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  • God Speed Ministry Sets Up Fund to Help Injured IHRA Officials


    At the 2014 Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam Nationals in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, two longtime IHRA officials were injured in accidents. Marc Kinton, head of safety and rescue for IHRA, had to be airlifted to University Hospital with head and shoulder injuries. Soon after, Thomas Czaplicki was rushed to the same hospital after he wrecked his scooter in responding to an on-track accident.

    While Marc was released from the hospital and cleared to fly home on schedule, Thomas’ injuries were worse than originally thought and he had to remain in the hospital in Edmonton for several days before being transported to a hospital closer to his Virginia home.

    Thankfully both Marc and Thomas are on the men, but were out of work for weeks. While pay checks ceased the living expenses and medical bills continued.  They are now dealing with the stress of finances when they need to be focused on healing.

    God Speed Ministry has set up a fund to help offset the cost of these medical bills. All money donated to this fund will go directly to Marc and Thomas. As one racer said to Renee Bingham after Marc’s accident, “These are the guys who help us when we need help.  Now it is our privilege to be able to help them.”   Here’s how you can help:

    1.       For Online Donations Click Here or go to GodSpeedMinistry.com and click on the donate button in the top story on our homepage.

    2.       Mail Checks To:

                    God Speed Ministry

                    141 EA Bingham Road

                    Kings Mountain, NC 28086

        **Please write Man Down Fund on the memo line

    3.       God Speed Ministry will also be accepting donations at the IHRA World Finals in Memphis TN.

    All donations will be split equally between Marc and Thomas. Thank you in advance for supporting these two wonderful men who always do their best to support the racers, fans and staff at the IHRA events.


    10601257_10154489357235721_962534930_nPete Berner has always enjoyed racing and testing at US 131 Motorsports Park, the track where he competes closest to home. Berner returned to US 131 last weekend as part of the IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals. Pro Stock has received a tremendous welcome “home” with the IHRA and it was no different at Martin. Fans filled the stands and pits.


    “It was a great show they had at Martin,” Pete expressed. “I want to thank Jason and Stephanie [Peterson, track managers] and the IHRA staff for putting on a great show. The place was packed.


    “I also really want to thank all of my fans. All of the support there was unbelievable. I never really realized how many people there I had become friends with. It was great to see them. Even though we’re not running at that level right now, they made me feel like a World Champion.”


    From test sessions to US 131’s own Thunder Nationals and national level events as with the IHRA, Berner has been a frequent sight in Martin for years. Although a three hour drive from his home in Crete, Ill. Berner’s fan base has developed around the Martin area as the crowds around his pits at the Northern Nationals attested.


    “It really made me feel good to have that fan support. It was unbelievable. Some of my friends came and made their own cheering section in the stands. The support they gave me and the relationships I’ve developed there is something I won’t forget. That’s what keeps guys like me racing.


    “I also can’t forget my thanks for IHRA – Jason Rittenberry, Scott Gardner and the television crew – for the support that they gave me. I appreciate that and look forward to watching the shows.”

    IHRA’s television package features a reality-style format that focuses on driver personality as much as on track performance. The series is slated to air in the last quarter of 2014.


    Fans can follow Pete Berner on Facebook and Twitter.

  • IHRA travels to US 131 Motorsports Park this weekend looking to once again make history

    IHRA travels to US 131 Motorsports Park this weekend looking to once again make history

    Lagana brothers return to ‘official’ home track looking for more magic

    MARTIN, Mich. (August 6, 2014) – Brothers Bobby and Dom Lagana are from New York. They talk like New Yorkers talk and they act like New Yorkers act. But when you ask either one where their home is on the racetrack, both will point to one place – the tiny town of Martin, Michigan.

    For nearly two decades, US 131 Motorsports Park in western Michigan has acted as the official home track of the Lagana brothers, serving as the location of some of the team’s greatest motorsports accomplishments. Bobby’s first four-second pass and first 300 mph run? Both took place at US 131. Dom’s professional drag racing debut? That too took place in Martin.


    Top Fuel returns to the IHRA Nitro Jam lineup this weekend in Michigan

    But of all of the accomplishments the team has enjoyed, perhaps their most noteworthy came at US 131 Motorsports Park just last year.

    Seeking their quickest and fastest lap ever as a team, the Lagana brothers traveled to IHRA’s annual Northern Nationals in 2013 hoping to make team history. Instead, the team skipped right past team history and right into the stratosphere of IHRA history.

    After a couple of noteworthy runs on Friday night at last year’s Northern Nationals, Dom and his team kicked things into overdrive and left it all on the track in front of a packed house the following evening, making the single fastest lap in IHRA and US 131 Motorsports history in the “Nitro Ninja” Top Fuel Dragster.

    With the header flames burning bright right through the finish line, the numbers popped up on the scoreboard – 4.663 seconds at 330.79 miles per hour. Others had been quicker, others had been faster in the sport, but none had been faster in annals of the International Hot Rod Association, the place where the Lagana brothers cut their teeth and learned the world’s fastest sport.

    Now the Lagana brothers, and four of IHRA’s most exciting professional classes, return to Michigan this Friday and Saturday for the annual IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals at US 131 Motorsports Park.


    In 2013 Dom Lagana made the fastest pass in IHRA history at US 131 MSP

    “Looking back, that was an amazing night. We traveled to Michigan last year hoping to make our quickest pass ever in a Top Fuel car, but what we accomplished was our fastest pass ever and the fastest pass ever in IHRA,” Dom said. “It was such a cool feeling to put our names up there with so many legends that we have raced with in IHRA. To be listed with guys like Clay Millican, Bruce Litton, Shirley Muldowney, Doug Herbert – all drag racing legends – is amazing.”

