Thursday, October 25, 2012

HRML BONUS COVERAGE: Chief Engineer Jordan Lee talks about the new Corvette LT1

Chief Engineer and Program Manager Jordan Lee sits down with Dennis and give you the full disclosure on the all new Corvette LT1 engine, the first of the Gen 5 family of Small Block engines that combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system that makes 450HP and will propel the C7 Corvette to 60mph in under 4 seconds. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


One of the most intriguing battles for an NHRA world championship title this season is unfolding in the Funny Car division. Three drivers head to the penultimate race of the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a first world championship trophy up for grabs. For each of them, this finally could be the year.

One driver finished second last season, just missing the opportunity by the narrowest of margins.

Another has come agonizingly close on three separate occasions, finishing second each time.

A third driver has won multiple championships as a crew chief, but none from behind the wheel.

Series points leader Jack Beckman, second place Ron Capps and third place Mike Neff head to the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28, each with an excellent opportunity to become a part of NHRA history and to lift the season champion Wally trophy that only 13 drivers have claimed since NHRA started crowning Funny Car world champs in 1974.

“You know, it’s an exciting time right now,” said Neff, who guided Gary Scelzi and John Force to separate series titles as a crew chief, but has never claimed one as a driver.

Neff, who serves as both crew chief and driver of his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang, won the circuit’s most recent event in Reading, Pa., and is riding a bit of momentum, but sits in third place in the standings and trails Beckman by 54 points. He is 31 back of Capps.

“This is why you put all that work in over the last winter and go through this whole season to come to the very end here, and you just want to have a shot,” Neff said. “We’ve been running better here lately and I’m just happy to be in contention, and definitely these last two races out west are going to be exciting for everyone.”

Capps, who got hot after an early season crew change and raced to six consecutive final rounds in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, was the top seed heading into the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. He and tuner Rahn Tobler built a sizeable lead after winning the first playoff race in Charlotte, N.C.  and advancing to the semifinals in round two at Dallas. However, the veteran driver has seen leads come and go, especially at crunch time over the years. With 37 career victories and three second place points finishes, Capps is one of the winningest drivers in the sport not to own a championship ring. He hopes to change that stat this season.

“I've said this before, we had a lot of people talking about the championship was going to be wrapped up by us when we had that 100-something points lead going into St. Louis, and it almost irritated me every time somebody would say something, whether it was media or just fans, because I think they forget how quickly things can turn around,” said Capps, the defending winner of this event who heads to Vegas 23 points behind Beckman. “I just had a hunch that was the way it was going to go. It wasn’t going to be an easy championship run for anybody. There are just too many good cars.”

Beckman emerged into the title conversation with a victory at St. Louis and a national record performance and semifinal finish at Maple Grove Raceway two weeks ago. The driver of the Valvoline/NextGen Dodge Charger pushed Matt Hagan to the wire last season in an incredibly close championship battle, so this is certainly not new territory for him.

He says nothing short of perfection over the next two events will get the job done.

“With only eight rounds left and in a sport where when you lose you don’t get those next few rounds, if somebody goes out second round at Vegas, they lose out on three rounds,” Beckman said. “I think we all want to be able to contest all eight rounds to have a legitimate shot for the championship, so you can’t have any screw-ups, mechanical issues, or tune-up question marks.”

In Top Fuel, Antron Brown holds a 104-point lead over teammate and series rival Spencer Massey. Tony Schumacher, Shawn Langdon and Brandon Bernstein are all still mathematically alive for the title.

Allen Johnson leads Pro Stock into Las Vegas with an 82-point lead over second place driver and defending champ Jason Line. Four-time season winner Erica Enders is third in the standings and also still in the title mix at 125 points back.

The Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson tandem of Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines are one-two in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings and before they settle anything regarding the Las Vegas event they will need to decide the rain-delayed final round from the Reading, Pa. That final round will be run on Saturday afternoon during the day’s second qualifying session. The winner of the Reading final will be the points leader in the two-wheel class heading into Sunday's eliminations at The Strip at LVMS.

