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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
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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
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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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The Sports Report: A near miss and a father-son final

Brenda Grubbs just missed a chance to become NHRA’s first female double winner, and the Collier family scored big at the NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway
25 Apr 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
grubbs
So far, there have been 24 drivers to double-up at an NHRA national event but surprisingly, none of them have been females. Mia Tedecso, Michelle Furr, Lauren Freer, and Brina Splingaire have come close, but that is one of the few barriers in NHRA…
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The Sports Report: With a little help from our friends

With the support of the racing community, Division 6 racers Jeff and Cody Lane were able to quickly return to action following a devastating trailer fire
18 Apr 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
lane1
  Jeff and Cody Lane’s 2018 season was almost over before it began. En route from their home in Washington to Pomona for the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, the Hancock & Lane team encountered every racer’s worst nightmare; a trailer…
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The Sports Report: Joe Mozeris knows Comp Eliminator, and a recap of the Sportsman action in Vegas

Nearly two decades after making his debut in the Comp Eliminator class, Joe Mozeris finally claimed his first national event victory in Las Vegas
11 Apr 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Five years ago, Joe Mozeris got to celebrate in the winner’s circle at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after his daughter, Kayla, claimed the Stock Eliminator title at the spring NHRA  event. As rewarding as that experience was, Mozeris…
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The Sports Report: Bucky Hess and the one that didn't get away

Separated for almost four decades, Super Stock racer Bucky Hess is reunited with his prized Hemi-powered '70 Challenger
04 Apr 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Most NHRA fans know Super Stock racer Bucky Hess for his success in Mopar Hemi Challenge events and for his string of show quality SS/AH ’68 Plymouth Barracuda factory race cars. Hess has always been a fan of the Mopar brand, dating back to the late…
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Bell reflects on Gainesville rout

Stephen Bell and teammate Aaron Stanfield made a statement with a 1-2 finish at the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown season-opener in Gainesville
28 Mar 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Stephen Bell knew early on that it was going to take a herculean effort to achieve success in the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology NHRA Factory Stock Showdown which is precisely why he hired four-time Super Stock national champ and…
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Still going strong

Nearly four decades after his first national event victory, four-time national champion Jeff Taylor is making a run the magic 50-win mark
21 Mar 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Jeff Taylor was still a teenager when he drove Jimmy Morton’s Camaro convertible to his first national event title at the 1981 Cajun Nationals. Later, that year, he was crowned a national champion alongside his older brother, Charlie, who earned the…
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The dawn of the seven-second Stocker

With 30-plus cars, and the potential for a seven-second run, history will likely be made during the SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown season-opener in Gainesville
14 Mar 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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When it comes to the School of Automotive Machinists and Technology NHRA Factory Stock Showdown, the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals doesn’t just represent the start of a new season, it is more likely the dawn of a new era. The new generation of…
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The Sports Report: Warr Path

A week after winning his first national event at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, Bryan Warr struck again at the Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
07 Mar 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Bryan Warr enjoyed his trip to the NHRA Arizona Nationals so much  he decided to stay an extra week at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park so he could compete in the Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener, and by the time he…
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Runs as good as it looks

Phoenix Super Gas champ Todd Barton’s colorful ’55 Chevy is a family heirloom but don’t expect to see it in a museum anytime soon
28 Feb 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
barton
Todd Barton’s ’55 Chevy Super Gasser attracts a lot of attention because, for one, it is one of just a handful of vintage Chevy “shoeboxes” remaining in NHRA competition. The car also features an eye-catching paint scheme which is important to…
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The view from above

Racing in front of his family and friends at his home track, the timing is perfect for Mountain View Racing driver Paul Mitsos to win his first national event title
14 Feb 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
mitsos
In Pomona, the Mountain View Racing team rightfully garnered a lot of headlines after their Pro Stock driver, Vincent Nobile, qualified at the top of the quick 16-car field. By Sunday afternoon, it was the “other” Mountain View driver, Paul…
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Celebrating 50 years of Cobra Jets

A half-century ago, Al Joniec made history when he debuted the Ford Cobra Jet Mustang with a win in Pomona. That feat was repeated in 2009 by John Calvert in the new Cobra Jet.
07 Feb 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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While we prepare for the official start of the 2018 season this week, let’s begin with a quick history lesson. In 1968, the factory muscle car wars were at the forefront of NHRA drag racing. Manufacturers were engaged in a constant battle of one-…
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The revival of Kyle Seipel

Longtime Division 7 racer Kyle Seipel currently spends his valuable time as a racer, promoter, track manager, and family man, and that’s just fine with him
31 Jan 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Kyle Seipel has won 11 NHRA national event titles during a career that is now well into it’s fourth decade and he’s also got wins in five different eliminators but, the impact of Seipel’s career can’t be measured by wins and losses. Growing up in a…
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Mr. Consistent