    Now, just one year removed from that historical pass, Dom and his brother Bobby return to US 131 Motorsports Park for another go at the IHRA Nitro Jam Northern Nationals this Friday and Saturday. And this time, the eldest of the two brothers and one of IHRA’s most decorated racers, Bobby, will return to the cockpit of a Top Fuel machine alongside his brother in a Lagana family showdown at over 300 mph.

    On the agenda this time – the 4.5 second quarter-mile barrier – one of the toughest obstacles in Top Fuel racing.

    “We love going to US 131. We go there a couple times a year and we really enjoy racing on that track. When we get there, we will make some hits and get it dialed in, but if the conditions are right, we will try for the homerun,” Bobby said.

    If Bobby or Dom Lagana can get it done, it will be among the best passes in IHRA history. The current IHRA quarter-mile Top Fuel record is held by six-time IHRA champion Clay Millican at 4.484 seconds set at Rockingham Dragway in October of 2005. The speed record still stands with Millican at 328.14 mph, as Dom was not able to back up his run last year.


    Mountain Motor Pro Stock also returns to the Northern Nationals this weekend

    And that might not be the only history made this weekend.

    IHRA will also welcome back Mountain Motor Pro Stock to the quarter-mile this weekend at one of the fastest tracks in the country. All season long the Pro Stock teams have pushed the records in the class to new heights, with Missouri native John DeFlorian and the Black Diamond Motorsports team currently holding the record at 6.224 seconds at 226.70 mph set in April. In Martin, DeFlorian will be joined by a season-high car count as nearly a dozen teams look to secure a spot in the eight-car field with only two races remaining in 2014. DeFlorian currently sits second in the standings behind Goforth Racing’s Cary Goforth in his bright orange 2014 Chevrolet Camaro.

    Rounding out the Northern Nationals professional field will be the nitro classes of Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, along with the US 131 Motorsports Park debut of the Larsen Motorsports all-female jet team.

    In Nitro Harley, Canadian Mike Scott leads the bike field in a close, four-rider race. Louisiana native Randal Andras is second, followed by Jay Turner and Mark Cox. In Nitro Altered, Ron Maroney in the “Blind Faith” entry holds a commanding lead over Don Blackshear. Finally, in Jet Dragster Elaine Larsen can close the deal on her first IHRA championship this weekend as she holds a firm lead over Dawn Perdue and Marisha Falk.

    The 2014 IHRA Northern Nationals will take place this Friday and Saturday at US 131 Motorsports Park. For more information on the event, visit www.nitrojam.com or call US 131 Motorsports Park at (269) 672-7800.

  • Championships can be clinched this weekend at IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals


    With only three races remaining in the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series season, championship points are at a premium.

    And that couldn’t be any more true than at this weekend’s pivotal stop at Pittsburgh Raceway Park as the stars of the IHRA return to the Steel City for the fourth annual IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports this Friday and Saturday.


    Jason Rupert can clinch the IHRA Funny Car championship this weekend

    Following a compelling race at Cordova Dragway Park two weeks ago that saw first-time winners in every professional category except one, fans and drivers are buzzing as the IHRA returns to the track this weekend with only three events remaining.

    “We saw an exceptional race at Cordova earlier this month and that has created a lot of attention on the IHRA and the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. After what we saw in Illinois, I would expect similar results this weekend in Pittsburgh with another superior lineup heading to Pennsylvania,” said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “I expect, with only a few races left, the competition and intensity will be at an all-time high which should make for an extremely compelling race this weekend.”

    Adding to the racing excitement itself, two unique variables will play a key role at this weekend’s event at Pittsburgh Raceway Park – track length and the crunch being placed on IHRA’s Nitro Funny Car teams.

    First up, Pittsburgh Raceway Park will host IHRA’s only event not contested on the quarter-mile this season. For safety reasons, the IHRA Pittsburgh Nationals will be shortened to 1,000 feet for all nitro classes creating an extra challenge for IHRA teams. While 320 less feet doesn’t sound like a lot, it could play a major role in the final outcomes with some teams better suited to shorter attacks.

    The second variable is the Nitro Funny Car schedule. With one less event on the schedule than all of the other pro classes, the IHRA Pittsburgh Nationals will serve as the next-to-last race of the season for Nitro Funny Car competitors, meaning championships can be clinched this weekend.


    One of the closest battles this season has taken place in Nitro Harley

    Breakout star Jason Rupert in the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro can clinch his first IHRA Nitro Funny Car championship this weekend with a strong performance at the Pittsburgh Nationals as he holds a commanding 177-point lead over second place Mark Sanders. With four national event victories and a trip to the final round at every national event entered except one, Rupert can seal his first IHRA title and fourth career Nitro Funny Car championship in Pittsburgh.

    But it won’t be an easy task. Fellow 2014 national event winners John Hale in the “Mike Burkhart” tribute Camaro and Mike McIntire in the “McAttack” Camaro will join IHRA record holder and multi-time Pittsburgh winner Peter Gallen in trying add another Ironman to their collection. They will be joined in Pittsburgh by Sanders, Tim Boychuk, Bruce Litton, Mike Smith, Ronny Young, Greg Jacobsmeyer, Gary Kraus, John Crimmins and more.

    The remaining professional classes still face three races, giving them extra time to lock up their respective championships.

    One of the closest battles of 2014 is in Nitro Harley as Canadian Mike Scott sits just 15 points ahead of Louisiana native Randal Andras and a little over 100 points clear of fourth place Mark Cox. Multi-time IHRA champion Jay Turner sits in the middle in third. Scott leads the quartet with three wins this season, though he hasn’t hoisted an Ironman trophy since early June. Cox has two wins, while Andras has one.

    In Pro Stock, Oklahoma’s Cary Goforth leads the championship standings by 32 points over John DeFlorian. Goforth and DeFlorian began the season as the class of the field, but have not visited the winner’s circle since early April. They will look to regain momentum this weekend.


