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Webb Scores True 10.5 Win at Havoc in the Heartland Heads Up Series

POSTED ON June 13th  - POSTED IN Drag Strip, News

Havoc_logo2_5-16Unseasonably warm conditions greeted the racers and fans at the first Havoc in the Heartland event on Saturday, June 11 at the New Heartland Park Topeka dragstrip – the World’s Fastest Drag Strip!

A strong field of entries were on hand for the True 10.5 class. The field was by number one qualifier Wade Mooney from Lawrence with a 5.45 at 135.28 mph blast. The final round featured Topeka’s Tim Webb in his Chevy Malibu against Chris Maggard Camaro from Lee’s Summit, Mo. It was Webb for the win with low E.T. of the class 5.257, 154.21 mph run to stop Maggard.

The Index class winners included; Matt Hammes (10.00), Chuck Berve (11.00), Michael Rush (12.00) and JP Smith (13.00).

The next Havoc in the Heartland event is Saturday, July 9.

TRUE 10.5                            RT       HOMETOWN           MODEL          ET/MPH
Win    Tim Webb                 .039   Topeka, KS               Malibu           5.257, 154.21
R/U     Chris Maggard        .100   Lees Summit, MO  Camaro         5.656, 128.59

10.00 Index
Win    Matt Hammes         .090   Topeka, KS               Mustang       10.256, 121.97
R/U     Steve Rimmer          .051   Marshall, MO          Monza           10.324, 132.92

11.00 Index
Win    Chuck Berve             .002   Blue Springs, MO   Elcamino       10.976,119.15
R/U     Jack Fletchall            -.001  Holden, MO             Chevelle        11.040, 119.64

12.00 Index
Win    Michael Rush           .135   Kansas City, KS        Firebird         12.047, 100.48
R/U     Eli Thorpe                 .128   Topeka, KS               Falcon            12.122, 109.38

13.00 Index
Win    JP Smith                    .207   Topeka, KS               Corvette        12.336, 100.39

 

 

NHRA Announces 2017 Schedule: 29th Annual Kansas Nationals May 19-21

POSTED ON June 8th  - POSTED IN News

From NHRA Communications

nhra_member_track-4cThe 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule has been announced by NHRA officials. The 24-race circuit continues to reach more U.S. markets than any other major motorsports series and will once again thrill millions of fans with its unique brand of high-horsepower entertainment that features photo finishes by the world’s fastest race cars that dazzle with speeds in the 330-mph zone.

FOX Sports, through its national broadcast network and Fox Sports 1, will provide exclusive television coverage in 2017, with live coverage of many of the events, featuring action from Friday and Saturday qualifying rounds and Sunday finals.

The season will again open and close at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. The season kicks off with the tradition-rich Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 9-12, and closes at the highly revered dragstrip with the final race of the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 9-12.

Following the season opener, the series returns to Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix for the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Feb. 24-26. Advance Auto Parts, which acquired CARQUEST Auto Parts in a recent merger, will take over the title sponsorship of the popular Arizona event.

After the Phoenix race, NHRA teams will traverse the country to make it to the traditional East Coast opener at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway for the fan-favorite Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, March 16-19. Teams will then travel back to the West Coast for the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, March 31-April 2.

08_TopekaAn early-season three-race swing will follow: the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway near Houston (April 21-23); the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte (April 28-30); and the NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Georgia (May 5-7). The New Heartland Park Topeka, one of the fastest tracks on the tour, hosts the only other race during May, the NHRA Kansas Nationals, May 19-21.

In June, teams will again navigate the four-race “Eastern Swing,” starting with the NHRA New England Nationals June 2-4 at New England Dragway in Epping and followed by the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown June 8-11, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals June 16-18 at Bristol Dragway on Father’s Day weekend, and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals June 22-25 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk.

After a week off, the NHRA Mello Yello Series will make one more stop before the famed Western Swing. The tour will visit spectacular Route 66 Raceway near Chicago July 6-9 for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

The historic NHRA Western Swing kicks off with the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at scenic Bandimere Speedway in Denver, July 21-23. From there, the teams will journey farther west, stopping in Northern California for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 28-30) at Sonoma Raceway before finishing the Western Swing near Seattle at Pacific Raceways with the NHRA Northwest Nationals, Aug. 4-6.

NHRA Mello Yello Series teams will then take another week off before heading to Brainerd Int’l Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Aug. 17-20.

The last race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season at which the final positions for the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship can be secured will be the world’s most prestigious drag race, the 63rd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 4.

NHRA’s playoffs, the six-race NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, gets under way in mid-September with three consecutive weeks of racing: the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte (Sept. 15-17), the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis (Sept. 22-24), and the NHRA Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading (Sept. 28-Oct. 1).

The AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex near Dallas (Oct. 12-15) will set the stage for the final two Countdown races. The season concludes out West with the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas (Oct. 26-29) and the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, where world champions will be crowned in Southern California Nov. 9-12.

