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In defense of bracket racers

With a competitor base numbering in the tens of thousands, E.T. bracket racing is not only the most popular form of drag racing competition in the world, but from a driving standpoint, it’s also the most challenging.
22 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
langdon1
There are those who think that E.T. bracket racing is easy or that bracket racers are somehow inferior to those racers who compete in heads-up or performance-based classes. People with that mindset are sadly mistaken. Bracket racing, where…
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Twice as nice

Veteran racers dominated the Lucas Oil Series Sportsman action in Pomona, including Ed Olpin, who scored the first double of the new season.
15 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
olpin1
It certainly didn’t take long for the first double-up of the new season. At the Circle K NHRA Winternationals, the first of 25 national events to be contested during the 2017 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series season, Utah’s Ed Olpin accomplished a…
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And they're off

The 2017 season officially starts this weekend, and among other things, that means Jimmy DeFrank will have an opportunity to pursue a sixth Super Stock national championship.
08 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Jimmy1
Much like baseball’s spring training, the start of each new season of NHRA Drag Racing brings with it a renewed sense of optimism and hope. The first day of the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals means fresh paint, fresh parts, and an…
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Five burning questions for 2017

Want to know what’s going on in NHRA Sportsman racing in 2017? Here are a few things to look out for as the new season kicks off
01 Feb 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
burning1
Technically, the 2017 season kicked off last weekend with the Pacific Division National Open event at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Calif., and we’re less than two weeks from the first national event of the season, the Circle K NHRA Winternationals…
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Thumbs-Up

Practice Tree races have become a hugely popular way for racers to pass the downtime during the winter months. Here’s a look at a couple of the biggest and most successful ones in the country.
25 Jan 2017
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Practice 1
On Jan. 7, Justin Vickers won $10,000, and he didn’t burn a drop of racing fuel in order to do it. Vickers, who lives in Ohio, made the trek to Alabama for the 4th annual Practice Tree Showdown presented by Plourd Racing Products and emerged as the…
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Who's Next?

Predicting the next national champions is hard work, but here are ten racers who have never won a championship, but could easily breakthrough for a title in 2017
18 Jan 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Sawyer
Quickly scanning the numbers, more than 5,000 racers competed in at least one event in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman last season and a significant number of those racers entered enough events to…
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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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Top five sportsman moments of 2016

30 Nov 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
The quest for 100: In the 62-year history of NHRA drag racing, just two drivers – John Force and Frank Manzo, have managed to win 100 national event titles. For most sportsman racers, even those who travel often and attend many…
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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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JEGS Allstars biggest stars

13 Jul 2016
Kevin McKenna, National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
In the 32-year history of the JEGS Allstars event, no driver had ever won two classes, but the laws of probability didn’t prevent Division 5 ace Trevor Larson from scoring the event’s first double with victories in Super Comp and Super…
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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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