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The Sports Report: Friends helping friends

After Kyle Fickler celebrated the end of a long winless drought in Topeka, he generously reached out to help an old friend.
12 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
fickler
Kyle Fickler won his first national event title in Dallas in the Fall of 2003 and when he turned on the win light in the final of the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, he couldn’t help but take a trip down memory lane. “…
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The Sports Report: The JEGS Allstars biggest stars

Against long odds, Jeff Lopez and Lester Johnson nearly doubled-up in the JEGS Allstars and NHRA Route 66 Nationals last weekend.
05 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
lopez
Given the level of competition that exists in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, it’s a small wonder that the folks from JEGS Mail Order ever have to make good on their longstanding policy to double the winnings of any driver who can win…
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The Sports Report: Back on the winning track

Absent from the winner's circle for nearly three years, Joe Santangelo came back in style with a near double at the Virginia NHRA Nationals
22 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
joeS
Most racers, even the ones who win a lot like Dan Fletcher and David Rampy, can’t help but wonder if their latest win might be their last. As much as all successful racers have an abundance of self-confidence, the realities of NHRA racing in the…
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The Sports Report: Craig Bourgeois, Comp’s Ragin' Cajun

With four wins in five finals, Louisiana's Craig Bourgeois might be headed for his second national championship in Comp Eliminator
08 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
bourgeois
In last week’s edition of The Sports Report, we detailed the fast start by Super Comp ace Ray Miller III and his prospects of winning the Lucas Oil Series national championship. Although the calendar only recently turned to May, the same buzz…
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The Sports Report: Winning the war

Even though he lost the Super Comp final to Jonathan Anderson, Ray Miller III took another step towards a national championship in Charlotte.
01 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
miller
In NASCAR teams, Ray Miller III had what one would call “a good points day” during last weekend’s NGK Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. Miller lost in the Super Comp final against Division 2 rival Jonathan Anderson, but that did little…
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The Sports Report: Pitt’s Texas two-step

After a forgettable 2018 season, Jacob Pitt rallies with back-to-back victories in Dallas and Houston
17 Apr 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
pitt
To suggest that Jacob Pitt’s 2018 season was a disappointment would be a bit like saying the Titanic encountered a small problem during its maiden trans-Atlantic voyage in 1912. While Pitt didn’t hit an iceberg, he did encounter almost every…
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The Sports Report: Night moves

Under the lights on Saturday night, NHRA’s best sportsman racers chased Gainesville glory at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals.
20 Mar 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
shipp
It might not have been exactly what the event planners had in mind, but when sportsman eliminations for the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals were moved to Saturday evening, it made for an electric atmosphere, especially for those who…
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The Sports Report: Rising from the ashes

A year after his team suffered a devastating trailer fire, Cody Lane returned to claim an emotional Stock win in Phoenix.
27 Feb 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
lane1
Regular readers of The Sports Report will no doubt remember a year ago when the Hancock & Lane team was nearly put out of business before their season had started. Heading from their home in Seattle to Pomona for the traditional season-…
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The Sports Report: Late, but worth the wait

Led by Scott McClay, Ryan McClanahan, and Kevin Wright, NHRA’s Lucas Oil Series stars shine in rain-delayed Pomona opener.
13 Feb 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
mcclanahan
A year after watching his father, Brian, claim the national championship in Stock, Ryan McClanahan joined the fun by winning his eighth-career national event title in Pomona. McClanahan drove his eight-second Cobalt to the win…
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Forrest's last gift

Longtime NHRA Super Stock racer Forrest Pierdolla passed away recently, and he was a hot rodder until the very end.
12 Dec 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
forrest1
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, longtime NHRA Super Stock racer Forrest Pierdolla lost his long battle with cancer. The NHRA class racing community is a close-knit group, especially in the South Central Division where the Texas-based Pierdolla was one of…
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The Sports Report: Rampy joins the century club

