Knowles Takes Bumpy Detour Before NHRA Bristol Race
(6-13-2013) GRAND JUNCTION, CO – As if running over 240 miles per hour in less than six seconds isn’t enough of a thrill; “Speed Junkie”, Mike Knowles continues to feed his need for speed. Last year Knowles was lucky enough to receive a VIP flight with Blue Angel 7, a two-seat F/A-18B Hornet. More recently Knowles took a trip to Driven Experiences in his home state of Colorado.
“It was a blast! I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much fun in an automobile before. You have to keep adapting to the changing course and anticipate the truck. It really keeps you on your toes and makes for a real fun time,” said Knowles.
Driven Experiences is a Pro-Baja Truck driving experience run on a two mile course in Colorado’s Emerald Desert. Their focus is to teach the science of driving by educating drivers through engineering and vehicle dynamics.
Knowles exited the recently completed NHRA Summer Nationals at the hands of eventual winner, Mike Janis. Janis trailered Knowles with a 6.04 elapsed time to Knowles’ 6.07.
“We had a good run against Mike but we just came up short. We came here looking for the usual Englishtown conditions but the weather and track temp weren’t what we thought we’d get here. We were able to adapt and put up a good run but it just wasn’t enough,” said Knowles.
Rowe Races to No.1 in Pro Mod; Heads for Home
(06-02-2013) ENGLISHTOWN, NJ - Danny Rowe raced to the top of the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series field Friday during the opening rounds of qualifying at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Rowe, a two-time and defending Englishtown event winner, set the pace with a phenomenal 5.926-second, 247.57mph quarter-mile blast in his supercharged Agave Underground Tequila ’68 Camaro. If his time stands, this would be his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and fifth of his career.
Qualifying position, however, will ultimately have little impact on Rowe’s weekend in New Jersey as he departed the property following the second qualifying session to catch a flight home to Laguna Hills, California, so that he will be able to attend his daughter Cassidy’s graduation from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday morning.
“We knew going into this weekend what the situation was,” said Rowe, who believes missing his youngest daughter’s graduation was never an option. “It’s tough because I have a crew, a brand new sponsor in Agave Underground and a lot of great people that support this team, but they understand that we have a family team here and they have graciously supported my decision.”
Rowe will arrive back home at 1:30AM PST, attend the ceremony at 11:00AM and – pending an unlikely rainout or delay – miss the opening round of Pro Mod eliminations at 4:00PM back in Englishtown.
“If we get rained out and get to run on Sunday, I’ll fly back,” Rowe explained. “If not, then I’m going only going to get qualifying points. Of course, it’s great to qualify number-one and Jimmy [Rector, crew chief] really did a great job tuning the car; making that run in the 90-plus degree weather on a 130 degree track is incredible. Whether the 5.92 stands or not, I’m certain we’d have a shot at winning this thing again, but I’m not second-guessing.
“We’ve always raced as a family and my wife and kids have been coming with me to the races since the very beginning,” Rowe continued, preparing to board his flight. “It’s always been part of what we do. My family has stood behind me and supported me, and I want to do the same thing for them. Cassidy is the youngest of my three girls and her graduating is kind of an end of an era for me – they’re all grown up. I can’t imagine missing it.”
Saturday’s final Pro Mod qualifying session is scheduled for 1:45PM, followed by the first round of eliminations at 4:00PM. Pro Mod Series eliminations will continue Sunday at approximately 2:30PM.
To learn more about Agave Underground Tequila products, sweepstakes and hosted events, visit www.agaveunderground.com, Facebook.com/AgaveUnderground or Follow @AgaveUground on Twitter.
To keep up with the latest news and results from Danny Rowe Racing, log onto www.dannyroweracing.com
(Photos courtesy Danny Rowe Racing; Joe McHugh)
Maggio, Meadors to Run Delayed WCOPMA Final Round at this Weekend’s SCS Event
(5-31-2013) Bakersfield, CA – California weather is usually very cooperative during these months but at Auto Club Famoso Raceway’s Fun Ford Weekend event on May 3-5 in Bakersfield the West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association’s eliminations ended early as high winds kicked up on Sunday after two flawless days of racing on Friday and Saturday.
Twelve racers showed for the 8-car qualified field and leading the pack when the three qualifying rounds were complete was Mike Maggio with the Maggio Motorsports 1968 Camaro with a solid 5.897. The Goodguys Racing 1969 Camaro driven by Marc Meadors landed second with a 5.900, not far behind was Sean Renteria in the Renteria Brothers Racing unique 1964 Plymouth Valliant with a 5.912 to land third. Rod Burbage was getting his new 1969 Camaro figured out and pulled out a 5.956 to qualify fourth. Scott Bailey, Jeremy Hanger, Rob Cacioppo and Scott Loomis rounded out the bottom half of the qualified field.
