Delehay Captures Iron Man at IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals
(07-08-2014) Edmonton, AB –The big winner at IHRA’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals was Joe Delehay, who set both ends of the track record and topped a few personal bests on his way to capturing the Ironman in Pro Modified. Driving a beautiful blue and silver ’68 Camaro, Delehay qualified first and was the quickest and fastest driver all weekend on his way to his first win at the Rocky Mountain Nationals.
“We have been away from this race for three years and it was great to once again put on a show for these fans,” Delehay said. “Tim McAmis built us a great racecar. It goes right down the track every time, straight as an arrow, and has been really good to us. We came here in August of last year and won the race. We went to Las Vegas and won the race. Now we come here and win again to make it three-in-a-row. That is not too bad.”
With everyone on the property gunning for the weekend’s number one qualifier, Delehay’s final-round opponent, Garry Weslosky, got ahead of himself, going red and allowing Delehay to make a victory pass of 6.086 at 238.72 for the win.
Delehay, trying to put down the first five-second Pro Mod pass in Castrol Raceway history, flirted with the record all weekend long, coming as close as 6.001 Saturday evening. But on Sunday, Delehay shifted his focus from records to an Ironman as he weaved his way through Kerry Stone and Glen Kerunsky on his way to the win.
“We actually hadn’t run this car since November. We put the car together, put a new blower on it, new gear ratio, new combination and started the weekend pretty safe in our setup, but we stepped it up as the weekend went along,” Delehay said. “We were so close to that five-second mark. We thought we were there a couple of times, but we just came up short. Still, we set a few records and came away with the win and we are pretty happy about that.”
Courtesy of the International Hot Rod Association
Rowe & Matusek Expecting Fireworks in Norwalk
(07-03-2014) NORWALK, OH – Coming off yet another strong outing during the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod drivers Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek are ready to make some noise this weekend at fan-friendly Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
“This is as wound up as we’ve been prior to a race,” says Matusek, who earned his career-first NHRA Pro Mod Final round appearance two weeks ago at Bristol Dragway. “I’ve been saying it a lot lately and it’s not meant to discount anyone else’s program, but I truly believe that Danny and I would have the best cars on the property right now anywhere we unloaded them. Jimmy [Rector, crew chief] and this crew are second to none and they’ve got a handle on these Agave Underground hot rods – there’s no way around it. We’re ready to get after it; I had a taste there in Bristol with our trip to the final, but we want to put a bow on it this time around.”
Matusek, founder and president of industry-leading high performance fuel system manufacturer Aeromotive, Inc., is also looking forward to his annual trip to Norwalk based on he and his company’s long running relationship with Summit Racing Equipment and their participation this year in Aeromotive’s “Dealer of the Race” program.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to have Summit Racing Equipment involved with this program,” says Matusek. “It’s a great opportunity to not only carry the Summit flag on the side of our supercharged Pro Mod Camaro for the weekend, but also to bring all the Summit Racing Equipment guys into the pits and show them a good time. We’re really looking forward to it.”
Danny Rowe, team owner and driver, is looking to capitalize on the nearly unrivaled performance of his Jimmy Rector-tuned ‘68 Camaro thus far in 2014.
“We’re very happy with the way things have gone in the first half of the year,” says Rowe, who has qualified no lower than fourth in the last three races and number one at the season-opener. “Bringing in Steve and having the success we’ve had with both cars has been very encouraging, but we’re looking at our weekend in Norwalk as a great opportunity to get the job done and put one of these Agave Underground cars in the winner’s circle.
“We’re fourth and fifth in the points, so a final round appearance for each of us would be a great way to send us into our summer break,” continues Rowe, speaking of the nearly two month layoff for the NHRA Pro Mod Series after Norwalk and before the U.S. Nationals. “With only 10 races you have to do everything you can to keep your team in the hunt all year and not fall too far out of contention. We’re in a really good place right now and we’re excited to spend our Fourth of July weekend at the drag races.”
