Montreal, Quebec – The Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame was thrilled to celebrate another year of outstanding achievements from the drag racing community. The 6th Edition of the Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame Gala was held, for the first time, in the showroom of the luxurious Lamborghini Montreal Dealership on Saturday, November 19th.
Inductees from previous years, and their families, were invited to this evening of celebration, where they enjoyed the annual induction ceremony, dinner, live entertainment, and the many beautiful cars on display. 17 new inductees were welcomed into the 2022 Hall of Fame; they were presented with the traditional custom-tailored blue CDRHF blazer and personalized ring.
Arnie Malcolm from Ottawa, Ontario.
Bill Clarke from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Bill Richards from Kitchener, Ontario.
Richard Mowat from Kitchener, Ontario.
Tony Pontieri from Bolton, Ontario.
Bill Sheppard from Lakeview, Nova Scotia.
BRADENTON, FL – After two rounds of Outlaw Pro Mod qualifying at the 51st annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals presented by Motion Raceworks, Melanie Salemi is the provisional low qualifier with a 3.589-second pass at 206.95 MPH in the second session Friday night at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Along with two rounds of Pro Mod qualifying, the complete Snowbirds lineup, from Pro 275 to Jr. Dragster classes, also received one round of qualifying to kick off the historic event.
Salemi rolled into the Snowbirds with one of the quickest cars in Pro Mod, Eddie Whelan’s roots-blown Slice-and-Ice ’19 Camaro. Throughout the 2022 season, she reached the final round at multiple independent Pro Mod races, won a PDRA Pro Boost race, and qualified No. 1 four times in Pro Boost competition. Even with a weight penalty for her combination, Salemi and her family-based team, led by husband Jon and brother-in-law Jim, managed to take the top spot.
Springfield, IL – The World Drag Racing Alliance announced today that the newly created sanctioning body and Summit Racing Equipment have created an alliance to support the bracket racing community with Summit Racing’s new sponsorship of the WDRA Sportsman Drag Racing Series. The quarter million-dollar Summit Sportsman Drag Racing Series (SSDRS) will include the race for the track championship at member WDRA tracks during the year, the WDRA Summit Bracket Finals series of events and the WDRA Summit World Championships at Darlington Dragway to conclude the season.
“We are beyond thrilled to have the leading supporter of sportsman racing programs join the WDRA in providing huge opportunity and national exposure to our network of US and Canadian member tracks and the bracket racers that support them,” said WDRA’s Don Scott. “Summit Racing Equipment has a long history of supporting their drag racing customers and we look forward to doing our part to carry on that tradition,” said Scott.
The Summit Sportsman Drag Racing Series will begin January 1, 2023 and the goal of the program is to find the best racers at each WDRA member track and gather them together in head-to-head competition at the Summit Bracket Finals and the individual WDRA track champions at the Summit World Finals at Darlington Dragway in October.
INDIANAPOLIS – Tickets are now on sale for Drag Illustrated After Hours Powered by VP Racing, a party hosted by Drag Illustrated magazine during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show week. DI After Hours Powered by VP Racing will take over INVY Nightclub in Indianapolis on Thursday, Dec. 8.
“Everybody has been asking us when they can get tickets for the party, so we’re excited to finally make them available,” said J.T. Hudson, VP of business development & client relations, Drag Illustrated. “We encourage everyone to get their tickets online so they’re ready to go for the busy PRI Show week. Also, be sure to swing by the DI booth on Thursday to pick up an early access pass!”
Now in its seventh year, DI After Hours Powered by VP Racing has become a must-attend gathering during the PRI Show week, attracting attendees from all corners of the drag racing world.
VISTA, CA – On Saturday night, December 3, the Inaugural Lions Automobilia Foundation Awards Dinner and Silent Auction will be held celebrating the “Golden Anniversary of the Last Drag Race.” The sold-out event will be dedicated to recognizing those who influenced Southern California Motorsports and inspired its car culture lifestyle. Drag racing legend Don Prudhomme will join Mickey Thompson, Ed Iskenderian, Vic Edelbrock Sr., and CJ Pappy Hart as a member of the first Hall of Fame class. Already a member of the Drag Racing Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the SEMA Hall of Fame and recognized as a Texas Motorplex Legend, Bristol Dragway’s Legends of Thunder Valley and the No. 3 racer on the NHRA’s list of “The 50 Top Drivers of All Time,” Prudhomme feels this induction is a tremendous honor.