The Pro Stock Motorcycle class will again compete in a 16-race schedule, with six of those races in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

2017 NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES SCHEDULE
NHRA Mello Yello Series Regular Season
Feb. 9-12 Circle K NHRA Winternationals Pomona
Feb. 24-26 Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Phoenix
March 16-19 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals (PSM) Gainesville
March 31-April 2 Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals Las Vegas
April 21-23 NHRA SpringNationals Houston
April 28-30 NHRA Four-Wide Nationals (PSM) Charlotte
May 5-7 NHRA Southern Nationals (PSM) Atlanta
May 19-21 NHRA Kansas Nationals Topeka
June 2-4 NHRA New England Nationals Epping
June 8-11 NHRA Summernationals (PSM) Englishtown
June 16-18 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Bristol
June 22-25 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals (PSM) Norwalk
July 6-9 Route 66 NHRA Nationals (PSM) Chicago
July 21-23 Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals (PSM) Denver
July 28-30 Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals (PSM) Sonoma
Aug. 4-6 NHRA Northwest Nationals Seattle
Aug. 17-20 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (PSM) Brainerd
Aug. 30-Sept. 4 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (PSM) Indianapolis
NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
Sept. 15-17 NHRA Carolina Nationals (PSM) Charlotte
Sept. 22-24 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals (PSM) St. Louis
Sept. 28-Oct. 1 NHRA Keystone Nationals (PSM) Reading
Oct. 12-15 AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals (PSM) Dallas
Oct. 26-29 NHRA Toyota Nationals (PSM) Las Vegas
Nov. 9-12 Auto Club NHRA Finals (PSM) Pomona
(PSM) – Event will include Pro Stock Motorcycle

Heartland Park Happenings: Full schedule for June 6-12

POSTED ON June 6th  - POSTED IN News

While the official start of summer is still two weeks away, the racing events are really heating up at Heartland Park. June 6-12 is going to be a fun week and weekend!

Friday, June 10:
Friday Fun NightBring your car, truck or bike and bring your friends! Prairie Band Casino & Resort Friday Fun Nights at the “World’s Fastest NHRA Drag Strip” are a great way to have some fun after a busy week at work! Invite your friends and come on out!

Gate open at 5 PM
Racing from 6-10 PM (11 PM if there are more than 100 cars registered)

Get Prairie Cash!
Any racer or fan who attends an event at Heartland Park can take their ticket stub or wristband to Prairie Band Casino & Resort and redeem it for $20 Prairie Cash to play the first $20 on the house!

Saturday, June 11:

Havoc_logo2_5-16Come on out for our first of three “Havoc in the Heartland” Heads Up Series for 2016. This event will also host some hot and heavy heads up grudge match racing as well as test & tune for heads up drivers and cars.

Extreme Outlaw * True 10.5 * 10.0 & 11.0 Index * 12.0 & 13.0 Index

RACE INFORMATION
Extreme Outlaw & True 10.5 classes are 1/8 mile race distance
Index Classes are ¼ mile race distance
The 10.00 & 11.00 Index Classes are on a .400 Pro Tree
The 12.00 & 13.00 Index Classes are on a .500 Pro Tree

Download event flyer here.

All payouts are based on 16 car fields and will adjusted should any class be short

NHRA Safety Rules Apply

Extreme Outlaw and True 10.5 Classes will be laddered off a final “official” qualifying session – Sportsman Ladder will be used (no buy backs)
Index classes will be random pairings and will have a buyback available for first round losers
Test n Tune/Grudge matches throughout the event

TIMES
Gates open at 4 PM
Runs & Qualifying: 5 PM
Eliminations: 7 PM

Admission:
Adults: $15
Seniors & Active Military: $12
Kids 6-12: $3
Kids under 6: FREE

Sunday, June 12:

Kansas_SCCA_logoKansas Regions SCCA Solo II (autocross)

You and your car running one-at-a-time through a course marked out by orange cones – fastest time within your class wins!

Never done anything like this before? Come on out and give it a try – the Kansas SCCA folks will be happy to help you with the ins and outs of SCCA autocrossing. Register online here or simply walk-up and register that morning! Driver’s meeting is at 9 AM, so don’t be late!

Big Time Bail Bonds Sunday Night Showdown

SMALL--BIG TIME BAIL BONDS SHOWDOWN LOGOHPTCome on out for a fast and fun night of side-by-side racing on Heartland Park Topeka’s 3/8-mile dirt oval.

Pit gate opens for racers: 3:30 PM
Gate opens for spectators: 4:30 PM
Hot Laps Start: 5:30 PM
Racing Starts: 6 PM
Approximate Finish: 9:30 PM

 

Here comes June! What’s on the schedule for the first weekend

POSTED ON May 31st  - POSTED IN News

Wow, Mother Nature sure has decided to “shower” us with her blessings of rain during the month of May. But with June right around the corner, we’re hoping for drier skies and MORE Friday and Sunday night racing!

Here is what we’ve got on the schedule for the first weekend in June:

Friday: June 3:

Friday Fun NightGate opens at 5 PM.
Racing from 6-10 PM (11 PM if there are more than 100 cars registered)

Go here for racing and admission fees.

Don’t forget: after the races, take your wrist bands and head on up to Prairie Band Casino & Resort redeem it for $20 Prairie Cash to play the first $20 on the house!

 

Summit ET Series

 

PLEASE NOTE: The Summit Bracket Racing Series event that was scheduled for June 4 has been cancelled. The next Summit Bracket Racing Series Event is the Bracket Bonanza scheduled for June 25.

