Remembering George Howard

10 Jan 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
George Howard
George Howard long ago secured his place in drag racing history. The longtime track operator, race promoter, who passed away on Sunday, January 8, after a brief illness, had the audacity to think that he could offer a top prize of $40,000 for an E.T…
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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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The end of an era?

02 Nov 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Tommy Phillips won for the 38th time in his career when he wheeled his CBS ArcSafe Corvette to the Super Gas title at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Shortly after the final, he acknowledged that he’s contemplating big changes in the…
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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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Young and young at heart

28 Sep 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
On Friday, Sept. 23, Koy Collier celebrated his 18th birthday by climbing behind the wheel of his father Steve’s ’68 Camaro Super Gas car and making time-trial runs in his NHRA national event debut. Two days later, Collier gave himself…
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When perfect isn't perfect

21 Sep 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
This was likely a foregone conclusion in April, but now it’s all but a certainty: Doug Doll Jr. will be the 2016 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Comp eliminator national champion after driving Charlie Greco’s dragster to a win at…
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Something old, something new

14 Sep 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
A lot of things make the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals the must-see event that it is, and two of Indy’s most notable features are events that put NHRA Sportsman racers front and center. Each year, the Mopar Hemi Challenge and, more…
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Veterans dominate Indy sportsman racing

07 Sep 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
“The best teams always seem to find a way to rise to the occasion, especially when the spotlight is the brightest.”  Those words come from Top Fuel racer Tony Schumacher, who won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals for the…
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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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Mission Accomplished

17 Aug 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
When Don O’Neal won the Top Sportsman class at the recent Division 3 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series race in St. Louis, it was far more than just another win: Instead it was the fulfillment of a dream and a promise that was nearly a…
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Center of Attention

10 Aug 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Those who have witnessed either of Brad Burton’s national championship speeches probably already realize that the 2010 and 2012 Stock champion doesn’t mind being the center of attention. With that in mind, it was almost poetic that…
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Wine Country winners

03 Aug 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
The big No. 1 that adorns the sides of Justin Lamb’s Chevy Cobalt Super Stock car wasn’t put there by accident. The single digit identifies Lamb as the reigning national champion in the class, and after a memorable 2015 season, Lamb…
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Mile-High Moments

27 Jul 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Queen of 'the Mountain': Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson has rightfully earned his place as the king of Denver’s Bandimere Speedway, but Super Stock racer Jackie Alley isn’t far behind. Alley, the 2011 national champion…
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Behind the numbers

20 Jul 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Sometime soon, quite possibly before the end of the Western Swing, Dan Fletcher is going to get his 100th NHRA national event win. He’s sitting on 98 wins, and he’s headed for Denver this weekend for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals…
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Making each and every day count

06 Jul 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Winning is defined in many ways, and oftentimes, the biggest winners at any given event are not necessarily the drivers who hoist the coveted Wallys at the end of the day. Officially, William Kennedy won the Super Stock title at the recent NHRA…
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Not your average Joe

29 Jun 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
As recently as two weeks ago, Joe Santangelo’s frustration level had reached the point where he was seriously considering taking an extended break from drag racing. Santangelo won the Super Stock title at his home event in Epping for the…
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Mountain Magic

22 Jun 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Quick, who is the hottest driver in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series so far in 2016? If you answered with anyone other than Division 2 racer Steven Furr, you’d be wrong. Between Top Dragster and Super Gas, Furr has already appeared in…
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Dan is the man

15 Jun 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Dan Northrop won the Super Gas national championship in 2000, and his most recent national event victory had come just a year ago in Englishtown, so it wasn’t the least bit surprising to see him headed into Sunday’s final eliminations…
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Power couple

08 Jun 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Division 1 Sportsman racers Doug Doll and Allison Smyth have been dating for about a year, and based on their recent results, the relationship has done wonders for their racing careers. At the recent Northeast Division NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing…
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Welcome home, SPORTSnationals

01 Jun 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
On a weekend when a reported 350,000 people attended the 100th running of the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s finest battled it out for 600 miles at the Coca-Cola 600, a huge field of NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors celebrated the long-…
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Leading ladies

25 May 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Much has been made about the recent surge in wins by women in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, including Brittany Force’s first Top Fuel wins in Gainesville and Charlotte as well as Funny Car victories by her sister Courtney and…
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Making the most of a second chance

18 May 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
There isn’t much of a downside to making it to two final rounds at the same event except for the empty feeling that almost certainly goes hand in hand with losing both final rounds. After racing to the Super Stock and Stock finals at last…
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One in a million

11 May 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Let’s face it: Almost everyone who visits Las Vegas dreams of hitting that huge jackpot that will lead to easy street, but the harsh reality is that only a tiny fraction of the gamblers, dreamers, and risk-takers who tempt fate in Sin City…
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A win for 'Big Joe'

04 May 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Some stories practically write themselves, and when reigning Stock national champion Kevin Helms arrived in Houston for the NHRA SpringNationals, it was almost a given that he was going to leave Royal Purple Raceway with a Wally. Nobody wins four…
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The perfect result

27 Apr 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Bryan Worner loves it when a plan comes together. With the initial field of 65 Super Stock racers whittled to just three late Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, Worner pulled into the zMAX Dragway staging lanes and was greeted by two familiar faces.…
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