Skip to comments.The Little Ol' FR 2009 NHRA Drag Racing Thread
Posted on 03/14/2009 4:53:38 PM PDT by flattorney
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JFR really does great updates from the track on their Twitter page.
03.25.09: NHRA Spring Nationals: Remembering Legendary Scott Kalitta
Jeff Arend and the DHL/Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car team have a little extra motivation to visit the winners circle this weekend at the Spring Nationals. In 1989, the late Scott Kalitta, drag racing legend and son of team owner Connie Kalitta, won the only Funny Car Wally (trophy) in the 50-year history of Kalitta Motorsports at the Houston event. Team Kalitta has over 50 Top Fuel class trophies on its mantle, but only one for a Funny Car victory.
Arend joined Kalitta Motorsports last year to assume the driving duties of the DHL entry after the tragic death of Scott as the result of injuries he suffered in a high-speed racing accident in June in New Jersey. Getting a win in Houston this weekend would be very special to us and everyone that loves NHRA drag racing and Kalitta Motorsports, Arend, a 46-year old resident of San Dimas, Calif., said. Twenty years ago Scott took the Kalitta Flying Services Funny Car all the way to a win at HRP. It would mean so much to this team to be able to repeat that fete 20 years later for him. Well all have a little extra spring in our steps this weekend to try to make that happen.
Arend and the DHL crew will also be part of a special event at the DHL Global Forwarding facility in Houston, Thursday, March 26. The DHL Funny Car will be on display to help celebrate the opening of the new and enormous facilities which house the DHL Global Forwarding group, as well as the DHL Industrial Projects group. - credit: Kalitta Motorsports
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2008 Spring Nationals Photos Video Cool video with Quite Riot . .Feel the Noise backing track.
On Thursday March 26, 2009, Team Kalitta's Jeff Arend and the DHL crew hosted a special event at the DHL Global Forwarding facility in Houston, Texas. Photos from the event.
03.21.09 FlA Says: Good article below on Karen Stoffer. Photos are from '09 Gatornationals. My comments from thread post #48: Karen is doing a number of things right. She and her team have a three year primary sponsorship from GEICO that runs through the end of the 2010 NHRA season. GEICO, owned by Berkshire Hathaway(Warren Buffett), is using the sponsorship to increase both their motorcycle and cars insurance sales. GEICO has been Karen's primary sponsor since 2004. The other PSM teams would kill to have her GEICO sponsorship. I hope Karen has a fantastic 2009 season. <> From my '09 Gatornationals Track Notes: PSM Karen Stoffer looked very good this weekend. She was real solid in qualifying ending up at #3 with a 6.963 @ 190.43. She won her first round of final eliminations with a great (0.070) 6.936 @ 192.11 pass. Karen had the 2nd lowest e.t. of the round with eventual PSM event winner, Hector Arana, the only one faster by one thousandth of a second @ 6.935. Karen's second round loss to Shawn Gann really hurt. When Gann started his burnout he bogged down the motor and it died. Karen had finished her burnout and had to wait while Gann's crew re-started his bike and he did another burnout. As can happen, the wait messed up Karen's rhythm/concentration and she was very late on the tree with a reaction time of 0.137. It was too bad as she ran both a faster e.t. and mph than Shawn. #SNIP#
03.18.09: Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Karen Stoffer Leads Geico's Big Leap Into Drag Racing
There was a time when Karen Stoffer was the lone gecko in drag racing. Now shes part of a grand scaled gecko invasion. The gecko we reference is the iconic cartoon icon pitching the Geico Insurance Company and their ability to save customers money. Geico Power Sports has made a splash in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing and one cant help but notice it all started with the personality-driven Pro Stock Motorcycle rider from Minden, Nev. Six years ago, Stoffer introduced Geico Motorcycle to the quickest and fastest motorsport in the world. Today she beams when discussing the companys increased involvement in drag racing.
