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NHRA “Arizona Nationals” Coming to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park this Weekend

NHRA is back February 24-26. This annual duel in the desert continues in its traditional spot as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ second event. Come out and see racers top speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour! This top competition series includes the classes of Top Fuel Dragster, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle.  Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park has been a long-time favorite of drivers because of the record performances the track delivers as they vie for an NHRA Wally Trophy. You won’t want to miss seeing drag racing at its finest at this fast, loud, and wildly entertaining event. For ticket information go to www.racewildhorse.net

NASCAR NEWS: Back-to-Back Daytona 500 Poles for Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott captured his second straight pole for the Daytona 500.
Last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year turned a lap of 192.872 mph to earn the top spot for “The Great American Race” two years in a row.
“This is cool for everybody. The No. 24 team in the past with Jeff (Gordon) and last year with us have proved they are really good at qualifying on these race tracks and that doesn’t happen by just staying the same,” Elliott said. “They’re always trying to find new things in the body or the engine or whatever it is – proof they are keeping up with the competition and taking the next step. It’s a testament to them.”    It was Elliott’s third career Cup Series pole and he became the first driver in history to take the Daytona top spot in his first two career starts.     It’s the third consecutive year the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports ride has won the Daytona 500 pole dating back to Gordon’s effort in 2015. Alan Gustafson became the first crew chief since Ernie Elliott, Chase’s uncle, to guide a car to three straight poles. READ FULL STORY

NASCAR Update:


NASCAR’s 69th season gets rolling this weekend at Daytona International Speedway with Saturday night’s Advance Auto Parts Clash non-points special event kicking off Speedweeks 2017.Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” NASCAR Clash

will open its coverage from Daytona by airing Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice on Friday at 5 p.m. (ET). There’s another session scheduled for Saturday at 11:30 a.m., with exclusive radio coverage of the Advance Auto Parts Clash to follow.The non-points special event features pole winners from last season. Denny Hamlin won last year’s race and is bidding to become just the fifth driver in the 39-year history of the event to claim back-to-back victories. Neil Bonnett was the first to double up, in 1983 and ’84; followed by Ken Schrader (1989-90), Tony Stewart (2001-02) and Kevin Harvick (2009-10).MRN’s live coverage begins Saturday at 7 p.m. The broadcast from “The World Center of Racing” will be anchored by Joe Moore and Jeff Striegle with analysis from Hall of Fame driver Rusty Wallace. Then on Sunday, MRN will air live coverage of Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented by Kroger – to set the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineups for next week’s twin qualifying races. Air time is 3 p.m. READ FULL STORY

NHRA Results from Pomona: Pritchett with Papa John’s Pizza, Hagan with Mopar Express Lane give DSR Sweep

Don Schumacher left the NHRA Winternationals on Sunday with great taste after enjoying a double-double to start the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

And this mouth-watering double-double had nothing to do a stop for a two-patty burger at In-N-Out, the iconic West Coast restaurant chain.

The first double was on Sunday when Don Schumacher Racing’s Leah Pritchett in the Papa John’s Pizza Top Fuel dragster and teammate Matt Hagan in the Mopar Express Lane 2017 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car swept the nitro poles at the Fairplex near Los Angeles.

The second part of drag racing’s double-double came Sunday when Pritchett and Hagan won their respective titles in championship eliminations to push DSR’s total to 295 event titles.

And Hagan with crew chief Dickie Venables and assistant Michael Knudsen added some special sauce when they won their pole with an astonishing elapsed time of 3.822 seconds at 335.57 mph to match the NHRA world records the team set last year.

It is the second time in the past five Mello Yello events – dating to the event in Reading, Pa. last October – that Pritchett and Hagan started race day in the No. 1 qualifying positions.

It was Hagan’s 23rd Funny Car victory with a 3.875 at 330.07 to beat Courtney Force’s 3.901 in the final round. READ FULL STORY

NHRA News: Leah Pritchett in Top Fuel and Courtney Force in Funny Car Record Historical Runs to Close out Spring Training Testing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park

Leah Pritchett (Leah Pritchett)

On Saturday February 4th both Leah Pritchett and Courtney Force recorded all time quick ET’s in their nitro powered race cars. Leah Pritchett’s 3.654 driving her Papa John’s Pizza sponsored Top Fuel Dragster would easily be a new NHRA National Record if recorded during competition and then backed up. Pritchett recorded 3 of the quickest runs during testing.

Courtney Force recorded the quickest Funny Car run in history, with her 3.804 blast on Saturday piloting her Advance Auto Parts Chevy, at a stunning 333.33 miles per hour, which was actually faster than any of the Top Fuel cars.

The 2017 NHRA season kicks off this week (Feb. 9 – 12) at the Circle K “Winternationals” in Pomona California. Then two weeks later, they are right back here in Arizona at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park on Feb. 24 – 26

NHRA News: Nitro Spring Training Report From Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler

(Courtney Force)

