Written by Todd Veney/Pro Sportsman Association
Photo by David Smith
DAVENPORT, IA – To fans, races are won and lost by drivers, but drivers know the real truth: drag racing is a team sport. Chris Foster may be the one who’s handed the trophy at the end of the race, and it’s his name that’s listed in the NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car points standings, but at Foster Racing, he is but one man on a 10-man team.
“We all spend a lot of time on this car,” says Foster, who won the Division 3 championship last year and the Norwalk regional event last month. “My dad and my stepdad are both semi-retired and put in a lot of time on it. My dad spends five or six hours a day working on the car and I’m here after work till midnight every night, and that really makes a difference. A race car is just like a wife – it likes lots of attention.”
Foster first attracted national attention in 2009, when he won his first NHRA event and, ultimately, that year’s Division 3 title. He began his Funny Car career in the Midwest Funny Car Association, racing off of a 7.50 Index, and progressed to UDRA in 1996, to IHRA in 2001, and, in 2006, to NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car competition, where today he is a two-time Top 10 driver, a two-time Division 3 champion, and a seven-time winner on the Lucas Oil Series tour.
Courtesy of NVW Motorsports Promotion
JOLIET, IL – Popular Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Cassie Simonton enters this weekend’s Route 66 NHRA Nationals with the intentions of building on the success she experienced in qualifying at the Lucas Oil Series event held here just a few weeks ago. She earned the first #1 qualifying position for both herself and team owner Spiro Kontos. Now competing against twice the drivers she out-qualified last time, Simonton and the Kon Rodz Racing team are eager to prove that they are a consistent threat in the competitive class.
“Obviously that was a big confidence booster for us, as a team. We’re going to try to push for that again. We’ve always had good luck at Route 66 Raceway. We have good data for this track and the car runs well in the heat, so we should be able to build from that to have a good car throughout qualifying and eliminations,” Simonton says.
Written by Steve Bunker
Boise, ID – Rod Burbage drove his Spec-Rite Converter sponsored 1958 Corvette to a win this past weekend at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho. With a short field Burbage grabbed the number one qualifying position away from Dan Nickelson during the final qualifying session.
Nickelson came out of the box with a 6.271 @ 230.41 in the first qualifying session on Friday evening to take to top spot when no one else could get down the 115 degree track. The New Family had the track prepped the best they could given the conditions but most of the drivers still overpowered the track.
During the second qualifying session on Saturday the track came around and so did the performances. Burbage ran a 6.311 @ 223.93 to bump into the number two spot; Andy Neyer was in third with a 6.649 @ 210.03.
Courtesy of Jegs
CHICAGO, IL – With one national event in the books since decorated crew chief Eddie Guarnaccia joined the JEGS.com race team, driver Jeg Coughlin Jr. says his optimism about the season has exponentially grown.
The month of June has been extremely busy for the Delaware, Ohio-based organization. Guarnaccia was added to the roster on June 4 at the conclusion of the national event in Englishtown, N.J. The team quickly scheduled a test session in Bristol, Tenn., which was followed by the national event at the same facility. After that, another test was conducted in Norwalk, Ohio.
“Things have been happening at a pretty brisk pace,” Coughlin said as he prepares for this weekend’s 15th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill. “We tested right away after hiring Eddie because there was a lot of things he wanted to get done. We got most of that stuff changed over before Bristol and then kind of expanded on it some more during the national event.
Courtesy of NVW Motorsports Promotion
JOLIET, IL – Greg Hunter and the ExactAir/Kenny Gilmour Motorsports Top Alcohol Dragster team are in for one of the toughest TAD races in the country, the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway near Chicago. The centrally located track and prestigious Jegs Allstars race-within-a-race attract the top cars from around the U.S. and Canada. Greg hopes to be one of the sixteen cars racing on Saturday night.
“We’re going to have to run in the 5.3s in order to qualify well here. After running in Denver at the regional, we’re confident in our car. Now we have a baseline tune-up that we can use to build on and hopefully go a little quicker,” said Hunter.