    Black Diamond Motorsports and Goforth Racing will continue their battle in Pittsburgh this weekend with both teams gunning for the title

    Goforth teammate Todd Hoerner sits third in the championship standings, followed by Kevin Bealko and Pete Berner. Dean Goforth is the most recent winner in the class, winning the Summer Nationals at Cordova earlier this month.

    Rounding out the pro classes are Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster as Ron Maroney brings a healthy lead in the AA/FA category in the “Blind Faith” machine over Don Blackshear in “Bullet Bob.” In Jet Dragster, Elaine Larsen leads the all-female lineup, just ahead of Dawn Perdue. 20-year-old Kat Moller, fourth in points, won her first career race last weekend in Cordova giving all four girls at the top of the standings a win this season.

    The 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports will take place this Friday and Saturday at Pittsburgh Raceway Park. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nitrojam.com or at the gate on the day of the show. For more information, visit www.nitrojam.com or call Pittsburgh Raceway Park at (724) 668-7600.

  • IHRA’s Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series debuts brand new, modernized website


    The International Hot Rod Association(TM) (IHRA) and IRG Sports + Entertainment(TM) (IRG) unveiled a brand-new website this week for the series’ popular Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.

    With a fresh, modernized look, the new www.NitroJam.com features
    news, stats, photo galleries and more from IHRA’s popular national drag racing series.
    In addition to a new, easy-to-use interface, the new Nitro Jam website is also smart
    phone and tablet compatible and includes a number of new features which makes following your favorite drag racing series easier than ever.

    “As we continue to grow the IHRA and the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, we need a
    website and supporting media that represent that growth and excitement,” said Scott
    Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “The new Nitro Jam website is modern, it
    is exciting and it is easy to use. It is also a great tool in promoting and showcasing
    what the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is all about.”

    In addition to highlighting all of the latest news, results and upcoming events,
    the new Nitro Jam website also shines a spotlight on the drivers and cars of the
    IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, as well as a glimpse into all of the great fan
    activities available at every IHRA Nitro Jam event.

    The website was designed and engineered by the marketing team at IRG, under the
    leadership of Aidy Alonzo, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Art
    Director Manfred Eissner.

    Visit the new site today to learn more about upcoming events, featured drivers,
    Fan Fest, past race results, news and much more at www.NitroJam.com.

  • Bowen, Goforth win big during return of IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park

    Any question as to why the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park was the most anticipated IHRA national event of the season was answered Saturday night.
    With a massive crowd looking on and thousands around the world watching live via IHRA’s streaming webcast, Shawn Bowen and Dean Goforth collected big wins to highlight the return of IHRA national event drag racing to Cordova. Bowen won a thriller over Jason Rupert in Nitro Funny Car, his first with the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, while Goforth won for the first time since 2009 in Pro Stock to lead the way at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park.
    Shawn Bowen bested Jason Rupert in an epic Nitro Funny Car showdown
    Mark Cox (Nitro Harley), Troy Martin (Nitro Altered) and Kat Moller (Jet Dragster) added wins in IHRA’s professional categories. In sportsman competition, Curt Fredrich (Top Sportsman), Anthony Layne (Top Dragster), Dean Mesenbring (Super Stock), Aaron Allison (Stock), Mike Eggleston (Quick Rod), Brian Folk (Super Rod) and Marc Erickson (Hot Rod) were all winners Saturday night.
    Bowen’s victory over Rupert in the finals of Nitro Funny Car proved one of the most exciting six seconds in the history of IHRA’s brand new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. Bowen, the 2013 champion with the DragRacingOnline.com AA/FC Challenge, and Rupert, a four-time national event winner this season and one of the most dominant cars in the sport, were heavy favorites entering the weekend and emerged as the final two contestants following a brutal weekend that saw more than a dozen drivers battling for one Ironman trophy.
    With the world watching, Bowen and Rupert put on a show in the finals of the nitro-burning nostalgia class with Bowen grabbing a narrow starting line advantage in the “Violator” 1977 Pontiac Firebird and turning that into a holeshot victory. Bowen crossed the finish line first with a 5.846-second pass at 244.74 miles per hour, besting Rupert’s quicker and faster 5.824 at 245.32.

    Dean Goforth won his first IHRA Pro Stock race since 2009 at Cordova
    “What a win and what a way to finish the weekend. To race Jason, I mean look at his track record. He is the most dominant car out there right now and to win against him means a lot,” Bowen said. “Even with his impressive resume, I tried not to think about it. I went out there, tried not to focus on my opponent and pictured my win light coming on. I try not to get worked up during a run, I just focus on what I need to do. When it left, it was going toward the center and I had to pedal. I reeled it back in, but I could hear him the whole way. When I saw my win light I thought, wow, how great is this.”
    Bowen’s victory was far from an upset as the Grand Blanc, Michigan driver placed the “Violator” Pontiac squarely at the top of the charts after two rounds of qualifying on Friday. On Saturday, however, Rupert fired back during the second round of eliminations with a head-turning 5.700-second pass. With both cars showing their hand early, it was truly anyone’s game when the green light lit for the final time.
    “In the semifinals Rupert ran that 5.70 and I thought, wow, this is going to be tough. To make matters worse, we slowed down from our first round and didn’t really know why. So we hopped it up for thefinal and went to work,” Bowen said.