When eliminations started John Scialpi was placed in the field as an alternate for number eight qualifier Scott Loomis after Loomis couldn’t make the call due to parts breakage. Scialpi was paired against Maggio and when the tree dropped they were off together but Maggio’s 5.894 was good enough to hold off Scialpi’s improving 6.370. The next pair was Burbage versus Bailey and looked to be a good race on paper but when the tree dropped Bailey was hooked and gone laying down his best run of the weekend with a 5.931 while Burbage sat at the line and watched as he threw a blower belt on the 2-step and didn’t move an inch. Meadors and Cacioppo were next up and the “Pure Hell 2” car gave Cacioppo hell after laying down the quickest run of the event with a 5.868 to Cacioppo’s tire shaking 13.208. The final pair in the first round was Renteria versus Hanger and was the best side-by-side run of the round, but Renteria pulled off the win with a 5.892 to Hangers 6.136.
After the first round of eliminations the wind started to kick up and the dust was blowing. The track crew at Auto Club Famoso Raceway were working hard to keep the track in tip top shape and did a great job and we were able to get a break in the wind to run the semi-final pairings. Meadors was able to peddle his way to a win over Renteria with a 6.28 and when Bailey couldn’t get his car to fire Maggio singled his way to a spot in the final round with a 5.94.
Following the second round the track called the event due to the radar showing no sign of the wind stopping soon. Mike Maggio and Marc Meadors, number one and two qualifiers, will run the final round at the next WCOPMA event back at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield on June 1 during the final qualifying session.
Blown Money Team Looking for “Rare Air” at 44th NHRA Summernationals
(05-30-13) GRAND JUNCTION, CO – Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey has a reputation for producing some of drag racing’s quickest and fastest times. Its location and proximity to sea level (20ft above sea level) and track preparation have plenty to do with those numbers. Racers use corrected altitude readings to tune their engines. They take in account the air temperature, the amount of water in the air and the barometric pressure. These readings give them a corrected altitude. The lower the reading, the more oxygen content there is in the air. The more oxygen an engine gets; the more fuel it can burn and the more power it can make. This combined with the great traction consistently produce the rare occurrence of record breaking numbers.
Mike Knowles and his crew have been creeping up on their combination for a while now and seem to have a good hold on running in conditions like those that are expected at Englishtown.
“We’ve had some success with our combination recently but have stumbled under poor (track/atmospheric) conditions. That’s usually not a problem at Englishtown with the conditions that good though we don’t want to get to greedy with the tune up. We only get three shots to get in and I know it’ll be a quick field so we’ll have to walk a fine line there and see what the car wants. I’m really looking forward to the challenge,” said Knowles.
Englishtown is the fourth of 10 stops on the NHRA Pro Modified Series schedule. Featuring the quickest and fastest cars in the NHRA running the quarter mile the NHRA Pro Modified Series is a true fan favorite in E-Town.
Di Lecce Takes PMRA Victory at Cayuga Dragway
(05-21-13) CAYUGA, ON – Held at the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park during its Victoria Day Weekend Challenge, winners were declared in the Pro Modified Racing Association, the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series presented by Wiseco Performance Products.
Winning the PMRA event was Rocky Di Lecce of Mississauga, Ontario. Di Lecce, driving his 1968 Camaro Pro Modified, owned the Cayuga track over the weekend, qualifying number one with a 5.964-second, 242.98-mph pass and never looking back, defeating number eight qualifier Jeff Roth of New Dundee, Ontario in the final. Di Lecce took a bye run in the first round, and then took out Jay Santos of Halton Hills, Ontario in the semi-round. Jason Kalso of Clarkston, Michigan was the other semi-finalist, losing to Roth.
The win was Di Lecce’s second of the 2013 season, as he won the postponed PMRA race from a week previous, completed during the weekend at Cayuga.
The PMRA www.PMRA.ca, races in conjunction with its companion series, the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts www.Quick32.ca, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series presented by Wiseco Performance Products www.PBSS.ca throughout the year, presenting an exciting and colorful package of drag racing action.
Courtesty of the Pro Modified Racers Association: www.pmra.ca
Photo By: Rob Potter
Meadors Records Quickest Run in Weather-Delayed Bakersfield Race
(05-08-13) BAKERSFIELD, CA – Goodguys Rod & Custom Association President Marc Meadors drove the flaming hot “Pure Hell2” ’69 Camaro Pro Mod to the quickest run of the weekend during a West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod event at Auto Club Famoso Raceway just north of Bakersfield. The weekend’s-best lap came in yesterday’s opening round of eliminations during a race against Rob Cacioppo’s ’63 Corvette. The official clocking of 5.868 @ 249.89 easily granted Meadors the opening round win advancing him to the semi-finals of the 8-car elimination ladder.