* SCHEDULE: Full Throttle Drag Racing Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for noon and 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Final eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals. Please call The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at (800) 644-4444 or visit

* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Oct. 28, preceded by one hour of coverage at 1:30 a.m. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three-hours of eliminations coverage at 8 p.m. (ET), also on Sunday, Oct. 28.

* LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series are born. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 25 and continue through Oct. 26. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8 a.m. on Oct. 27.

* NHRA PRO MOD SERIES PRESENTED BY PROCARE RX: NHRA’s popular Pro Mod touring series will make its final start of the 2012 season at the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals. The first two qualifying sessions will be Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Qualifying will continue on Saturday, Oct. 27 with a session at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by the first round of eliminations at 4 p.m. Eliminations will continue Sunday, Oct. 28 at approximately 2:30 p.m.

* ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

* * *


WHAT: 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, 22nd of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and the fifth of six playoff races in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. The top 10 drivers in four categories - Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle - earn points leading to 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series world championships.

WHERE: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas. Track is located approximately 15 miles north of Las Vegas off I-15.

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 25-28.

THURSDAY, Oct. 25- LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 8 a.m.

FRIDAY, Oct. 26– LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 8 a.m.
PRO MOD SERIES PRESENTED BY PROCARE RX qualifying at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at noon and 3 p.m.

SATURDAY, Oct. 27– LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations begin at 8 a.m.
PRO MOD SERIES PRESENTED BY PROCARE RX qualifying at 10:30 a.m.; first round of eliminations at 4 p.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES qualifying at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

SUNDAY, Oct. 28- Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
FULL THROTTLE SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
PRO MOD SERIES PRESENTED BY PROCARE RX second round at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 28, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 1:30 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Oct. 28, ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise one hour of qualifying highlights at 4 p.m. (ET).            
Sunday, Oct. 28, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will televise three hours of coverage starting at 8 p.m. (ET).

SATELLITE (Digital HD feed):
Friday, Oct. 26, 9 - 9:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 01C
Saturday, Oct. 27, 9 - 9:30 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 01C
Sunday, Oct. 28, 9:30 - 10 p.m. (ET), AMC 1 / Transponder 01C
(3720 MHz, horizontal; Data Rate: 40.461470554 Mbp; Symbol Rate: 29.27 Ms; FEC: ¾; Bandwidth: 36 Mhz)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.             

2011 EVENT WINNERS: Del Worsham, Top Fuel; Ron Capps, Funny Car; Mike Edwards, Pro Stock; Eddie Krawiec, Pro Stock Motorcycle.

MOST VICTORIES: Greg Anderson, PS, 4; Tony Schumacher, TF, 4; Ron Capps, FC, 3; Andrew Hines, PSM, 3.

TRACK RECORDS:            
Top Fuel - 3.779 sec. by Antron Brown, April ’12; 326.08 mph by Brown, April ’12
Funny Car - 4.030 sec. by Matt Hagan, Oct. ’09; 315.49 mph by Ron Capps, Oct. ’11
Pro Stock - 6.594 sec. by Mike Edwards, Oct. ’11; 208.84 mph by Edwards, Oct. ’11
PS Motorcycle - 6.879 sec. by Hector Arana Jr., Oct. ’11; 196.56 mph by Eddie Krawiec, Oct. ’11

Top Fuel - 3.701 sec. by Antron Brown, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12, Charlotte, N.C.
Funny Car - 3.986 sec. by Jack Beckman, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 320.58 mph by Beckman, Oct. ‘12, Reading, Pa.
Pro Stock - 6.477 sec. by Jason Line, Oct. ’11, Reading, Pa.; 214.35 mph by Line, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.
PS Motorcycle - 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.26 mph by Eddie Krawiec, March ’11, Gainesville, Fla.

TICKETS: For tickets call The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at (800) 644-4444, or visit online.