 

 

Sunday, June 5:
SMALL--BIG TIME BAIL BONDS SHOWDOWN LOGOHPTPit gate opens for racers: 3:30 PM
Gate opens for spectators: 4:30 PM
Hot Laps Start: 5:30 PM
Racing Starts: 6 PM
Approximate Finish: 9:30 PM

ADMISSION
Adult Admission $8.00
Children 12 and under $2.00
Seniors & Military $6.00 (with proper i.d.)
Pit Passes: Adult $25.00
Children 12 and under $10.00

Kalitta, Hagan and Line Race to Victories at NHRA Kansas Nationals

POSTED ON May 23rd  - POSTED IN News, NHRA News

From NHRA Communications

KALITTA, HAGAN AND LINE RACE TO VICTORIES AT NHRA KANSAS NATIONALS

TOPEKA, Kan. – Doug Kalitta raced to his third consecutive Top Fuel victory of the season Sunday and had to navigate Heartland Park Topeka’s dragstrip in an ill-handling racecar to turn on the win light in the final round at the NHRA Kansas Nationals.

Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) joined Kalitta in the winner’s circle at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster lost traction at the hit of the throttle and got sideways two times as he worked the steering wheel to cross the finish line in front of fellow finalist and rival Antron Brown.


“It’s one of those deals you take what you can get as quick as you can do it,” said Kalitta, who extended his series points lead to 95 over second-place Brown with the victory. “I don’t think my car ever hooked up. It was exciting. These wins don’t come easy, that’s for sure. I am just real happy to do it here at Topeka.”

It was Kalitta’s second win at Topeka and 41st victory of his career. Kalitta finished with a performance of 5.452 seconds at 238.85 mph, while Brown’s Matco Tools dragster also lost traction and posted a 5.687 at 298.60.

Kalitta said he’s had a few of those kinds of races in his career, which drivers refer to as “pedalfests,” and as a former USAC sprint car champion, he’s always up for the challenge.

“It’s a seat of your pants kind of deal and you try to stay off the centerline and not hit the wall,” Kalitta said. “I think I had it more sideways than I’ve ever had a Top Fuel car before. It finally straightened out and we were fortunate to get the win.”

Kalitta defeated Rob Passey, Clay Millican and Steve Torrence in earlier rounds to advance to the final. It was the ninth Top Fuel victory for the Kalitta Motorsports team at Topeka, including six for the late Scott Kalitta and one for Hillary Will. It is the first time in his career that Kalitta has earned three consecutive victories.

“I am definitely pretty proud of my guys and the opportunity I have got here with Connie (Kalitta, team owner),” Kalitta said. “We’ve got momentum. We want to just keep doing what we’re doing and hope it lasts as long as it can go. This is a really good car, and a really good team.”

Hagan’s Mopar Express Lane/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger also lost traction early in the Funny Car final round, but he managed to get on and off the throttle just enough to finish in front of Jack Beckman in a rematch of the Atlanta final last weekend.

Hagan stopped the clocks in 5.724 at 179.04, while Beckman’s Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger also smoked the tires on the run and trailed with a 6.560 at 146.75. It was Hagan’s second consecutive victory of the season, 20th career win and his first ever at Topeka.


“It was wild,” Hagan said of the final round. “It’s important to put everything in perspective. We set world records for E.T and speed and then to come back out here to win this race is a tribute to my guys and their hard work. My butt was puckered pretty good on that last run.”

Hagan swerved very close to the center line two times during the final, and although it took only a little more than five seconds, the run must’ve seemed like an eternity in the car that on Friday covered the same distance in a national record time of 3.862 seconds.

“It was one of those deals where it was ‘oh no, oh no, oh no.’ I don’t know how many times I hit the fuel pedal but it was a lot,” Hagan said. “Sometimes you’re just thinking ‘don’t blow up’. To see the win lights come on all day, I’m just tickled about the job (crew chief) Dickie Venables and all our Mopar/Rocky guys are doing.”

Hagan beat Brian Stewart, Robert Hight and Courtney Force en route to the final round, his first-ever at Heartland Park. He used a consistently quick car that posted low 3.9-second runs to win those rounds. In the final, he had to employ a different strategy.

“When you have a fast racecar like we did it’s hard to pull it back when the sun comes out like it did,” Hagan said. “We had been laying down some numbers all day and I didn’t expect to have to pedal the racecar like I had to.”

He said to earn a victory the way he and his Don Schumacher Racing team did this weekend is a great motivator for his entire Dickie Venables-led crew as the season nears closer to the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Hagan moved from ninth to fourth in the standings with the win. Courtney Force maintained the series lead in her Traxxas Chevy Camaro.

“The race wins are your common goal with 10 guys around you,” Hagan said. “The race wins will turn into championships if you win enough of them and that’s what’s really important for us. Back-to-back wins, I’ve only done it one other time, so that’s pretty special in itself. It just shows how good you’re doing, how well everyone is working together. We have to carry this momentum into these next races.”

In Pro Stock, Line captured his fifth win of the season in his eighth consecutive final round appearance, outrunning teammate Greg Anderson in the final round. Line finished in 6.664 at 207.85 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro, while Anderson’s Summit Racing Camaro trailed with a 6.687 at 207.02. It was Line’s first Topeka victory and the 42nd win of his career.