Meadors’ semi-final race against longtime friend Sean Renteria and the popular Renteria Bros ’64 Plymouth Valiant didn’t go as smoothly, but an on-again, off-again run of 6.21 @ 241mph was good enough to get a win-light against his equally-troubled nemesis. The two elimination wins set up a much anticipated rematch between Meadors and Pure Hell2 Tim McAmis built Camaro and West Coast Pro Mod standout Mike Maggio and his Tim McAmis built ’68 Camaro. But Mother Nature’s 50mph wind gusts had other plans forcing the winner-take-all final round race to be postponed to a later date. The last time Meadors and Maggio locked horns – history was made with the quickest side-by-side door slammer race ever (5.759 for Meadors vs. a 5.778 for Maggio).
If things go according to plan, the final round rematch is scheduled to take place during the Super Chevy Show May 31-June 2nd right back here at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. “We had an outstanding weekend here in Bakersfield,” Meadors said reflecting on the race. “We came here and accomplished our goals to make it to the final. We qualified #2 and will race our biggest rival, Maggio Motorsports for the spoils. We’ll have to wait to settle the score but we’re confident if we stick to our game plan we can give Maggio a great race for the win later this month.”
The Goodguys team had a chance to test new parts and pieces over the weekend with hopes of making the potent Camaro even quicker and faster. “We swapped out the three speed Lenco transmission in favor of a two speed to get the gearing more favorable,” Meadors said. “A few tweaks to the fuel system and JRi rear shocks made it fast – real fast!”
Meadors went on to thank his dedicated crew chief Jason Bunker and crew members Billy Fereira, Danny Miller and Greg Lee.
The Pure Hell2 Pro Mod is sponsored by…..Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, Red Line Oil, Neal Chance Converters, Fiber Optic Supply, Andy’s T Shirts, DMPE, JRi Shocks, Tim McAmis Race Cars and Speedway Motors.
X-DRL Reveals $75,000 “X-treme Shootout” At Indy
(05-06-13) KERRVILLE, TX – The next race during the inaugural 2013 season in the X-treme Drag Racing League (X-DRL) will have an enticing added bonus that will pay off in a major way for drivers in three different classes.
The X-DRL officially announced on Wednesday the “X-treme Shootout” for the Pro X-treme, Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous and X-treme Pro Stock classes. This shootout will award each class $25,000 ($75,000 overall) and will be contested at the X-DRL’s Thunder In The Heartland on Sept. 20-21 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
To qualify for the eight-car “X-Treme Shootout,” drivers in PX, PN and XPS must be a top eight points earner at the upcoming X-DRL Bash On The Bayou (not cumulative point standings), which takes place May 17-18 at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La.
Winners of the “X-treme Shootout” in all three classes will earn $10,000 in addition to the regular purse at the event. If a driver wins both the “X-treme Shootout” and the Thunder In The Heartland event in their respective class, the X-DRL also announced it will award that driver an additional $5,000 double-up bonus.
In all, a driver in PX, PN, XPS could win $21,000 should they win both the eight-car shootout and event.
The incentive gets even bigger, too, as a number of X-DRL sponsors will award additional payout bonuses to the shootout winners and runner-up.
Those sponsor bonuses will be officially announced later this week.
“One of our top priorities since forming the X-DRL was to give competitors every opportunity to showcase their talents with something big on the line. The ‘X-treme Shootout’ is one of those chances and we’re extremely excited to offer this to drivers in Pro X-treme, Pro Nitrous and X-treme Pro Stock,” X-DRL Co-Owner Jeff Mitchell said.
“Indianapolis is the perfect location to have an 8-car shootout like this, and I know No Problem Raceway is just as excited to host the qualifying for our ‘X-treme Shootout.’”
The runner-up of the “X-treme Shootout” will earn $5,000 in each class, while semifinalists and first-round losers will take home $2,500 and $1,250, respectively.
“It’s going to be incredible to have a number of outstanding sponsors step up and add even more incentive to this exciting shootout,” X-DRL Account Executive Keith Goolsby said.
“It’s going to make our debut at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis even more memorable, and it’s also going to add a huge thrill to our upcoming debut at No Problem Raceway. I know our drivers will be doing everything possible at No Problem to try to get into the shootout, and that’s going to make for some amazing racing.”
Rowe Seeks 3rd Houston Pro Mod Win
(04-25-13) BAYTOWN, TX –Pro Mod driver Danny Rowe has had his share of successes in the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series over the years, but the Southern California-based driver seems to have a special knack for visiting the winner’s circle at Royal Purple Raceway.
As the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series rolls into the ultra-quick dragstrip located just east of downtown Houston, April 26-28, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries, Rowe wants nothing more than to have history repeat itself. Rowe will seek his third win at Royal Purple Raceway with a new sponsor on the side of his famed black supercharged ’67 Chevy Camaro: Agave Underground Tequila.