* * *


GLENDORA, Calif. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 21st of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series and the fourth of six races in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's playoffs -

Top Fuel: 1.  Antron Brown, 2,491; 2.  Spencer Massey, 2,387; 3.  Tony Schumacher, 2,355; 4.  Shawn Langdon, 2,351; 5.  Brandon Bernstein, 2,314; 6.  Morgan Lucas, 2,267; 7.  Doug Kalitta, 2,228; 8.  Steve Torrence, 2,212; 9.  David Grubnic, 2,193; 10.  Bob Vandergriff, 2,149.

Funny Car: 1.  Jack Beckman, 2,437; 2.  Ron Capps, 2,414; 3.  Mike Neff, 2,383; 4.  Johnny Gray, 2,246; 5. Cruz Pedregon, 2,244; 6.  John Force, 2,217; 7.  Courtney Force, 2,216; 8.  Robert Hight, 2,211; 9. Tim Wilkerson, 2,207; 10.  Jeff Arend, 2,180.

Pro Stock: 1.  Allen Johnson, 2,502; 2.  Jason Line, 2,420; 3.  Erica Enders, 2,377; 4.  Vincent Nobile, 2,325; 5.  Greg Anderson, 2,272; 6.  V. Gaines, 2,235; 7.  Mike Edwards, 2,214; 8.  Jeg Coughlin, 2,187; 9.  Ron Krisher, 2,161; 10.  Larry Morgan, 2,157.

Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1.  Eddie Krawiec, 2,523; 2.  Andrew Hines, 2,506; 3.  Hector Arana Jr, 2,384; 4.  Hector Arana, 2,326; 5.  Karen Stoffer, 2,282; 6.  Michael Ray, 2,251; 7.  Scotty Pollacheck, 2,209; 8.  Matt Smith, 2,192; 9.  LE Tonglet, 2,182; 10.  Shawn Gann, 2,177.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Prior to the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway NHRA Funny Car superstar Ashley Force Hood and her legendary father, John Force, will participate in the NHRA Fanfest on Fremont Street (at the intersection of 3rd and Fremont Street) on Thursday, October 27 along with the 8,000 hp Destination Force Castrol GTX HIGH MILEAGE Ford Mustang Funny Car that the 15-time Funny Car champion will race. The NHRA Fanfest will commence from the 3rd Street Stage starts at 5 p.m. and is free to the public.

“I wanted to race this Funny Car the minute Ashley showed me the comic book. The whole story behind Destination Force was my story and to take it in a whole new direction with a comic book was great. I know the fans loved the book and we have been selling a lot of them at the car shows, through our John Force Racing website and the John Force Racestation apparel store,” said John Force. “We’ll be selling them at Fremont Street too, so I want everyone to come on down and see this hot rod, say hello to me, Ashley and Courtney plus get excited about this race in Las Vegas. I want to get this Destination Force Funny Car in the winner’s circle for me, my sponsors, my team and especially Ashley.”

Force Hood released her first comic book titled, Destination Force, which chronicled the futuristic adventures of her Funny Car champion father John Force at the end of last season to very positive fan feedback. The Destination Force Funny Car was originally unveiled August 26th at the Indianapolis Comic Book Show but this will be the first and only time NHRA Full Throttle fans will be able to see the Funny Car on the track.

“We got a great response when we unveiled the Funny Car at the Indianapolis Comic Book Show and we had the car on display at our shop before the Mac Tools US Nationals. Finally racing the car in Las Vegas just seemed like the perfect place to debut the Destination Force Funny Car on the race track. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the first Destination Force comic book and it was so much fun to work on we thought it would only make sense to have an actualDestination Force Funny Car. My dad is excited about racing the car and I think he has a few surprises to go along with the Funny Car,” said Force Hood.

In addition to the Destination Force Funny Car being on display at the NHRA Fanfest at Fremont Street on Thursday night Lionel NASCAR Collectables has produced commemorative hero cards for the Destination Force Funny Car. The collectible hero cards will be available on Thursday night as well as throughout the week at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals. John Force and Ashley Force Hood will be signing along with Courtney Force and many stars from the NHRA.   