“It was the perfect weekend,” said Line, who outran Mark Hogan, defending world champ Erica Enders and Shane Gray to advance to the final from the No. 1 qualifying spot. “It was an exciting weekend for me and we didn’t mess it up. It’s a big deal to me. It’s nice to win at someplace you’ve never done well. I really can’t stop smiling right now. There were times I had good cars here but didn’t drive well. This weekend everything came together.”

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues June 3-5 with the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H.

* * *

TOPEKA, Kan. — Final finish order (1-16) at the 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.  The race is the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

TOP FUEL:

  1. Doug Kalitta; 2.  Antron Brown; 3.  Steve Torrence; 4.  Richie Crampton; 5.  Tony Schumacher; 6.  Shawn Langdon; 7.  Brittany Force; 8.  Clay Millican; 9.  J.R. Todd; 10.  Scott Palmer; 11. Terry McMillen; 12.  Rob Passey; 13.  Luigi Novelli; 14.  Terry Haddock; 15.  Smax Smith.

FUNNY CAR:

  1. Matt Hagan; 2.  Jack Beckman; 3.  Courtney Force; 4.  Tim Wilkerson; 5.  Robert Hight; 6. Alexis DeJoria; 7.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 8.  Del Worsham; 9.  John Force; 10.  Bob Tasca III; 11. Brian Stewart; 12.  John Hale; 13.  Chad Head; 14.  Ron Capps; 15.  Dale Creasy Jr.; 16.  Cruz Pedregon.

PRO STOCK:

  1. Jason Line; 2.  Greg Anderson; 3.  Allen Johnson; 4.  Shane Gray; 5.  Bo Butner; 6.  Alex Laughlin; 7.  Erica Enders; 8.  Vincent Nobile; 9.  Aaron Strong; 10.  Chris McGaha; 11.  Deric Kramer; 12.  Drew Skillman; 13.  Jeg Coughlin; 14.  Dave River; 15.  V. Gaines; 16.  Mark Hogan.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Sunday’s final results from the 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The race is the eighth of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Doug Kalitta, 5.452 seconds, 238.85 mph  def. Antron Brown, 5.687 seconds, 298.60 mph.

Funny Car — Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 5.724, 179.04  def. Jack Beckman, Charger, 6.560, 146.75.

Pro Stock — Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.664, 207.85  def. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.687, 207.02.

Top Alcohol Dragster — Joey Severance, 5.327, 270.27  def. Megan Meyer, 5.445, 263.20.

Top Alcohol Funny Car — Jeff Jones, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.676, 258.32  def. Clint Thompson, Chevy Camaro, 5.576, 260.86.

Super Stock — Justin Jenkins, Chevy Cobalt, 9.755, 130.52  def. Mike Cotten, Plymouth Barracuda, 10.146, 126.15.

Stock Eliminator — Trista Fenner, Chevy Nova, 10.683, 121.52  def. Brenda Grubbs, Chevy Camaro, 10.425, 122.86.

Super Comp — Austin Williams, Dragster, 8.938, 155.06  def. Mike Green, Dragster, 8.885, 175.09.

Super Gas — Bruce Johnson, Chevy Camaro, 9.921, 161.46  def. Duane Kohl, Chevy Corvette, 9.932, 160.96.

Top Sportsman presented by RacingRVs.com — Scott Javers, Chevy Camaro, 6.815, 204.23  def. Curt Harshfield, Chevy, 7.017, 188.81.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Final round-by-round results from the 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

TOP FUEL:

ROUND ONE — Clay Millican, 3.783, 320.74 def. Terry McMillen, 3.984, 245.58; Tony Schumacher, 3.748, 327.90 def. Luigi Novelli, Broke; Richie Crampton, 4.033, 218.72 def. Terry Haddock, Broke; Brittany Force, 3.707, 326.24 was unopposed; Doug Kalitta, 3.795, 287.23 def. Rob Passey, 14.800, 34.25; Steve Torrence, 3.800, 324.12 def. Smax Smith, Broke; Shawn Langdon, 3.915, 242.71 def. Scott Palmer, 3.940, 311.70; Antron Brown, 3.723, 319.82 def. J.R. Todd, 3.767, 322.96; QUARTERFINALS — Torrence, 3.770, 324.59 def. Langdon, 4.037, 248.84; Kalitta, 3.796, 325.61 def. Millican, 6.533, 89.42; Crampton, 3.781, 317.34 def. Schumacher, 3.782, 320.20; Brown, 3.753, 315.64 def. Force, Foul – Red Light; SEMIFINALS — Kalitta, 3.757, 329.10 def. Torrence, 3.840, 314.46; Brown, 3.784, 313.95 def. Crampton, 9.335, 76.58; FINAL — Kalitta, 5.452, 238.85 def. Brown, 5.687, 298.60.

FUNNY CAR:

ROUND ONE — Tim Wilkerson, Ford Mustang, 3.935, 325.45 def. John Hale, Dodge Charger, 4.086, 314.53; Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.943, 325.69 def. Brian Stewart, Mustang, 4.065, 313.15; Jack Beckman, Charger, 3.933, 327.19 def. Dale Creasy Jr., Chevy Impala, 4.311, 239.19; Courtney Force, Chevy Camaro, 3.943, 324.44 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.004, 305.29; Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 3.963, 321.81 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.188, 268.06; Del Worsham, Camry, 3.953, 327.27 def.