    Kat Moller won her first career Jet Dragster race Saturday night
    Bowen collected wins over Mike McIntire Jr. and Paul Romine on his way to the final, winning both with relative ease with passes of 5.780 and 5.852.
    “I have been preparing myself for this race for the past few weeks. I came here just wanting to qualify and go a couple of rounds, those were my expectations,” Bowen said. “We qualified No. 1 and I really didn’t expect that. Then we ran really good during first round and I thought, hey, we might have a chance.
    “We don’t race a lot, so this was a great opportunity to come here with all of these guys and see where we stand. It is awesome to actually come away with the win.”
    Dean Goforth collected Saturday’s other big win as the veteran racer out of Holdenville, Oklahoma drove the Dean’s Casing Service 2014 Chevrolet Camaro to a surprising win in Pro Stock. Just a few months removed from surgery to repair damage to his ankle, Goforth bested one of the most dominant teams in Pro Stock to collect his first Ironman since 2009 in only his third race of the season.
    “It feels pretty good to win here today. It has been a struggle watching from the sidelines these past few months. It was great just to get behind the wheel again, but to win, that just makes it all the more special,” Goforth said. “When I had this surgery they told me I would be out 12 to 15 months, but the last time I went in my doctor said that I may just be the first person to get well in 10 months’ time. Now, here I am holding one of these.”

    Mark Cox found just enough consistency to get the win in Nitro Harley
    Goforth beat John DeFlorian Jr. in the finals of Pro Stock, running a 6.351 at 221.23 in the winning effort. DeFlorian drove the Black Diamond Motorsports Camaro to a 6.424 at 217.67 in finishing runner-up. Goforth added wins over teammate Todd Hoerner and Brad Waddle on his way to the win.
    Mark Cox, from Wilkesboro, N.C., claimed his second win of the season in another exciting final in Nitro Harley over Larry Brancaccio.
    With a number of the bike teams struggling during the weekend, Cox found enough to put down three consistent laps and take the win. In the final Cox had a 6.476 at 208.81 to Brancaccio’s 7.332 at 134.55. Cox also had wins over Lyle Newton and Mike Scott, turning laps of 6.556 and 6.476.
    In Nitro Altered, Troy Martin won for the very first time in the nostalgia class, besting Kyle Hough in a wild final. While Martin was busy coasting to a 6.811 at 167.45 to take the win, behind him Hough went up on two wheels, crossed the center stripe and lightly tagged the wall, handing the win by default to Martin.
    Finally, in Jet Dragster Kat Moller collected her first career victory over Elaine Larsen, running a 5.836 at 274.72 in the final to Larsen’s 5.746 at 276.07. Top qualifier Marisha Falk turned on the red light during both of her passes on Saturday after a solid effort on Friday.
    Next up for the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is a trip to Pittsburgh Raceway Park for the IHRA Nitro Jam Pittsburgh Nationals the weekend of August 1-2.

    Cordova, Ill. – Final results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park
    AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car – Shawn Bowen, Grand Blanc, Mich., ’77 Firebird, 5.846, 244.74 def. Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda, Calif., ’69 Camaro, 5.824, 245.32
    Pro Stock – Dean Goforth, Holdenville, Okla., ’14 Camaro, 6.351, 221.23 def. John DeFlorian, Arnold, Mo., ’12 Camaro, 6.424, 217.67
    Nitro Harley – Mark Cox, Wilkesboro, N.C., nitro bike, 6.476, 208.81 def. Larry Brancaccio, Nutley, N.J., nitro bike, 7.332, 134.55
    Nitro Altered – Troy Martin, Pierceton, Ind., ’34 Ford, 6.811, 167.45 def. Kyle Hough, Las Vegas, Nev., ’23 Ford, DQ
    Jet Dragster – Kat Moller, Sarasota, Fla., dragster, 5.836, 274.72 def. Elaine Larsen, Daytona, Fla., dragster, 5.746, 276.07
    Good Vibrations Top Sportsman – Curt Fredrich, Burlington, Wis., ’68 Camaro, 6.822, 205.54 def. Lou Rausch, Traer, Iowa, ’95 Beretta, foul
    Good Vibrations Top Dragster – Anthony Layne, Coal Valley, Ill., dragster, 7.580, 170.82 def. Charlie Hamma, Davenport, Iowa, dragster, 7.458, 167.78
    Super Stock – Dean Mesenbring, Rochester, Minn., ’92 Camaro, 10.967, 120.63 def. Jeff Bryson, Morton, Ill., ’02 Olds Alero, 10.915, 118.18
    Stock – Aaron Allison, East Palestine, Ohio, ’76 Vega, 10.489, 122.07 def. Jim Petersen, Davenport, Iowa, ’80 Dodge Pickup, 13.156, 97.81
    Quick Rod – Mike Eggleston, Highland, Ill., dragster, 8.906, 173.23 def. Patrick Fitzpatrick, Peoria, Ill., dragster, 8.930, 145.30
    Super Rod – Brian Folk, Durand, Ill., 9.911, 149.10 def. Dave Johnson, Edwards, Ill., 9.877, 144.69
    Hot Rod – Marc Erickson, Rockford, Ill., ’01 S10, 10.912, 145.77 def. Russ Gibbel, Indianola, Iowa, ’78 Mustang, 10.898, 135.97
    Cordova, Ill. – Final round-by-round results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park
    AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car
    Round 1 – Shawn Bowen, 5.780, 250.41 def. Mike McIntire Jr., 6.065, 227.84; Paul Romine, 5.921, 241.11 def. John Hale, 6.005, 239.19; Jason Rupert, 5.944, 242.80 def. Steve Nichols, 6.127, 232.55; Mark Sanders, 5.945, 245.40 def. Bruce Litton, 6.574, 182.26
    Semis – Bowen, 5.852, 248.20 def. Romine, 9.779, 88.64; Rupert, 5.700, 250.09 def. Sanders, 5.883, 245.58
    Final – Bowen, 5.846, 244.74 def. Rupert, 5.824, 245.32
    Pro Stock
    Round 1 – John DeFlorian, 6.400, 219.90 def. Cary Goforth, 11.122, 81.26; Kevin Bealko, 6.369, 220.62 def. Matt Bertsch, 7.259, 130.67; Brad Waddle, 6.584, 196.96 def. Pete Berner, 20.016, 54.16; Dean Goforth, 6.849, 162.27 def. Todd Hoerner 7.273, 143.41
    Semis – DeFlorian, 6.332, 221.31 def. Bealko, 6.357, 221.74; Goforth, 6.343, 219.12 def. Waddle, 6.843, 167.26
    Final – Goforth, 6.351, 221.23 def. DeFlorian, 6.424, 217.67
    Nitro Harley
    Round 1 – Mike Scott, 8.140, 184.77 def. Jay Turner, 10.978, 80.76; Mark Cox, 6.556, 233.80 def. Lyle Newton, 7.807, 138.91; Randal Andras, 6.467, 216.83 def. Alvin Kobernusz, 7.051, 188.94; Larry Brancaccio, 6.545, 208.46 def. Rocky Jackson, 7.419, 169.96
    Semis – Cox, 6.476, 209.56 def. Scott, 14.247, 66.73; Brancaccio, 8.149, 178.83 def. Andras, 12.855, 99.51
    Final – Cox, 6.476, 208.81 def. Brancaccio, 7.332, 134.55
    Nitro Altered
    Round 1 – Don Blackshear, 7.946, 127.26 def. Mike Hilsabeck, 13.867, 80.48; Troy Martin, 7.662, 127.74 def. Ron Hope, broke; Kyle Hough, 6.337, 204.29 def. Ron Maroney, 7.285, 162.63
    Consolation – Mike Hilsabeck, 6.730, 178.02 def. Bye; Ron Maroney, 6.719, 197.54 def. Don Blackshear, 15.082, 85.74
    Final – Martin, 6.811, 167.45 def. Hough, DQ
    Jet Dragster
    Round 1 – Elaine Larsen, 5.761, 276.86 def. Allison West, 5.962, 228.61; Kat Moller, 5.762, 280.43 def. Marisha Falk, foul
    Consolation – West, 5.973, 222.22 def. Falk, foul
    Final – Moller, 5.836, 274.72 def. Larsen, 5.746, 276.07

