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.”
Street Car Takeover’s Justin Keith & Chase Lautenbach Sound Off on DI 158: State of Drag Cover Story
KIRKSVILLE, MO – Following their passion has turned into a lifelong dream for Justin Keith and Chase Lautenbach, as their Street Car Takeover continues to flourish, taking another step forward in 2020 despite some trying times in the world.
That success, as well as SCT managing to hold massive, successful events in the midst of a public health crisis, landed the duo on the cover of Drag Illustrated’s annual “State of Drag” issue. When they launched Street Car Takeover in 2013, they never imagined enjoying the current success — or appearing on the cover of a major motorsports magazine.
“It’s a huge honor to be chosen for the cover of Drag Illustrated, especially one outlining the state of drag racing,” Lautenbach said. “Bringing two guys from the Midwest together with just an idea to go race with our friends has turned into this wild ride. It’s been such a humbling experience.”
Drag Illustrated issue No. 158 takes a look at the state of drag racing on a number of fronts, and Keith’s and Lautenbach’s Street Car Takeover is among that. After powering through a challenging start-up phases, they now host huge gatherings at some of the country’s biggest tracks, drawing incredible participation at places like Indy, Denver and Dallas in 2020.
“What Justin, Chase and the Street Car Takeover events are doing for drag racing cannot possibly be overstated. Organized drag racing, in a lot of ways, can be extremely intimidating. The drag strip isn’t an easy place to be the newbie,” Drag Illustrated Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck said. “What Street Car Takeover has done, in my eyes, is create an environment free of that pressure and intimidation. It’s geared almost entirely toward racers and enthusiasts who are early in their drag racing hobby, and it’s welcoming to makes, models and people from all walks of the racing life.
With Incredible Journey, Funny Car’s Paul Lee Earns Cover Spot On Drag Illustrated’s Interview Issue
KIRKSVILLE, MO – When Paul Lee’s successes are discussed, his many racing triumphs may just be a small part of it. It’s not a slight to what he’s accomplished throughout a standout career in both NHRA Funny Car and Top Alcohol Funny Car, but simply a nod to everything Lee has accomplished and overcome.
His businesses – McLeod Racing and FTI Performance – have been wildly successful in the automotive industry, even performing remarkably well through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Still, that only scratches the surface, too, as Lee’s journey is marked by overcoming a “widow maker” heart attack to return to racing in 2019.
Lee’s remarkable tale of perseverance is the main story in Drag Illustrated’s annual “Interview Issue,” which was released digitally on Monday and sent to subscribers this week. It dives into Lee’s adversity, as he details what happened and his arduous road to recovery. It’s a significant story of Lee’s ability to overcome and enjoy every minute of life since, making him an easy choice for the cover of DI 157.
KIRKSVILLE, MO – Drag Illustrated’s annual women’s issue has a new name, as the “Women of Power 2020” issue was released digitally this weekend and will be mailed out this week. Kallee Mills appears on the cover of the eighth annual issue dedicated to the women in drag racing – and 155th issue overall – focusing on the job done by incredible females in the sport who continue to break barriers, set trends and inspire others.
With unprecedented times and a public health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing the issue was faced with additional challenges. But a determined staff and heady leadership made it possible, as the issue has already drawn rave reviews throughout the industry.
“While the purpose of the ‘Hottest’ Issue has always been to highlight the women in drag racing who are breaking barriers, setting trends and inspiring others, the name hasn’t really reflected that. We felt it was time to come up with a name that better suited the idea behind this issue,” Drag Illustrated Editor-In-Chief Nate Van Wagnen said.
“Between putting on the World Doorslammer Nationals in early March and the COVID-19 pandemic that’s impacted the country since then, it’s been a crazy month for the DI team,” Van Wagnen said. “But everyone banded together to put out what we believe is one of our best issues yet. It’s packed with the kind of stories and photography that readers have come to expect from DI. We didn’t cut any corners or make any compromises. Despite the challenges facing our team and our industry, we put our best foot forward with this issue.”
Jeg Coughlin Jr. Holds Off Greg Anderson In Epic Pro Stock Final To Win $75,000 Prize At Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals
In an epic final round between two of Pro Stock’s biggest legends at Orlando Speed World Dragway, it was Coughlin who slipped past Greg Anderson in a side-by-side thriller to claim the $75,000 prize at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Coughlin’s run of 6.484-seconds at 212.36 mph in his RJ Race Cars JEGS Camaro edged out Anderson’s 6.485 at 213.81 in his Summit Racing Equipment Camaro, handing the five-time Pro Stock world champion the biggest single-race payout in the history of the class, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020.
“I’ve been fortunate to run a bunch of big-money bracket races in my career and I’ve seen the organized havoc like this, and it’s just badass,” Coughlin said. “There’s no more prideful feeling than pulling around for a final of a big-money race, and this one is right there at the top with them now. To see all the fans and all the teams crowded around to take in the moment, it’s pretty cool. You want to make it happen and fortunately we did that today.”
Alex Laughlin Takes Caruso Family Pro Mod to $50,000 Victory at Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals Presented by CTech Manufacturing
BITHLO, FL – NHRA Pro Stock star Alex Laughlin added another milestone moment to his doorslammer drag racing career Sunday evening when he turned on the final-round win light at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Racing at Orlando Speed World Dragway, Laughlin defeated Todd “King Tut” Tutterow in the final round, recording a 5.671-second pass at 251.53 mph to Tutterow’s 6.362 at 146.21.
Laughlin hadn’t even sat in the seat of Marc Caruso’s Caruso Family Racing ’69 Camaro before the World Doorslammer Nationals. But after a series of test runs, four rounds of qualifying and four passes in eliminations, Laughlin was cutting consistent reaction times and wheeling the roots-blown ATI Performance entry like a veteran.
“It sounds pretty crazy – let’s be real, it is real crazy,” Laughlin said. “We started off on the wrong foot. We struggled through every test run. Once we started qualifying, things started going our way. Once we started racing, things really started going our way.”
Voss Wins Pro 632, Mills Scores Top Sportsman Victory at Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals
BITHLO, FL – While the focus was on Pro Stock and Pro Mod at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing, the event also included racing in Pro 632, Top Sportsman, Super Pro and Pro ET.
Dillon Voss (Pro 632), Vonnie Mills (Top Sportsman), Stu White (Super Pro) and Troy Stafford (Pro ET) joined Pro Stock winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Pro Mod winner Alex Laughlin as the first-ever World Doorslammer Nationals event champions.
Fourteen Pro 632 drivers battled it out at Orlando Speed World Dragway to compete for $10,000, more money than the Pro 632 class has ever seen before.
Dillon Voss and his 2016 Corvette had what seemed like the perfect weekend. He qualified No.1 after the first qualifying pass, held that position all weekend, and ended up in the winner’s circle on Sunday evening.