The 1:24 scale die-cast collectible of the Destination Force Castrol GTX HIGH MILEAGE Funny Car will be available before Christmas and can be purchased and – home of the officially licensed die-cast of the NHRA.

ADRL's season-ending race a springboard for 2013 for Keith Haney Racing

Keith Haney Racing's two cars are looking to end the ADRL season with a strong statement this weekend at the ADRL World Finals VIII presented by CarSafe at Texas Motorplex.

Haney and teammate Monroe Guest have endured their fair share of growing pains this year making their Keith Haney Racing Chevy Camaros race ready and competitive. However Haney said every time they hit the track, the cars just keep getting better.

"We're feeling real strong," Haney said. "The cars have come around real nice. We has some issues in the beginning, but now we're happy with everything.

"We're happy with the crew chiefs and the decisions that have been made and we're looking forward to a good close on the year."

Haney said after racing in Pro Mod last time out, they are expecting to race in the Pro Nitrous field this weekend because there is going to be a better opportunity to make the field.

"There's a lot of NHRA guys coming to race on their way out to Las Vegas," Haney said. "The Pro Mod class only has eight spots as compared to 16 for Pro Nitrous, so we just want to give ourselves the best chance to be competitive."

He said the team recently completed an event at Tulsa Raceway Park that yielded promising results.

"Both our cars raced the Throwdown," Haney said. "I won first round despite the transmission being messed up and Monroe had a good outing, where he qualified No. 4. I couldn't make the call for second round because we didn't want to hurt the motor over a tranny, but we learned a lot.

"We feel like we've great package right now. Or motors from Reher-Morrison Racing Engines are great and Lucas Oil has come on board recently and really helped us out."

Haney said they are all pieces it the puzzle to make Keith Haney Racing a true contender in 2013.

"We want to run the season from the beginning," Haney said. "For a few reasons we didn't get the chance to do that this year, but now we've got a huge leg up on 2013. We want to be contenders at all 10 races next year."

The gates open at 10 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the first round of qualifying on Friday set to begin at  noon. On Saturday, the racing will begin at noon with the final qualifying session. The first round of eliminations starts at 2:30 p.m.

FORD RACING NEWS for October 19th 2012

NASCAR's Chase Rolls into Kansas; Slankard Talks '13 Fusion Testing

Following his fourth-place finish at Charlotte last weekend, Greg Biffle moved up three spots to sixth in the standings and aims to continue that trend this weekend at Kansas where record speeds are expected. Ford Racing's NASCAR Operations Manager Andy Slankard also gives us his insight on testing the 2013 NASCAR Fusion HERE. And if you'll be at Kansas Motor Speedway this weekend, be sure to stop by the Ford Display where many of Ford's drivers and team owners will be making appearances!

M-Sport WRC Fiestas Aim to Tame Italian Gravel Challenge

With just two rallies left on the 2012 calendar, the Ford World Rally Team would love nothing more than to close out the season with a pair of victories. This weekend's penultimate round takes place in Italy, and it marks the final gravel rally of the year as well. M-Sport's pair of Fiestas will be piloted by regulars Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg, and both are aiming to repeat their performances from Wales Rally GB, the series' most recent gravel rally in which Latvala won and Solberg took third. Get the full story at

Gittin Mustang Shreds Tires at Flat Rock Assembly in 2nd Shift Drift

Fresh off the announcement of Ford's new partnership with Formula Drift comes Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s 2nd Shift Drift. Featuring Vaughn’s unique pre-delivery process, 2nd Shift Drift sees Gittin driving his Mustang drifter off of the Flat Rock, MI, assembly line (where new Mustangs are born!) and through a series of incredible maneuvers around the property – until he’s satisfied that the car’s ready to “ship” to the Ford dealer. Join Gittin as he turns Flat Rock into his playground HERE! Miss the action from last weekend's Formula Drift finale from Irwindale? Check out Gittin's thoughts and our RECAP VIDEO, too!