  • Shawn Bowen leads Nitro Funny Car field at IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park


    It was billed as one of the biggest nostalgia Nitro Funny Car races ever held. And so far, it is living up to all the hype.

    With one of the most decorated nostalgia Nitro Funny Car fields ever assembled on the property, it was IHRA newcomer and Grand Blanc, Michigan native Shawn Bowen making the first move, propelling the “Violator” 1977 Pontiac Firebird Nitro Funny Car to the top of the charts at the IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park.




    Shawn Bowen was quickest during Friday qualifying in Cordova

    Cary Goforth (Pro Stock), Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), Mike Hilsabeck (Nitro Altered) and Marisha Falk (Jet Dragster) also topped qualifying in their respective classes Friday in Cordova.

    Bowen put down a stout lap in the first round of qualifying Friday night, rocketing to the top of the charts with a 5.819-second pass at 251.02 miles per hour to put the 2013 DRO champion in the No. 1 position entering eliminations on Saturday. Current IHRA points leader and four-time IHRA national event winner Jason Rupert qualified second in the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro with a 5.853 at 243.63 mph.

    Mark Sanders, in the “Mr. Explosive” ’69 Mustang, was third with a 5.880 at 244.25, while Paul Romine and John Hale rounded out the top five. Former IHRA Top Fuel world champion Bruce Litton snuck into the field in his final qualifying attempt to place sixth on the ladder, joining 2010 IHRA Funny Car champion Steve Nichols and Mike McIntire Jr. as the final drivers in the eight-car field.


    Pro Stock favorite Cary Goforth once again jumped out on top

    Five drivers failed to make the field, including IHRA regular Tim Boychuk and heavy-hitter Marc White.

    Cary Goforth, from Holdenville, Oklahoma, paced IHRA’s Mountain Motor Pro Stock class on Friday, driving the Dean’s Casing Service 2013 Chevrolet Camaro to the top spot on the ladder with a 6.254-second pass at 222.91 mph. Two-time IHRA Pro Stock champion Pete Berner qualified second with a 6.338 at 220.98 and Dean Goforth was third with a 6.357 at 218.72.

    In Nitro Harley, Canadian Mike Scott led the way with a 6.617-second pass at 180.24 mph. Alvin Kobernusz, from nearby Manly, Iowa, was second with a 7.103 at 187.50 and Rocky Jackson was third.

    Rounding out the nitro categories was Nitro Altered as Arizona native Mike Hilsabeck drove the aptly named “Arizona Thunder” to the top spot with a 6.738 at 157.61. Troy Martin was second with a 6.813 at 185.69 and Kyle Hough was third.

    Finally, Marisha Falk was quickest in IHRA’s Jet Dragster category with a 5.791-second pass at 276.41 mph, just edging Elaine Larsen and her 5.816 at 275.45.

    The IHRA Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park will continue on Saturday with final eliminations for all professional classes with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series and first day action of the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL.