Friday NHRA Nitro Spring Training testing turned out to be ladies day at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside of Phoenix, Az.   In the closing hours of day two testing, both Courtney Force (Funny Car) and Leah Pritchett (Top Fuel) registered career best elapsed times to pace their respective divisions.    Not only did Force registered a personal best behind the wheel of her Advance Auto Chevrolet Camaro, but also raised the mark for the entire NHRA Funny Car division with a 3.804 elapsed time at 333.33 miles per hour. The current official NHRA Funny Car mark is a 3.822 set by Matt Hagan last season.    “It’s a pretty crazy experience,” Force said. “It was exciting to hear the guys come on the radio and tell me what the car ran. I didn’t think I heard them correctly, so I didn’t get overly excited at first. I know this Advance Auto Parts Camaro made a good pass, but I didn’t think it was a 3.80. It’s crazy, and even though it is an unofficial national record since we are testing.   “I’m still excited about it. That’s a huge number for us to put on the board. We made two 3.84 passes today, which is pretty awesome. We are excited to be able to deliver this kind of performance for Advance Auto Parts. We are thrilled to be running so good in testing. I’m ready to get the season going.”   Defending NHRA champion Ron Capps was second quickest with a 3.854 while Robert Hight clocked a 3.859 elapsed time.   Pritchett, behind the wheel of her Papa John’s Pizza Top Fuel dragster, jumped to the top of the list as the sun set with a 3.677 elapsed time at 323.27 miles per hour. One run earlier, she had stopped the clocks at 3.685 seconds.   “It felt one hundred percent different than it did yesterday,” Pritchett said. “Because yesterday we carried the front end so high and so long, for like 75 feet. I’m trying to steer the car, it’s washing out right, I’m trying to steer it, the wheels come back down, it wants to shoot me toward the center. I’m like, ‘This is a brand new race car. Am I going to need to learn how to drive this thing all over again?’   “We stayed and put some weight on the front and made some other weight changes around there, some wing angle, another degree and a half. And then once this morning it got planted and I was like, ‘That’s my hot rod. That’s a race car right there.’ So that .68 felt like a .68. That .67, I’m going to be totally honest with you, it probably has a little bit more, but it felt good.   “They say that we’re rusty after offseason, I mean that’s a statement of fact. You don’t just not go 330 miles per hour for almost three months, so it’s every bit of the rush of a 3.67.”  Steve Torrence was second quickest with a 3.691 while Doug Kalitta was third with a 3.703. READ FULL STORY

Points N Plugs by Jerry Hutchcroft


WOW, this was really a tough decision, that Donna and I talked about for many months, but after 10 full years of producing the TV Show we think this is the right time to bring it to an end. Chip Foose and his Overhaulin TV show ended after 10 seasons. In our 10 years, we have produced over 300 different shows, almost all were related to rodding and racing related people, events and companies from Arizona. Our move to Sun Lakes did have a lot to do with this decision, as did the editing of the shows and several other factors. One main reason is improving  the Roddin’ & Racin’ newspaper, that we have been publishing for almost 30 years.

Donna and I send sincere THANKS!!! to all of the sponsors and the awesome people at COX Media at Master Control and to all of the other people that made the show possible, especially to Patrick Donahue.

Jerry Hutchcroft

NASCAR News: NASCAR Announces New Race Format


NASCAR announced enhancements to the race format and points system for the 2017 season during a press conference Monday evening at the Charlotte Convention Center.

After listening to the fans, industry key stakeholders – teams, drivers and tracks – met to help plan out the new format that is intended to help create more compelling racing early in each race and add additional incentives for competitors during the events.

“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”

Starting with the season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway, each race for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series – will be divided into three stages with no changes to the advertised distance. Each of the first two stages (approximately 25-30 percent of the race distance) will end at the designated lap count regardless of race flag conditions. The four drivers racing for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in each respective series will not score stage points. READ FULL STORY


GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2017) — For the second consecutive year NHRA Nitro Spring Training is headed to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., Feb. 1-4, where fans will have an opportunity to join NHRA’s elite drag racers as they gear up for the 2017 season.

Defending champions and rookies will take to the track for the first time in 2017 to prepare their 10,000 horsepower, 330 mph machines for the 24 race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. With a purchase of a one-day ticket to the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Feb. 24-26, fans will be able to attend the test session on Sat., Feb. 4 for only $15. Fans that opt to purchase a full event ticket to the Arizona Nationals will receive a free ticket to testing. Watch as teams perfect their tune ups and drivers get back into the groove to make a go at a championship season.

Stay connected and join the conversation by following NHRA on Twitter, @NHRA, Instagram and Facebook and use the event’s hashtag, #NitroSpringTraining.

Visit racewildhorse.com or call 877-840-0457 to purchase your NHRA Arizona Nationals tickets and add on the exclusive pre-season experience of Nitro Spring Training.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Points N Plugs by Jerry Hutchcroft

Auction week here in Arizona is in full swing, from the huge SHOW and collector car auction at Barrett-Jackson, to Russo & Steele to Gooding & Company to RM Sotheby’s to the Silver Auctions at Ft. McDowell Casino. My cousin Ed Gilbert and I have been to several of the auctions so far, including the Silver Auction near the hotel at Ft. McDowell Casino near Fountain Hills. They have about 500 vehicles crossing the block from Thursday Jan. 19th until Sunday Jan. 22nd. They have a really neat mix of collector type vehicles (hot rods, muscle cars & trucks etc.) and an eclectic assortment of other interesting and unique vehicles. The prices we saw seemed very fair for the cars crossing the block. We saw a kind of nice 1955 Chevy four door wagon with so-so paint sell for $16,000 which I thought was really good for that car. The Memoribillia auction starts early on Friday at 10:am then at 9:30am on Sat. and at 11:am on Sunday. The vehicle auctions start on Friday at 11:am until 9:pm, on Sat. at 10:30am until 9:pm, and on Sunday at 11:30am until 6:pm   For INFO Call them at 1-800-255-4485.  The Auction Goes Rain or Shine!!!