John Force, Camaro, 3.951, 328.70; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.006, 319.60 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 9.397, 79.86; Robert Hight, Camaro, 3.926, 329.67 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.242, 229.90; QUARTERFINALS — Wilkerson, 3.972, 324.44 def. Worsham, 5.624, 141.82; Beckman, 3.956, 316.75 def. Johnson Jr., 4.045, 309.34; Hagan, 3.942, 323.81 def. Hight, 3.963, 325.37; C. Force, 3.961, 324.05 def. DeJoria, 3.981, 318.69; SEMIFINALS — Beckman, 3.936, 324.20 def. Wilkerson, broke; Hagan, 3.951, 324.05 def. C. Force, 10.747, 80.24; FINAL — Hagan, 5.724, 179.04 def. Beckman, 6.560, 146.75.

PRO STOCK:

ROUND ONE — Erica Enders, Dodge Dart, 6.718, 205.19 def. Drew Skillman, Chevy Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Allen Johnson, Dart, 6.655, 208.20 def. Aaron Strong, Camaro, Foul – Red Light; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.748, 204.66 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.693, 207.24; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.653, 207.91 def. Jeg Coughlin, Dart, 6.746, 205.07; Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.645, 207.66 def. V. Gaines, Dart, 6.789, 205.32; Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.683, 206.57 def. Dave River, Chevy Cobalt, 6.777, 202.42; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.647, 208.30 def. Mark Hogan, Pontiac GXP, 6.905, 198.67; Alex Laughlin, Camaro, 6.653, 206.89 def. Deric Kramer, Dart, 6.696, 205.76; QUARTERFINALS — Johnson, 6.676, 207.02 def. Butner, 6.716, 199.37; Gray, 6.664, 207.15 def. Laughlin, 6.719, 206.48; Line, 6.661, 207.85 def. Enders, 6.725, 204.98; Anderson, 6.660, 206.61 def. Nobile, 6.738, 205.26; SEMIFINALS — Line, 6.670, 207.43 def. Gray, 7.725, 135.16; Anderson, 6.672, 206.67 def. Johnson, 7.317, 144.18; FINAL — Line, 6.664, 207.85 def. Anderson, 6.687, 207.02.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Point standings (top 10) following the 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

  1. Doug Kalitta, 710; 2.  Antron Brown, 615; 3.  Brittany Force, 580; 4.  Steve Torrence, 557; 5. (tie) Clay Millican, 440; J.R. Todd, 440; 7.  Richie Crampton, 418; 8.  Tony Schumacher, 403; 9. Shawn Langdon, 346; 10.  Terry McMillen, 310.

Funny Car

  1. Courtney Force, 601; 2.  Jack Beckman, 589; 3.  Tim Wilkerson, 554; 4.  Matt Hagan, 511; 5. Robert Hight, 510; 6.  Ron Capps, 504; 7.  Del Worsham, 485; 8.  Alexis DeJoria, 451; 9.  John Force, 448; 10.  Tommy Johnson Jr., 404.

Pro Stock

  1. Jason Line, 942; 2.  Greg Anderson, 816; 3.  Bo Butner, 614; 4.  (tie) Allen Johnson, 465; Drew Skillman, 465; 6.  Chris McGaha, 427; 7.  Vincent Nobile, 346; 8.  Erica Enders, 341; 9.  Jeg Coughlin, 339; 10.  Alex Laughlin, 327.

Defending NHRA Kansas Nationals Top Fuel Winner Richie Crampton Enjoys Busy Stretch as Team’s Fortures Improve

POSTED ON May 17th  - POSTED IN News

From NHRA Communications

TOPEKA, Kan. — Richie Crampton got the lift he needed to kick off one of the busiest stretches during the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Now returning to the place where he has had prior success, the Top Fuel standout hopes it signals the first breakout performance of the season.

2016_Richie_Crampton_ActionStruggling through a patch of four first-round losses in five races, Crampton saw encouraging signs out of his 10,000-horsepower Lucas Oil dragster last weekend in Atlanta. It netted only a first-round win to kick off a span of six races in seven weeks, but Crampton believes his team has turned the corner on its 2016 season.

Serving as the defending event winner of this weekend’s 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, Crampton, currently eighth in points in his third season in Top Fuel, believes the busy pace will keep himself and his team on an upward surge.2016_Richie_Crampton

“I prefer a busy stretch because you get so much seat time so frequently during back-to-back races that it helps keep you sharp and in the mix,” said Crampton, who has seven career wins. “At the end of the day, you’re doing what you love to do, and that’s go racing. For me, it’s important to do my job week in and week out and try and be consistent.”

Jack Beckman (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) were also last year’s winners. The race will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including live finals on Sunday. It is the eighth of 24 races during the 2016 campaign and an opportunity for the defending event winner Crampton to pick up his first victory of the season.

It was Crampton’s second of five wins a year ago as the Australia native qualified second and put together a banner weekend. Those have been hard to come by thus far in 2016, but Crampton believes the team made significant progress in Atlanta. He continued his strong performances in qualifying taking the No. 2 spot, but saw major improvements in consistency, something that has been lacking early in the season.

“We’ve got a lot to build on after last weekend (in Atlanta),” Crampton said. “We went down five out of the six runs and were competitive, for sure. (Crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) has done a great job of getting us back on track, and the guys have kept plugging away.