The Real Deal On The C7 Pro Mod Body
(06-30-2014) HAWK POINT, MO- It seems that over the last few days, a couple of renderings of a brand-new C7 Pro Mod Body have popped up on the internet with quite a bit of false information. As we’ve got a hotline to one of the guys developing the product, one Tim McAmis of Tim McAmis Race Cars, we went right to the source for information. In fact, we’ve been sitting on actual photos of development process and body for several weeks now, while Tim and team prepare to divulge the product’s specifics.
According to McAmis, “There seems to be some confusion circulating regarding the 2014 C7 body that is soon to be released. To set the record straight, here is some factual information. Tim Hodgins of Cynergy Composites is responsible for the development of the C7 in conjunction with Tim McAmis Race Cars. Currently, no bodies are available. Tim McAmis Performance Parts will be the exclusive distributor for the C7 and will begin accepting orders in late July or early August. Velocity Composites will manufacture all C7 bodies which will be available in fiberglass, carbon fiber and light weight carbon fiber. This rendition was created from the actual plug. The others circulating were some of the early concepts created by Stu Wotypka of ID Motorsports Designs who also worked with Tim Hodgins through the entire design and development process of this body.”
As the C7 is finalized for production in the coming weeks, we here at Dragzine will be posting an exclusive, behind the scenes look detailing the cutting-edge process used to create this product. McAmis says, “Anything published elsewhere can be considered a rumor, or entirely false.”
Article Courtesy of Dragzine
Moits Racing’s Mustang First Pass
(06-27-2014) MARTIN, MI – Check out the video of Paul Mouhayet’s first full pass in his new TMRC-built Moits Racing Mustang!
Rob Atchison wins PMRA race & 23rd Ironman Trophy
(06-24-2014) GRAND BEND, ONTARIO – He’s been to the winner’s circle many times in his drag racing career, but his first win in the Pro Modified Racing Association was special and jubilant for Rob Atchison.
Driving the Atchison Racing 1963 Corvette Pro Modified, Atchison won the PMRA race during the MOPAR IHRA Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex over the weekend.
The win was his first in the PMRA, and the win also gave him his 23rd IHRA Ironman trophy.
“This was great finally being able to get the Pro Modified up and down the track,” said a pleased Atchison after the final round. “It was great to be able to finally succeed.”
Atchison is no stranger to winning in the sport. The London Ontario driver is a three-time IHRA Funny Car World Champion and won 22 national events during that time. He and his team went PMRA Pro Modified racing three years ago, and after struggling with the car, their work came to fruition at Grand Bend.
“Driving a Pro Modified is so much different from the Funny Car,” he explained. “But we got it all together this weekend. The car was awesome.”
In the final round, Atchison was paired with number two qualifier Jeff Roth of New Hamburg Ontario. Roth had good laps throughout the event, but got sideways right out of the box and had to back out of it, while Atchison went on to a 6.070, 236.28 winning pass.
Atchison led qualifying with the Corvette, posting a 6.021, 237.96 to lead going into eliminations. Roth with his 1941 Willys was next, followed by Bruce Boland of Stoney Creek Ontario.
In the elimination rounds, Atchison defeated number eight Paolo Giust of Osgood Ontario in a close first-round match, and fourth-seeded Toronto’s Mike Yedgarian in the second round to meet up with Roth. Meanwhile Roth shut down Denis Lachance of Quebec City who qualified seventh in another close first-round race, and then eliminated number six qualifier Jason Kalso of Clarkston Michigan in the semi. Boland and number five qualifier Derek Hawker of Corbyville Ontario were both first-round victims.
For more 18th Annual Stratford Spectacular Hot August Nationals information, visit www.GrandBendMotorplex.com
Article Courtesy of PMRA.ca | Photo Credit: Brad Turk and IHRA
Larry Higginbotham: Getting Better with Age
(06-19-2014) PITTSBORO, NC - At 68 years of age, Larry “Higg” Higginbotham may be one of the oldest drivers on the PDRA tour, but he exudes the energy and passion of someone decades younger. Maybe it’s that passion that keeps him working the long hours necessary to run a successful trucking company and field a Pro Boost team with the Professional Drag Racers Association.
