Sunday, Oct. 28 –NHRA Big O Tires Nationals eliminations. SPOILER ALERT! We are blogging round-by-round eliminations results in the pro categories today.
Top Fuel Dragster: Vandergriff vs. Schumacher – Schumacher is back in the championship chase as Brown and Massey went out early today – but Vandergriff gets the win. Schumacher is 65 points behind Brown.
Funny Car: Beckman vs. Capps – Tough break for Jack … smokes the tires, Capps takes the win. Beckman is still 4 points ahead of Capps with one race to go.
Pro Stock: Nobile vs. Johnson – Points leader Johnson takes the final.
Pro Stock Motorcycle: Krawiec vs. Smith – Krawiec wins.
Stock Eliminator: Bo Butner (Floyds Knobs, Ind.)
Comp Eliminator: Bo Butner (Floyds Knobs, Ind.)
Super Stock: Dan Fletcher (Churchville, N.Y.)
Super Comp: Luke Bogacki (Carterville, Ill.)
Super Gas: Steve Apted (Medford, Ore.)
Top Alcohol Dragster: Jim Whiteley (Grand Junction, Colo.)
Top Alcohol Funny Car: Tony Bartone (Manhasset, N.Y.)
Pro Mod final and season championship: Troy Coughlin vs. Don Walsh -- Troy Coughlin wins the final round and the points championship!
Pro Stock semi-finals:
Jason Line vs. Vincent Nobile: Line RED-LIGHTS! Nobile will meet Johnson in the all-Mopar finale.
Allen Johnson vs. Ron Krisher: 6.631 sec. for Johnson in victory over Krisher.
Pro Stock Motorcycle semi-final:
Hector Arana vs. Matt Smith: It’s Smith going to the final.
Hall vs. Krawiec: Hall goes red, Eddie goes to the final.
Funny Car semi-finals:
Capps vs. Gray: Johnny up in smoke, Beckman will meet Capps in the all-DSR finale.
Beckman vs. Courtney Force: Beckman in the left lane, up in smoke, BUT Courtney red-lights – Beckman goes to the final!
Top Fuel Dragster semi-finals:
Vandergriff vs. Kalitta: Vandergriff will go to the final. Margin of victory: .004.
Schumacher vs. alBalooshi: It’s Schumacher from start to finish (326.24 mph).
Pro Mod semi: Troy Coughlin vs. Danny Rowe -- red light for Rowe. Coughlin gets lane choice in final vs. Don Walsh. If Coughlin wins the final, he wins the championship.
Second round of Pro Stock Motorcycle:
Hines vs. Hall: Hall makes off with the surprise win.
Arana vs. Arana Jr.: 7.001 for Arana; Jr.’s bike slows.
Nevada’s Stoffer vs. Matt Smith: Smith drives past Stoffer at 6.973 sec.
Scotty Pollacheck vs. Eddie Krawiec: 6.961 for Krawiec as parts come off Pollacheck’s bike.
Second round of Pro Stock eliminations:
Ron Krisher hole-shot wins over Edwards.
Erica Enders vs. Vincent Nobile: Nobile wins.
Jason Line vs. Warren Johnson: Jason Line goes to semi-finals, will meet Nobile.
Allen Johnson vs. Jeg Coughlin: It’s Johnson all the way at 207.98.
Second round of Funny Car:
Courtney Force vs. Paul Lee: Lee’s laundry pops early, Courtney goes to semi-finals.
Mike Neff vs. points leader Jack Beckman: Beckman goes to semi-finals at 300.26 mph.
Ron Capps vs.Cruz Pedregon: 312.28 mph run keeps Capps in the championship battle.
Johnny Gray vs. Matt Hagan: Johnny Gray goes to semi-finals – Don Schumacher Racing will have 75% of the cars in the semis.
Second round of Top Fuel Dragster:
Khalid alBalooshi defeats J.R. Todd (exploding engine). “CLEAN-UP IN AISLE ONE!”
Vandergriff defeats Massey!
Doug Kalitta over Shawn Langdon.
Tony Schumacher vs. Steve Torrence: Schumacher gets the win by 1/100th sec.
First round of Pro Stock Motorcycle:
Pollacheck vs. Ellis: Ellis goes red, Pollacheck goes to Round 2.
Steve Johnson loses to Hector Arana.
Karen Stoffer beats L.E. Tonglet on a hole shot.
Michael Ray seriously red vs. John Hall.
14.46 sec./49 mph win for Andrew Hines over red-lit Gann.
Hector Arana Jr. vs. Redell Harris: Redell = RED.
Krawiec defeats G.T. Tonglet.
Final Pair: Jim Underdahl vs.Matt Smith: Matt wins with a 6.945 sec. pass.
First round of Pro Stock eliminations:
Warren Johnson holeshots V Gaines to squeeze out the win.
Greg Anderson vs. Jeg Coughlin: Jeg .002 off the line, Greg shuts off.
Roger Brogdon vs. Ron Krisher: Krisher wins, Roger shuts off.
Erica Enders motors past Kurt Johnson.
Mike Edwards (6.6637) defeated Carr.
Shane Gray vs. Jason Line: Line wins.
Allen Johnson (points leader) vs. Deric Kramer (tested here last week, as did Johnson): it’s Johnson at 6.663 sec.
Final pair – Vincent Nobile vs. Chris McGaha: Nobile drives past for the win.
