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Scott Palmer happy to represent Evel Knievel, but he's no daredevil

Scott Palmer and his Magic Dry Top Fuel team have been the talk of the pits in Topeka with their special edition paint scheme honoring the local Evel Knievel Museum.
09 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
palmer
Like most kids growing up in the 1970s, Scott Palmer grew up idolizing motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel so when he had a chance to visit the Evel Knievel Museum in last year’s Heartland Nationals, it se the stage for the one-race sponsorship…
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The maturation of Austin Prock continues in Topeka

Ten races into his NHRA Top Fuel career, rookie of the Year favorite Austin Prock appears primed for a breakout performance.
08 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
prock
During Friday’s second nitro qualifying session in Topeka, Austin Prock opened Top Fuel qualifying with a solid 3.783 that was quick enough to earn a qualifying bonus point and finished the day as the third-best run behind Steve and Billy Torrence.…
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On warm summer days, Jack Wyatt becomes a formidible foe

When it comes to upset wins in Funny Car, Jack Wyatt has been there before and he is ready, willing, and able to do so again in Topeka.
08 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
wyatt
He doesn’t make many appearances at NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, but Jack Wyatt has been burning nitro since 1987 which puts him in the same league as fellow veterans John Force, Pat Dakin, Chris Karamesines, and Hall of Fame team…
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Richie Crampton sees better days ahead for DHL team

Recent success has Richie Crampton thinking his second Top Fuel win of the season isn't going to be too far away.
07 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
crampton
Attitude is everything. Just ask Richie Crampton. A positive and upbeat guy by nature, Crampton rarely has a bad day, and that’s especially true anytime he’s at the racetrack. While he’ll readily admit that he’s frustrated by the recent struggles of…
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Kramer family expands with COPO Factory Stock and sportsman effort

Chicago Pro Stock champ Deric Kramer has the week off but his father and sister are having a blast in Topeka with their COPO Camaro entries.
07 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
kramer
A week ago, Deric Kramer won his third NHRA Pro Stock race when he drove his American Ethanol Camaro to a final round win over Erica Enders in Chicago. With no Pro Stock class in Topeka, Kramer and his Wally trophy returned to Denver for a well-…
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Rickie Smith back in turbo car; evaluating future Pro Mod options

Three-time NHRA E3 Pro Mod series champion "Trickie Rickie" Smith will race his turbocharged Bahrain1 Mustang at this weekend's Menard's NHRA Heartland Nationals.
07 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
rickie
The game of musical cars continues for three-time NHRA Pro Mod champ Rickie Smith, who is once again racing his turbocharged Bahrain1 Mustang in this weeks’ Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties. In Richmond, the most recent stop on…
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Confidence soaring, Tommy Johnson Jr. rides the wave after Chicago win

Tommy Johnson Jr. ended a long winless drought last weekend at Route 66 Raceway. Now he knows the challenge is to keep that momentum going throughout the summer.
07 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
Johnson
Inspired by the success of Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps, who put together back-to-back wins in Atlanta and Richmond, Tommy Johnson Jr. is hoping that his win at last weekend’s Route 66 Nationals in Chicago was the start of something…
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Top Fuel veteran Doug Kalitta motivated by team’s success heading to Topeka

Doug Kalitta got the ball rolling for the Kalitta Motorsports team by winning the first race of the 2019. Since then, everyone on the four-car team has won a race, which makes him proud heading to this weekend’s Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties.
06 Jun 2019
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Feature
Doug Kalitta
Doug Kalitta got the ball rolling for the Kalitta Motorsports team by winning the first race of the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Since then, everyone on the four-car team has won a race, which makes the Top Fuel veteran proud…
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Part-timer Freeman making Pro Stock look easy

Elite team owner Richard Freeman brought a new Pro Stock Mustang to Chicago and delivered a top-five qualifying performance
02 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
Richard Freeman
Prior to Saturday’s fourth and final Pro Stock qualifying session, Richard Freeman glanced at the sunsetting behind the tower at Route 66 Raceway and said to no one in particular, “If I make a good run, I should go about 6.59.”  Moments…
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Thirty years after his debut, Hector Arana Sr. is still going strong

