Throughout the 2017 season NHRA national events will feature exhibition passes from the popular jet cars. Known for their exciting pre-run flame shows and afterburner pops, jet cars are thrust-driven vehicles propelled by jet engines and are a fan favorite attraction.
While jet cars have run exhibition passes at NHRA national events before, this season the wildly popular jet car program is expanding and will be featured at a record amount of races and will run Friday nights after the second Top Fuel session. Three of the familiar jet car teams will be returning to the NHRA circuit: Muy Caliente Racing sponsored by Lucas Oil, Hanna Motorsports founded by Al and Ellen Hanna and Larsen Motorsports sponsored by Florida Tech and Valspar Automotive.
“We are very excited to be expanding the jet car program for the 2017 season,” said Evan Jonat, NHRA director of national event marketing. “The jets are an exciting and unique spectacle for our racing fans. They really put on a thrilling show.”
Muy Caliente Racing consists of two jet cars, Terminal Velocity and MAV TV Missile, which are both sponsored by Lucas Oil Racing. Drivers for the jet dragsters are team owner Tony Franco, John “Sporty” Bandimere, Tony Franco Jr. and Tom Bogner, the director of motorsports for Lucas Oil Products Inc.
Hanna Motorsports was founded in 1978 and features three jet cars, the Eastern Raider 1998 Pontiac Firebird Jet Funny Car driven by Ken Hall, the First Strike 1999 Pontiac Firebird Jet Funny Car driven by Rich Hanna and the Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster driven by Sarah Edwards. Hanna Motorsports also produces race car trailers and jet engine race track driers, services and builds jet cars for customers and creates and sells motorsports marketing packages.
Larsen Motorsports (LMS), founded by Chris and Elaine Larsen, fields four jet dragsters: the Florida Tech Jet Dragster and the Matrix System Jet Dragster. LMS partners with Florida Tech to give students hands on training and promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculums that can be put to use in the Larsen’s 30,000-square foot facility in Palm Bay, Fla.