Cobra Jets Shine with Trio of wins and five National Records

More than 20 Mustang Cobra Jets were in action last weekend and they made the most of their time on track, taking three event wins (among countless round wins) and setting five new national records! Winners included Bo Butner at the Las Vegas Sports Nationals, Bo Kenney at the Dutch Classic and PB Candies at the NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional at Baytown, TX. Cobra Jets also went 2-0 in heads-up competition against COPO Camaros.

Sportsman: Fazio's 64½ Mustang Takes SS Crown at Maple Grove

Despite consistently strong performances at most NHRA Division 1 tracks, Bobby Fazio of Norristown, PA, felt he never quite "got in a groove" at Maple Grove Raceway. Well, that all changed this weekend when Fazio went seven rounds to win the SS title in his 1964½ Mustang. With a final pass of 10.900 seconds @ 113.2 MPH, Fazio was definitely in a "groove." Way to go Bobby!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PODCAST UPDATE: October 13th Broadcast HRML/CTR

October 13, 2012 - Hour 1
This weeks Hot Rod Magazine Live starts off with Sal Santoro and Bob Walton, co-authors of Route 66. Following that automotive archeologist Ryan Brutt from Hot Rod leads into time spent with Marty Schoor and a chance to talk about his book Motion Performance.
October 13, 2012 - Hour 2
The Circle Track Radio hour starts off with Pete Epple from CT Magazine and his take on a wide variety of topcis from head and neck restraints to the passing of Chris Economaki. Then Steve from SRE Engine Techniques and get down and dirty about the huge difference building engines and being a engine builder.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

HRML/CTR Podcast Update Oct. 6th Broadcast

This weeks HRML is filled with great guests and even better information about everything from marketing vintage cars to what camera to choose. President Joseph Carroll from RK Motors Charlotte, Richard Varner founder of Champions Moto and John Spar president of Replay XD round out the guest list. CLICK HERE

The CT radio hour has class in session with tons of amazing information about fuel. Freddie Turza from VP Racing Fuels spends time with us and gives us a great guide to new fuels for your racing machine. Finally Pete Epple from CT Magazine gives us a report on the health of asphalt racing from around the country. CLICK HERE

Sikora Shatters PSCA Outlaw 10.5 Record

Four-time Pacific Street Car Association champion Doug Sikora dropped a 6.507-second run last weekend at the Mickey Thompson West Coast Shootout Presented by Edelbrock at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to break the MagnaFlow Outlaw 10.5 record.

The Apple Valley, Calif., native debuted a new combo in his Ford Mustang, a 499ci BAE with a 136mm F3R ProCharger, last month at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist Drags and broke the speed record with a 218.69 mph run.

“Doug has really raised the bar for every racer who competes with us,” PSCA President Mel Roth said. “He’s got his eyes on the prize and that’s the Street Car Super Nationals in a little more than a month. The best of the best are going to be there and it’s going to be a great show.”

For more information on the eighth annual SCSN, visit the official page on Facebook at

For more information on the Street Car Super Nationals Nov. 14-18 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, visit or go to their official page on Facebook at

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Persistent rain showers forced NHRA officials to postpone the completion of eliminations for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway until Monday at 11 a.m.
            Nearly two rounds of racing was completed in Top Fuel, while only one round was finished in Funny Car and Pro Stock before rain showers moved into the area Sunday afternoon.
            In Top Fuel competition, series leader Antron Brown posted a national record time of 3.722 seconds and advanced to the semifinals, along with Brandon Bernstein and rookie Khalid alBalooshi. Racing will begin Monday with the final second round pair in Top Fuel, Shawn Langdon vs. Doug Kalitta.
            In Funny Car, Jack Beckman improved his national record performance to 3.986 seconds with a first round win over Mike Smith and will meet points leader Ron Capps in a critical second round match up in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship. Title contender Mike Neff, John Force, Johnny Gray and defending champ Matt Hagan also will race in round two. 
            In Pro Stock, championship contenders Allen Johnson, Jason Line, Erica Enders and Greg Anderson all advanced to the second round. All four rounds of racing remain in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
            In addition to the completion of eliminations in the four NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series classes, three NHRA Lucas Oil Series categories will be completed as well, including Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car and Competition Eliminator.
            Gates will open at 8 a.m. All Sunday tickets will be honored for admission on Monday and kids 15 and under will be admitted free. Tickets for purchase will be available for $25. All parking will be free. For ticket information please visit


Funny Car title contender Jack Beckman set a national record en route to his fourth No. 1 qualifying position of the season Saturday at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

David Grubnic (Top Fuel), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the fourth of six playoff events in the NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship.