During his career, Lucas Oil EBR rider Hector Arana Sr. has seen and done it all in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.
02 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
Hector Arana Sr.
Hector Arana Sr. is making his 315th start in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class this weekend and only Steve Johnson (432) has made more appearances in the two-wheel class. Arana can vividly recall the early days of his career in the late 1980s when he…
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Paul Lee is back with a great program around him

Paul Lee's McLeod Funny Car team is back, comfortable and ready to start winning
02 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Paul Lee
You wouldn’t be able to blame Paul Lee if he’s just happy to be here. Not because he’s back doing what he loves after suffering a massive heart attack, though, sure, that too. The McLeod Funny Car made its debut at the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals…
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Scott Palmer finding balance as he chases first Top Fuel win

Top Fuel racer remains aggressive, but thinks he’s found balance in approach
02 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Scott Palmer
Scott Palmer started the season ripping the first 60 feet of the track to shreds. His Goodyears came back to the pits begging for relief because of how aggressively the racer ran his Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Top Fueler. Those times (around an .…
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Bob Bode knows why he crossed the centerline – and he’s ready to rebound

Longtime Funny Car racer Bob Bode is frustrated, but also motivated, to get back into the field at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
01 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Bob Bode
Bob Bode ran .892 to the 60-foot mark. He knew he was on a good pass, even if he didn’t know he the number yet. Then he felt the car shove him to the right. The veteran Funny Car racer grabbed the steering wheel with all his might and wrenched it to…
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Hartford making the most of modified Pro Stock schedule

For Matt Hartford, an 18-race Pro Stock schedule represents his best chance to compete for a world championship and he's not about to waste it.
01 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
hartford
The way Matt Hartford sees it, the modified 18-race schedule for Pro Stock this year is the gift that keeps on giving. He doesn’t have the time or the budget to compete in 24 events, but a shortened calendar presents a unique opportunity to finally…
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Cameron Ferre undeterred by tough road

Southern California Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Cameron Ferre taking the hard road
01 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Cameron Ferre
Cameron Ferre applies a large decal to Terry Haddock’s Funny Car, the bright Joliet sun making the process difficult – evidenced by a junked sticker resting on top of the black body. Ferre won’t drive this car; he pilots the Top Fuel dragster that…
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Matt Smith’s four-bike assault part of a bigger plan

Matt Smith Racing has brought four Pro Stock Motorcycles to Chicago with the addition of crewman/rider Michael Ray.
01 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
Michael Ray
On most weekends, reigning Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Matt Smith has his hands full running three bikes, but it was easy for him to defend his decision to add a fourth entry to this weekend’s NHRA Route 66 Nationals. In addition to his own Denso…
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Shawn Reed ready to seize his moment 

Former boat champion Shawn Reed talks taking down Steve Torrence and adjusting to quick car
31 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Shawn Reed
Shawn Reed started driving Top Fuel in 2015. His equipment was never bad, but he wasn’t leading Tricky Tipster selections or putting his Hughes Oilfield dragster on the pole on a weekly basis. The Washington native and former drag boat champion is…
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Sampey anxious to deliver results for Vance & Hines team

Six races into her first season with the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team, Angelle Sampey believes she's ready to get her first win
31 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
angelle
The NHRA Route 66 Nationals will mark the 244th race for three-time world champion Angelle Sampey but just her sixth with the Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team. From the first time she first rode the team’s Street Rod V-twin during pre-season…
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Distractions? Not for Pro Stock leader Bo Butner

Even a fire in his Nitro Fish merchandise trailer can't dampen Bo Butner's enthusiasm after a hot start to the 2019 season.
31 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
butner
Right now, it’s good to be Bo Butner. After winning four of the first five races in Pro Stock, and earning a runner-up finish at the most recent SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown race in Richmond, he’s off to the best start of his career so even a…
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Funny Car veteran Tim Wilkerson knows when to swing

Tim Wilkerson picks his spots as he chases his first Funny Car win of 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.
31 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Tim Wilkerson
Tim Wilkerson’s dash for the biggest trophy in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing in 2018 captured imaginations because it came out of nowhere. That was the conventional wisdom, anyway. As is often the case, conventional wisdom leaned more on…
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Defending Funny Car world champ J.R. Todd ahead of last year’s title pace

