AFTER ENTERTAINING START TO 2020, E3 SPARK PLUGS NHRA PRO MOD DRAG RACING SERIES WILL AWARD ITS FIRST WINNER OF SEASON AT INDY
INDIANAPOLIS – By advancing to the final round of the first race of the 2020 season in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, Jason Scruggs and Chad Green put themselves in position to win their first career race in the class.
But with the completion of that race postponed to the upcoming DENSO Auto Parts U.S. Nationals, the chance to grab that first victory now comes this weekend as part of the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil. Like the opener, which took place last month, this race also takes place at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, and Scruggs will again look to put together an impressive weekend in his blown Scruggs Farm Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars.
In just his seventh career NHRA Pro Mod start, Scruggs, who has enjoy remarkable success in his doorslammer career, advanced to his first career final, making significant strides in the off-season.
“We were happy to go some rounds,” Scruggs said. “We knew we could run with everyone here, so I was glad we were able to prove that. At the end of the day, we’ve got a good car. Everything kind of fell into place and we won the close races, and that’s what you have to do at this level. We changed some stuff on the car and the way we were running the car, and it has responded well.”
DIAMOND BAR, CA – SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced today that due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be taking place in 2020.
While both event organizers and industry members have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show in November, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. SEMA expects the decision will bring much needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.
Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual tradecshow with related live elements. SEMA will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.
“The SEMA Show is committed to furthering businesses in the automotive specialty equipment market, and to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”
KIRKSVILLE, MO – Already established as a strong force in drag racing media, Drag Illustrated has added a marquee name to further cement the publication’s standing, announcing industry veteran Pete Epple as the technical editor.
With more than a decade of experience that includes contributions at nearly 30 performance and automotive racing publications, Epple’s area of expertise will give Drag Illustrated a noted name in the technical aspect of the sport.
“Drag Illustrated is such a force in the media side of drag racing and really has never focused on the technical side of the sport, so to take on that responsibility is pretty amazing, and I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty surreal,” Epple said. “I’ve worked with the publication in a freelance role, and to step into this position is incredible and I’m extremely grateful.
“The Drag Illustrated staff is one of the best in media across motorsports and to add another dynamic layer and bring in that technical side, we’re all excited to take DI to another level.”
INDIANAPOLIS – As NHRA continues its return to racing, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series teams are gearing up for their third race at Lucas Oil Raceway for the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil, Aug. 6-9.
In the Top Fuel division, veteran driver Doug Kalitta leads the points thanks to his three final round appearances this season and one win at the season opener in Pomona. Kalitta won the prestigious U.S. Nationals last season in Indianapolis and went on to finish second in the championship standings. With a solid start to the 2020 season, he and his Kalitta Motorsports Mac Tools dragster team hope to carry their success through the rest of the year.
Indianapolis – Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil
- NHRA’s winningest team is approaching 350 victories (currently at 348), and by campaigning cars in two different categories (Top Fuel and Funny Car), achieving that milestone is within reach this weekend
- At the most recent event (Indy 2), Jack Beckman and Matt Hagan advanced to the Funny Car final round before the race was postponed due to rain. Had the finals run on schedule, DSR would have been ensured a seventh consecutive Funny Car Wally trophy and win No. 349. The finals are rescheduled for the NHRA U.S. Nationals during Labor Day weekend.
- From his Indy 1 victory, Hagan enters the weekend as the most recent Funny Car race winner, and is looking for his second consecutive Indianapolis victory; he is a two-time No. 1 qualifier in 2020
- Beckman, the current Funny Car point leader, is looking for his second triumph in 2020 after having raced to the Pomona win, and a runner-up finish in Phoenix. He has been to the final round in three out of the first four events of 2020
- Tommy Johnson Jr. is seeking his third final round appearance after finishing as the runner-up at Indy 1, and Funny Car event champion in Phoenix
- A DSR Funny Car has won the last six completed events, dating back to October 2019, and DSR has campaigned a Funny Car in the final round for the past eight races
- Leah Pruett enters the weekend occupying the No. 2 position on the Top Fuel leaderboard and will be focused on narrowing the gap to the points lead
- Hometown event for DSR which is headquartered two miles away from the famed Indy dragstrip
- Home track for Antron Brown and Johnson, who both reside in the greater Indianapolis area
- DSR-Owned Track Records:
Funny Car, E.T.: 3.799 seconds, Matt Hagan (2017)
Funny Car, speed: 338.77 mph, Matt Hagan (2017)
Madison, IL – 2020 ushered in a world of changes and the Holley NMRA Ford Nationals wasn’t spared from those adjustments. One major change was moving the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing presented by HPJ Performance to the St. Louis area. After 14 years in Joliet, the event moved to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in nearby Madison, Illinois, where a long-standing tradition of Ford racing continued with the 15th Annual Super Bowl event. And despite a persistently poor weather forecast, spectators enjoyed a safe and socially distanced event, while racers sped to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle.
In the combined NMRA and NMCA VP Racing Madditives/Mickey Thompson Street Outlaw category, Dom DiDonato took the top spot in qualifying with a 4.32, and Tony Hobson was hot on his heels with a 4.36. The pair of Mustangs waded through the 13-car field and the number one and two qualifiers were the last men standing. With identical .087-second reaction times, both drivers left evenly, but Hobson encountered issues early in his run, leaving DiDonato to speed away with a winning elapsed time of 4.810.
At this event, the NMRA Edelbrock Renegade and NMCA Xtreme Street classes are combined for a battle of brand supremacy. Be it NMRA or NMCA, Mustangs reigned supreme in this category, with Joel Greathouse and his Fox-Body Mustang facing Tim Knieriem and his SN95 Mustang in a turbo-vs.-nitrous confrontation. Knieriem took the starting-line advantage, but that and his 4.731 effort weren’t enough to finish ahead of Greathouse and his 4.690 run.
15th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by HPJ Performance
Madison, IL – While rain threatened to steal the racers’ thunder, it wasn’t able to as they dug in and dispatched profuse power during the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl presented by HPJ Performance, July 30-August 2 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
They were aiming for the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle and the storied Super Bowl shootout portion of the event, where NMCA winners and NMRA winners run off for a coveted Nitto Tire Diamond Tree Championship Ring, cash and a claim to fame. This marked the first time the event, traditionally held at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois, was contested at World Wide Technology Raceway, and it was a success.
On the NMCA side, the VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod category was as cutthroat as ever, with most of the racers recording 3-second runs in qualifying, and leading the charge was Jim Widener, who wheeled to a 3.70 in his Corvette. The Indiana-based hot-shoe hauled to the final round of eliminations to face California-based ace Eric Gustafson. Either driver could have won the edge-of-your-seat race, but Widener got to the finish line first, despite an explosion under his car, with a 3.74, and Gustafson was not far behind with a 3.78.