First round of Funny Car eliminations:
Courtney Force defeats Jim Head.
Matt Hagan KOs tire-smokin’ Jon Capps.
Robert Hight vs. Paul Lee: Lee wins as Hight strikes the tires!
Bob Tasca III falls to Cruz Pedregon.
Mike Neff takes out Jeff Arend.
Wilkerson vs. Gray: Johnny wins as Wilkerson strikes the tires. Johnny will meet Hagan in the next round.
Points leader Jack Beckman vs. John Force: Beckman will meet Neff in Round 2.
Ron Capps vs. Tony Pedregon: Capps gets the win as Pedregon fades at 800 ft.
First round of Top Fuel:
Shawn Langdon wins, Clay Millican up in smoke.
Bernstein vs. J.R. Todd: Todd goes to Round 2.
Doug Kalitta vs. Cory McClenathan: close race, Doug wins, Mac on fire at top end. Brief siesta for clean-up.
Spencer Massey (second in points) left lane,T.J. Zizzo right lane: Easy win for Massey.
Tony Schumacher (No. 1 Qualifier) vs. Terry McMillen: Tony wins, Terry goes kaboom. More clean-up.
Saturday, Oct. 27 (6:30 p.m. Pacific) – Fourth and final round of pro qualifying.
Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Eddie Krawiec (6.902 sec./195.11 mph); 2. Hector Arana Jr.; 3. Matt Smith; 4. Andrew Hines; 5. Michael Ray; 6. L.E. Tonglet; 7. Hector Arana; 8. Scotty Pollacheck; 9. Chip Ellis; 10. Steve Johnson; 11. Karen Stoffer; 12. John Hall; 13. Shawn Gann; 14. Jim Underdahl; 15. Redell Harris; 16. G.T. Tonglet Jr.
Krawiec not only earned Las Vegas No. 1 Qualifier status – he also won the rained-out Pro Stock Motorcycle final from Reading, Pa., today.
Pro Stock: 1. Jason Line (6.590 sec./209.72 mph); 2. Allen Johnson; 3. Mike Edwards; 4. Erica Enders; 5. Vincent Nobile; 6. Ron Krisher; 7. Greg Anderson; 8. V Gaines; 9. Warren Johnson; 10. Jeg Coughlin; 11. Roger Brogdon; 12. Chris McGaha; 13. Kurt Johnson; 14. J.R. Carr; 15. Deric Kramer; 16. Shane Gray. Did not qualify: Steve Kent, Larry Morgan, Steve Kalkowski, Mark Wolfe.
Top Fuel Dragster: 1. Tony Schumacher (3.773 sec./323.66 mph); 2. Spencer Massey; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Khalid alBalooshi; 5. J.R. Todd; 6. Shawn Langdon; 7. Bob Vandergriff; 8. Steve Torrence; 9. Morgan Lucas; 10. David Grubnic; 11. Clay Millican; 12. Brandon Berstein; 13. Antron Brown; 14. Cory MClenathan; 15. T.J. Zizzo; 16. Terry Milliken. Did not qualify: Steve Chrisman, Mike Salinas, Chris Karamesines, Troy Buff.
Funny Car: 1. Cruz Pedregon (4.066 sec./312.50 mph); 2. Mike Neff; 3. Robert Hight (317.27 mph is a new track speed record); 4. Matt Hagan; 5. Johnny Gray; 6. Courtney Force; 7. Jack Beckman; 8. Ron Capps; 9. Tony Pedregon; 10. John Force; 11. Jim Head; 12. Tim Wilkerson; 13. Jon Capps; 14. Paul Lee; 15. Jeff Arend; 16. Bob Tasca III. Did not qualify: Alexis DeJoria, Josh Crawford, Todd Lesenko, Tommy Johnson, Jeff Diehl, Terry Haddock.
SPOILER ALERT! We will be blogging round-by-round eliminations results in the pro categories tomorrow. If you want to watch the event on TV and not have the ending spoiled, don’t read Sunday’s blog.
Funny Car drivers John Force and Jack Beckman are heroes – especially to Michelle Bukaty of Hamburg, N.Y. Michelle was diagnosed with (incurable) ALS (a.k.a. “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) in April. The one-and-only item on her bucket list was to come to the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals in Las Vegas. Not only to see the drags, but to spend a moment with John Force (she worked at Lancaster Dragway near Buffalo, N.Y. when he came to town for a match race nearly 20 years ago). Long story short, Michelle was able to hang for a while in the John Force Racing pits – and meet John and Courtney – this morning and it made her day. When Jack Beckman learned of Michelle’s plight, he invited her to his DSR pit area – then gave her a ride in the tow vehicle when he made his third qualifying run. It was a day she will never forget and one of the many reasons why we love drag racing – and drag racers – so much. (See Sunday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal for a story on Michelle by Ron Kantowski.)
Saturday, Oct. 27 (1 p.m. Pacific) – Third round of pro qualifying.
Track temp is 99 degrees.
Jason Line’s third qualifying pass moved him past Allen Johnson to place him at the top of the Pro Stock roster (6.590 sec./209.72 mph). Still not qualified with only one chance left: Shane Gray, Larry Morgan, Steve Kalkowski and Mark Wolfe.
