• Tag Archives Mountain Motor Pro Stock
  • DeFlorian, Rupert top record-setting night at IHRA San Antonio Nationals

    It was a night of big numbers and record runs as the stars of the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series produced a memorable and historic night in front of yet another capacity crowd at the IHRA San Antonio Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway.


    John DeFlorian erased a half-decade old record in Mountain Motor Pro Stock on his way to picking up his first career IHRA victory and Jason Rupert won his second straight Ironman in Nitro Funny Car to the thrill of the overflow crowd during the second stop of the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam season. They were joined in the winner’s circle by Randal Andras (Nitro Harley), Ron Hope (Nitro Altered) and Elaine Larsen (Jet Dragster).


    John DeFlorian set a new IHRA record with a 226.70 mph pass 


    DeFlorian obliterated the IHRA speed record in Mountain Motor Pro Stock, a record that has stood since the fall of 2008. The record, which stood at 223.95, was topped on two separate occasions by the Arnold, Missouri native, ending with an outstanding 226.70 mph pass in the final.


    The run not only gave the driver of the Black Diamond Motorsports Camaro the record, but it also helped propel DeFlorian to his first victory in IHRA competition as he bested Cary Goforth in the final. DeFlorian overcame a slight starting line disadvantage as Cary Goforth in the Goforth’s Casing 2013 Chevrolet Camaro got the jump, but DeFlorian battled back on the top end with a 6.224-second elapsed time at 226.70 mph to take the win, just ahead of Goforth’s equally stout 6.299, 224.22.


    “This weekend has been absolutely dynamite. I have never raced out here before, so when we rolled in here the other day I kept thinking ‘man, this is going to be a lot of fun.’ They told me the crowds would be spectacular and boy they weren’t kidding. What an amazing place to race,” DeFlorian said. “Getting to race here is a treat and getting a win here is just amazing. We are so excited to get the win. I used to race IHRA years ago, but I never could get a win. Now, I can take this amazing trophy and record home with us.”


    In addition to setting a new record, DeFlorian also picked up the win – his first in IHRA 


    DeFlorian had a rather mistake-free day in his bright gold ride, posting laps of 6.291, 6.250 and 6.224 during the afternoon and evening hours with wins attached to those numbers over Kevin Bealko, Scott Hintz and Goforth. And it was destined from the beginning that DeFlorian and Goforth would meet in the final.


    The pair qualified first and second on Friday and remained welded together throughout the afternoon, with Goforth at one point flirting with the other half of the IHRA Pro Stock record with an outstanding 6.189 in round one. The loss was Goforth’s first round loss in the new car.


    “The battle between Cary and I goes way back, a lot longer than people realize. We have been racing each other for years, trading records and wins back and forth. It is something each team likes to brag about and go after and to come away from here with the win and the record is pretty amazing,” DeFlorian said. “We felt like we could get after it, but I never dreamed we could come out here and put down a number like that. I was thinking maybe 225 tops. To set the record and get the win against a great team like the Goforths just makes this even more special.”


    The other half of the storybook evening at the San Antonio Nationals belonged to Jason Rupert who won his second consecutive Ironman in IHRA’s premier Nitro Funny Car class.


    Jason Rupert  Jason Rupert won for the second week in a row in Nitro Funny Car 


    Sitting behind the wheel of the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” Camaro, Rupert rocketed to the top of the charts on Friday and remained there throughout the weekend. Rupert recorded round wins over Ronnie Young, Greg Jacobsmeyer and John “Bodie” Smith on his way to his second IHRA victory of the season, once again saving his best stuff for the final with a very fast 5.764, 252.38 pushing the California native past Smith in the “Jungle Jim” Vega and into the winner’s circle.


    Smith had the jump on the line with a narrow starting line advantage, but gave that advantage up on the top end. Smith crossed the line with a 5.883, 242.98 pass.


    “When you look at these cars, all of them are just so competitive. We are lucky to have the great help and great team that we have to make this all happen,” Rupert said. “Today we knew we were going up against a Paul Smith-tuned car, so when you are racing that guy you had better not be bashful at all. I knew we could run a good number, but I also knew they could run a good number. We just had to be on our game and thankfully we put it all together on that last run.”


    While his car was on a rail throughout the weekend, Rupert received one lucky break in the semifinals when his car went up in smoke just after the hit of the throttle. Seemingly out of it, Rupert received a break when his opponent also ran into trouble allowing Rupert to coast to the line and into the final.


    Rupert defeated Mark Sanders at the IHRA season opener in Tucson one week ago, giving him two wins in a row in the ultra-competitive class that produced a 5.968 bump on Friday.



    Randal Andras took the win in Nitro Harley


    In other nitro action, Randal Andras collected the win in Nitro Harley over Jay Turner in an upset-filled bracket.


    Andras qualified near the top of the field in second, but Turner saw two poor runs turn into a spot in eighth on the ladder. But with the bike turned around, Turner upset No. 1 qualifier Mike Scott in round one and stringed together one win after another to set up the final between two of the fastest bikes on the property.