After a dominating performance during Friday’s qualifying runs, Beckman powered his Schumacher Electric Dodge Charger to a time of 4.003 seconds in Saturday’s first qualifying attempt, which was quick enough to certify his 3.989 effort from Friday as an NHRA national record.  Beckman, who now trails series points leader Ron Capps by only 17, will earn a 20-point bonus if he hangs onto the record following the completion of Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations.

"We want to win the championship,” said Beckman, who will face Mike Smith in the opening round of eliminations. “Some people would tell you they want to win at all costs and I’m not one of those people. We want to win because we did everything right out there and we want the other cars to be at their prime. We’d like to do it the right way.” 

Cruz Pedregon was second with a performance of 3.997 at 320.58 in his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry while Mike Neff was third in his Castrol GTX Ford Mustang with a 4.017 at 318.84. Points leader Capps will start eighth in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger after qualifying with a performance of 4.055 at 317.64. Countdown contender Tim Wilkerson, who had charged from 10th to fifth in the points standings during the first three playoff races, failed to qualify for eliminations in his Levi Ray & Shoup Shelby Ford Mustang.

In Top Fuel, Grubnic drove his Rocky Boots dragster to a performance of 3.728 at 327.11 mph to earn his first No. 1 qualifying position this season and first since 2008. His time tied the quickest Top Fuel run in history, and he could certify it as a national record during Sunday’s eliminations when he opens against Canadian driver Ike Maier.

“It’s good to be back in the No. 1 spot,” Grubnic said. “When I started with Connie [Kalitta] in 2004, we were No. 1 qualifier five times that year, and so it’s great to be back in that position. Not only that, but [teammate] Doug Kalitta running 331 miles per hour side-by-side with me. It’s great for the team, great for Connie, great for all the guys that work on the car, and great for our sponsors.”

Morgan Lucas, who qualified second with a 3.733-second effort in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster, set the Top Fuel national elapsed time record on that run. Series points leader Antron Brown was 11th in his Matco Tools dragster with a 3.758 at 325.14 while Spencer Massey, currently second in the standings, was eighth with a 3.763 at 321.12. Four-time Maple Grove winner Tony Schumacher qualified third  in the U.S. Army dragster with a 3.736 at 325.14.

In Pro Stock, defending world champion and event winner Jason Line raced to his seventh No. 1 qualifying position of the season, 31st of his career in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro with a time of 6.515 at 212.36. Line will race Shane Gray in the opening round.

“Tomorrow should be interesting, and fun to watch,” Line said. “Especially if it’s cold out and we could set a new national record. Those 20 points could really come in handy.”

Pro Stock points leader Allen Johnson was sixth with a 6.545 at 211.49 in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger and title challenger and St. Louis winner Erica Enders was second in her GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt with a 6.538 at 211.30.

Pro Stock Motorcycle points leader Eddie Krawiec rode his Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to his fourth No. 1 of the season with a performance of 6.821 at 196.19, bringing his career total to 13.

“I have a good race day bike,” said Krawiec, who will meet veteran rider Craig Treble in the first round. “I think it’s just consistently getting it down the track, getting it off the starting line and going. I’m going to do the best I can. I am just going to look for good green lights and I think the rest will come.”

