The best Father's Day, ever

With a win and a runner-up, Greg Stanfield and his son, Aaron, came within one round of having the perfect Father’s Day in Bristol.
21 Jun 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Greg Stanfield got beat by first-time winner Marty Rinehart in the Bristol Super Stock final but the sting of losing was tempered by the Father’s Day gift he got from his son, Aaron, which happened to be the Bristol Top Dragster Wally. The younger…
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Three years running

Dan Northrop accomplished a feat even more rare than a national event double when he won his third-straight Englishtown title
14 Jun 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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A year ago, I used this space to write about how Dan Northrop went to Englishtown and successfully defended his 2015 Super Gas title. Northrop hadn’t raced with a throttle stop in a year but that didn’t stop him from defeating John Labbous Jr. in…
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Pouring it on

John Labbous Jr. wins his fourth Super Gas race of the season to take commanding points lead in his first trip to New England Dragway
07 Jun 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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In 1987, when “Super Steve” Cohen won NHRA’s first Super Comp national championhip, he won so early and so often that he had the title sewn up by mid-July. History might well repeat itself this season thanks to the incredible win streak that John…
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Sportsman's paradise

Last weekend's JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals in Bowling Green, Ky., was a haven for NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series drivers, including four first-time winners.
31 May 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Louisiana has long been known as the “Sportsman’s Paradise” or so it says on the official state license plates, but last weekend, that unofficial title may have shifted a bit north to Bowling Green, Ky., the site of the annual JEGS NHRA…
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The fifth dimension

Austin Williams accomplished an almost unheard of feat by winning the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals for the fifth straight year
24 May 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Thankfully for Austin Williams, Heartland Park Topeka is less than 500 miles from his home in Burleson, Texas, but even if the distance was twice that far, he’d still be happy to make the trip. It isn’t hard to understand why Williams might have a…
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Five shots, zero doubles

At the Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta, five drivers made it to the late rounds with a chance to double up. None of them were able to seal the deal in one of drag racing's most challenging feats.
10 May 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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With two completed doubles and another near miss in the first six races of the 2017 season, it was temping to think that it was getting easier for a Sportsman driver to notch two wins in the same weekend. Not so fast. Yes, Ed Oplin opened the…
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Another week, another double

With a little help from his friends, John Labbous Jr. becomes the latest driver to double-up after winning the Super Comp and Super Gas titles at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.
03 May 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Believe it or not, a double victory remains one of the most difficult feats to accomplish in NHRA drag racing. As most drivers know, winning one race is hard enough but to win two on the same day is extremely problematic. Despite the challenges of a…
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Double threat

After an incredibly hot start, Kevin Helms is leading the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series points standings in both Super Stock and Stock.
26 Apr 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Kevin Helms missed his second career double by a fraction of a second when he lost in the Super Stock final, but that was about the only thing that went wrong for the four-time champion during last weekend’s NHRA SpringNationals in Houston.…
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Just get out and race

For performance car enthusiasts, there are more options now than ever to take part in organized drag racing events
19 Apr 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Last week’s introduction of the amazing 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon should permanently put to rest the notion that the U.S. is no longer a car culture. The launch of the Demon was covered far and wide by major media outlets…
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Pure perfection

Dean Hall’s Top Sportsman win in Las Vegas might have featured the best driving performance in the history of the class.
05 Apr 2017
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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It has often been said that a driver needs at least one lucky round in order to win an NHRA national event, but for Las Vegas Top Sportsman champion Dean Hall that might not be the case. Luck is often a rare commodity,…
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More Gators Gold

Beyond the event winners, there were a handful of Sportsman racers who also made their mark on the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
29 Mar 2017
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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There is a strong likelihood that the recent Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals will be remembered as one of the best races of the 2017 season and for Sportsman racers Lester Johnson, Roy Hill, and Carl Tasca, it was certainly a memorable race.…
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The hottest driver in drag racing

Meet Terry Nagel, the NHRA Stock racer who has won three of his last four events, including the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
22 Mar 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Last weekend at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, nitro racers Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan had their two-race winning streaks snapped in Top Fuel and Funny Car, respectively. There is one other driver who suffered no such loss of…
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Fast Five: Factory Stock Showdown

The popular School of Automotive Machinists and Technology NHRA Factory Stock Showdown returns at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals. Here are five questions that are will be answered in Gainesville.
15 Mar 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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The Amalie NHRA Gatornationals will not only feature the first event of the season for racers in the Pro Stock Motorcycle and the J&A Service Pro Mod series, but it will also mark the 2017 debut of the new and improved School of Automotive…
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Fifty plus one

