2014 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Friday photo gallery
Friday, August 29, 2014

News and views from the 
Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals 

Last update: 8:45 p.m.
Click for latest post

The 60th Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Fan Fest at Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis Wednesday provided lots for fans to see, including race cars on display (above), a press conference, and the drawing to set the wild card spot for the NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootouts. (Below) The Top Fuel field added Brittany Force, far right, while the Funny Car field (bottom) gained Tim Wilkerson, far right.

  NHRA hosted a well-attended Sportsman Racer/Crew Appreciation Party Thursday presented by Comp Cams, JEGS, K&N, and Moroso.

NHRA President Tom Compton (left) addressed the assembled multitude of racers, welcoming them to the sport's biggest event and for their yearlong support of NHRA Drag Racing.

Among the hopeful working toward a U.S. Nationals win are second-generation Top Alcohol Funny Car racer Todd Veney, driver of Jay Blake's Permatex/Follow A Dream entry. Veney's father, Ken, won Indy in 1981.

NHRA's Youth and Education Services (YES) program, presented by the U.S. Army, played host to area high schoolers, who learned about careers in motorsports and other areas.

Super Stock class eliminations took center stage Friday morning and will be highlighted by the SS/AH class.

 The 60th event is all about nostalgia and packed with legends of the sport. (Above) "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, who will shave his beard Sunday to reenact his famous 1967 Indy moment, is signing autographs for fans.

(Right) Roland "the Hawaiian" Leong, left, and Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, who together won Top Fuel at this event in 1965, are hanging out.

(Below) Fans can watch the Snake & Mongoose movie about Prudhomme's career as well as Heart Like A Wheel, the biopic of Shirley Muldowney, in special tents at the event.

Five-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster national champion and three-time Indy winner Bill Reichert, right, announced that he will retire after the Reading national event later this year. Hall of fame announcer Bob Frey, who is in Indy as part of the special nostalgia showcases, emceed the press conference.

Vintage race cars, of course, are also part of the event, including a tribute to Pro Stockers, including the Sox & Martin Barracuda, the Arrow of John Hagen, and Bob Lambeck's Dart.

T.J. Zizzo announced a new sponsorship for his Top Fuel team with Rust-Oleum. [Story]

The NHRA membership trailer is doing big business as fans sign up for great member perks and benefits (like this cool T-shirt!) as well as a full year of National Dragster. Not at the race? Sign up here.

The fabulous AA/AH cars -- Barracudas and Darts -- are taking part today in the prestigious Mopar Hemi Challenge, wowing fans with wheels-up launches and eight-second elapsed times.

The epicenter of the drag racing world, as always: the Pro pits at Indy.

  (Above) Drag racing legends Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, left, and Tom "the Mongoose" McEwen signed autographs for fans. The famous duo will talk about their memorable 1978 Indy Funny Car final Saturday afternoon in the event showcase arena.

Meanwhile, things are picking up in the Pro pits. (Left) Two-time Indy winner Gary Scelzi, left, who is on hand to take part in ESPN's television coverage, and former driver Brandon Bernstein, who now works with the Al-Anabi team as general manager, checked in with Al-Anabi silver Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon, right, the reigning season and event champ.

(Below) The crew for Jack Beckman's Valvoline Funny Car are preparing their machine for tonight's lone qualifying session.

  (Above) The first of four special nostalgia showcase events took place Friday after noon when Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, left, and Jim "Superman" Nicoll reminisced about their final-round run at the 1970 Nationals that ended with Nicoll's car being cut in half by an exploding clutch.

A full house packed the special event tent (below) to listen to their riveting tale and to check out the recreated version of Nicoll's car (left).

Three more shows are scheduled Saturday featuring Kenny Bernstein and Shirley Muldowney and Prudhomme and Tom McEwen.

Three shows are scheduled Saturday featuring the trio of Don Garlits, Bob Glidden, and Tony Schumacher, followed by a Don Garlits show.

Just before the night's Pro qualifying sessions, an impressive display of COPO Camaro race cars paraded down the return road in front of the fans in honor of the event sponsor, Chevrolet Performance.

Detailed coverage and features from the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals can be found on NationalDragster.net. The site is open to all users throughout the event.

Eddie Krawiec (above) raced his Harley-Davidson V-Rod to the top of the Pro Stock Motorcycle pack with a run of 6.930, just a thousandth of a second over the Lucas Oil Buell of Hector Arana Jr. (below).

Jason Line (above), runner-up here in 2011 to teammate Greg Anderson, is the early qualifying leader in Pro Stock with the Summit Camaro after clocking a 6.623. Rookie Aaron Stanfield (below), son of Pro Stock racer and former Super Stock world champ Greg Stanfield, made an impressive debut with a 6.67 with his C-Tech Manufacturing Camaro, good for the No. 9 spot. Power comes from the McGaha camp.

Del Worsham (above), who is fighting to hold onto his spot in the top 10 for the Countdown to the Championship, earned three valuable bonus points as the quickest qualifier in the first Funny Car session with a 4.044. Ron Capps (below), who will contest the delayed final round from Brainerd against John Force on Saturday, is No. 2 after a 4.052 blast.

Nine-time winner Tony Schumacher (above), who is gunning to become the winningest Pro driver in U.S. Nationals history, leads the Top Fuel field after one qualifying session with a 3.777. Steve Torrence (below), sporting a new "snow camo" paint scheme on his Capco Contractors machine, is the No. 2 qualifier at 3.786.

Jet dragsters closed out the day with flame-throwing style.

More event galleries