“We’re looking good to carry this new momentum back into a place where we have the track record and won the race the last time we ran there. We’re pretty excited about Topeka right now.”

Just getting over the hump in the first round at Atlanta was encouraging for Crampton and the entire team’s psyche. He fell in the quarterfinals to Shawn Langdon, but Crampton, who was named the NHRA’s top rookie in 2014, had only been out of the first round once since the season-opener in Pomona.

The team found momentum but maintaining it is the hard part in a Top Fuel class loaded with talent. Doug Kalitta won his second straight race in Atlanta to take over the points lead, while other standouts include reigning world champion Antron Brown, Brittany Force, who has two victories in 2016, Winternationals winner Steve Torrence, Clay Millican, J.R. Todd, Terry McMillen and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher.

“To get out of the first round is huge,” Crampton said. “First-round losses crush your points implications. We’re already keeping an eye on that, so to get out of the first round was huge. To make one of the best runs of the session with a 3.749 was also pretty good. We were obviously looking for more. But all things considered, it was a very constructive, successful weekend.”

Returning to Topeka gives the team added good vibes and the assurance they can run fast and consistently at the track. But even through the struggles earlier this season, Crampton liked what he saw out of his team. The team continued to work hard to find answers and Crampton believes the group won’t have to wait long for the payoff. Doing well in this hectic stretch will also give the team plenty of momentum heading into the summer and into the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, which Crampton qualified for during his first two seasons.

“As I’ve seen first-hand with my particular team, the commitment and the will to succeed and get back on track is there,” said Crampton, who is undefeated in seven side-by-side final-round appearances. “Morale never really gets down. We have a great group, and they know that it’s going to come around because (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) is one of the best and the Lucas Oil team is one of the best teams out here, period. It’s just working through the challenges.”

In Funny Car, fans witnessed what was at the time a record 15 three-second runs in the class last year. Race winner Beckman made five of those three-second runs, including a 3.984 second sprint in the finals to defeat 16-time world champion John Force. Beckman is after his first win of 2016, while others to watch include two-time season winner Tim Wilkerson, points leader Courtney Force, reigning world champion Del Worsham, Robert Hight, three-time Topeka winner Ron Capps, four-time Topeka winner Cruz Pedregon, Chad Head, Alexis DeJoria and two-time world champ Matt Hagan, who won last weekend in Atlanta.

In Pro Stock, Enders claimed her third victory of the 2015 season by racing past Greg Anderson one year ago. The two-time defending world champ will be looking for her second win in Topeka and first of 2016, as Anderson and Jason Line have dominated the new era of Pro Stock, which includes fuel-injected engines, shorter wheelie bars, flat hoods and a 10,500 RPM rev-limiter. Points leader Line has four victories and Anderson has three this season. Others to watch in the 200 mph factory hot rod category include Bo Butner,  Chris McGaha, 2014 top rookie Drew Skillman, 2012 world champ Allen Johnson, five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin, Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray and Gas Monkey Garage Chevy Camaro driver Alex Laughlin.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand how the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 22.

Funny Car Star Jack Beckman Ready for Qualifying Success to Translate to Victories at NHRA Kansas Nationals

POSTED ON May 17th  - POSTED IN News

From NHRA Communications:

TOPEKA, Kan. — Jack Beckman already has four No. 1 qualifiers through seven events during the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. But what the 2012 Funny Car world champion really wants is his first victory of the season.

2016_Jack_Beckman_ActionAfter a record-breaking season a year ago in his 10,000-horsepower Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T that included seven victories, four national E.T. records and a second place points finish, Beckman has had no problem putting up blistering numbers in qualifying, setting a national record early in the season with a pass of 3.879 seconds in Gainesville.

Finishing the job has been a different story thus far and Beckman hopes that changes at this weekend’s 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. Beckman enters as the defending event winner and on an upswing after a slow start, advancing to his first final round of the season last weekend in Atlanta after another No. 1 qualifier spot.

“At the end of the day really the only thing that matters is holding that trophy with your group in the winner’s circle,” said Beckman, who moved to second in points last weekend. “I’m confident we will challenge for the championship this year, but to win a championship you’re going to have to win several races. To win several races, you have to start out with one of them.”

Richie Crampton (Top Fuel) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) were also last year’s winners. The race will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including live finals on Sunday. It is the eighth of 24 races and Beckman isn’t exactly in a bad spot despite the blank slate in the win column.

He trails only Courtney Force in the points standings in the highly-competitive Funny Car class and the dynamic Don Schumacher Racing team, led by standout crew chief Jimmy Prock, has started to come alive in recent races.

The capability for incredible runs has been there all season, which has led to top qualifying spots in Pomona, Gainesville, Las Vegas and Atlanta. Figuring out consistency has been another story, however, at least early in the season. But Beckman and company have rounded into form nicely in the most two recent races. He raced to his first semifinal appearance of the season two races ago and then kicked off a rigorous stretch that includes six races in seven weeks with the runner-up showing in Atlanta.

“We had a great day and a rewarding weekend,” Beckman said about Atlanta. “We made a lot of strides in our tune-up and went from fifth to second in the standings so we made up some points. It’s still frustrating to get to a final and lose.

“Now we go into Topeka before we have a week off and start four in a row. But we’ll go into that with a mean car.”