Five-time NHRA champ Jimmy DeFrank has been racing in the Super Stock class for the past 23 seasons and he has posted a top-10 finish in 20 of them
24 Jan 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
defrank
There is an old adage that suggests one should never bet on a drag race, but anyone inclined to do so would be wise to put their money on Jimmy DeFrank, at least when it comes to the ability to post a top-10 finish. Since making his…
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Once a sportsman, always a sportsman

Bo Butner is currently preparing to defend his NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock championship but he is, and always will be, a sportsman racer at heart.
17 Jan 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Some would say that Bo Butner never forgot where he came from, but it’s more accurate to say he never actually left. For all his success in the Pro Stock class, including the 2017 Mello Yello championship, Butner considers himself to be a sportsman…
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Mounting a proper defense

For most Lucas Oil Series drivers, winning one national championship is a monumental career achievement and defending that title is normally far more difficult.
10 Jan 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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For NHRA Lucas Oil Series racers, the 2018 season includes 25 national events and 44 divisional events from February through November so predicting a champion in mid-January is almost a pointless exercise. Almost. Despite the parity that…
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Full circle

Between his return to Super Stock and supporting his son, Aaron, former Pro Stock racer and four-time national champ Greg Stanfield has a lot on his plate
13 Dec 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Heading into the 2017 season, Greg Stanfield wasn’t planning on doing much driving. A four-time Super Stock national champ turned Pro Stock racer, Stanfield was content to take a step back and support his son, Aaron, who has blossomed into one of…
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Close, but no regrets

Division 6 racer Chris Cannon missed out on the 2017 Lucas Oil Super Gas championship by just three points, but he’s not the least bit disappointed
06 Dec 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
cannon
Had he scored just three more points, one more win light in a long 10-month season, Chris Cannon would be celebrating the 2017 NHRA Lucas Oil Super Gas championship instead of pondering what might have been. After what was easily the best season of…
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Down to the wire

John Labbous Jr. became the final driver to clinch a Lucas Oil Series national championship when he earned the Super Gas title during a thrilling Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona
15 Nov 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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For Super Gas racers Chris Cannon and John Labbous Jr., the Auto Club NHRA Finals was anything but “just another race.” Labbous entered the final race of the season at the points leader, but his edge over Cannon in the standings was a precarious…
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One down, one to go

Justin Lamb uses a late-season rally to clinch the national championships in Super Stock and after a Las Vegas win, he’s closing in on the Stock title as well
01 Nov 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
lamb
Justin Lamb locked up the national championship in Super Stock a couple of weeks ago and he’s on the verge of adding the Stock title after a dominating win at last weekend’s Toyota NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas. Lamb drove his new Redback Boots…
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Dialing for Dollars

John Ezell, a down-to-earth 24-year-old racer known to his friends as Johnny Bracket Racer, earned a huge payday at last weekend’s Mickey Thompson Million.
25 Oct 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
esell
By his own admission, John Ezell lives a lifestyle that is “nothing fancy,” which is to say that he prefers boots and jeans over expensive clothes, and the weekends that mean the most to him are the ones spent at the drag strip with his family.…
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Encore Performance

Division 4 aces Slate Cummings and Tommy Phillips back up their recent St. Louis wins with two more victories at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas
18 Oct 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
phillips
Any sportsman racer will can attest that winning just one national event is difficult, but doubling up, or winning two races in two weeks borders on the impossible. Two racers who recently defied the odds are Slate Cummings and Tommy Phillips, who…
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Right place, right time

After losing last year's title by nine points, Austin Williams has a great shot at winning the Super Comp national championship after his win at Thunder Valley Raceway Park.
11 Oct 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
williams
Like a last-second field goal or walk-off home run, the Super Comp victory at last weekend’s Division 4 Lucas Oil Series event at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Nobile, Okla., was a game changer. Williams, the 2014 NHRA Stock national champ,…
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Full Nelson

Driving one of his own dragsters, Danny Nelson conquered the quickest field in the history of the Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs.com class in St. Louis.
04 Oct 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
nelson
The recently completed AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals featured a host of 3.6-second Top Fuel runs and the sport’s quickest Pro Mod field. The event also hosted the quickest 32-car field in Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs.com and…
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Tom Terrific

When opportunity knocked, Tom Martino didn't hesitate and returned from a long break to win his first Comp Eliminator title in Reading.
27 Sep 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
martino
Four years after he made his last competitive run in the Pro Stock car and more than two decades after he left the Comp class, Tom Martino returned to take care of some unfinished business. Martino has five Pro Stock wins as a driver and many more…
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