Total of five Team JEGS cars are entered at Lucas Oil Raceway
INDIANAPOLIS – Pro Stock points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. is used to keeping his foot on the gas, something the six-time world champion promises to continue when drag racing returns to Lucas Oil Raceway for this weekend’s Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals, the third straight national event at the historic quarter-mile strip.
“I think we’re all coming to the realization of how quickly things can change during this pandemic,” Coughlin Jr. said. “We’ve seen races being rescheduled, postponed or even cancelled outright this year so we’re just going to treat every single one we go to like it’s the final race of the Countdown to the Championship and the title is on the line.
“Really, dating back to last year’s championship chase, Rickie (Jones, crew chief) has been very aggressive with the tune-up and the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro has really responded well. We finished strong last year and we’re off to an incredible start this year so there’s no reason to change our tactics.”
Coughlin powered from eighth to second place in the six races of last year’s championship charge, racing to a win and two runner-up results in the final three events. This year, he’s got a win and a runner-up in the three national events contested so far.
Global Electronic Technology Joins Krista Baldwin Racing for the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Presented by Pennzoil
Brownsburg, IN – Global Electronic Technology, the fastest name in credit card processing, is expanding their branding within the NHRA to include the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks. Krista Baldwin’s A/Fuel Dragster team is ready to hit the track for the first time in 2020 at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals Presented by Pennzoil with Global Electronic Technology as her partner. Baldwin joins Paul Lee (Fuel Funny Car) and Antron Brown (Top Fuel) as a Global Electronic Technology teammate.
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Baldwin will hit the track for the first time in 2020 this weekend. With many top cars arriving for the 8-car field, the competition will be cut throat and Baldwin will be on her game. Her and crew chief, Anthony Dicero, tested the A/Fuel dragster two months ago and the results proved they are ready for great success.
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.
Maple Grove race moves to Virginia on a new date
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – As the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) enters what is now the halfway point in its 2020 season, the all-eighth-mile series has announced updates to its schedule and its rulebook.
The PDRA and its racers will have to wait at least a year to make their Maple Grove Raceway debut, as local restrictions on spectator events have forced the cancellation of the PDRA Northern Nationals, originally scheduled for Aug. 20-22 at Maple Grove.
“Maple Grove Raceway was optimistic for the event and the start of a wonderful partnership,” said Sarah Gingrich-Manley, director of communications, Maple Grove Raceway. “The Pennsylvania governor has not yet lifted the 250-person gathering restriction at this time. We submitted a plan to the Department of Health in order to be granted an exception to the restriction weeks ago. However, we still have not heard back yet. In the interest of everyone’s time, money and safety, we mutually agreed to cancel the event this year. We are hopeful for a return of PDRA for the 2021 schedule.”
What was supposed to be the Northern Nationals is moving to Virginia Motorsports Park, the series home track. The PDRA Summer Shootout presented by Callies Performance Products will take place Aug. 27-29 at VMP.
YORBA LINDA, CA – After four months of postponement and ever-changing scenarios, NHRA went forward with a revised Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule that restarted with two-consecutive races at the storied Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana. Sixteen-time Funny Car world champion and NHRA legend John Force sidelined his four-car team for the restart of the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The driver of the PEAK BlueDEF Chevrolet Camaro SS announced today that John Force Racing will remain parked for the 2020 season in order to come back at championship caliber.
“When I first got into racing, I always had a love for cars, I loved the comradery of the team, I loved the competition. As I evolved, I realized what it took to become a winner. It took money and that’s when I started chasing corporate America. I had no personal wealth, I had to find sponsors to get me the crew chiefs I needed to win,” said Force, owner and CEO of John Force Racing. “As the winning happened, I found a new love. The fans. The fans are what kept me motivated and made me never ever think anything would come to an end. Even in the hardest of times, I call them crossroads, I got through it with the help of the fans and my sponsors. I went from a one car team to a multi-car team, to having machine shops, chassis shops and paint shops and the technology to win.
OAKDALE, NY – Johnny Pluchino’s quest for his first PDRA Extreme Pro Stock world championship received a major boost on July 25 when the second-generation driver scored his second event victory of the season at the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown at Virginia Motorsports Park.
The win gives Pluchino extra confidence as he prepares for his first quarter-mile NHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock race of 2020 at the NHRA Indy Nationals, Aug. 6-9.
“This is just another brick in the road to the championship,” said Pluchino, a two-time PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 world champion. “It’s one race at a time. You keep stacking trophies, you’ll get a big one at the end of the year. That’s the goal.”
After bowing out in the semifinals at the PDRA Carolina Showdown in June, Pluchino started looking for ways to step up his performance at Virginia. He found what he needed during a prerace test session in his Kaase-powered Strutmasters.com ’13 Mustang.
MENARDS NHRA HEARTLAND NATIONALS PRESENTED BY MINTIES POSTPONED UNTIL FALL DUE TO COUNTY RESTRICTIONS
GLENDORA, CA – NHRA announced today that the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park, scheduled for Aug. 21-23 in Topeka, Kan., has been postponed until the fall with an exact date to be determined, for pandemic-related reasons.
NHRA and Heartland Motorsports Park are working together with the Shawnee County Health Department to develop a plan to reschedule the event.
“Topeka is fortunate to have a county health department that sincerely cares about public safety and also understands the economic impact of one of Kansas’ largest events,” said Heartland Motorsports Park owner, Chris Payne. “It is after many conversations, the decision was made to postpone the event to the fall. Heartland Motorsports Park holds many milestone records. The cooler fall weather will not only be more comfortable for the spectators, but also brings favorable conditions, great racing, camping, and the chance of setting new records.”