Chevrolet Camaro exploded and sent Force into the concrete guard wall at over 300 miles per hour on June 23, 2024, while racing at the NHRA Virginia Nationals outside of Richmond, Va. 

RICHARD FREEMAN PLANNING FOR A FUTURE THAT INCLUDES TOP FUEL, BUT UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS

In July of 2022, Pro Stock team owner Richard Freeman admitted that his efforts were best served by staying in his own lane. This statement meant Freeman felt it best to stick to doorslammer competition instead of moving into fuel racing. 

Now that he's had some time as a part of the Professional Racers Organization [PRO] leadership, the man credited with reinvigorating Pro Stock is apparently ready to try out another lane. 

The blinker is now on, as Freeman revealed on an episode of the WFO Radio podcast with Joe Castello. He's looking to try out the ultimate in speed. 

NHRA’S THREE-PHASE RECONSTRUCTION OF INDY TO RETURN PRO PITS TO WEST SIDE, NEW TOWER, NEW ENTRANCE

When the NHRA announced the sale of Atlanta Dragway in 2021, the sanctioning body announced that the money acquired would be used to improve its current facilities—Indianapolis Raceway Park and Gainesville Raceway.

NHRA confirmed today a three-phase rebuilding plan for Indianapolis Raceway Park, which includes a new control tower, fan experience enhancements, and a return of the professional pits to the West side of the iconic facility. 

The NHRA announced its future building plans at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, unveiling a multi-phase plan for the legendary facility that includes a new Wally Parks Tower, renovated suites, a new entrance for fans, and moving the professional pits to the west side of the facility.

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