The Ohio native first got a taste of speed taking his street car to the track in his early 20s, but soon put things on hold to focus on his business. It wasn’t until about 15 years ago that a friend took Larry back to the track. After that one trip, he was hooked. He first fielded a Corvette and competed in Quick 16s and with the NSCA, where he set a National Record. He also won Norwalk Raceway Park’s famed Halloween Classic in the Corvette before a fateful run at Pittsburgh Raceway Park.
At about half track the car’s throttle hung causing it to turn into the wall. With the throttle still hung, Higg was on the ride of his life, rolling several times. Amazingly, he walked away. Despite the tremendous crash, he was soon ordering a ‘57 Bel Air body and chassis from Tim McAmis. He put the new ride together himself in his two car garage.
Higg and his Bel Air are right at home in Pro Boost, a class with many storied cars and drivers. While he may line up against another Bel Air, he’s just as likely to run a late model Corvette, a ‘53 Studebaker, a ‘70 Barracuda or a ‘68 Firebird.
“It’s a great class,” Higg said of Pro Boost. “I ran Pro Mod with the ADRL. The overdrive being only 14 made it tough. With PDRA offering unlimited boost, everybody can run what they want to. It’s a great class. I think they’re going to have some great numbers. As time goes on everyone is going to get faster and faster. We really like the PDRA. The ADRL was a great outfit and the PDRA is probably better than that.”
Higg himself has reached a top qualifying spot of fifth (Memphis) and earned a semifinal finish at the Georgia Drags. “It takes more than one person to do this and I have an unbelievably good crew,” he added. His crew consists of Crew Chief Doug Baer as well as Kelly Baer, John Hines, Jim and Bonnie Smith and Mike Stanley. “This crew is unbelievably good. It makes it work, if you know what I mean. You need a good crew and these guys are great.”
Another key to Higg Racing’s success is Snyder Motorsports. “Snyder Motorsports builds our engines and Lenco drive transmissions. They do an excellent job, and they really work with us.”
Although Larry’s trucking company, Higg Trucking, has become successful enough to allow him to return to a passion of his youth, he welcomes sponsorship for his currently self-funded team, because while he may qualify for senior citizen discounts, he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon.
“For us hillbillies from Youngstown, Ohio to be running guys like Todd Tutterow is truly awesome. These guys are the best racers in the country. It’s an honor to be running against guys like Todd and Kevin Rivenbark and Adam Flamholc. They’re just great racers. It’s really cool to line up against guys like that.”
While Higginbotham is living the dream, racing against the top names of the sport, he’s also an inspiration to many himself. At 68 years old he’s showing people that “old guys can do it, too. A lot of people sit in the stands watching and maybe they think they have a chance to still be doing things when they’re 68.
“I truly enjoy it. It’s a passion for me.”
For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.
Story by: Lisa Collier
Rowe & Matusek Poised to Make Noise in Thunder Valley
(06-13-2014) BRISTOL, TN - Coming off their first collective rough weekend at the drag strip in 2014 – a pair of first round exits at the recently completed NHRA Summernationals – Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek, drivers of the menacing flat-black Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod Camaros, are bound and determined to make something happen at Bristol Dragway.
Perennial frontrunners early in 2014, the Pro Mod tag-team heads into the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals fourth and seventh in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series points standings, respectively, and know that going rounds this Sunday will make a run at the championship much more realistic come October.
“First and foremost, Thunder Valley is one of my absolute favorite places to race,” says Rowe, checking in from the pits of the scenic, picturesque Bristol Dragway. “We look forward to our trip here every season. It’s a running joke on our team that I enjoy taking a look around at the stands and scenery when I pull out onto the race track, but it’s hard not to when you’re racing at a place as pretty as this.
“Scenery aside, though, we’re here to do some damage,” continues Rowe, who qualified number-one and lasted until the semifinal round during the 2013 running of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. “We ran well down here last year, and I know this is another one of the tracks that Jimmy [Rector, crew chief] really has a handle on, so I’m pretty excited to get out there and get after it. We’ve got some ground to make up in the points and with every race in this NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series being so important, we want to start closing the gap on Rickie [Smith, points leader] right now.”
Matusek, who has endured more than his fair share of new-car-blues in 2014, remains upbeat as to the potential of his debut campaign behind the wheel of a supercharged Pro Mod.