Eddie Krawiec still is No. 1 Qualifier in the Pro Stock Motorcycle ranks. Among the 11 riders still not qualified are Michael Phillips and Jerry Savoie.
Tony Schumacher still stands No. 1 in Top Fuel Dragster qualifying, but his teammate, points leader Antron Brown has dropped to 11th. Still not qualified with only one opportunity remaining are Chris “The Greek” Karamesines, Mike Salinas, Morgan Lucas and Troy Buff.
Mike Neff retained the No. 1 spot after the third round of Funny Car qualifying. Still not qualified (at No. 17) is John Force.
Friday, Oct. 26 (7:23 p.m. Pacific) – Second round of pro qualifying.
Tony Schumacher’s first-round run stood as the fastest of the day. “It was most important because most of the others didn’t get down the track in the second round.
We made a good clean run, made it down the track. It’s a good car and Vegas has been very kind to me,” said Schumacher.
Mike Neff still is the top Funny Car qualifier after two rounds. “When you can make a good run the very first (time), it puts you on the offense instead of the defense,” said Neff. “It’s a fine line out there – it always is. Tomorrow we’ll be getting ready for Sunday.” Cruz Pedregon currently is second and championship contenders Jack Beckman and Ron Capps are fourth and fifth, respectively. Not in the top 12 yet: Robert Hight, John Force, Matt Hagan, Alexis DeJoria.
Points leader Allen Johnson retained No. 1 Qualifier status after two rounds of Pro Stock qualifying. Johnson tested at The Strip at LVMS the week before the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals. “I felt like today was very successful,” said Johnson. “We’re not setting out to send a message – just get the job done. We’ve improved a lot this year and the Mopar folks have given us a lot of good parts. We’re just enjoying the ride and enjoying the success we’ve had. We don’t want to jinx ourselves and talk about it (the championship).” Jason Line, second in Pro Stock, jumped up to third behind Mike Edwards.
Eddie Krawiec remains No. 1 in Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying after two rounds. Hector Arana Jr. is second. Karen Stoffer of Gardnerville, Nevada, is ninth. Among the Not-Qualified-Yet: Hector Arana, Shawn Gann and G.T. Tonglet Jr.
Pro Mod qualifying results: 1. Don Walsh, 5.841, 253.85; 2. Danny Rowe, Chevy Camaro, 5.878, 245.27; 3. Donald Martin 5.917, 244.12; 4. Leah Pruett 5.924, 250.23; 5. Mike Castellana 5.945, 239.91; 6. Todd Tutterow 5.967, 243.11; 7. Pete Farber 5.971, 243.46; 8. Troy Coughlin 5.989, 249.44; 9. Jay Payne 5.995, 241.58; 10. Rickie Smith 6.013, 239.70; 11. Steve Matusek 6.019, 237.59; 12. Mike Janis 6.020, 239.91; 13. Raymond Commisso 6.023, 244.21; 14. Dennis Radford 6.040, 237.63; 15. Kenny Lang 6.140, 242.23; 16. Mike Knowles 6.278, 239.74.
Not Qualified: 17. Clint Satterfield, 6.408, 237.25; 18. Chip King, 7.339, 146.45; 19. Chris Juliano, 9.433, 118.94; 20. Harold Martin, 9.661, 100.81.
Friday, Oct. 26 (3:50 p.m. Pacific) -- First round of pro qualifying (yes, it took a long time).
After the first session, Don Walsh (Wixom, Mich.) leads Pro Mod qualifying at 5.841 sec./253.85 mph.
Eddie Krawiec is No. 1 after one round of Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying (6.938 sec./193.88 mph). Twenty-five bikes are entered this weekend.
Points leader Allen Johnson topped the Pro Stock scoreboard after one round of qualifying: 6.600 sec./208.68 mph. Of the 19 cars entered, so far these guys are not in the show: Shane Gray, J.R. Carr, Steve Kent, Steve Kalkowski, Jason Line, Warren Johnson, Vincent Nobile.
Mike Neff currently is No. 1 Qualifier after one round of Funny Car time trials. Neff ran 4.070 sec./313.73 mph. Points leader Jack Beckman is fourth at 4.093 sec./306.88 mph. Below the Top 12: Hagan, Wilkerson, Lee, DeJoria, Crawford, Johnson.
Still goin’ – 83-year old Chris “The Greek” Karamesines shut off early during his first Top Fuel Dragster qualifying pass. At this point, he’s in the show – in 10th place.
Tony Schumacher is the No. 1 Qualifier after one round of Top Fuel Dragster time trials (3.773 sec./323.66 mph). Points leader Antron Brown currently is sixth at 3.869 sec./313.88 mph.
Second round of Pro Mod qualifying is under way as this blog is posted.
Friday, Oct. 26 (noon):
Welcome to the LVMS live blog of the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals. I am John Bisci, P.R. Manager for LVMS.
Happy Nevada Day. Today is the second day of the event – the first day belonged solely to the sportsman classes. Qualifying begins today for Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
If you are coming to the track, you can hear the announcers on 103.9 FM. This weekend marks the final Las Vegas appearance by NHRA chief announcer Bob Frey, who is retiring at the end of the 2012 season. We will miss his wit, wisdom and style.
This weekend’s blog is dedicated to the memory of Jon Knapp, who passed away in Charlotte this week following a lengthy battle with cancer. Jon was the longtime p.r. person for the Summit-sponsored Pro Stock teams. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Joanne. May he rest in peace, finally free from pain and suffering.