    Mike Scott took the top spot in Nitro Harley qualifying on Friday


    Cordova, Ill. – Qualifying from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Summer Nationals at Cordova Dragway Park

    Nitro Funny Car – 1. Shawn Bowen 5.819, 251.02; 2. Jason Rupert 5.853, 244.07; 3. Mark Sanders 5.880, 244.25; 4. Paul Romine 5.893, 243.46; 5. John Hale 5.952, 241.24; 6. Bruce Litton 5.966, 243.85; 7. Steve Nichols 5.972, 242.84; 8. Mike McIntire Jr. 5.975, 235.15; 9. Don Halladay 5.998, 226.39; 10. Tim Boychuk 6.069, 225.45; 11. Bazz Young 6.334, 225.00; 12. Jim Young 16.171, 65.71; 13. Marc White DQ

    Pro Stock – 1. Cary Goforth 6.254, 222.91; 2. Pete Berner 6.338, 220.98; 3. Dean Goforth 6.357, 218.72; 4. Matt Bertsch 6.380, 218.94; 5. Todd Hoerner 6.390, 220.87; 6. Kevin Bealko 6.995, 156.06; 7. John DeFlorian 7.647, 126.90; 8. John Konigshofer 8.583, 109.41; 9. Brad Waddle 9.925, 91.53

    Nitro Harley – 1. Mike Scott 6.617, 180.24; 2. Alvin Kobernusz 7.103, 187.50; 3. Rocky Jackson 7.579, 177.35; 4. Mark Cox 7.849, 188.99; 5. Lyle Newton 8.220, 137.89; 6. Larry Brancaccio 10.687, 84.55; 7. Randal Andras 11.210, 128.63; 8. Jay Turner 12.044, 69.33

    Nitro Altered – 1. Mike Hilsabeck 6.738, 157.61; 2. Troy Martin 6.813, 185.69; 3. Kyle Hough 7.070, 201.73; 4. Ron Maroney 7.192, 174.12; 5. Ron Hope 7.247, 194.91; 6. Don Blackshear 9.364, 92.11

    Jet Dragster – 1. Marisha Falk, 5.791, 276.41; 2. Elaine Larsen 5.816, 275.45; 3. Allison West 5.867, 258.42; 4. Kat Moller 5.960, 259.46

  • Hale, Konigshofer highlight return of IHRA President’s Cup at Maryland Int’l Raceway


    2014 has not been kind to John Hale.

    A perennial favorite in the nostalgia Nitro Funny Car class for some time, Hale came into the season looking to seriously contend in the IHRA’s all-new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series championship program and instead, Hale found himself in a situation very unfamiliar to him and his crew. DNQs, oil downs and an overall lack of consistency left Hale without even a single round win through four races and a disappointing sixth place in the championship standings.

    John Hale

    But on Saturday night, that all changed.

    With a complete overhaul of his nitro-fed ’69 Camaro between IHRA’s last race in Rockingham, N.C. and this weekend, Hale finally found the consistency that had been missing. In front of a crowd eager for the return of nitro, Hale drove the “Mike Burkhart” tribute nostalgia Nitro Funny Car to the win at the 20th annual IHRA Nitro Jam President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway.

    “These past few months have been very frustrating for myself and for my team. I often tell people, you may lose your job, your house may burn down, you may wreck your car, but the people that rebound from adveristy the quickest are always the most successful,” Hale said. “I just made it my goal to rebound from this, get this thing off my back, and win a race. And that is exactly what we did here this weekend.”

    Joining Hale in the winner’s circle at MIR was John Konigshofer, who pulled the upset bid in Mountain Motor Pro Stock for the second race in a row, Mike Scott (Nitro Harley), Don Blackshear (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster).


    John Konigshofer

    Sportsman winners during Saturday’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL race one were Kathy Gallo (Top Sportsman), Bobby Spence (Top Dragster), Kevin Clark (Super Stock), Bill Bricker (Stock), Jake Milstead (Quick Rod), Keith Mayers (Super Rod) and Robert Robertson (Hot Rod).

    Hale beat IHRA’s own three-time champion Peter Gallen in the final of Nitro Funny Car on a day that saw the entire field turned upside down when current points leader and top qualifier at every race this season, Jason Rupert, failed to make the field. With Rupert out, Gallen and Hale jumped at the opportunity, qualifying first and second Saturday afternoon.

    With the door open, Hale whittled the field down via wins over Tim Boychuk and Mike McIntire Jr., while Gallen took out Greg Jacobsmeyer and Mike Smith, setting up another epic final round between two of the top Funny Car teams in the country. With an Ironman on the line, Gallen got the jump at the line in the “Poverty Stricken” ’77 Vega, but quickly went up in a ball of fire while Hale pedaled in the other lane, taking the stripe with a 6.319-second pass at 237.05 mph. Gallen limped across the line with a 10.817, 84.95.

    “Pete is such a great driver. He has a great racecar and is capable of putting down some solid numbers. I was a little surprised that he took the left lane, I was ready for our car to do something goofy in that right lane and it did when we smoked the tires. I just happened to slap the pedal and recover it and cross the finish line first,” Hale said. “For once luck was on our side.”

    After the race, Hale gathered with his team and thanked each one of them for believing in him despite the trying start to the year.


    Elaine Larsen

    “I have to say that my crew stuck with me through all of the hurt motors, spinning tires, oiling the track and not qualifying. They never once hung their heads. Now we are going to celebrate together,” Hale said.

    John Konigshofer joined Hale in a surprise trip to the winner’s circle on Saturday when the Otterville, Ontario native took the Ironman in Pro Stock. Another driver not seeing the results he had hoped for, Konigshofer put together three solid runs after qualifying next-to-last on Saturday, eliminating the first, second and third place drivers in points to take the win Saturday evening.

    “This is very exciting for us. We were definitely the underdogs coming in here, all of the GMs are running really strong right now and we simply did what we could and came away with the win. We are pretty excited about what we accomplished here today,” Konigshofer said.

    After qualifying sixth on the ladder, Konigshofer defeated John DeFlorian, Cary Goforth and Todd Hoerner – the three most dominating cars to date – to take the win. In the final Konigshofer blasted down the track with a 6.296, 223.99 to Hoerner’s shaking 7.113, 146.89.

    “We tuned her up pretty good for the final. He and I both cut a good light, but we had a little bit more this time,” Konigshofer said. “Those guys have been running so strong all weekend. It is tough being the lone Ford in the battle with all of these GM guys, so it is quite a feeling with what we have accomplished.”

