Race Wrap — Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-Legal Drag Racing Presented by HPJ Performance
Madison, IL – Racers of the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series waited out the rain to go wheels up at the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl presented by HPJ Performance, July 30-August 2 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.
It was worth it, for the racers as well as the race fans, as the competition was captivating, and when it was all said and done, winners were welcomed to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle for a celebration.
In LME Street King, Jeff Brady led qualifying with a 10.00 on a 10.00 index in his Camaro, but later in the weekend, Dennis Butt drove to a 10.13 on a 10.00 in his LS-powered Mustang to defeat Don Dixon, who drove to a 9.55 on a 9.50 in his GTO.
Proform Rumble saw Kevin Rowan lead qualifying with an 11.02 on an 11.00 index in his Corvette. When eliminations rolled around, however, Joe Renaud rounded up the event win with a 12.51 on a 12.50 in his Camaro, and Craig Garcia rounded up the runner-up finish with a 12.26 on a 12.25 in his Silverado.
Auburn Hills, MI – Mopar and Dodge//SRT brands continue to show their support of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) by adding the Dodge name as title sponsor to the upcoming Mello Yello Drag Racing Series national event at Lucas Oil Raceway. This is the third consecutive Indianapolis-based race weekend since the return to racing action after a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fifth race of the 2020 season.
The Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Presented by Pennzoil will take place Aug. 6-9, an event with limited fans in attendance in accordance with Indiana state and health guidelines. Mopar and Dodge//SRT will have signage and a display in the midway to showcase production vehicle offerings to fans.
Dodge’s sponsorship of the event, the most recent addition to the reworked 2020 schedule in response to the ever-changing challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, is a complement to other title sponsorship commitments planned for this NHRA season:
An Open Letter from Dr. Jamie Meyer, PRI President
Dear PRI Exhibitors and Attendees,
Thank you for your continued interest and support of the PRI Trade Show. I have been attending the PRI Show for over 20 years, but there has never been a year like this. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all aspects of American life, including the racing industry. This letter is intended to help inform you of the latest news on the 2020 PRI Trade Show, as well as to help you understand what the PRI team is working on to ensure that the Show can go on. Above all, I want you to know that we will do what is right for the industry.
I know that you have a lot of questions and concerns right now, and I want to help answer those. To be clear, at this moment, the 2020 PRI Trade Show will be held at the Indiana Convention Center on December 10-12 as scheduled. We have over 940 exhibitors who have registered in anticipation of displaying their racing products. We are working closely with the Visit Indy team, the Indiana Convention Center staff, and other Indianapolis officials including the Office of the Mayor of Indianapolis to ensure that we can offer you a safe and productive Trade Show.
Indianapolis – For J.R. Todd, the two-time U.S. Nationals winner, getting back to the track in Indianapolis is always a special event. It is a track where he raced junior dragsters growing up and then captured the biggest single day win in drag racing not just once but twice. The second win paved the way for his first NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car world championship in 2018. This weekend Todd and his DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car team will be rolling on the property for the third installment off the NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis as the pandemic affected NHRA season marches on.
“I love racing at Indy,” said Todd. “Lots of history here for me personally and for the sport of NHRA. This will be our third shot at getting another win and I like our chances. We are making good runs on Saturday and we just need to string a few more round wins together on Sunday.”
For Todd the chance to go rounds on Sunday could lead to another move up the Mello Yello Funny Car point standings. He is tied for sixth place and is just 63 points out of fourth. A strong race this weekend could help the former Funny Car champ reel in the top three Funny Cars.
Indianapolis – For Top Fuel point leader Doug Kalitta this weekend’s race could not get here fast enough. Since the start of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season Kalitta has had the best race car, the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, in any of the categories across the series. He has raced to three final rounds including a season opening win at the Winternationals. Two weeks ago he stumbled dropping a quarterfinal race to Justin Ashley snapping his final round streak at four races total extending all the way back to the Auto Club Finals in November of 2019.
“My crew chief Rob Flynn and the boys have this Mac Tools dragster running awesome,” said Kalitta. “We went blue last week with new sponsor Osborn and we didn’t get as far into the race as we would have liked. Those guys were great to have at the track and I know we connected them with some of our other partners. You love having new sponsors come to the races and we got a lot of quality time with them.”
For Kalitta this season is one more in a long list of successful endeavors. Earlier this year he picked up his 700th round win and he is two wins away from 50 career Top Fuel victories. As the point leader the veteran driver knows he has a bulls-eye on his back every time he comes to the starting line.
Indianapolis – Heading into the fifth race of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season Shawn Langdon and his DHL/Kalitta Air Top Fuel team can feel some momentum building. For the third consecutive race the team will be racing in Indianapolis and the familiarity of the facility does give Langdon some motivation as well as stability. The NHRA Nationals will kick off with one day of qualifying on Saturday followed by eliminations on Sunday format which will air live on FOX.
“I know NHRA is doing everything they can to keep the season going,” said Langdon. “We should be in Denver this weekend and we are hoping to get there later this season. Everyone is working to keep the fans and teams safe so we just race when and where they tell us to race. It is great to be back at in the track in Indy and it sort of feels like we are racing for the track championship coming back for the third week but there is a Top Fuel championship on the line instead.”
The 2013 NHRA Top Fuel world champion is currently No. 7 in the Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings. The battle in the middle of the standings is tight with only 54 points (less than three rounds of racing) separating Langdon from the No. 3 spot. His teammate Doug Kalitta continues to have a commanding lead but Langdon knows he wants to get up closer to the Mac Tools dragster.
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