The struggle all season has been finding consistent performances on a warmer racetrack. That plagued Beckman early in the year, but those issues appear to have been largely resolved thanks to the showing the past two races.

With warmer conditions becoming the norm at this point in the season, Beckman knew they had to find answers. Changes were made after struggling during Houston qualifying, which led to the semifinal appearance, and a couple more were made heading into Atlanta. Beckman, who won seven times in 2015 and finished second overall, said he sees the light at the end of the tunnel, but he knows there is more left to attain when it comes to performance.

“We’re not there yet,” said Beckman, who has 22 career victories. “There’s still some more performance left in this car. Once we get a better handle on this new clutch-disc combination then we can lean on it a little harder.

“We’ve done some pretty cool stuff, but we what we haven’t done is figured out what the car wants on hot race tracks. Let’s face it, for the next three months we’re going to get a lot more hot tracks than home run shots.”

Of course, winning in Funny Car is never easy. Beckman lost to teammate and two-time world champion Matt Hagan in Atlanta. A host of other top challengers await in Topeka, include points leader Courtney Force, two-time season winner Tim Wilkerson, reigning world champion Del Worsham, Robert Hight, three-time Topeka winner Ron Capps, four-time Topeka winner Cruz Pedregon, Chad Head, Alexis DeJoria and John Force.

Beckman knocked off John Force to wrap up a thrilling weekend at Heartland Park Topeka a year ago, as fans witnessed what was at the time a record 15 three-second runs in the class. Beckman made five of those three-second passes during the weekend and that is the type of performance he knows his team is capable of throughout the season.

“When we do our best, I don’t think anybody can beat us,” Beckman said. “But, boy, there’s a lot of teams out there doing their best this year. We’ve stubbed our toe a lot of times, but I think the changes that we’ve made have now given us as good of a hot-weather package as anyone out there. There’s (just) so many great cars out there.”

In Top Fuel, Crampton drove his Lucas Oil dragster to his second victory of the 2015 season. Crampton is seeking his first win against the likes of two-time and defending world champion Antron Brown and Brittany Force, who has two victories in 2016. Other top contenders for the victory include Doug Kalitta, who has won two straight races to move into the points lead, Winternationals winner Steve Torrence, Clay Millican, J.R. Todd, Shawn Langdon, Terry McMillen and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher.

In Pro Stock, Enders claimed her third victory of the 2015 season by racing past Greg Anderson one year ago. The two-time defending world champ will be looking for her second win in Topeka and first of 2016, as Greg Anderson and Jason Line have dominated the new era of Pro Stock, which includes fuel-injected engines, shorter wheelie bars, flat hoods and a 10,500 RPM rev-limiter. Point leader Line has four victories and Anderson has three this season. Others to watch in the 200 mph factory hot rod category include Bo Butner, Chris McGaha, 2014 top rookie Drew Skillman, 2012 world champ Allen Johnson, five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin, Vincent Nobile, Shane Gray and Gas Monkey Garage Chevy Camaro driver Alex Laughlin.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand how the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

The event also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 20 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 22.

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

NHRA KANSAS NATIONALS FACT SHEET

WHAT: 28th annual NHRA Kansas Nationals, the eighth of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in three categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The race also will feature competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series.

WHERE: Heartland Park Topeka, Topeka, Kansas. From Kansas City, take the Kansas Turnpike (I-70) to the Topeka Boulevard exit and travel south to the track. From Wichita, take the Kansas Turnpike (I-335) to the Topeka Boulevard exit and travel south to the track.

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, May 20-22

SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, May 20 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 4:30 and 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, May 21 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:30 and 4 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 22 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION:
Saturday, May 21, FS1 will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m (ET).
Sunday, May 22, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 2 p.m. (ET).

2015 EVENT WINNERS: Richie Crampton, Top Fuel; Jack Beckman, Funny Car; Erica Enders, Pro Stock.

MOST VICTORIES: John Force, 9, FC; Scott Kalitta, 6, TF; Warren Johnson, 5, PS; Cruz Pedregon, 4, FC; Greg Anderson, 4, PS.

HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA TRACK RECORDS:
Top Fuel – 3.710 seconds by Richie Crampton, May ‘15; 329.91 mph by Larry Dixon, May 2015.

Funny Car – 3.967 seconds by Chad Head, May ‘15; 325.06 mph by Courtney Force, May ’15.

Pro Stock – 6.515 seconds by Erica Enders, May ’15; 211.43 mph by Enders, May ’15.

NATIONAL RECORDS:
Top Fuel – 3.680 sec. by Antron Brown, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.

Funny Car – 3.879 sec. by Jack Beckman, March ’16, Gainesville, Fla.; 331.45 mph by Matt Hagan, Nov. ’15, Pomona, Calif.

Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.

TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 884-NHRA (6472). Tickets also available online at www.NHRA.com/tickets.

 

NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

GLENDORA, Calif. — Point standings (top 10) following the seventh of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel:  1. Doug Kalitta, 586; 2. Antron Brown, 522; 3. Brittany Force, 518; 4. Steve Torrence, 474; 5. J.R. Todd, 418; 6. Clay Millican, 387; 7. Tony Schumacher, 349; 8. Richie Crampton, 337; 9.Leah Pritchett, 308; 10. Terry McMillen, 293.

