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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
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  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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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A pair of near misses

The NHRA Carolina Nationals had plenty of NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman racing drama, including near doubles by John Labbous Jr. and Todd Ewing and an epic Comp final between championship contenders.
20 Sep 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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I spend a fair amount of time in this column discussing and dissecting doubles since it seems like someone in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series wins two classes, or at least comes very close to it, at almost every event. The reality is that a…
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A final round for the ages

The Indy Stock final between Larry Gilley and Darrel Steiger was a heads-up, no-breakout battle between two of the most evenly matched cars in the grounds, and they did not disappoint
13 Sep 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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During Thursday’s Stock Class eliminations at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, more than 160 drivers from all over North America slugged it out for bragging rights and a coveted gold NHRA Wally trophy. A total of 39 individual class…
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Third time is the charm

Brad Plourd’s third Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory is easily the most unlikely, and perhaps the most rewarding, win of his career
06 Sep 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Winning any Comp race is hard. Winning Comp at Indy, the sport’s oldest and most prestigious event, is even harder. Winning Comp at Indy in a supercharged, methanol-burning low-six-second ’23-T altered? That’s nearly impossible, at least until Brad…
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Ground Zero Camaro

Ben Wenzel’s ’67 Chevy Camaro Z-28 is more than just a race car, it’s a timeless piece of automotive history and its still going strong after a half-century as a Stock Eliminator car.
30 Aug 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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In 1967, Ben Wenzel walked into Martin Chevrolet in Hemlock, Mich. plunked down a then-hefty sum of $3,463.50 and drove off with a shiny new ’67 Z-28 Camaro, squealing the tires not long after leaving the parking lot. A half-century later, that…
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Making the big show, again

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Eric Bell fulfilled another lifelong ambition when he captured the Super Stock title at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
23 Aug 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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Every kid who has ever played Little League Baseball has dreamed of one day playing in the Major Leagues, but the reality is that few ever make it that far. Eric Bell is one exception. A native of Modesto, Calif., Bell was drafted in 1982 and…
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The Indy Before Indy

Last week’s North Central Division event at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis attracted more than 600 racers and provided a perfect warm-up for the upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
16 Aug 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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The Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals doesn’t start for two more weeks yet there were officially 634 racers on the grounds of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis last weekend. The large gathering of Sportsman racers was made possible when the North…
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The three that got away

Justin Lamb went to three final rounds in two weeks and lost all of them, but it would be hard for him to not consider his Sonoma and Seattle trip a success
09 Aug 2017
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
The Sports Report
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During a three-week swing that included the Division 7 Lucas Oil Series event in Sonoma, the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, and the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Justin Lamb competed in five events. His combined record for the five includes a…
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