The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Presented By ProCare Rx season will conclude here this weekend. Topping the points standings are series leader Mike Castellana, second-place Rickie Smith and surging Troy Coughlin, each looking for his first season crown.
Friday, Oct. 26
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10:15 a.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
10:45 a.m. – Top Alcohol Funny Car and Dragster qualifying.
Noon – Pro Mod qualifying, followed by Pro Stock Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
1 p.m. – Top Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying.
2 p.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
2:30 p.m. – Comp Eliminator qualifying.
3 p.m. – Pro Stock Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
4 p.m. – Top Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying.
5 p.m. – Top Alcohol Funny Car and Dragster qualifying.
6 p.m. – Track closed.
Saturday, Oct. 27
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
8 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
9:45 a.m. – First round of Comp Eliminator.
10:30 a.m. – Pro Mod qualifying.
11 a.m. – Pro Stock Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
Noon – Top Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying.
1 p.m. – Top Alcohol Funny Car and Dragster qualifying.
2 p.m. – Pro Stock Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying.
3 p.m. – Top Fuel Funny Car and Top Fuel Dragster qualifying.
4 p.m. – First round of Pro Mod eliminations.
4:30 p.m. – First round of Top Alcohol Funny Car and Dragster eliminations.
6 p.m. – Track closed.
Sunday, Oct. 28
7:30 a.m. – Spectator gates open.
9 a.m. – Sportsman eliminations.
10 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies.
11 a.m. – Final eliminations.
4:30 p.m. – Track closed.
We’re hosting a doubleheader: The Smith’s 350 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, paired with Global RallyCross Championship – on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Traditional auto racing fans know the Camping World Truck Series has earned a reputation of producing first-time winners and thrilling green-white-checkered finishes. And sometimes, when the pass for the lead – or the finish – is a little too close, someone goes home angry. It sets the stage for the next race: redemption, a breakthrough like a first win, maybe a little payback. It’s exciting racing with lots of new names and some familiar friendly faces.
This year, the Truck Series race is paired with the Sylvania SilverStar zXe Las Vegas Global RallyCross Championship. Two races for the price of one.
Star driver Tanner Foust describes Global RallyCross as “Racing for people with A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder). It’s all of the best, most entertaining parts of racing packed together in a short track. There’s jumping, sliding, door-to-door action in insanely-fast cars and the stars of the X Games – all packed into the track.
“It’s kind of like Supercross, where there are qualifying heats – five or six cars together in short races – in cars though. Small cars, like Ford Fiestas, Subarus and Hyundais.
“Early in my career I worked as an ice driving instructor. I got addicted to car control. The kind of driving you do once you’ve lost grip and you’re sideways.
If you’re a traditional fan who likes watching fast Trucks race on ovals or the new generation of motorsports enthusiast who likes to see cars flying through the air – then screaming sideways – our NASCAR Truck/GRC Saturday has you covered. Come for Onion, stay for Tanner.
Car enthusiasts have given the Chevrolet brand many nicknames, including: Chevy, shoebox (the ’55-’57 body shapes), stovebolt (referring to the 6 cyl engine), “rat” (their big-block V-8 engine) and bowtie (shape of the logo).
No matter what you call them, there will be a huge amount of them on the premises this weekend. It’s time for the annual Super Chevy Show (www.superchevyshow) and it’s a wonderland for lovers of all things Chevrolet.
Car show. Drag racing. Swap meet. Car corral. Manufacturers’ midway. Autocross. All Chevrolet.
El Caminos, Corvettes, Corvairs, Chevelles, Camaros, 210s, Bel Airs, Impalas, Monte Carlos, Caprices, and, as the P.T. Barnum of drag racing Bill Doner used to say, “the list goes on and on and on!”
We invite you to participate with your Chevrolet, or simply come down to the drag strip this weekend to celebrate the great American muscle car era.
According to the Internet – which of course never is wrong – Labor Day is “an American federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.”
Labor Day also is cause for one of the calendar year’s cherished three-day holiday weekends which allows travelers, revelers and racers to extend their leisure activities well past the customary Sunday evening deadline.
And did we ever extend it!
The Bullring will play host to racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Not to be outdone, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be busy from Friday evening through Monday afternoon.
On Saturday, Sept. 1, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (Super Late Models, Super Stocks, Bombers) continues, joined by the USAC Ignite Midget Series, Hoosier Tire Late Model Series, SB2 Late Model Series, American Band Legend Cars and Silver Star Plumbing Bandoleros.
On Sunday, Sept. 2, the 3/8-mile asphalt oval will feature the USAC Ignite Midget Series (twin features), ASA Truck Series, Hoosier Tire Late Models, American Band Legend Cars and Silver Star Plumbing Bandoleros. Sunday’s show also marks the return of the incredibly-popular “waterless boat races.” The race – Bombers dragging boats behind them around the oval – was quite the spectacle. The attraction’s initial appearance on the July 3 Night of Fire left the audience cheering for more. Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. each day.
The Strip’s action begins on Friday with Friday Night Fury and a Test ‘n’ Tune session. On Saturday and Sunday, there’s K&N Pro Gas, Super Street Association, I-15 Super Comp Challenge and T.R.E. Championship Bracket Series racing. In addition, NHRA Jr. Dragsters will race on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend – see you at the tracks!