Geico Power Sports sees the value of what NHRA provides, Stoffer explained. Drag racing stands out among the other motorsports venues. In other forms of racing the main attraction happens in one little part of the real estate called the race track. But, in NHRA events, the activity and excitement actually spans the entire real estate. You watch a race for maybe five seconds or seven seconds or whatever and then go down from the stands and you get to interact with all of the drivers, you get to see the tear downs, you get to drive all the interactive activities, shop along the racer mall. It offers so much more and Geico sees that. They've really extended their footprint.
That footprint remains a source of pride for Stoffer, who first entered NHRAs premiere two-wheeled eliminator in 1996 as one of three female riders alongside Angelle Sampey and Stephanie Reaves.
She needs no reminder that shes a blessed person and seeing the program expand to include Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas and the NHRA only amplifies the feeling. Stoffer admits this is the first time in her career that shes had a teammate. She always dreamed of the day shed have a teammate but Stoffer will also quickly admit that she believed they would be on two-wheels. Having a Top Fuel teammate can have its advantages. Having Morgan has brought a lot of publicity and support to the program, Stoffer admitted. We're really working well together. Large amounts of publicity are uncommon for the Pro Stock Motorcycle division but that is rapidly changing with this new program, as well as other controversial intangibles related to the bikes. #SNIP#
Stoffer and company are on the right track to elevate their program and Geico is putting the power to the Doug Johnson-owned team. One of the first investments, with the added Geico backing, was the addition of veteran Suzuki tuner Mark Peiser. In addition to Peiser, the team also debuted a new bike in Gainesville which won the event's Best Engineered Award. #SNIP#
Read Full Article with Photos
- - Stoffer watched from a distance as the Pro Stock Motorcycle community spent the winter up in arms over NHRA's legalization of Harley-Davidson four valves per cylinder engine. (Suzuki doesn't have one available yet. More of the on-going PSM V-Twin vs. Straight Line feud, i.e. Harley-D and Buell vs. Suzuki - fla)
GO JOHN FORCE!!!
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Hey girl, fantastic job on the FR Spring Nats posts. Quick scrawl em re huge day at HRP. Please FR post for me and put second half on the hub along with the final qualifying info per below links, on both. # # "Houston we have our supertrack again." Today was probably the best two rounds of qualifying I have witnessed in years. Even in difficult conditions with wind chill temps only in the low to mid 50's for Round 2, low 60's for Round 3, and very strong cross winds during both Rounds, we watched incredible lighting fast ET and MPH during qualifying, with records broken and several more drivers posting career bests. If I wasn't here, I wouldn't believe the numbers. It's like old times again after HRP was built back in 1987.
In TF, FC, and PS the top half of the fields destroyed the numbers they laid down in qualifying two weeks ago at Gainesville. PSM also did great, and would have done even better, if the 20-30 mph cross winds didn't give some of them major problems. Here we go. . . JJ just finished compiling the SpringNats to GatorNats comparatives that I added as an addendum. Please footnote add to qualifying stats to be posted. It says it all. . . unbelievable.
HRP's track was not only green from the heavy rains Thu and Fri (it was pouring when we arrived Thu night and off/on all day Fri with several major downpours and lightening) but the renovated track is so new that it really hasn't been broke in yet, particularly from 660 - 1320 feet. The NHRA Spring Nationals is its first major event. The American Drag Racing League's Dragpalooza V event on March 6-7 was only 1/8 mile (660 ft) racing. The Angel Brothers hit a home run with this track.