“We’ve had a couple close calls with the ‘chutes not opening, a window blow out and who knows what all else,” starts Matusek, the co-founder and President of high-performance fuel system manufacturer Aeromotive, “but I’ve got to say that throughout it all there has been one common thread, and that’s that we have a seriously fast race car.
“Jimmy and this team have been phenomenal, and it’s hard to put into words what it’s like to come out here and not hope – actually know – that you’ve got as good a shot at winning the deal as anyone,” he continues. “NHRA Pro Mod has established itself as the ultimate proving ground for fast doorslammer racing and being able to run at the front, be competitive and consistently have a shot at winning amongst this level of competition is beyond rewarding.”
In 2013, while driving his twin-turbocharged Ford Mustang, Matusek was able to qualify in the No. 10 spot with a 6.090/245.58mph, demonstrating that even though it will be his first time at Bristol Dragway in a blower car, it’s not a place that he’s not had some success.
“We’ve always enjoyed racing in Bristol. Last year we won Best Appearing Car at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, but this year were more focused on winning the race,” says Matusek with a laugh. “It’s time to close the deal and put one of these Agave Underground hot rods in the winner’s circle.”
To keep up with the latest news and results from the team, check out Danny Rowe Racing on Facebook!
Knowles Happy to be Headed To “A Business Man’s Track”
(06-12-2014) BRISTOL, TN – After a less than pleasing experience on the last two stops of the NHRA Pro Modified Tour, in Englishtown, NJ and Atlanta, GA, Mike Knowles is happy to be headed to what he considers one of the premier venues in drag racing; Bristol Dragway, better known as “Thunder Valley”!
The Bruton Smith owned Bristol Dragway will host the fifth stop of the ten race NHRA Pro Modified series and knowing that already has Mike Knowles in a better mood. “Atlanta was a big disappointment. It was the first time the Pro Mods had been there in a few years and for being a national event facility I wasn’t pleased with the conditions at all. Then Englishtown was a real let down. So, to say I’m happy to be going to a “Business Man’s Track” would be an understatement,” said Knowles.
Knowles reference to a “Business Man’s Track” refers to the attention to detail that the Bristol Dragway staff and owner have put into this venue. Bruton Smith purchased the facility in 1996 and one year later he literally moved mountains to transform Bristol Dragway into the impressive facility it is today. No expense was spared in the $18 million dollar rebuild.
Knowing that you won’t have reservations about the facility or the track surface eases a drivers mind and brings a level of comfort to the team. With that said Car Chief, Bill Rice, feels Bristol can be a turning point for the “Blown Money Team”.
At the last event in Englishtown the Blown Money team was part of the first pair down the newly repaired racing surface that had become an issue with all the classes. The repaired and re-repaired surface gave the team some cause for concern.
“We’ve had our own issues this year and have really been working hard at taming the power we have. There’s no doubt that we could have made the field but, when you go to a National Event your last worry should be the quality of the racing conditions. We had a really good run at E-Town but chose a planned shutoff because we were the first ones out on a repaired track. That run woulda got us in for sure but we thought we could get her in on the final attempt and the track changed. That’s on us were not making any excuses we just made the wrong call but, the extra pressure of a “green” track is something you shouldn’t have to deal with at a National Event. So, coming into Bristol we’re looking to have our sh*t together and take advantage of one of the premier tracks on the tour,” said Rice.
Courtesy of: Kozak Motorsports Marketing
MEADORS BLOWS DOORS OFF IN BAKERSFIELD
(06-11-14) BAKERSFIELD, CA - Defending West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Series Champion Marc Meadors and the Goodguys racing team made their seasonal debut at Famoso Raceway last weekend, overcoming extreme weather and a mechanical failure to grab a lucky win. Picking up right where he left off last fall, Meadors qualified the supercharged Pure Hell2 ’69 Camaro on the pole and used a healthy dose of lady luck during Sunday’s eliminations.
It was during Meadors’ 5.831 / 254.09mph qualifier that things got hairy. As he approached the finish line, the passenger side door blew off, literally disintegrating and falling to the track in pieces. Team friend Bob Bunker Jr arranged to have the team’s old doors brought down, which were at his shop, so that they could continue racing.