“I have been inducted into just about every Hall of Fame there is but getting inducted to the Lions Drag Strip Hall of Fame is special,” said Prudhomme. “There is so much history at that track and the drivers who raced there made drag racing what it is today. I have too many people to thank but I will say I appreciate everyone that came to the races, bought a t-shirt and cheered us on when we were just getting started. For me Lion’s Drag Strip will always be one of my favorite tracks.”
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA officials announced today Craig Curdie as the new Northeast Division Director (Division 1), overseeing NHRA member tracks in Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia as well as tracks in Canadian providences New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
“I am looking forward to working with the thousands of passionate and dedicated competitors, crew members and family members to continue and expand upon the outstanding reputation of the NHRA,” said Curdie. “Fan engagement is also very important to me. I, like many others, used to be that little boy who took his toy cars everywhere, and would freeze when a louder-than-normal engine or piece of heavy equipment drove past. The ability to be part of the moment where you can literally watch a little kid become a gearhead is truly indescribable.”
Curdie comes to the role from Feld Entertainment. For the past decade, he worked in production with touring groups such as Monster Jam and Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey, and was most recently a tour manager for Monster Jam.
INDIANAPOLIS – NHRA official announced Nick Duty as the new NHRA West Central (Division 5) Division Director. With his role, Duty will oversee NHRA member tracks in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
“I have been involved in weekly drag racing, as an employee and operator, since I was 12 years old,” Duty said. “I am looking forward to taking everything that I’ve learned at the track level and bringing a unique perspective to NHRA. Drag racing is evolving quickly and I’m excited about working for an organization that leads the industry and is embracing the future.”
Before coming to the NHRA, Duty spent time managing North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas and later Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Nobe, Oklahoma.
Rice, who started with NHRA in 2001, served as the Division Director of Division 7 for 16 years. In his new role as NHRA Sr. Director of Competition, Rice will lead tower operations at all NHRA national events, coordinate and maintain daily on-track schedules, and communicate with race teams. Mike will also be instrumental in guiding the Division Directors with his years of experience.
With Rice in his new role as NHRA Sr. Director of Competition, DeYoung will step into the Division 7, working with the NHRA member tracks in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Hawaii. Prior to his new role, DeYoung managed Tucson Dragway for five years.
OCALA, FL – As Josh Hart’s rookie season ended in 2021 the rookie driver invited a long-time business associate and friend to the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Chris Armstrong, a fellow Ocala, Florida resident, was familiar with Hart’s Burnyzz Speed Shop and satellite businesses but had not seen him in action at an NHRA national event. After a weekend at the track Armstrong’s previous experience and memories of a life in motorsports were rekindled and he began to talk with Hart how he could assist the young team owner in expanding his Top Fuel racing operation.
“My brother and I used to own a circle track. We built it up and had four late model teams,” said Armstrong. “I have always had a passion for racing competition. We sold the facility and my life went in a different direction. I was involved with building the new Burnyzz Speed Shop facility and we had been friends for years. He invited me to the Las Vegas race in 2021 and it literally captured me. I am 53 years old, and I can’t just go play football, or softball anymore, But I am still a very competitive person. So I fell in love with that side of this business and sport. That’s what drew me in, it was the competitive nature of this sport, and all these teams, and also my respect for Josh and who he is as a man, a father, and a competitor.”
BRADENTON, FL – Longtime boat racer Dustin Nesloney moved over to land-based Pro Modified drag racing in search of a new challenge. He found that and then some, competing in the Mid-West Drag Racing Series, where the Texas native won the 2022 Pro Mod championship. Now, Nesloney has his sights set on the $100,000-to-win 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“I’m definitely proud and honored to be invited to run with some of the top guys in Pro Mod,” said Nesloney, who won three races in five final-round appearances this season. “To be able to run against people that I’ve looked up to and admire is going to be an awesome deal.”
Even though Nesloney’s ProCharger-boosted ’17 Camaro proved itself throughout the 2022 MWDRS season, it will soon be replaced by a brand-new Camaro. The new car will continue to use a ProCharger-boosted engine prepared by Pro Line Racing and tuned by Brandon Stroud.