We'd like to thank our fans, marketing partners and racers for making the annual Night of Fire a tremendous success. We hope you were able to join us, and, if you did attend, enjoy the show.
Following the Friday, July 6 Dodge Midnight Mayhem event, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Bullring will take a summer break until the weekend of Aug. 17-18.
Please join us when the engines roar back to life at Bullring on Saturday, Aug. 18 for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late-Night Special, featuring the Lucas Oil Modified Series, NASCAR Super Late Models, NASCAR Super Stocks, NASCAR Bombers, USLCI Legends Cars, USLCI Bandoleros, USLCI Roadsters.
The Strip will reopen Aug. 17-18 with the popular Dodge Midnight Mayhem program, T.R.E. Bracket Series and Short Line Express Markets Jr. Dragster Series.
In the meantime, feel free to browse of Night of Fire photo galleries by Jeff Speer and Marc Sanchez (http://www.lvms.com/handler.cfm/template,photo_gallery/sf_id,13054/cat_id,44256/) and, ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
If last weekend's racing action at the Bullring and drag strip didn't send you into overload, we're offering another opportunity Friday and Saturday.
Star Nursery is sponsoring the Chris Trickle Father’s Day Doubleheader on Saturday night at the Bullring. The annual Father’s Day Weekend race night is named for the late Bullring driver Chris Trickle, son of local racing legend Chuck Trickle. The evening of family entertainment includes a free, on-track driver autograph session at 6:15 p.m. and kids’ box car races.
Racing on Star Nursery Night at the Bullring, LVMS’ 3/8-mile asphalt short track, will include twin NASCAR Super Late Model features, NASCAR Super Stocks, NASCAR Bombers, Thunder Cars, Silver Star Plumbing Bandoleros and American Band Legend Cars. Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m.
Fans may save $2 by purchasing tickets in advance at the LVMS ticket office. Advance-sale tickets are $10 for adults ($12 on Saturday). The Bullring’s concession stand features a family-friendly dollar menu, including $1 hot dogs and $1 Coca-Cola products.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be this weekend’s destination for motorsports enthusiasts of all types
as it offers NASCAR-sanctioned short track racing, a new event for Ford aficionados and the kickoff of the local bracket-racing season at the drag strip.
The Bullring, Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s 3/8-mile asphalt short track, will open its 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season on Saturday evening. Spectator gates will open at 5 p.m. Local classes in competition on opening night will include: NASCAR Super Late Models, NASCAR Super Stocks, NASCAR Bombers, USAC Midgets, USLCI Legend Cars and USLCI Bandoleros. The season-opener originally was scheduled for April 14 but was postponed due to rain.
The inaugural Las Vegas Fun Ford Weekend will take place Saturday and Sunday at the drag strip. The Fun Ford Weekend event is an all-Ford affair: car show, drag racing, cruise night, autocross, swap meet and manufacturers’ midway. Fun Ford Weekend (www.funfordweekend.com) is presented by JE Pistons and Roush Yates Performance.
The first two races of the 2012 Tony Rowe Enterprises Bracket Racing Series will take place at the drag strip on Saturday and Sunday. The events, for local and regional drag racers, will include NHRA-sanctioned Super Pro, Pro, Sportsman and Motorcycle classes in quarter-mile competition.
Morgan Lucas continued to make Top Fuel headlines Friday as he raced to the qualifying lead
at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) also were qualifying leaders at the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event.
Lucas, who won two weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla. with a dominating performance, rallied from a 10th place effort in the opening round of qualifying to vault to the No. 1 spot during the day’s final session with a leading run of 3.817 seconds at 321.96 mph in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster.
“The first session we were a little overcenter, and Aaron [Brooks, crew chief] just went back and was going to back it down, but we went back up there with generally the same setup,” Lucas said. “We just made a couple of small tweaks, and it went right down there. I’m really proud of the whole team, and it’s been a lot of fun to drive this car.
“If somehow we can make it through tomorrow and stay No. 1, it would be a really cool thing for us to start the season with three out of four races being No. 1 qualifier.”
Spencer Massey was second with a 3.825 at 322.88 in his FRAM dragster and Clay Millican was third in his Parts Plus dragster with a 3.844 at 318.77. Series points leader Tony Schumacher was fourth overall with a 3.849 at 318.09 in his U.S. Army dragster.
In Funny Car, Robert Hight, winner of the last two races, powered his Auto Club Ford Mustang to a leading performance of 4.132 at 310.41.
“Everybody struggled the first run, so I think everybody was erring on the side of caution for the night run,” Hight said. “Based on what everybody ran the first run, you’ve got to be cautious and make sure you get down there. Jimmy [Prock, crew chief] told me he thought it would run a .12 or .13, so it’s really cool right now because he definitely has a handle on this race car. It says a lot when you can go from a place like Gainesville and then we’re here and we’re halfway in elevation to Denver from sea level and make the changes and have it respond and run that close to what you think it will run. Good job to Jimmy Prock, and you can see the confidence in him. He’s just so confident in all the moves he’s making, and it’s a lot of fun to drive this thing right now. The confidence is there when you can see your crew chief and how confident he is. Maybe that 4.13 won’t stick, but for today it was No. 1, and we’re happy.”