    With an Ironman on the line, Andras got off of the line first and held that advantage throughout with a 6.468, 217.92 to Turner’s 6.499, 209.40. Andras also had wins over Ron Gledhill and Steve Dorn to reach the final.


    In Nitro Altered, Ron Hope overcame a pair of challenging runs to take the win in the “Rat Trap” nostalgia machine, recording wins over Ron Maroney and Mike Hilsabeck to collect the hardware. In the final both Hope and Hilsabeck ran into trouble, but Hope found enough traction at the top end to blast across the line with a less-than-stellar 8.008, 161.12 to take the win.


    Finally, in Jet Dragster Elaine Larsen had two tremendous passes of 5.746 and 5.707 – both at over 270 mph – to take the win. In the final Larsen and Dawn Perdue put on a tremendous show ending with a 5.707 to a 5.774 in favor of Larsen.


    Next up for the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series North American Tour is a trip to Bradenton Motorsports Park for the IHRA Southern Nationals April 11-12 and watch for the series on MAV TV coming this fall.




    Marion, Texas – Final results from the 2014 IHRA San Antonio Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway.


    Nitro Funny Car – Jason Rupert, Yorba Linda, Calif., ’69 Camaro, 5.764, 252.38 def. John Smith, Delray Beach, Fla., ’74 Vega, 5.883, 242.98


    Pro Stock – John DeFlorian, Arnold, Mo., ‘ 13 Camaro, 6.224, 226.70 def. Cary Goforth, Holdenville, Okla., ’13 Camaro, 6.299, 224.22


    Nitro Harley – Randal Andras, Amelia, La., 6.468, 217.92 def. Jay Turner, Julian, N.C., 6.499, 209.40


    Nitro Altered – Ron Hope, Franklin, Tenn., ’32 Bantam, 8.008, 161.12 def. Mike Hilsabeck, Phoenix, Ariz, ’23 Ford T, 10.742, 81.26


    Jet Dragster – Elaine Larsen, Middleton, Mich., 5.707, 271.58 def. Dawn Perdue, Philadelphia, Pa., 5.774, 256.70




    Marion, Texas – Final results from the 2014 IHRA San Antonio Nitro Jam Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports at San Antonio Raceway.


    Nitro Funny Car

    Round 1 – Greg Jacobsmeyer, 6.058, 238.10 def. Mike McIntire Jr., 6.352, 216.66; John Smith, 5.883, 244.03 def. Tim Boychuk, 6.284, 192.14; Mark Sanders, 6.325, 235.97 def. John Hale, 6.357, 238.73; Jason Rupert, 5.810, 244.96 def. Ronnie Young, 6.019, 229.24

    Semis – Smith, 5.849, 245.90 def. Sanders, 6.017, 248.76; Rupert, 6.584, 167.54 def. Jacobsmeyer, 16.389, 68.15

    Final – Rupert, 5.764, 252.38 def. Smith, 5.883, 242.98


    Pro Stock

    Round 1 – Todd Hoerner, 6.312, 220.59 def. Pete Berner, 6.338, 219.19; Scott Hintz, 9.874, 122.45 def. John Konigshofer, foul; John DeFlorian, 6.291, 224.44 def. Kevin Bealko, 6.294, 223.44; Cary Goforth, 6.189, 223.55 def. BYE

    Semis – DeFlorian, 6.250, 223.21 def. Hintz, 8.550, 110.51; Goforth, foul (.006) def. Hoerner, foul (.018)

    Final – DeFlorian, 6.224, 226.70 def. Goforth, 6.299, 224.22


    Nitro Harley

    Round 1 – Mike Pelrine, 6.672, 219.51 def. Rickey House, 9.693, 96.19; Steve Dorn, 6.839, 176.96 def. Alvin Kobernusz, 7.148, 158.83; Randal Andras, 6.456, 212.67 def. Ron Gledhill, 9.317, 95.79; Jay Turner, 7.309, 145.49 def. Mike Scott, foul

    Semis – Turner, 6.408, 223.99 def. Pelrine, 6.651, 193.97; Andras, foul (.007) def. Dorn, foul (.013)

    Final – Andras, 6.468, 217.92 def. Turner, 6.499, 209.40


    Nitro Altered

    Round 1 – Ron Hope, 7.489, 191.90 def. Ron Maroney, 7.473, 144.05; Mike Hilsabeck, 6.555, 201.70 def. Jim Maroney, broke

    Final – Hope, 8.008, 161.12 def. Hilsabeck, 10.742, 81.26


    Jet Dragster

    Round 1 – Elaine Larsen, 5.746, 272.89 def. Kat Moller, 7.185, 114.59; Dawn Perdue, 5.841, 238.85 def. Marisha Falk, foul

    Consolation – Moller, 7.103, 158.34 def. Falk, foul

    Final – Larsen, 5.707, 271.58 def. Perdue, 5.774, 256.70

  • Goforth Racing 2014 Season Preview

    Goforth Racing is ready to start the 2014 season. This upcoming season has Cary really excited to get started, “We are returning to IHRA competition, and 1/4 mile racing after many years of racing 1/8th mile and winning 2 championships, but Mountain Motor Pro Stock is returning to its roots in IHRA and the opportunity to pursue a championship in IHRA is a exciting prospect, said Cary.”