“We have a good handle on the racing,” Rowe said. “We have won twice in Houston (2012 and 2010). So this weekend we would like to see a repeat win especially with our new sponsor Agave Underground coming out this weekend. They are new to the sport and are enjoying every bit of the racing excitement. There’s definitely added pressure when the sponsor is in town, but we’ll be ready to bring some great racing to Houston.”
Rowe is focused on race No. 3 in the 10-race series after qualifying No. 2 at the season-opener in Gainesville and No. 1 in Charlotte. This momentum has Rowe feeling positive that his team is ready to grab its first win of the season and improve on its current seventh place points position.
“We’re focused and ready to head into Houston,” Rowe said. “Royal Purple Raceway has a great racing facility and we love the people at Houston. Can’t wait to get out there and bring them some great side-by-side drag racing.”
Heavy-hitters like defending world champion Troy Coughlin, who won the most recent event at zMAX Dragway in North Carolina last weekend, series points leader Von Smith, Charlotte runner-up Kenny Lang, and cagey veteran driver Rickie Smith are all eager to grab a win in the popular 250-mph doorslammer touring series. Rowe is confident his Agave Underground Tequila Camaro team will bring their A-game to Houston.
“Overall, the quality of cars and drivers in the series is tremendous,” Rowe said. “We know what we’re up against and we’ll continue to do our very best. (Crew chief) Jimmy Rector and all the guys have done a terrific job in giving me a consistent car. It’s been a great start to the season. I know we’re all looking forward to Houston this weekend.”
Blown Money Team Hungry for More in Houston
(04-24-13) GRAND JUNCTION, CO – After struggling through qualifying in Charlotte Mike Knowles ripped off a 5.963 at just under 242 miles per hour taking out the number one qualifier, Danny Rowe in round one.
“We just decided to take a few steps back in order to go forward,” said Knowles. I mean we’ve been having a rough time so we decided to put a completely different tune up in the car, one we ran mid-last season, and she responded but we hurt a main bearing on that run. Still, we knew we were onto something,” added Knowles.
With a wounded bullet in the car Knowles’ only back up was an unproven piece that promised plenty of power and she didn’t disappoint. Once she was in the car and the team fired her for the first time it was evident something was different.
“As soon as she lit we knew she was gonna be a beast. There was a different tone to her,” said Knowles.
On her maiden voyage the plan was to take it easy and not push her too hard. The light tune up posted a 6.15 in Knowles’ second round win over Clint Satterfield and set up a pairing with last season’s points champ, Troy Coughlin in the semi’s.
It was all or nothing on this pass. With timing knocked way out of her, she still started to haze the tires forcing Knowles to peddle. Coughlin took the win with a 5.882 at 248 but Knowles running a 5.96 at just over 247 on an interrupted pass has the entire team excited heading to Houston for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals.
“Man, my guys did a great job this weekend and with this new engine and us getting a solid baseline to build from; I’m really looking forward to Houston,” said Mike Knowles.
X-DRL Set For Debut At Bristol Dragway
(04-23-13) KERRVILLE, TX – With strong anticipation following its debut event, the new X-treme Drag Racing League (X-DRL) is set for its first appearance at historic Bristol Dragway in its inaugural season with X-DRL Thunder Valley Madness on April 26-27.
This history-making event will give fans the first look at the action-packed X-DRL, which features many of the top professional doorslammer and Pro Modified drivers in the world as well as nine exciting professional classes that will provide non-stop action over the two days, with cars going as quick as 3.60 seconds in the 1/8-mile at more than 210 mph.
The X-DRL, an 1/8-mile sanctioning body that has already drawn strong reviews from its debut event, is thrilled for its first event in Bristol, which has been the site of some of the best doorslammer in drag racing history.
“We are tremendously excited to be having our second event at such a prestigious track like Bristol Dragway. The amount of history at this track is incredible and we can’t wait to put on a great show in the heart of doorslammer country,” X-DRL Co-Owner Jeff Mitchell said.
“There’s so many great drivers in the X-DRL that will be racing at Bristol for this event, and I’m certain it’s going to be one of the best events of the year for the X-DRL.”
With an exciting manufacturer midway, special exhibition runs and pit access in one of the most incredible atmospheres in drag racing, fans can expect maximum value from their X-DRL ticket purchase.
“The main idea behind the X-DRL was to create a high-quality association that will bring plenty of excitement and we’re thrilled with what we’ve been able to accomplish in a short time,” said X-DRL co-owner Jeff Mitchell.
“It’s only the first year for the X-DRL but we’ve already been able to establish ourselves in the industry. We’ve done business the right way and the support we’ve received from sponsors has been proof of that. We believe the racing community is hungry for a product like what the X-DRL will present in 2013.”