For the Finals tomorrow the weather will be perfect. The forecast is for a high in the low 70's, no chance of rain, winds only 5-10 mph, and humidity in the 30's % range. I believe we again are going to witness some of the best drag racing action I've seen in many years. All the pros I/we talked to in the pits are fired up about tomorrow. Needless to state, the three hour ESPN coverage tomorrow is a don't miss. # SNIP #
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed 1. Antron Brown Matco Tools Dragster 3.819 316.75 2. Brandon Bernstein Budweiser/Lucas Oil 3.841 316.23 3. Tony Schumacher U.S. Army Dragster 3.868 313.00 4. Clay Millican MPE Motorsportd Dragster 3.871 313.80 5. Spencer Massey US Smokeless Dragster 3.877 310.13 6. Morgan Lucas Geico Powersport-Lucas Oil 3.881 305.77 7. Larry Dixon Al-Anabi Racing Dragster 3.882 310.41 8. Shawn Langdon Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper 3.886 310.98 <+> 9. Cory McClenathan Fram Dragster 3.889 313.00 10. Urs Erbacher Century Asphalt Materials 3.922 307.16 11. David Baca Mach 1/Global Services 3.935 310.55 12. Joe Hartley Hartley Racing Dragster 3.972 305.56 13. Troy Buff Bill Miller Racing-Okuma 3.997 288.52 14. Del Cox Jr LA Kings-RG Industries 4.022 300.06 15. Terry Haddock Dragster 4.062 291.57 16. Todd Simpson Dragster 4.311 266.11 --------- Not Qualified --------- 17. Doug Kalitta Kalitta Motorsports 4.425 215.86FUNNY CAR
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed 1. Cruz Pedregon Advance Auto Parts Solara 4.075 301.00 2. Del Worsham Al-Anabi Racing Solara 4.082 306.40 3. Ashley Force Hood Castrol GTX Mustang 4.085 308.78 4. Tim Wilkerson Levi, Ray, Shoup Mustang 4.086 307.16 5. Jack Beckman Valvoline/MTS Charger 4.108 299.53 6. John Force Castrol GTX Mustang 4.111 303.78 <+> 7. Matt Hagan Shelor.com Charger 4.127 300.60 8. Mike Neff JFR/Ford Mustang 4.138 304.12 9. Tony Pedregon Quaker State Impala 4.160 302.01 10. Gary Densham All Floors-More Stratus 4.162 290.44 11. Bob Tasca III Motorcraft-Quick Lane Mustang 4.172 298.27 12. Robert Hight AAA of So. Cal Mustang 4.174 301.47 13. Jeff Arend DHL Solara 4.190 300.60 14. Ron Capps NAPA Auto Parts Charger 4.194 298.14 15. Jerry Toliver Canidae Pet Food Monte Carlo 4.198 288.52 16. Bob Bode Alard Machine Products Impala 4.204 294.37 --------- Not Qualified --------- 17. Brian Thiel Olympus Trailers Monte Carlo 4.258 294.43PRO STOCK
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed 1. Jason Line Summit Racing Equipment GXP 6.544@ 211.49 << 2. Kurt Johnson AC Delco Cobalt 6.562 210.44 3. Greg Anderson Summit Racing Equipment GXP 6.563 211.89^ << 4. Mike Edwards Young Life/Penhall GXP 6.567 210.87 5. Warren Johnson KN Filters GXP 6.567 210.44 6. Jeg Coughlin Jegs.com Cobalt 6.574 209.98 7. Jim Yates Wiley X Eye Wear GXP 6.575 209.59 8. Ron Krisher Valvoline Cobalt 6.576 209.59 <+> 9. Allen Johnson Mopar-/J J Racing Stratus 6.587 210.18 10. Johnny Gray Johnny Gray Racing Stratus 6.592 210.47 11. David Beckley Mountain View Tires Stratus 6.592 209.75 12. Justin Humphreys RaceRedi Motorsports GXP 6.599 208.88 13. Rickie Jones Quarter-Max/RJ Stratus 6.603 209.85 14. Steve Spiess Spiess Construction Cobalt 6.603 208.97 15. Larry Morgan Lucas Oil Stratus 6.605 210.01 16. Tom Hammonds Race For Achievement Cobalt 6.611 209.14 --------- Not Qualified --------- 17. Greg Stanfield Attitude Apparel GXP 6.617 209.04 18. Rodger Brogdon Kent Services and Trucking P 6.642 208.88 19. V. Gaines Kendall Oil Stratus 6.658 206.99 20. Dave Connolly Nitro Fish Wear Stratus 6.695 207.85 21. Joe Swindoll Swindoll Bros. GTO 6.705 205.60 22. Erica Enders Dragstar Racing Mustang 6.759 203.28 23. Mark Buehring Cobalt 6.774 203.77 24. Ronnie Humphrey Troy Humphrey Stratus 9.340 204.79 @ = Track ET Record ^ = National Speed RecordPRO STOCK MOTORCYCLES
