Each year since 1999, internet-based drag racing magazine CompetitionPlus.com has presented special awards, the Dot Coms, a reader-voted Best Of presentation. This year was a banner year for the Dot Coms, with hundreds of thousands of votes cast, and lots of awards went to the NHRA community.
Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park was voted drag strip of the year, and Lucas Oil was named Sponsor of the Year. Retiring Alcohol Funny Car giant Frank Manzo was voted Sportsman Racer of the Year while John Force won Professional Racer of the Year and was voted the winner of the magazine’s Mike Aiello Person of the Year award. National Dragster, the official publication of the NHRA, was voted as Printed Publication of the Year.
Courtney Force was voted to have the Best Twitter Feed, WFO Radio was named the Internet Radio/TV Show of the Year while Yellow Bullet won both for Facebook page and message board of the Year
The announcement of Castrol’s departure from the John Force Racing team at the end of 2014 was voted News Story of the Year.
Jack Davis, who helped revolutionize the world of performance exhaust with the development of the first step header during his long employment with aftermarket giant Hooker Headers, died Jan. 18. He was 79.
Davis joined the header manufacturer in 1961 after the former Stock driver met company owner Gary Hooker and was offered a ride in the company’s ’67 Belvedere Super Stocker. That led to a long relationship that lasted well in the 1980s with Davis spearheading the company’s research and development. The first step header went on the Pro Stock car of Ronnie Sox in the early 970s.
After he left Hooker, Davis and his son Darren, a national-event-winning Comp eliminator driver, opened Davis Step Headers, which they ran until 2003, when the senior Davis retired.
Pictured: Jack, left, and Darren Davis.
Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car, will be one of the many celebrities appearing at the 2014 St. Louis Auto Show this weekend. Hight will be signing autographs and talking to fans on Saturday, Jan. 25, from noon until 2 p.m. in the Auto Club booth. In addition to the 2009 NHRA Funny Car champion’s one-day appearance, the Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car on display for the full event.
“I love coming to the St. Louis Auto Show,” said Hight. “We have a ton of NHRA fans in the St. Louis area and the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park is one of our favorite races. The season is about to start so getting everyone revved up and supporting Auto Club makes for a great time.
The 2014 St. Louis Auto Show is the largest automobile event in the St. Louis area, featuring more than 500 new cars, trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles from over 25 manufacturers all under one roof. The auto show runs from Thursday, Jan. 23 - Sunday, Jan. 26, at the America's Center and Edward Jones Dome (701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101). For more information visit http://www.saintlouisautoshow.com.
Former Top Fuel world champion Shirley Muldowney and Doug Herbert, along with a cast of high-performance supporters, are teaming up to bring Muldowney’s 1940 Plymouth Sedan—the “Grocery Getter”—to the auction block in 2014. The proceeds from the sale of the two-tone pink hot rod will be donated to B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe), the 501(c)3 organization founded by Herbert, that teaches young drivers greater levels of skill and concentration when behind the wheel.
Muldowney’s son, John, was responsible for fabricating the custom chassis and handling the initial build for the unique machine. The final construction of the Grocery Getter will be performed by Loren Harris and his crew at Blue Ridge Hot Rods in Staunton, Va., who are donating their time and talents toward the completion of the project.
“This is going to be a major undertaking by everyone,” said Herbert, who also owns and operates the Herbert Performance Parts Center in Concord, N.C. “We’re planning on having the car completed by summer of this year and to take it on a show car tour around the country. Shirley and I have even talked about taking it on the Hot Rod Power Tour. We hope to see six-figure bidding for such a quality hot rod with Shirley Muldowney’s name on the title.”
“The job that Doug has done with B.R.A.K.E.S. helping kids to become such better drivers makes me even prouder to be his friend,” says Shirley. “I’m hoping the proceeds from the sale of the 'Grocery Getter’ will make it possible for even more young drivers to stay safe and avoid making a serious mistake out on the roads.”
For more information on B.R.A.K.E.S. or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.putonthebrakes.com.