The former alcohol funny car driver is enjoying his first season in a “long car”. Under the watchful eye of team owner and crew chief Kenny Gilmour, Hunter has earned two round wins in just his first few races.
Courtesy of Route 66
Joliet, IL – This afternoon Route 66 Raceway debuted a refreshed logo and brand direction at a press conference in downtown Chicago with NHRA stars Tony Schumacher, Courtney Force, Antron Brown and Robert Hight on hand kicking off the 15th running of the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals taking place this weekend.
The refreshed logo maintains the classic Route 66 shield and wings that race fans have come to know, but has been updated with a new bold font and brushed aluminum feel.
“We are very proud of our rich history at Route 66 Raceway and are fortunate to have a state-of-the art drag racing facility in a community such as Joliet that embraced us 14 years ago when we stamped our name along historic Route 66” said Scott Paddock, Route 66 Raceway president.
Courtesy of WFO
HOLLYWOOD, FL – Antron Brown, “Big Show” Keith Graham, Bobby Bennett, and Robert Glafka all join Joe Castello, along with the NHRA’s Alan Reinhart, on WFO Radio NHRA Nitro. To listen now, go to http://www.wforadio.com/
Antron Brown,driver of the Aaron’s Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, stops by WFO Radio to talk about his appearance on hit A&E television show, Storage Wars. Brown previews the episode, discusses how he became friends with Storage Wars star Barry Weiss, and his team’s performance heading into Chicago.
“Big Show” Keith Graham, crew member for Rodger Brogdon’s Pro Stock team, gives “behind the scenes” insight on his responsibilities working on the NHRA tour.
Courtesy of Jegs
From the time they arrive at in town for the annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals, the Coughlin’s will maintain a busy schedule that includes both racing and numerous personal appearances.
Mike is one of 80 qualifiers for the annual JEGS Allstars competition, which will be held Saturday, and Troy Jr. will be racing his JEGS.com dragster in the Super Comp class at the regular national event. When they are not strapped into the seat of their race cars, Mike and Troy Jr. both plan to be very active participants in the JEGS Allstars festivities.
“I look forward to this event ever year and that’s certainly true this year because I will be racing in it,” Mike said. “The JEGS Allstars is a very big deal for everyone at JEGS. It’s one of many ways we show our support for the sportsman racers who help support us. Plus, it’s a really fun time for everyone involved.”
As usual, Mike plans to be a gracious host for the racers who have traveled from all over the United States for the JEGS Allstars race, particularly during Saturday evening’s post-race awards banquet. However, his hospitality only goes so far. When he’s behind the wheel of his 200-mph Chevy Cobalt Top Sportsman car, Mike will be looking to win the race, and help his North Central Division teammates claim their first overall team title since 2009.
Courtesy of Maddern Racing
Joliet, IL – Chris Demke and the Maddern Racing gang roll into Route 66 Raceway this weekend for a second time this month. The world class facility is the same, but this time around it’s going to be a wee bit crazier. It’s a National event combined with the Jegs AllStars competition. A double whammy with twenty-seven Alcohol Dragsters entered. That’s quite a difference from the limited numbers at the Regional event. That was a battle, this is all out war.
“The best of the best are here, and I expect it to be quite the spectacle,” said Demke. “When you have a National event there is always great competition. Adding the Jegs AllStars race really ramps up the talent. The top cars from around the country are here representing their division. We are very proud to be the last Division 7 representative since the change to the Regional system.”
Courtesy of Quick 32
It was a great weekend, said Top Dragster driver Mike Hinbest of Orangeville, Ontario who won the third race of the 2012 season. Everything came together.
With the supercharged-powered Mike Bos-chassied dragster, Hinbest, who qualified fourth in Top Dragster, defeated the Top Sportsman entry of Spencer Hyde of Stratford, Ontario with his Hyde Racing 1968 Camaro.
The Quick 32 Sportsman Series is comprised of a 16-car Top Dragster field and 16-car Top Sportsman field. Each field races against each other, and the finalist in each races in an event final. The cars compete in a Sportsman-style, dial-in format using the full Christmas Tree at the starting line.