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.
|2017 Jet Car Program Schedule|
|Feb. 24||NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix||Muy Caliente Racing|
|March 17||Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.||Larson Motorsports|
|March 31||DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas||Muy Caliente Racing|
|April 21||NHRA SpringNationals, Houston||Larson Motorsports|
|April 28||NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.||Muy Caliente Racing/Hanna Motorsports|
|May 5||NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta||Larson Motorsports|
|May 19||Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.||TBA|
|June 2||NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H.||Hanna Motorsports|
|June 9||NHRA Summernationals, Englishtown N.J.||Larson Motorsports|
|June 16||NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn.||TBA|
|June 23||Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio||TBA|
|July 7||Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago||TBA|
|July 21||Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver||Muy Caliente Racing|
|July 28||Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.||Muy Caliente Racing|
|August 18||Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.||TBA|
|Sept. 1||Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis||Larson Motorsports/Muy Caliente Racing|
|Sept. 15||NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.||Larson Motorsports|
|Sept. 22||Dodge NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa.||Hanna Motorsports|
|Sept. 29||AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis||Larson Motorsports|
|Oct. 13||AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas||Larson Motorsports|
|Oct. 27||NHRA Toyota Nationals, Las Vegas||Muy Caliente Racing|