David Rampy became just the fourth driver to win 100 NHRA national events when he drove to the Comp title in Pomon
14 Nov 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
rampy
For all the drama and excitement generated during the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona there was one achievement that stands out above the rest because there is a good chance that it may not be duplicated for quite some time. Comp…
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The Sports Report: The long road to victory

Chris Stephenson’s season-long journey pays off with his first Stock Eliminator win at the NHRA Toyota Nationals.
31 Oct 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
chris1
 “No journey is too long when one finds what he seeks.” – Old Chinese proverb. After winning his first national event at the NHRA Toyota Nationals, Division 3 Stock racer Chris Stephenson can relate to that bit of ancient Chinese wisdom.…
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The Sports Report: What's the point?

Breaking down the Lucas Oil Series sportsman championship battles leading into the final three weeks of the 2018 season.
24 Oct 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
points1
For NHRA’s Lucas Oil Series sportsman drivers, this is crunch time. There are just four races left in the 2018 season including a pair of divisional events in Nobile, Okla., and Las Vegas and the two Mello Yello series national events in Las Vegas…
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The Sports Report: A bet on Proctor is no gamble

Following his second win of the season, Ronnie Proctor has an excellent chance to win the national championship in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs.com.
17 Oct 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
proctor
A year ago, Ronnie Proctor was one of those guys who raced hard and hoped that his drive and determination would one-day allow him to hoist an NHRA Wally trophy. Proctor checked that item off his to-do list earlier this year with a win in…
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The Sports Report: One single point

Following his win at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas, Brian McClanahan leads the Lucas Oil Drag racing Series Stock championship battle by a single point.
10 Oct 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
brian1
Needing nothing less than a victory to wrest the point lead from reigning Stock Eliminator national champ Justin Lamb, Brian McClanahan delivered the goods with a well-timed victory in the Lone Star State. Lamb, who is seeking an unprecedented feat…
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Clutch performer

Tim Nicholson’s unique approach to Super Gas racing yields big results with a victory at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals
26 Sep 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
tim1
For most, the recipe for success in the Super Gas class is fairly straightforward. Take a tube-chassis race car, preferably a roadster, a big block engine with enough horsepower to run over 165-mph, and add a throttle stop, trans-brake, timer, delay…
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The Sports Report: Pressure. What pressure?

In the midst of a heated battle for what could be his second Lucas Oil Series Super Stock national championship Anthony Bertozzi picked up career win No. 20 in Reading.
19 Sep 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
AB1
It remains to be seen whether Anthony Bertozzi can hang on to win the NHRA Super Stock national championship but even if his bid for a second title falls short, he’s going to remember the 2018 season as one of his best. Bertozzi defeated Epping…
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Indy's new hometown hero

At the age of 21, Jr. Drag Racing League grad Devin Isenhower has already won a Division 3 championship and now he’s the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals Super Gas champion.
05 Sep 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
devin
On Sunday, Sept. 2, Devin Isenhower posted the following on his Facebook page: “It’s getting brutal out here. Made it through with the roadster to be into the semis! Bowed out by .004 in the dragster after a great race. Racing on a Monday at the…
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The Sports Report: Line goes back-to-back in Brainerd

After a heads-up, no breakout final round, Ben Line claimed his second-straight Stock Eliminator victory at his home event, the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
22 Aug 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
line1
Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes and when it comes to events at Brainerd Int’l Raceway, there also seems to be a similar number of racers from the Line family. Most NHRA fans are very familiar with Pro Stock champion Jason Line, but…
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The Sports Report: Fifth time is a charm

After four-straight runner-up finishes at his home event, the CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals, Ryan Warter finally cashed in with his first national event victory
08 Aug 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
warter
It took a little longer than he had hoped, but Ryan Warter finally joined the ranks of NHRA event champions when he defeated Randi Lyn Shipp in the final round of the CatSpot NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle. Warter won the all-Pontiac final…
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The Sports Report: Home built hot rod

