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.
BITHLO, FL – With a new car and new engine combination, Justin Bond set the new quarter-mile elapsed-time record for centrifugal superchargers when he recorded a 5.623-second, 253.14 mph pass Saturday night at the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing at Orlando Speed World Dragway. Bond’s pass also put him in the No. 1 spot in the quickest NHRA-legal Pro Mod field in history.
“I think the performance of the car has been very good,” Bond said. “I think the time slips speak for that. The car responds to all the changes, and we just have a really awesome crew and a really awesome tuner.”
Bond is in only his fourth race in Pro Mod competition. His ProCharger-boosted, Pro Line-powered ’69 Camaro is one of several new cars entering NHRA Pro Mod competition after the centrifugal supercharger combination was added to the 2020 rulebook. Bond’s 5.623 is quicker than the current NHRA Pro Mod E.T. record, a 5.643 recorded by Stevie “Fast” Jackson in 2019.
Bond and his Bahrain 1 Racing team, led by tuner Brad Personett, are still getting acclimated with the ProCharger combination. They threw down a 5.626 at 254.90 in the third qualifying session Saturday afternoon, then repeated with the 5.623.
Matt Hartford Rockets To Top With Record-Breaking Pass To Close Pro Stock Qualifying At Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals
BITHLO, FL – In a matter of 6.460 seconds on Saturday at Orlando Speed World Dragway, Matt Hartford’s 2020 Pro Stock season took a major step forward and gave him a spot in the Pro Stock records books in the process.
During the final qualifying session of the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing, Hartford and Aaron Stanfield thrilled the crowd with a pair of 6.46s in the quickest side-by-side run of the electronic fuel injection (EFI) era in Pro Stock. But it was Hartford who claimed the top spot in his Total Seal Camaro, powering to an incredible 6.460 at 211.89 mph, giving him the No. 1 qualifier, the quickest run in the EFI era of Pro Stock – and the third-quickest run ever in Pro Stock, behind only Jason Line’s 6.455 and Greg Anderson’s 6.457 with carburetors in 2015.
“The neat thing about it is it’s the third-quickest run in NHRA history out of a 500-inch car,” Hartford said. “That means a lot to us. I knew it was a good run. Sitting in the lanes, I could feel the temperature drop. I came back and grabbed the laptop, and made some changes before the run just feeling how quick it was turning. I was ecstatic. To put the Total Seal Camaro in the No. 1 position in qualifying, it’s a dream come true.”