    Konigshofer had laps of 6.322, 6.290 and 6.296 on his way to the Ironman trophy.


    Don Blackshear

    Nitro Harley saw another incredible battle as Mike Scott and Randal Andras, who have combined to win three of the first four races, once again met in the final. Andras qualified first for the second race in a row and powered his way to the finals until an issue with the bike prevented him from making the final call. With a clean pass to victory, Scott put down a 6.350, 229.78 in the final to pick up his third win this season.

    Scott had wins over Larry Brancaccio and Mark Cox and had the most consistent weekend of the two-wheel competitors to claim his second Ironman in a row.

    In Nitro Altered, Don Blackshear picked up his second win of the season in similar anticlimactic fashion, making a solo pass for the win. Final round opponent Ron Maroney made the call, but couldn’t get the “Blind Faith” machine fired on the line, allowing Blackshear to make a leisurely 6.283, 213.70 pass in the “Bullet Bob” Altered for the win.

    Finally, in Jet Dragster Elaine Larsen bested Dawn Perdue in an incredible finale that saw Larsen post a 5.731, 276.01 to Perdue’s 5.766, 272.01 for her second win of the year.

    The IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series will be back in action June 20-22 at the IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex in Ontario, Canada.


    Budds Creek, Md. – Final results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway

    Nitro Funny Car – John Hale, Addison, Texas, ’69 Camaro, 6.319, 237.05 def. Peter Gallen, Broomall, Pa., ’77 Monza, 10.817, 84.95

    Pro Stock – John Konigshofer, Otterville, Ont., ’13 Mustang, 6.296, 223.99 def. Todd Hoerner, Forest, Va., ’11 GXP, 7.113, 146.89

    Nitro Harley – Mike Scott, Blind Bay, B.C., ’13 American, 6.350, 229.78 def. Randal Andras, Amelia, La., ’13 Weekend, broke

    Nitro Altered – Don Blackshear, Brookfield, Ohio, ’23 Roadster, 6.283, 213.70 def. Ron Maroney, Chandler, Ariz., ’32 Bantam, broke

    Jet Dragster – Elaine Larsen, Port Orange, Fla., dragster, 5.731, 276.01 def. Dawn Perdue, Oxford, Pa., dragster, 5.766, 272.01

    Top Sportsman – Kathy Gallo, Murrysville, Pa., ’96 Cutlass, 7.605, 171.77 def. Tommy Johns, Henrico, Va., ’63 Corvette, 7.451, 183.54

    Top Dragster – Bobby Spence, Woodbine, Md., dragster, 6.815, 200.77 def. Jason Hoff, Littlestown, Pa., dragster, 7.037, 186.43

    Super Stock – Kevin Clark, Alexandria, Va., ’86 Regal, 10.656, 121.22 def. Richard Preiser, Jackson, N.J., ’67 Mustang, 9.386, 134.07

    Stock – Bill Bricker, White Plains, Md., ’86 Camaro, 11.264, 117.03 def. Kevin Riner, Autryville, N.C., ’98 Camaro, 10.544, 120.24

    Quick Rod – Jake Milstead, Lexington Park, Md., dragster, 8.888, 159.83 def. Brett Nesbitt, Burlington, N.C., dragster, foul

    Super Rod – Keith Mayers, Middletown, Del., ’85 Porche, 9.959, 139.10 def. Jack Schnitzer, Butler, Pa., ’91 Daytona, foul

    Hot Rod – Robert Robertson, Laplata, Md., ’85 Camaro, 10.906, 147.10 def. Robbie Welch, Mechanicsville, Md., ’66 Fairlane, 10.885, 114.83


    Budds Creek, Md. – Final round-by-round results from the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam President’s Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway

    Nitro Funny Car
    Round 1 – Peter Gallen, 5.803, 239.74 def. Greg Jacobsmeyer, 6.084, 231.87; Mike Smith, 5.831, 250.51 def. Bruce Litton, 5.924, 245.27; John Hale, 5.800, 250.41 def. Tim Boychuk, 11.075, 76.21; Mike McIntire Jr., 5.849, 238.26 def. Mark Sanders, 5.857, 244.60
    Semis – Gallen, 5.790, 245.18 def. Smith, 5.845, 243.90; Hale, 6.515, 191.27 def. McIntire, 6.850, 177.23
    Final – Hale, 6.319, 237.05 def. Gallen, 10.817, 84.95

    Pro Stock
    Round 1 – Todd Hoerner, 6.233, 225.79 def. Bye; Pete Berner, 6.307, 222.07 def. Kevin Bealko, 8.993, 102.52; Cary Goforth, 6.226, 225.82 def. Dean Goforth, 6.345, 220.91; John Konigshofer, 6.322, 222.66 def. John DeFlorian, 6.400, 217.56
    Semis – Hoerner, 6.402, 195.70 def. Berner, 6.763, 154.71; Konigshofer, 6.290, 224.02 def. Goforth, 7.247, 138.37
    Final – Konigshofer, 6.296, 223.99 def. Hoerner, 7.113, 146.89

    Nitro Harley
    Round 1 – Randal Andras, 6.454, 225.41 def. Takeshi Shigmatsu, 9.853, 100.16; Jay Turner, 6.405, 220.12 def. Tracy Kile, 6.444, 218.80; Mike Scott, 6.387, 229.16 def. Larry Brancaccio, 6.605, 175.37; Mark Cox, 6.515, 228.04 def. Alvin Kobernusz, broke
    Semis – Andras, 6.368, 226.24 def. Turner, broke; Scott, 6.374, 230.10 def. Cox, 6.470, 221.67
    Final – Scott, 6.350, 229.78 def. Andras, broke