Ken Ratzloff earned the Top Sportsman title at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals behind the wheel of his home built ’53 Studebaker
31 Jul 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
ratzloff1
The Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs.com class is not for the faint of heart. Featuring a bracket racing format among the quickest 32 full-bodied cars in the field, the class has become a home for professionally-built race cars that more…
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The Sports Report: Seems like an eternity

Drew Skillman wasn’t able to defend his Pro Stock title at the Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, but after a lengthy wait on the starting line, he made the most of the trip with a win in Stock Eliminator.
25 Jul 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
skillman1
In a sport were wins and losses are often determined by thousandths of a second, seven seconds is an eternity. Yet, that’s how long Drew Skillman had to sit on the starting line behind the wheel of his Cobra Jet Mustang in the Stock final before he…
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The Sports Report: A winning strategy

Using a never-give-up mentality, Super Stock racer Anthony Bongiovanni captured his first national event title at the NHRA New England Nationalsin Epping.
11 Jul 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
anthony1
As the founder and CEO of Micro Strategies, New Jersey-based businessman Anthony Bongiovanni has made a nice living out of identifying and solving complex problems. A decade ago, Bongiovanni decided to go drag racing and applied some of the same…
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The Sports Report: The dynamic duo strikes again

Sportsman racing icons Dan Fletcher and David Rampy share the spotlight again with wins at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk.
27 Jun 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
dan1
It’s often been said that it’s impossible to make a living as a sportsman drag racer but apparently, no one ever told Dan Fletcher and David Rampy. Risk-takers who elected to tackle the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing…
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The Sports Report: An almost perfect Father’s Day

Ed Longhany and his son, Ed Jr., enjoyed a Father’s Day celebration they won’t soon forget after they both reached the final round of the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol.
20 Jun 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
longhany
Ed Longhany Jr. earned his first-ever NHRA national event victory when he stopped perennial championship contender Joe Santangelo in the Stock final at the Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol. As excited as Longhany was to…
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The Sports Report: Winning is contagious

One week after breaking a four-year winless drought in Pro Stock, Jeg Coughlin Jr. scored again by winning the Super Comp title at the NHRA Virginia Nationals.
13 Jun 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Reigning Mello Yello world champ Bo Butner isn’t the only NHRA pro that maintains close ties to his sportsman racing roots. Five-time Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. also has an impressive sportsman racing resumé that includes the 1992 Super…
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The Sports Report: The highs and lows of Koy Collier

Two weeks after his father, Steve, was injured in an on-track accident in Topeka, Koy Collier went to Chicago and nearly doubled-up at the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals.
06 Jun 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
koy1
To suggest that the last three weeks have been some of the most stressful, and worrisome, but ultimately rewarding times of young Koy Collier’s life would be a huge understatement. Collier is a member of one of drag racing’s most successful families…
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The Sports Report: Can't keep Mans down

It took seven years, but Super Stock racer Michael Mans fnally made his return to a national event winner’s circle with a convincing win in Topeka
23 May 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
mans1
A lot has happened in Michael Mans’ life since 2011 and most of it has been good. Mans has gotten married and started a family, but until this weekend’s Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties, the one thing that hadn’t happened was an…
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The Sports Report: Helms still winning while in new role at Don Schumacher Racing

Four-time world champ Kevin Helms has made the transition to his new role as a crew chief at Don Schumacher Racing, but he's still as competitive as ever with an Atlanta victory.
08 May 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
helms
A lot has changed for Kevin Helms since he won his fourth NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Stock championship in 2015. After spending more than a decade working with the Teuton family on their Houma, La.-based Southland Dodge team, Helms moved from…
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The Sports Report: Feels like the first time

Retired U.S. Army veteran Don O’Neal fulfills his 20-year quest to win an NHRA national event title with a Top Sportsman win in Charlotte
02 May 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
oneal
Three years ago, Don O’Neal bounced his then-new Chevy Monte Carlo Top Sportsman car off the retaining wall at Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis. The car was damaged but repairable and O’Neal emerged unhurt. A lesser racer might have second-guessed his…
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