Meadors caught a break in the opening round of eliminations when he overpowered the track and got loose. Competitor Rod Burbage broke a fuel line and shut off allowing the Pure Hell2 Camaro to coast to a 7.664 / 138.03 win. Meadors used up more racing luck in the semi’s against Troy Ferry’s radical Dodge Challenger as the crank trigger on the car unexpectedly broke about 2.5 seconds into the run, killing the engine instantly and slowing the car to a 7.334 / 127.73. Ferry’s parachutes popped out during the run, negating any serious threat.
The finals matched Meadors against nemesis Mike Maggio and his ’68 Camaro. The two blown Camaros put on a thrilling side-by-side race despite a 154 degree track temperature. Meadors’ 5.921 / 249.62 trophy-dash blast eclipsed the loser’s 6.026 / 248.39.
The win placed Meadors 3rd in 2014 West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod series points, despite missing the opening race back in March. “We overcame quite a bit this weekend,” Meadors said from the Auto Club Famoso Raceway winner’s circle. “My crew guys Jason Bunker, Billy Fereira, Ben Boylan and Greg Lee stepped up big time in this heat. Special thanks to Bob Bunker Jr for arranging the 500 mile round trip from Sacramento to get us a spare door. A few others chipped in along the way and made this all happen. Thanks to everyone. It feels great to be back out here going rounds.”
Next up for the Goodguys Racing team is a trip to Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho for the Little Ceasars Pizza 37th Annual Famous Fox Hunt June 20-21.
Courtesy of Goodguys Racing
Knowles Looks For Change at NHRA SummerNationals
(05-29-14) Grand Junction, CO - An .052 light with a 5.915 should win many Pro Mod Drag Races but, with the luck Mike Knowles has been having this season it just wasn’t the case at the last RPM event in Atlanta.
“We’re right there. Sometimes, in this sport, you can beat your head for years and then you catch a break and everything just works. We can run with just about anyone out there but, we can’t catch that break,” said team owner/driver Mike Knowles.
Knowles’ Colorado based team will make the long trek east to Englishtown, NJ for the 45th annual SummerNationals presented by Powerocks. This weekend looking for that break that gets them on a roll.
“I guess it’s like any sport. You can really get inside your head and it causes you to get tight and push too hard. It’s the same with Drag Racing. There are so many variables that you can second guess yourself, check everything 10 times, and miss some small detail just once and then that it bites you. There’s just so much that goes on before during and after a run. We’ve got all the right tools for the job we just need to make our own luck and put our name on it,” said car chief, Bill Rice.
Issues that arose after the running of the last NHRA Pro Mod event caused a driver from another class to be levied a heavy fine. Knowles feels that the sanctioning body should take a second look at the events that led to the fining of Top Fuel Pilot, Bob Vandergriff.
“While our sport can draw many correlations with stick and ball sports there’s one big difference. We fund ourselves. There is no profit sharing from the sanctioning body and WE PAY to put on a show for the fans. When a sanctioning body fines a driver for speaking out about a safety issue I have a big problem with that; especially $20,000. I mean come on! NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA players have SUED their leagues over past safety issues and I’m pretty sure questioning safety is not considered detrimental to the Sanctioning body,” stated Mike Knowles.
The Pro Modified class at the 45th annual NHRA SummerNationals is presented by Powerocks. Powerocks is the manufacturer of high-end power products, with over 10 years of experience developing lithium ion battery products. OFFWIRE, a national distributor of cellular accessories based in OMAHA, NE, has been bringing the Powerocks product line to the US market since 2011. OFFWIRE has been recognized twice by the Chamber of Commerce as one of Omaha’s fastest growing companies (2001 and 2002) and ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in America by Inc Magazine three years in a row (2011, 2012, and 2013). The Powerocks product line features escalating battery capacities allowing you to choose what power best meets your lifestyle and device requirements. Portable charging is a growing trend among smartphone users including business travelers, concert and game lovers, busy moms and dads, students, and those who embrace an active and outdoor lifestyle.