As the defending Funny Car world champion, J.R. Todd has experienced a bigger spotlight than any other time in his standout drag racing career. But through eight races in the 2019 season, Todd seems to be relishing the opportunity.
30 May 2019
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Feature
J.R. Todd
As the defending Funny Car world champion, J.R. Todd has experienced a bigger spotlight than any other time in his standout drag racing career. But through eight races in the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season, Todd seems to be…
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After strong start, Clay Millican confident a win is coming soon

After winning on the 20th anniversary of his first career Top Fuel start a year ago, things continue to come full circle for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series star Clay Millican at Route 66 Raceway, the site of this weekend’s Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
30 May 2019
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Feature
Clay Millican
After winning on the 20th anniversary of his first career Top Fuel start a year ago, things continue to come full circle for NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series star Clay Millican at Route 66 Raceway, the site of this weekend’s 22nd annual Route 66…
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Tommy Johnson Jr. hopes to keep consistent pace at Route 66 NHRA Nationals

Make-A-Wish Funny Car racer Tommy Johnson Jr. hunting first win of 2019 at Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
29 May 2019
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Feature
Tommy Johnson Jr.
If Tommy Johnson Jr. keeps the consistent pace he’s put together for more than a year, he knows that will bode well for the outcome of his 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. But the Funny Car standout is more than ready to add a few…
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The Skillmans' commitment to NHRA Drag Racing has only increased through the years

When the Skillman family took their Cobra Jet Mustangs out for a test drive, they had no idea what would happen next.
26 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Feature
Skillmans
Bill Skillman and son Drew still recall in vivid detail the peculiar chain of events that triggered their now decade-long investment in NHRA Drag Racing. It began, innocently enough, the day they took delivery of a pair of Cobra Jet Mustangs at…
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Jack Beckman describes the thrilling sensation of pedaling a nitro Funny Car

The driver of the Infinite Hero Funny Car beat teammate Matt Hagan in a great race at the Virginia NHRA Nationals – but it wasn’t easy. 
23 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Matt Hagan and Jack Beckman
The term “pedalfest” is standard NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series jargon. It isn’t pretty, makes absolutely no sense outside of the confines of this sport and comes up as a spelling error on Microsoft Word. It also comes with a boatload of…
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Top Fuel veteran Terry McMillen believes he’s a win waiting to happen

Terry McMillen sees his recent struggles at the past two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races as a minor roadblock for what he believes will be another productive season and thinks his team is due for its first win of the 2019 season.
22 May 2019
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Feature
Terry McMillen
Terry McMillen sees his recent struggles at the past two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races as a minor roadblock for what he believes will be another productive season. He also thinks his team is due for its first win of the 2019 season and…
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Hector Arana Jr. quietly piecing together a great start to 2019 season

Hector Arana Jr. is still looking for his first win of 2019, but signs are starting to show that it's coming.
19 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Hector Arana Jr.
Many of the heavier EBR-bodied motorcycles are struggling to find gains in the 60-foot areas, but don’t count the Lucas Oil TV bike ridden by Hector Arana Jr. among them. The rider boasts the best 60-foot time in Pro Stock Motorcycle in 2019, yes,…
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Shane Tucker building towards a long Pro Stock future

Australian Pro Stock racer Shane Tucker has gone through fits and starts on way to building program.
19 May 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Shane Tucker
Shane Tucker thought he’d be on solid footing at the Virginia NHRA Nationals. His Pro Stock program, which uses Nick Ferri engines, is ambitious. Perhaps that goes without saying. Tucker, an Australian, runs a Dallas-based business, lives in…
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John Force: Still waiting on victory No. 150, but he knows it’s coming

John Force knows it’s coming, the next great milestone on a road filled with records; he just wishes win No. 150 would get here, sooner rather than later.
19 May 2019
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Feature
John Force
John Force knows it’s coming, the next great milestone on a road filled with records; he just wishes win No. 150 would get here, sooner rather than later. No, it’s not because he can’t wait to bask in the media spotlight again as the first NHRA…
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Atlanta ‘reality check’ gives Terry McMillen Richmond raceday incentive

Terry McMillen may never have a bigger high than winning the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals last season, but a win this weekend at the Virginia NHRA Nationals would taste especially sweet after failing to qualify two weeks ago in Atlanta, his first DNQ in nearly 60 events.
18 May 2019
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Feature
Terry McMillen
Terry McMillen may never have a bigger high than winning the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals last season, but a win this weekend at the Virginia NHRA Nationals would taste especially sweet after failing to qualify two weeks ago in…
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