Psn Rider Vehicle ET Speed 1. Andrew Hines Screamin Eagle/Vance-Hines 6.889@ 192.55 << 2. Craig Treble Team Scream Suzuki 6.925 193.74 3. Matt Smith Nitrofish Suzuki 6.939 192.96 4. Hector Arana Lucas Oil 6.945 193.63 <+> 5. Douglas Horne Horne Racing 6.975 191.02 6. Eddie Krawiec Screamin Eagle/Vance-Hines 6.983 191.24 7. Michael Phillips MPR - Damn Sport Suzuki 6.996 191.32 8. Wes Wells Kendall Suzuki 7.030 189.82 9. Steve Johnson Steve Johnson Racing Wyotech 7.031 189.07 10. Matt Guidera Rocklin Motorsports Buell 7.043 185.56 11. Shawn Gann Rum Bum Racing Buell 7.044 188.67 12. David Hope VRoom Racing Buell 7.088 185.97 13. Karen Stoffer Geico Suzuki 7.089 191.21 14. Junior Pippin Stone Mtn-Granite Mtn 7.106 187.34 15. Mike Berry MB Machining-LAT Racing Oil 7.133 182.08 16. LE Tonglet Suzuki 7.200 186.02 --------- Not Qualified --------- 17. Freddie Camarena Embee/Clay Smith Cams Suzuki 7.210 184.77 18. Joe DeSantis Javelina H-D-Green H-D 7.243 186.79 19. Redell Harris Master P/No Limit Record 7.407 180.45 20. Ken Van Buren AGP Turbo Suzuki 7.800 175.84 @ = Track ET RecordFlA & Co. Footnotes
Brown drove his Matco Tools dragster to a 3.819-second run at 316.75 mph to take the No. 1 qualifying position in Top Fuel. It is Brown's second of the season and 16th of his career. The good deal is that we got our Matco Tools dragster down the track every run and we did it with decent times, said Brown. I think were pretty geared up for tomorrow.
In Funny Car, Pedregon drove his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara to a 4.075-second pass at 301.00 mph to take the top spot. It's Pedregon's 36th career No. 1 qualifier and fifth at Houston. We were just trying to get into the field, said Pedregon. We werent looking at numbers or any particular way to run the car, we just knew we had to make a good run. I told Rahn (Tobler, crew chief) afterwards that a 4.07 is just a good clean run.
Line ran the quickest time in the Pro Stock category, driving his Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to a 6.544 at 211.49. On his way to his 16th career No. 1 qualifier, Line set the track record for speed. All and all we made a couple decent runs today and we have a real good car for tomorrow, said Line. I think well see a little bit slower times (tomorrow) but I think youre going to see some good racing and we feel like the condition tomorrow is a good condition for us to race in.
Hines had the fastest run on a motorcycle, riding his Screamin Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson to a 6.889 at 192.55. It is Hine's 23rd career No. 1 qualifier, second at Houston and a new track record for time at Houston Raceway Park. Youre like a kid in a candy store when you come to a track and have mineshaft conditions like this, said Hines. Youre just waiting for the moment when you can get weather like this because the times just automatically come with the weather and we took advantage of it in the first session.
Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. - Credit CP
March 28 2009 ESPN2 UPDATE:
ESPN2's coverage of qualifying from the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston may start late and be shortened due to the network's live coverage of NCAA hockey. Because the show was only slated for one hour [instead of two] from 8-9 p.m. Eastern and ESPN2 is committed to a live soccer broadcast beginning at 9 p.m., if the show airs tonight it may be a truncated version, but ESPN2 will air the full one-hour show Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern.
FWIW, I live about three miles (As the crow flies) from Houston Raceway Park. It’s not even in Baytown. It’s further east in West Chambers County.
The dragsters were LOUD today. Could even hear them inside my house which is soundproof and extremely solid.
An interestig article in yesterday’s Baytown Sun: “Track whisperer Key in Aiding NHRA crews”
It’s just not the same with the nitro cars only racing 1000 feet. I decided to save my money and not attend this year. It’s the first time in six years I haven’t atttended the O’Reilly Nat’ls.
Pro Winners (l-r): Treble,
Krisher, Schumacher, Force Hood
Ashley Force Hood
"Our first win was against my dad (14-time NHRA champion John Force in the final round at Atlanta, 2008) . so to be able to race against another team's driver in the final and win it, we're maybe a bit more cheerful than after that first win," said Force Hood, who ran a 4.122 at 306.19 mph in the final found to nose out Beckman's 4.227 at 303.43.
Schumacher's win - a holeshot 3.881 at 314.75 (0.059 RT) in his U.S. Army dragster to Cory McClenathan's 3.880 at 313.66 (0.098 RT) in his FRAM dragster -- was his first of the season and the first for the U.S. Army team since parting ways with longtime crew chief Alan Johnson, who tuned the Army dragster to five straight NHRA Full Throttle Series Top Fuel world championships.
The victory celebration was perhaps made just a bit sweeter for Schumacher as he used another holeshot to defeat Larry Dixon in the Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing dragster in the semifinals - 3.895 with a 0.082 RT to Dixon's 3.889 with a 0.104 RT.
"Winning on a holeshot, those are just numbers, man," Schumacher said. "Unless you have a great car that can leave like that, it doesn't mean anything, it takes the whole team. Take that exact same car with different pressure behind the barrel valve and it wouldn't leave at all. It's a group of guys doing a job and making me look good."
"We did real good all day until the last round," Krisher said. "I let out the clutch and the car just spun and didn't go anywhere. We lost about six-hundredths to 60 feet and my light went right away with it. It was shaking and moving around, but I looked over and Jeggie was in worse shape than me so I decided I was going to stick with it."
"Running out of my own pocket, I originally I had planned on cutting it off after Atlanta, but this buys us some time to try to find some financial backing, probably through Madison," Treble said.
This race, though, may be remembered as much for what happened before the final rounds as what happened in the final rounds. Fans who were in their seats early witnessed two national records, a spectacular Top Fuel explosion (by European champion Urs Erbacher), the first heads-up duel between Larry Dixon and Tony Schumacher (won by Schumacher in the semifinals) and the third heads-up duel between Ashley Force Hood and John Force (won by Force Hood in the quarterfinals).
The new national records were set by Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) and Mike Edwards (Pro Stock). Smith broke Angelle Sampey's nearly two-year-old record for elapsed time when he ran a 6.865 in a second-round win over defending series champion Eddie Krawiec. Mike Edwards set the new record for speed when he became the first Pro Stocker to surpass 212 mph with his 212.03 mph run in his semifinal loss to Ron Krisher.