Two-time world champ Cruz Pedregon was second in his Snap-on Tools Toyota Camry with a 4.159 at 306.19, while Bob Tasca III was second in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Shelby Mustang with a 4.165 at 303.23.
Defending world champion Line raced to the top of the order in Pro Stock, covering the distance in 6.659 at 207.34 in his Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP.
“This is probably the nicest run I’ve made this year,” Line said. “To be able to outrun Mike Edwards, who always runs well here, is an accomplishment. And because it is a Summit-sponsored race and we’re in [team owner] Ken Black’s home town, it makes it all the better. We were a little bit soft in the first round, and I still think there’s at least a hundredth or more left in the car. It was important for us to qualify well today because of the forecasts for winds tomorrow.”
Edwards, who won both races here last season and holds both ends of the track record, was second with a 6.669 at 207.30 in his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac and Allen Johnson was third in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger with a 6.679 at 206.92.
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday’s eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
LAS VEGAS -- Friday's results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 13th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fourth of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday's final eliminations.
Top Fuel -- 1. Morgan Lucas, 3.817 seconds, 321.96 mph; 2. Spencer Massey, 3.825, 322.88; 3. Clay Millican, 3.844, 318.77; 4. Tony Schumacher, 3.849, 318.09; 5. Shawn Langdon, 3.851, 321.81; 6. Bob Vandergriff, 3.871, 322.81; 7. Doug Kalitta, 3.894, 315.78; 8. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.897, 316.45; 9. Brandon Bernstein, 3.933, 311.56; 10. Terry McMillen, 3.959, 280.66; 11. Steve Torrence, 3.960, 308.99; 12. Troy Buff, 3.981, 299.20. Not Qualified: 13. Antron Brown, 3.994, 309.98; 14. Cory McClenathan, 4.008, 303.23; 15. Damien Harris, 4.232, 270.00; 16. David Grubnic, 4.318, 194.30; 17. Steven Chrisman, 4.333, 279.96; 18. Steve Faria, 4.450, 229.08.
Funny Car -- 1. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.132, 310.41; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Toyota Solara, 4.159, 306.19; 3. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.165, 303.23; 4. Gary Densham, Dodge Charger, 4.181, 300.00; 5. Mike Neff, Mustang, 4.186, 296.70; 6. John Force, Mustang, 4.196, 305.77; 7. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.196, 299.06; 8. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.211, 302.82; 9. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.212, 292.20; 10. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.244, 304.39; 11. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.274, 291.70; 12. Terry Haddock, Chevy Impala, 4.282, 292.01. Not Qualified: 13. Tony Pedregon, 4.347, 242.76; 14. Jon Capps, 4.366, 258.07; 15. Alexis DeJoria, 4.382, 253.71; 16. Bob Bode, 4.501, 248.57; 17. James Day, 4.846, 173.29; 18. Todd Lesenko, 5.050, 167.05; 19. Jim Head, 5.953, 118.33; 20. Ron Capps, 6.689, 92.68; 21. Jeff Arend, 7.293, 83.71.
Pro Stock -- 1. Jason Line, Pontiac GXP, 6.659, 207.34; 2. Mike Edwards, GXP, 6.669, 207.30; 3. Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.679, 206.92; 4. Rodger Brogdon, GXP, 6.693, 206.10; 5. Greg Anderson, GXP, 6.697, 206.35; 6. Vincent Nobile, Avenger, 6.706, 205.98; 7. Ron Krisher, GXP, 6.713, 206.54; 8. Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.721, 205.57; 9. Chris McGaha, Avenger, 6.721, 204.45; 10. Ronnie Humphrey, GXP, 6.722, 206.07; 11. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.725, 205.66; 12. Greg Stanfield, Chevy Camaro, 6.727, 204.88. Not Qualified: 13. Kurt Johnson, 6.728, 205.10; 14. Steve Kent, 6.741, 205.04; 15. Shane Gray, 6.766, 204.73; 16. Gordie Rivera, 6.874, 200.83; 17. Larry Morgan, 6.968, 176.95; 18. V. Gaines, 8.413, 116.59.
The first day of qualifying for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals is in the record books and Morgan Lucas is the day’s No. 1 Qualifier in the Top Fuel Dragster ranks.
Lucas went to the head of the class with a 1,000-ft. run of 3.817 sec./321.96 mph.
“I’m really proud of this crew,” said Lucas. “It would be really cool to be No. 1 (Qualifier) in three of the first four races so far this year.”
Tony Schumacher dropped to No. 4. Antron Brown are on the outside looking in, sitting outside the top 12 at 13th and 14th, respectively.
Pro qualifying (Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car and Pro Stock) resumes Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Second round of Pro Stock qualifying hit the track at 4:40 p.m. Jason Line still sits atop the heap. And still on the outside looking in are: Kurt Johnson, Steve Kent, Shane Gray, Gordie Rivera, Larry Morgan and V Gaines. They’ll have two more opportunities to improve their lot on Saturday.
The second round of Funny Car qualifying saw Johnny Gray drop from No. 1 to 10th place as the field picked up speed and his second qualifying run went up in tire smoke. Robert Hight currently is the No. 1 Qualifier at 4.132 sec./310.41 mph.