Krawiec’s teammate Andrew Hines was second on his Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson with a 6.824 at 195.85, while the father and son Lucas Oil Buell duo of Hector Arana Sr. and Hector Arana Jr. head into eliminations third and fourth.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


With half of the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoff races complete, only three events remain and it is becoming critical for title challengers to make a move at one of the three upcoming events, the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals, Oct. 4-7 at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, Oct. 25-28 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 8-11 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. At the midway point, in Top Fuel, leader and playoff top seed Antron Brown holds a 21-point edge over teammate Spencer Massey. Seven-time world champ Tony Schumacher and Al-Anabi Racing’s Shawn Langdon are well within striking distance with, as history has shown, two very capable teams. In Funny Car, top seed Ron Capps holds a 30 point lead over teammate Jack Beckman, while Mike Neff is 99 points back in his Castrol Ford Mustang. The biggest mover in Funny Car has been Tim Wilkerson, who has jumped from 10th to fifth in the first three playoff events. Another top seed, Pro Stock’s Allen Johnson holds a 109-point lead over defending world champ Jason Line. Johnson has advanced to the final in all three Countdown events, winning once. Erica Enders has some momentum from her win last weekend in St. Louis which moved her to third in the standings. In Pro Stock Motorcycle, defending world champ and top seed Eddie Krawiec earned his seventh victory of the season in St. Louis and increased his series lead to 33 over teammate Andrew Hines.


The pressure is building for NHRA Full Throttle Series drivers who are aching to return to scenic Maple Grove Raceway for the 28th annual Auto-Plus® NHRA Nationals, Oct. 4-7, which is also the fourth race in the intense six-race Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship – the NHRA playoffs. The Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals will pay a special tribute to one of NHRA’s most iconic names in Pro Stock, Pennsylvania native Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, who died earlier this year. A Grumpy Car Corral, Grump Parade and a Sunday Track Walk with members of the Jenkins family are planned in commemoration of his life and legacy. All Sunday ticket holders can take advantage of this free tribute Track Walk with the opportunity to walk side-by-side, interact with some of NHRA’s most popular drivers while they remember “Grumpy,” one of drag racing’s greatest pioneers. In celebration of Maple Grove Raceway’s 50th Anniversary, fans will be treated to numerous festivities all weekend long including the “50 Cars for 50 Years” display featuring some of the coolest cars selected from events held at Maple Grove, the display will be near Nitro Alley on Sunday. The top 10 drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle will continue their charges during the demanding playoffs that kicked off mid-September in Charlotte, N.C. Defending event champions Spencer Massey (Top Fuel); Robert Hight (Funny Car); Jason Line (Pro Stock); and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are pushing hard to return to the winner’s circle at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals en route to the NHRA Full Throttle world championship. As always, every ticket is a pit pass giving fans unlimited access to the sport’s biggest stars for autographs and photo opportunities. Combine the remarkable lineup of the sport’s greatest drivers with all of the drama and intense racing that comes with an NHRA playoff race, the ingredients equal a memorable experience. For tickets for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals please call (610) 856-7200 or log on


Antron Brown raced to his sixth Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park, and in the process, increased his championship points lead. Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock), and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners of the event, the first race for NHRA in the St. Louis area in more than two years. Brown defeated championship rival Spencer Massey in the final round and moved 21 points ahead of the Texas driver with only three races remain in the Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Brown, who battled side-by-side with Massey all weekend, took the victory with a final-round performance of 3.766 seconds at 325.22 mph in his Matco Tools/Aaron’s dragster while Massey trailed with a 3.812 at 324.05 in his FRAM/Prestone dragster. “Our team hit a grand slam here this weekend,” Brown said. “We qualified No. 1 and took it one round at a time. It was a great weekend, but it’s always a struggle. This class is very competitive, and these guys aren’t playing anymore. You have your struggles here and there, and you have to keep on overcoming them. I’m just so happy for our Aaron’s/Matco guys.” Brown beat Bruce Litton, Steve Torrence, and Brandon Bernstein in early rounds before unleashing his quickest run of the day in the final against Massey. “It was a stressful day where we matched up against some great competition,” Brown said. “Matching up against my teammate [Massey] in the final was big — we’ve been back and forth in the points. It’s great to have six wins, but right now, they’re all in the past. We need to go back to the shop and get focused on these last three races. It’s just so competitive out here, and this points race is going to go down to the last race.” For more on this story, please visit