Schumacher’s Streak of Final-Round Appearances Ends with First Run of Eliminations;
Defending Series Champ Brown Powers His Way to Season’s First Event Title
Tony Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), whose crew chief is Mike Green, made an uncharacteristically early exit Sunday from the 44th Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla., when an apparent mechanical issue led him to badly smoke his tires just after launching from the starting line in his first-round matchup with Khalid alBalooshi. Continue reading
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Antron Brown raced to the Top Fuel victory at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals Sunday at historic Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, giving Don Schumacher Racing its 200th team win.
Johnny Gray (Funny Car), Allen Johnson (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the tradition-rich NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
One month after walking away from a spectacular high-speed crash at the season-opening race at Pomona, Calif., Brown powered his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.761 second run at 318.77 mph to finish in front of Clay Millican, who posted a 3.813 at 319.67 in his Parts-Plus dragster. It was defending world champion Brown’s 38th career victory and his first of the season.
“It’s a great team effort,” Brown said. “It felt good to bring that win home and hopefully we can put Pomona behind us and keep moving forward.” Continue reading
Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champ Claims First East Victory
Dylan Kwasniewski, 17, bested the legendary .533-mile high-banked oval and the other 35 competitors on Saturday to win the DRIVE4COPD 125 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship season opener.
Kwasniewski, the reigning K&N Pro Series West champion out of Las Vegas, Nev., took the lead on Lap 30 after pole sitter and race leader Michael McGuire got tangled up with lapped traffic under caution. Kwasniewski – behind the wheel of his No. 98 Royal Purple/Rockstar Energy Drink Chevrolet – was able to hold off runner-up Brett Moffitt on seven subsequent restarts to pick up his first East victory in his fourth series outing. Continue reading
Grabs Whelen Southern Modified Victory With Late Dash
ASHEBORO, N.C. — Jason Myers went from settling for a fight over second place to sitting in Victory Lane at Caraway Speedway Saturday night.
The Walnut Cove, N.C., driver edged George Brunnhoelzl III on a green-white-checkered finish that extended the Charles Kepley Memorial 150 to 153 laps.
The final caution in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season opener was brought out when race leader Tim Brown suddenly slowed on the frontstretch. Brown, who won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day, had led race-high 96 laps and had built a lead of nearly two seconds. While Brown was pulling away, Myers was all over Brunnhoelzl’s back bumper in what looked to be a fight for a runner-up finish.
Instead, Brown’s misfortune set up a battle on the race’s final restart. Brunnhoelzl slipped up as they drag raced down the front stretch, which allowed Myers to get away en route to his third career victory in his 97th start. Continue reading
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 16, 2013) – Qualifying has concluded at the 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville, and Don Schumacher Racing’s Pitch Energy Dodge Funny Car driver Johnny Gray is situated pleasingly near the very top of the line-up. As the No. 2 qualifier, the Artesia, N.M.-based Gray will square off with Jeff Arend in the first round of eliminations on Sunday, a challenge he is eagerly anticipating after what is already proving to be a rewarding weekend.
On Friday, the first day of qualifying, Gray powered the stunning Pitch Energy Dodge to an awesome 4.071 at 313.22 mph in the second session to vault all the way up to the No. 2 position and nab top speed honors. Gray’s prime positioning was protected through the remainder of the sessions leading up to raceday, including a rocket-like blast in the third qualifying session when he clocked a best-of-the-round 4.079 at 308.07 mph in his Rob Wendland/Rip Reynolds-tuned hot rod.
“This team is just having a blast out here already, and tomorrow it’s only going to get better,” said Gray, who entered the event fifth in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car points. “We made a pretty nice run yesterday with the Pitch Energy Dodge. It rattled the tires just a little bit, but it made it. We were second-quickest of the day, so we were reasonably happy. But that run here this morning was really, really smooth. It just felt awesome. Tomorrow is a whole new ballgame, but we feel very comfortable this weekend. We have a good racecar, and I suspect we’ll go some rounds with the Pitch Energy Dodge.”
KALITTA, C. PEDREGON, EDWARDS AND SMITH CLAIM NO. 1 QUALIFYING POSITIONS AT AMALIE OIL NHRA GATORNATIONALS
Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were No. 1 qualifiers and will lead their categories into Sunday’s 11 a.m. eliminations at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.
Kalitta claimed his second straight top qualifying effort of the season and 33rd of his career with a 3.779 second run at 326.32 mph in his 8,000-horsepower Mac Tools dragster. Kalitta moved around defending world champ Antron Brown on his final qualifying attempt to claim the No. 1 spot at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. Kalitta will face rookie Leah Pruett in the first round.
Brown, who briefly held the top spot late Saturday with a 3.787 at 324.20 in his Matco Tools dragster, will start second and face three-time world champ Larry Dixon in the opening round.
“I was surprised when Antron went out there and ran that .78 because everybody was bunched closer than that,” Kalitta said. “Hats off to Jim (Oberhofer, crew chief) and all my guys and the decision they made at the end to get it to run like that. It was nice and straight and planted to the middle of the grove and I am really looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully the conditions will be the same as today and we won’t have to mess with our tune-up much and put a string of runs together tomorrow.” Continue reading
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were qualifying leaders in their categories at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.
Two-time world champ Pedregon, whose only win at this event came in 1998, powered his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry to the provisional No. 1 position with a performance of 4.047 seconds at 296.05 mph. If the effort holds through Saturday’s final two qualifying sessions (11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.) it will be his fourth No. 1 at this event and the 51st of his career. Continue reading
Already boasting three talented young drivers in its stable, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced the addition of a fourth today, with the signing of 16-year-old Erik Jones. The 2013 Snowball Derby winner will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut driving the No. 51 Tundra in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway April 6 as part of a five-race schedule for KBM this season.
Last March, Jones became the first 15-year-old driver ever to compete in the ARCA Racing Series, making his debut at the Mobile ARCA 200. Across 10 ARCA Racing Series starts in 2012, he posted four top-five and five top-10 finishes while leading 103 laps. The talented youngster qualified inside the top 10 for all 10 races and twice posted third-place finishes, June 24 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway and Aug. 11 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. Continue reading
THOMPSON, CT The roar of the engines will once again fill the air at the Thompson International Speedway when the track opens for the first of two pre-season practice sessions on Saturday, March 30th. Each year, the first open practice session is very important to competitors and this year it will be of particular importance to the drivers of the former Thompson Modified division.
Nearly every TIS Modified team has moved to a new division at the track and each will be faced with challenges as they adapt to new cars and drivers in a completely different class of race cars. The Thompson Late Model class has become the division of choice for the majority of the TIS Modified Drivers. Continue reading
For the second consecutive day, Will Power behind the wheel of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet topped the leaderboard at the end of the second day of the Barber Open Test for the IZOD IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park. Power, who has won two of the three races, held to-date at the road course, just outside Birmingham, Alabama, set the fastest lap with a time of 01:07.1329, and a speed of 123.337 m.p.h.
Giving Chevrolet V6 IndyCar the top-two in the final order was James Hinchcliffe, No. 27 GoDaddy.com Andretti Autosport Chevrolet with a lap time of 01:07.3839 at 122.878 m.p.h.
“It has been a very productive two-day test for our Chevrolet teams,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Motorsports Program Manager, IZOD IndyCar Series. “We have learned a great deal for the start of the season; especially for the race here at Barber Motorsports Park the first weekend in April. Testing gives the drivers and team engineers, working closely with our technical partners, the ability to evaluate a variety of setups and calibrations to see how the car reacts. We are looking forward to the first race on the streets of St. Petersburg and getting this season started.” Continue reading