“Based on what everyone ran in the first run you had to be cautious. You had to be sure you got down there. Jimmy told me he thought it would run 4.12 or 4.13. It is really cool right now because he really has a handle on this Funny Car. It says a lot when you can go from a place like Gainesville and Phoenix and then here where we are half way in elevation to Denver here,” said Hight. “Good job to Jimmy Prock and my guys. You can see the confidence in him. As a driver you feel good because you are not sitting in the car watching someone make a lot of changes and being nervous. He goes in there and makes a change and boom it runs good. It is a lot of fun to run this thing right now.
“All four of our Ford Mustangs are qualified. With the winds coming who know what tomorrow will bring. I really hope we get to run because we have (crew chief legends) Dale Armstrong and Ron Armstrong and we have some things we want to test. We are going to use the first run tomorrow to do some testing. We are definitely going to test on Monday. We have some things that maybe will catapult us out here a little bit,” added Hight.
Ron Capps still struggling with his qualifying runs: He currently sits 20th in a 21-car field. Jeff Arend is struggling too: he’s at the bottom of the list at 7.293 sec. Courtney Force moved up to 11th and Alexis DeJoria dropped to 15th after a hair-raising ride on her second pass. Jon Capps made his first pass of the day and is 14th with a pass of 4.366 sec.
First round of Top Fuel Dragster qualifying: Tony “Sarge” Schumacher is No. 1 in the first round at 3.915 sec./309.34 mph. Steve Torrence is second, Spencer Massey is third. Completing the top 12: Bob Vandergriff, Antron Brown, Cory McClenathan, Shawn Langdon, Khalid Albalooshi, Doug Kalitta, Morgan Lucas , Brandon Bernstein and Steve Chrisman. On the outside looking in: Clay Millican, Terry McMillen, Steve Faria, David Grubnic, Troy Buff and Damien Harris. No-show: Maier.
Next round of Top Alcohol Funny Car qualifying is in the water box now and the pro classes are scheduled to make their second qualifying attempts at 5 p.m.
First round of Funny Car qualifying: Surprise! Johnny Gray tops the list of 20 cars. Gray toured the track at 4.244 sec./304.39 mph. Beckman is second, Hagan is third. Nice run for Alexis DeJoria – she’s fourth with a pass of 4.382 sec./253.71 mph. Completing the top 12 are: Bode, Hight, T. Pedregon, Wilkerson, Lesenko, Day, Densham, J. Force. Outside the top 12 so far are: C. Force, Neff, Tasca, C. Pedregon, Capps, Haddock, Arend and Head. No-show: Jon Capps.
First round of Pro Stock qualifying: Jason Line (Summit Dodge) tops the list in the first round (6.679 sec./206.99 mph).Completing the top 12 in the first round are: Allen Johnson, Mike Edwards, Greg Anderson, Ron Krisher, Roger Brogden, Ronnie Humphrey, Jeg Coughlin, Greg Stanfield, Steve Kent, Vincent Nobile and Chris McGaha. Outside the top 12 so far: Kurt Johnson, Erica Enders, Shane Gray, Gordie Rivera, V Gaines and Larry Morgan.
Local racers entered in this weekend’s NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals include:
Jon Capps (Las Vegas, Funny Car), Justin Lamb (Henderson, Comp and Super Gas classes), Robert Cruzen (Las Vegas, Super Stock class), Jeff Davison (N. Las Vegas, Super Stock class), Dwight Machael and Earl Blake (both Las Vegas and Stock class), John and Jon Irving (Boulder City, Stock class), Errol Farmer and Paul Wong (both Las Vegas and Stock class), George Garbiso and Bill Koski (both Las Vegas and Super Comp class), Meaghan Henderson (Boulder City, Super Comp class), Greg Hicks (N. Las Vegas, Super Comp class), 2011 LVMS Super Pro champion Roger Kato (N. Las Vegas, Super Gas class), Don Kruse and Chris Naffziger (both Las Vegas and Super Gas class), Jimmy Lintz and Jeff Farrar (both Las Vegas and Super Gas class) and Gary Reust (Pahrump, Super Gas).
Friday, 1:35 p.m.
Today’s first round of Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car and Pro Stock qualifying is going to be hectic.
Top Fuel Dragster – which Antron Brown referred to yesterday as the toughest field in the history of the sport in reference to drivers with a realistic chance of winning – has 23 entries.
The Funny Car class has 19 entries, which means only three drivers will not qualify. Everyone will be watching the two female rookies: Courtney Force and Alexis DeJoria.
The Pro Stock category has 21 entries, including Erica Enders and Grace Howell.
The first round of pro qualifying begins at 2 p.m. today.
The final round of Top Alcohol Dragster eliminations from last weekend’s NHRA LucasOil Series meet will be re-run during this weekend’s NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. Chris Demke of Sunland, Calif. was paired against Jim Whiteley. A gust of wind blew an object through the timing beams and stopped the clock in Whiteley’s lane. With a storm front coming in from the west that pushed gusts to more than 40 mph, both drivers agreed to re-run the final during the third round of Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
It’s that time of year again. The holiday lights are back in the attic and the tree is at the curb. Now it’s time to think about NASCAR. Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s staff is busily preparing for our March 4-6 NASCAR Weekend.
The operators are busy, taking ticket orders. The ticket department is awaiting the ticket stock, featuring the new Kobalt Tools 400 logo for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The maintenance department is sprucing up the 1,600-acre facility.