Jeff Lane and his son, Cody, each celebrated wins at the Division 7 opener in Phoenix. For Jeff, it was win No. 50, and for Cody, it was his first.
08 Mar 2017
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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When Jeff Lane turned on the win light in the Comp final at last weekend’s Division 7 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, it represented a significant milestone in an already remarkable career. Lane’s…
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By George, He's Done It

It took George Stassi 50 years to finally win his first NHRA national event, but he quickly found out that it was worth the wait.
01 Mar 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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During his five decades as a dedicated NHRA Sportsman racer, George Stassi Jr. has seen and done a lot, but he hadn't turned on a win light in a national event final round until last weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports…
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In defense of bracket racers

With a competitor base numbering in the tens of thousands, E.T. bracket racing is not only the most popular form of drag racing competition in the world, but from a driving standpoint, it’s also the most challenging.
22 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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There are those who think that E.T. bracket racing is easy or that bracket racers are somehow inferior to those racers who compete in heads-up or performance-based classes. People with that mindset are sadly mistaken. Bracket racing, where…
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Twice as nice

Veteran racers dominated the Lucas Oil Series Sportsman action in Pomona, including Ed Olpin, who scored the first double of the new season.
15 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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It certainly didn’t take long for the first double-up of the new season. At the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, the first of 25 national events to be contested during the 2017 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season, Utah’s Ed Olpin accomplished a…
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And they're off

The 2017 season officially starts this weekend, and among other things, that means Jimmy DeFrank will have an opportunity to pursue a sixth Super Stock national championship.
08 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Much like baseball’s spring training, the start of each new season of NHRA Drag Racing brings with it a renewed sense of optimism and hope. The first day of the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals means fresh paint, fresh parts, and an…
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Five burning questions for 2017

Want to know what’s going on in NHRA Sportsman racing in 2017? Here are a few things to look out for as the new season kicks off
01 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Technically, the 2017 season kicked off last weekend with the Pacific Division National Open event at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Calif., and we’re less than two weeks from the first national event of the season, the Circle K NHRA Winternationals…
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Thumbs-Up

Practice Tree races have become a hugely popular way for racers to pass the downtime during the winter months. Here’s a look at a couple of the biggest and most successful ones in the country.
25 Jan 2017
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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On Jan. 7, Justin Vickers won $10,000, and he didn’t burn a drop of racing fuel in order to do it. Vickers, who lives in Ohio, made the trek to Alabama for the 4th annual Practice Tree Showdown presented by Plourd Racing Products and emerged as the…
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Who's Next?

Predicting the next national champions is hard work, but here are ten racers who have never won a championship, but could easily breakthrough for a title in 2017
18 Jan 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Quickly scanning the numbers, more than 5,000 racers competed in at least one event in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman last season and a significant number of those racers entered enough events to…
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Top five sportsman moments of 2016

30 Nov 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
The quest for 100: In the 62-year history of NHRA drag racing, just two drivers – John Force and Frank Manzo, have managed to win 100 national event titles. For most sportsman racers, even those who travel often and attend many…
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The rarest double of them all

16 Nov 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
  Other than the final round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals, where he lost to Bob Gullett’s nearly perfect run, there likely isn’t much that Jeff Strickland would have changed about the 2016 season. Strickland opened the year with a…
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Championship Sunday

09 Nov 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
The final NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional event of the season at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway wasn’t much different from the traditional and much-hyped Championship Sunday in college football, when conference titles are…
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In the Nick of time

26 Oct 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
When he rolled through the gates of Silver Dollar Raceway for the recent Division 2 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, Nick Folk had already done the math and quickly concluded that the odds were not in his favor, or so he thought. Racing at…
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Hall in the family

19 Oct 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
For Rusty Hall, winning the Stock final at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals wasn’t all that difficult. Although he trailed Bobby Brannon off the starting line, Hall decided to hit the brakes, then watched his win light shine after Brannon…
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Four Score

12 Oct 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
So you’ve never heard of Gage Burch? Stick around a while, you almost certainly will. As a quick introduction, Burch is a 16-year-old drag racing prodigy from Palmetto, Fla., who is in the process of making the jump from the NHRA Summit…
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The big five-oh

05 Oct 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
  There shouldn’t be a whole lot of debate about this, so I’ll just come right out and say it: Peter Biondo is the greatest Sportsman racer in the 60-plus-year history of the National Hot Rod Association. OK, I’m sure some…
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Indy's Sportsman special events

31 Aug 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Many things make the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals the world’s most prestigious drag race, including the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology NHRA Factory Stock Showdown and the Mopar Hemi Challenge, two premier events for…
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Ladies day, again

24 Aug 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Prior to the 2016 season, NHRA had just one all-female final round, the memorable 1982 Columbus Top Fuel final between Shirley Muldowney and Lucille Lee. This year, there have been three such races: the Phoenix Top Fuel final featuring Leah…
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