    Nitro Altered
    Round 1 – Kyle Hough, 7.825, 129.49 def. Shane Harter, foul; Don Blackshear, 6.968, 126.64 def. Bye; Ron Maroney, 6.370, 216.03 def. Mike Hilsabeck, 9.163, 76.58
    Consolation – Harter, 6.417, 194.18 def. Hough, 7.418, 144.98
    Final – Blackshear 6.283, 213.70 def. Maroney, broke

    Jet Dragster
    Round 1 – Dawn Perdue, 5.813, 272.34 def. Kat Miller, 6.262, 246.93; Elaine Larsen, 5.748, 277.15 def. Marisha Falk, foul
    Consolation – Falk, 5.736, 279.44 def. Moller, 6.083, 260.56
    Final – Larsen, 5.731, 276.01 def. Perdue, 5.766, 272.01

  • IHRA returns to Maryland International Raceway for President’s Cup Nationals June


    After a three-year hiatus, the International Hot
    Rod Association is thrilled to welcome the return of the historical President’s
    Cup Nationals at Maryland International Raceway as the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series
    returns to the track the of weekend of June 13-14.


    The two-day President’s Cup Nationals will feature two full days of sportsman racing
    on the IHRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL in addition
    to two thrilling nights of nitro-powered drag racing action featuring the IHRA’s
    premier classes of Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Altered, Nitro Harley, Mountain Motor
    Pro Stock, Jet Dragster and much more.

    The historical IHRA President’s Cup Nationals return to Maryland International Raceway
    June 13-14 with the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series

    “One of the longest tenured events in the history of the IHRA is Maryland International
    Raceway’s President’s Cup and we are very excited to bring this amazing race back
    to fans in southern Maryland,” said Skooter Peaco, Vice President of IHRA Motorsports.
    “The all-new Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is packed full of entertainment and great
    competition as we bring in classes unique to this series. We very much look forward
    to returning to the tradition and excellence of this great event once again in 2014.”

    The 2014 President’s Cup Nationals will include competition in a number of classes
    unique to the International Hot Rod Association and its Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series.
    Fans will enjoy championship competition in three nitro classes plus the world’s
    first Jet Dragster championship and the much anticipated return of Mountain Motor
    Pro Stock as drivers from across North America compete for points in the year-long
    battle for the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series championships.


    “We are thrilled to have nitro racing and the President’s Cup back at MIR,” said
    Royce Miller, President of Maryland International Raceway. “The new Friday and
    Saturday night format is very fan and family friendly and will be an awesome experience
    for everyone. The Miller family will be on the starting line to celebrate the return
    of the President’s Cup when the first nitro qualifying session roars to life. We
    invite all of the MIR fans to be there and celebrate with us.”

    The return of the President’s Cup Nationals will see a unique collection of classes
    including Nitro Funny Car, Pro Stock, Jet Dragsters and much more

    Nitro Funny Car and Nitro Harley will bring with it the best racers in the world
    in those two classes as racers in two of the most popular categories in the country
    compete for eight spots on the ladder on Friday followed by a three grueling rounds
    of eliminations on Saturday to determine the champion.

    The Nitro Funny Car class will be led by series points leader Jason Rupert in the
    “Bays & Rupert” ’69 Camaro following a dominating start to the season. The California
    native has won three out of four events to start the year and reset the IHRA elapsed
    time record on his way to his commanding start. He will be joined in Maryland by
    “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders, the legendary “Jungle Jim” Camaro driven by John
    Smith, Mike McIntire Jr. and the “McAttack” team, former IHRA Top Fuel world champion
    Bruce Litton in “U.S. Male” and more as a dozen nitro-powered Funny Cars do battle
    at a track known for its very fast surface.

    Rupert’s biggest threat, Peter Gallen in the “Poverty Stricken” nostalgia machine,
    will also return to action in Maryland. Two of the fastest Funny Cars in the world
    representing both coasts, Gallen and Rupert produced an epic battle at IHRA’s last
    stop and the two will once again fight for the right to be called IHRA’s top dog
    in Maryland.


    Mountain Motor Pro Stock – a longtime staple of the IHRA – will also to IHRA
    at the President’s Cup Nationals as many of the baddest racecars in the country
    compete for a spot on an eight-car ladder and a shot at a victory at one of America’s
    premier racing destinations. The Black Diamond Motorsports team, led by John DeFlorian
    and Kevin Bealko, will continue the fight against the recently announced three-car
    team of Goforth Racing with points leader Cary Goforth, father Dean Goforth and
    Todd Hoerner, along with two-time IHRA Pro Stock champion Pete Berner and more.

    The President’s Cup was last contested in Maryland in 2010.

    Nitro Altered and Jet Dragster will round out the competitive action as two classes
    unique to the IHRA do battle with the fastest of the fast walking away with the
    Ironman. Easily the most exciting addition to the IHRA in some time, the all-female
    Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster team have been the talk of the series so far with
    close, side-by-side jet-powered racing and a unique pit area that welcomes fans
    to explore the world of jet racing.

    The professional action will be coupled with two days of sportsman racing on the
    Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour as the best racers in Division 1 do battle
    for valuable points on their way to clinching a spot in the year-end Summit Tournament
    of Champions.

    In addition to the on-track action, the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam President’s Cup Nationals
    will feature an all-new and fully interactive Fan Fest pit experience. Fans can
    tour the pits, meet the drivers and take part in a number of fun family activities
    including the Larsen Motorsports Jet Technology Center and the Hollywood Cars of
    the Stars featuring real cars from famous movies and television series.

    Showtime is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

    One of the longest running races in IHRA history, the President’s Cup Nationals’
    inaugural race came in 1992 at Royce Miller’s Maryland International Raceway. The
    race was run annually for the next two decades with some of the most famous names
    in drag racing lore having made a pass at the President’s Cup event.

    Visit www.nitrojam.com for complete details as the President’s Cup returns to Maryland International Raceway
    June 13-14!