In short, each and every department is gearing up for the speedway’s biggest weekend of the year. And even if the department or venue does not showcase NASCAR’s premier levels of racing, it’s still involved. The drag strip becomes a giant hospitality village for the corporate sponsors and their thousands of guests. The Bullring is turned into a giant parking lot.
There are signs and banners to be hung, press releases to write, food and beverages to order, temporary employees to train, publications to print and ads to sell.
Each and every LVMS employee’s focus is centered on NASCAR Weekend, from now until March 6.
And we do it all for you – the loyal LVMS and NASCAR fans – because without you, none of this would be possible.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and it has nothing to do with Andy Williams, carols or sleigh bells. This is about drag racing at more than 300 mph in Las Vegas on Halloween Weekend.
The treat is everything offered to drag racing fans. The trick is to take it all in during the five-day speed spree.
The weekend actually kicks off on Wednesday, with the seventh annual Cards for Kids Texas Hold ‘em Poker Tournament at the Cannery Hotel & Casino on Craig Rd. at 6 p.m. You can play poker against some of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series’ biggest stars, including Jack Beckman, Brandon Bernstein, Cory McClenathan, Morgan Lucas, Melanie Troxel and Shawn Langdon. All money raised goes to a great cause: The Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Join the fun, rub elbows with some of the biggest names in professional drag racing – and maybe take home some cash.
Three – count ‘em – three free driver autograph sessions will take place on Thursday, enabling fans to meet just about every top driver in all four pro classes. Check our schedule for locations and times.
On Friday, the Funny Car, Top Fuel Dragster, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle action begins at America’s Greatest Drag Strip. The NHRA Las Vegas Nationals is the next-to-last race on the 2010 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series schedule and several heated points battles are coming our way.
John Force trails Funny Car leader Matt Hagan but just 64 points and can make up some ground if things go his way. Cory McClenathan is battling past Las Vegas winner Larry Dixon for the Top Fuel Dragster title. Greg Anderson has salvaged his season and finds himself just 36 points ahead of last year’s pro Stock champion Mike Edwards.
The competition will be fierce. While the aforementioned drivers are battling for championships, a near-record number of drivers will be gunning for precious qualification berths and victories. The Top Fuel Dragster entry list has swelled to 27, all hoping to make the 16-car field. The usual suspects will be joined by international entries, including Lex Joon of the Netherlands, Australia’s Mark Mariani and Stig Neergaard of Denmark. Twenty-one Funny Cars are entered and the Pro Stock roster is bulging at the seams with 27 cars.
If you do not already have your tickets you can obtain an $8 discount simply by bringing an empty Full Throttle can to the ticket office.
This is one NHRA you won’t want to miss.
"When I was your age..."
How many times did you hear that line - usually delivered by your parents - while growing up?
Well, I'm not your father, but I am a race fan - and NASCAR is coming to town Feb. 27-28 for the 400-mile Shelby American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sam's Town 300.
When I was a kid, fans drove long distances to the tracks, parked the car and then sat around waiting for something to happen. There wasn't much to do or see until the event started. If you were lucky, a local high school marching band performed prior to the opening green flag. When the race ended, you hopped back into the family car for the long ride home. Although the racing was good, the total experience left much to be desired.
In the mid-1990s, NASCAR exploded into the nationwide, major-league sport we know it as today. That explosive growth sparked a demand for distractions and amenities comparable to baseball and football venues. The millions of new NASCAR fans caused a crushing demand for access to its stars, the drivers.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway was constructed during the NASCAR explosion (in 1996) and underwent a substantial overhaul in 2007. The track now offers an experience befitting Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world.
It isn't hard to convince auto racing fans to come to Las Vegas because there is so much to see and do here. And when NASCAR fans take over the city during the last weekend of February there is a non-stop flurry of activity to keep them blissfully occupied.
Many drivers will participate in autograph sessions at local hotels and casinos. Joey Logano, NASCAR's 2009 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year titleholder, will appear at a local Home Depot on behalf of his sponsor. Race cars and simulators will be stationed at hotels, supermarkets and retail outlets. Traffic on the Las Vegas Strip will halt as the NASCAR haulers (the colorful 18-wheelers that carry the race cars and equipment) rumble into town on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. (Remember when the circus train came to town?) All of these activities are free to the public.
The speedway boasts the ultimate fan experience: the Neon Garage. Fans are able to stand safely within inches of their favorite drivers and cars and take in the hectic activity in NASCAR's "locker room," the garage area. The Neon Garage also is home to non-stop live entertainment (on the center stage) and the speedway's victory lane. Neon Garage ticketholders are invited to celebrate right along with the winning driver.
Speedway Children's Charities will host two events: a track walk and a NASCAR driver auction. The driver auction will take place at Sam's Town Live! on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. The highest bidder on each driver will have the opportunity to ride around the speedway with him (in front of a crowd of 150,000 of their cheering peers) during the pre-race driver introduction ceremony. The track walk for charity, led by a top NASCAR driver, will take place on the 1.5-mile superspeedway at 8 a.m. on race day.
What other sport allows fans to peer into the locker room and walk on the home court?
And if NASCAR alone does not offer up enough of a racing fix, the most rabid fans will find themselves at the half-mile Dirt Track for USAC and World of Outlaws Sprint Car racing on Thursday and Friday night, watching alcohol-burning machines broadslide through the turns amid the delightful aromas of fried dough and Italian sausage.
It's a great time to be a race fan, especially in Las Vegas.