Sunday's NHRA Full Throttle Final Results:
Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher, 3.881 seconds - 314.75 m.p.h. def. Cory McClenathan, 3.880 - 313.66
Funny Car: Ashley Force Hood, 4.122 - 306.19 def. Jack Beckman, 4.227 - 303.43
Pro Stock: Ron Krisher, 6.587 - 211.00 def. Jeg Coughlin 7.051 - 165.94
Pro Stock Motorcycle: Craig Treble 6.915 - 193.46 def. Douglas Horne 7.260 - 155.60
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Series resumes in a week with the April 2-5 SummitRacing.Com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. - Credit DRC, edits by JJ
01. Antron Brown, 317
02. Tony Schumacher, 297
03. Brandon Bernstein, 296
04. Larry Dixon, 279
05. Cory McClenathan, 270
06. Morgan Lucas, 230
07. Doug Kalitta, 204
08. Shawn Langdon, 170
09. Joe Hartley, 167
10. Spencer Massey, 156.
01. Ron Capps, 294
02. Del Worsham, 265
03. Ashley Force Hood, 261
04. Bob Tasca III, 257
05. Tony Pedregon, 232
06. Jack Beckman, 231
07. Matt Hagan, 210
08. John Force, 200
09. Robert Hight, 196
09. Mike Neff, 196.
01. Jason Line, 343
02. Jeg Coughlin, 317
03. Mike Edwards, 286
04. Allen Johnson, 260
05. Greg Anderson, 248
06. Ron Krisher, 247
07. Kurt Johnson, 219
08. Jim Yates, 189
09. Greg Stanfield, 186
10. Rickie Jones, 168.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
01. Matt Smith, 194
02. Hector Arana, 172
03. Andrew Hines, 152
04. Craig Treble, 151
05. Douglas Horne, 125
06. Eddie Krawiec, 107
07. Steve Johnson, 105
08. Shawn Gann, 104
09. Karen Stoffer, 87
10. Matt Guidera, 84.
He blowed up real good.
I love posting these little known facts about Top Fuel Dragsters;
One Top Fuel dragster’s 500-cubic-inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first four rows at the Daytona 500.
A stock Dodge Hemi V-8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster’s supercharger.
With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive, the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ig-nition. Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.
At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air-fuel mixture for nitromethane, the flame front temperature measures about 7000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, separated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing heat of the exhaust gases.
Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.
Spark plug electrodes can be totally consumed during a single pass. After half-distance, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. The engine is shut down by cutting the fuel flow.
If a spark plug fails early in the run, un-burned nitro can build up in the affected cylinder and explode with sufficient force to blow the cylinder head off in pieces or split the cylinder block in half.
In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate at an average of more than 4 g’s. In order to reach 200 mph before half-distance, the launch acceleration approaches 8 g’s. A Top Fuel dragster reaches more than 300 mph before you have completed reading this sentence.
With a redline that can be as high as 9500 rpm, Top Fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light. Including the burnout, the engine needs to survive only 900 revolutions under load.
Assuming that all of the equipment is paid off, the crew works gratis, and nothing breaks, each run costs an estimated $1000 per second.
The current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441* seconds for the quarter-mile (October 5, 2003, Tony Schumacher). The top-speed record is 333.25* mph as measured over the last 66 feet of the quarter-mile (November 9, 2003, Doug Kalitta).
Putting all of this into perspective: You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter twin-turbo Corvette Z06. More than a mile up the road, a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a measured quarter-mile as you pass. You have the advantage of a flying start. You run the Vette up through the gears and blast across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The “tree” goes green for both of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down, but you hear a brutal whine that sears your eardrums, and within three seconds, the dragster catches you and beats you to the finish line, a quarter-mile from where you just passed him. From a standing start, the dragster spotted you 200 mph and not only caught you but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 feet.
* These records have since been broken.
Wow Cool Photos!!
I’ve watched Angelle gently roll her bike forward during the staging, hoping for an extra mph and small jump off the line, then act like a good sportsman afterwards.
Angelle was great reactions and “drives” more than the top fuel drivers, who do not have a throttle or shifting, I’ll give her that. But Danica’s sport is more challenging than Angelle’s. “Indy” racing involves far more than acceleration and reaction. Shall we start with stamina? Cornering? Maneuvering?
The driver doesn’t have their own lane in Indy racing. Oh, how I could go on!
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