Funny Car:  1. Courtney Force, 522; 2. Jack Beckman, 482; 3. Tim Wilkerson, 476; 4. Ron Capps, 471; 5. Robert Hight, 458; 6. Del Worsham, 429; 7. John Force, 416; 8. Alexis DeJoria, 394; 9. Matt Hagan, 390; 10. Tommy Johnson Jr., 351.

Pro Stock:  1. Jason Line, 812; 2. Greg Anderson, 716; 3. Bo Butner, 553; 4. Drew Skillman, 432; 5. Chris McGaha, 393; 6. Allen Johnson, 392; 7. Jeg Coughlin, 308; 8. Vincent Nobile, 294; 9. Erica Enders, 289; 10. Alex Laughlin, 272.

Pro Stock Motorcycle:  1. Eddie Krawiec, 353; 2. Andrew Hines, 233; 3. Hector Arana, 207; 4. Jerry Savoie, 204; 5. Chip Ellis, 193; 6. Angelle Sampey, 179; 7. LE Tonglet, 143; 8. Matt Smith, 124; 9. Karen Stoffer, 118; 10. Scotty Pollacheck, 117.

 

Summit Racing Equipment Joins List of Heartland Park Sponsors

POSTED ON May 17th  - POSTED IN News

summit-racingThe New Heartland Park Topeka is proud to announce Summit Racing Equipment as the latest company to come on board as a sponsor. As part of the new partnership with the world’s largest mail order automotive company, fans will see signage from the company throughout the complex.

“We were very excited to hear that Scott Gardner was brought on board to be the General Manager at Heartland Park Topeka. We’ve worked with Scott the last several years in different capacities and I think it’s a perfect fit for him and the NHRA. We look forward to working with him in the future,” said Jim Greenleaf, Motorsports & Events Manager at Summit Racing Equipment. “When Scott approached me about getting involved with the track, we felt it was a great opportunity to support the track, racers and the vision he has for Heartland Park. We look forward to be a partner with those guys for many years to come. We wish them the best of luck with this year’s NHRA Kansas Nationals and future successes.”

Under new owners and new management, Heartland Park Topeka has been undergoing many changes and upgrades in recent months including: paving, dragstrip repair, suites remodeled and updated, bathrooms updated and painted, new and upgraded fencing, plus new landscaping.

“Summit is an outstanding company with exceptional customer service with only the finest quality products. I have been fortunate to have worked with Jim Greenleaf over the years and it’s easy to see the passion he and his team have for the racer,” said Scott Gardner, General Manager of the New Heartland Park Topeka. “It’s exciting for me to have them as part of the Heartland Park Topeka family as we move forward in operating this facility.”

“When it comes to outstanding customer service and follow-up, Summit Racing Equipment leads the pack. They are a team of dedicated people who genuinely care about the racer and it is evident with their multiple commitments in the industry. We are proud to have them as a marketing partner at Heartland Park Topeka and look forward to a long lasting relationship,” adds Gardner.

The New Heartland Park Topeka will host the 2016 NHRA Kansas Nationals this coming weekend, May 20 -22 and expect their largest crowd of the season.

Topeka Businesses Welcome New Heartland Park Owners

POSTED ON May 12th  - POSTED IN News

To welcome the new owners of Heartland Park Topeka, local companies have come together to support the track’s grand reopening through sponsorship promotions. After being temporarily shut down for the majority of the 2015 season, the new owners of Heartland Park Topeka purchased the multi-purpose motorsports facility at the beginning of the year and have made multiple upgrades to the landscaping, buildings, track surface, as well as adding a new motocross track to the 650-acre property.

The following Topeka companies have teamed up to support the New Heartland Park Topeka: Strathman Sales Anheuser-Busch distributor, CoreFirst Bank, Unifirst Supplies, Quality Home Solutions, TFM Communications, Golden Corral, Green Touch Landscaping, Ferrellgas, Subway, United Rentals, Victor L Phillips and Murphy Tractor.

In addition, Grasshopper, which is nationally headquartered in Kansas and has distributors located in Topeka, has joined forces to help bring back the Midwest’s favorite track. Grasshopper is also a supporter of other NHRA national event tracks throughout the U.S.

Matt Strathman, owner of Strathman Sales in Topeka, has been a supporter of the Heartland Park as a sponsor and racer participant from the time the facility first opened in 1989, until present. “I know Heartland Park as well as anyone from attending a lot of events out there over the years. I was so thankful to hear about the new ownership group stepping up to secure its future. Having a facility like that host weekly, regional, and national events is great for Topeka and entire Northeast Kansas area. We are excited to see the investment being made to bring it up to the caliber of other national event facilities and looking forward to a full season of events in 2016”, said Strathman.

The new Heartland Park Topeka ramps up its 2016 racing schedule with this weekend’s NHRA National Open, followed by the NHRA Kansas Nationals. This will be the 28th annual Kansas Nationals held at the New Heartland Park Topeka, and President General Manager, Scott Gardner, is positive they will have one of the largest sportsman entries.

“When racers have the opportunity to participate in two consecutive major event weekends at the same facility it helps them chose to come to an event like ours. With the National Open being the week before the Kansas Nationals, they have the chance to race on back-to-back weekends without having to change locations, and we expect to have one of the largest car counts because of this,” Gardner noted confidently.

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