    Its been a busy off season, from the end of the season where we did not know where we would be racing, to securing a return to IHRA. It all just came together and since IHRA was always the home of Mountain Motor, it just felt like the time for it to happen, we are extremely fortunate as racers to have 1 place to race but this year we have 2 series. That can only be a good thing.


    The Goforth Racing team will not only run IHRA, but is hoping to run some of the PDRA events, “We were really excited to see some great racers step up to form PDRA, a new 1/8th mile series, The Scruggs family, The Franklin’s, Gene Hector, and the Henson Family, have put together a series that promises to be around for years to come. It’s nice to know that we have a secure place to race, as racers we need to be thankful to those guys for all the hard work to give all of us a place to race”, said Cary.


    “We were able to overcome issues at the end of the 2013 season, and to end the year on a high note, it gave us a lot of confidence going in to the 2014 season,” said Cary. During the off season Dean had another ankle surgery and is still rehabbing, but Dean is expecting to be in his car for the IHRA season opener in Tuscon. March 21-22.


    Goforth Racing has basically same team, with Brian “Lump” Self returning as the Crew Chief/Tuner, I think the fact that  we know we can set records and win races, gives us so much confidence starting the season.” said Cary.


    Goforth Racing is supported by the following sponsors of our race family, and we need to thank them for having confidence in our team, Lithium Pro’s Batteries, Sonny’s Racing Engines,  Flying A Motorsports, Pay Pro and Deans Casing Service. Without the support of these sponsors none of this would be possible

    Goforth Racing consists of the following: Dean Goforth, Cary Goforth, Chris Goforth, Brian “Lump” Self, Jason Roberts, Keith Harr,Matt McKee and is supported by the employees of Deans Casing Service and members of the Goforth family.

    Photo Courtesy of Kim’s Drag Racing Photography

    Cary & Dean Goforth



    1523305_457833567672246_1229790504_oThis year, Pete Berner Racing will look a lot more like it did when Pete won his World Championships (2006, 2008). After a doleful four year absence absence, the International Hot Rod Association welcomes Mountain Motor Pro Stock back to its lineup and Berner is thrilled to return to where his beloved class took root.


    “I’m really excited to get back to the origin of Mountain Motor racing with the new IHRA,” told Berner. “We’ll be racing and working with many old and new friends. IHRA is heading in a great direction. We hope to work closely with Scott Gardner and his team to build the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class and the organization as a whole. Gardner is a visionary and door car enthusiast with the personality to lead IHRA forward with great success.”


    While Berner says hello to his former racing home, he also says goodbye to a major sponsor.


    “Summit won’t be with us in 2014. I am grateful for their four year sponsorship and the friends I made over the course of our tenure together. We developed long-lasting relationships with the folks at Summit, and although we have enjoyed their partnership over the years, Cheryl and I are just as enthused about our race season as ever. We’re ready to get back to our winning ways. In this sport, age doesn’t count you out. One look at John Force will tell you that. We’re as hungry as ever and not done winning championships by any stretch.”


    Another change for Berner is to welcome new Crew Chief, Adam Drzayich. Among many other notables, Drzayich is perhaps best known for his seven year stint with Warren Johnson. “Adam is a great fit for our team,” Berner elaborated. “He brings enthusiasm and expertise. He’s very smart and articulate in what he does. Joining RV [crew member, Rick Varnold] and Jerry [Janota] and Mike [Slaviero], our engine guys, we have a great team assembled that is ready to turn on the W’s.”


    “The past two years have proven to be a challenge. We never made a run that was all this car had; despite that we almost always qualified in the top three. Our struggle has never been with engine power or with this RJ Camaro. We just haven’t been able to optimize the two together. I honestly haven’t been able to tell Jerry [Janota, engine builder] that we need more power because we haven’t used all we have. We’ve had more power than we can use and this Camaro is as trick as we thought it would be. All along the car has felt smooth and wanted to go fast. We are looking forward to having the combination produce the results we know we’re capable of.”


    A recent test session for Berner shone the light for a brighter – and quicker – future. “Thanks to Rick Jones [RJ Race Cars], Pat Norcia [RAM Clutches], and Adam we made great strides in testing and feel confident to make this car do what we expect of it. Up until recently only a few cars have been able to accomplish what we did three years ago at E-town. We have significantly more horsepower now, and we are finding the magic to use the power we have. We’ve been maintaining in our engine program, but I hope to give Jerry notice shortly that we’ve exceeded power available and see what else he has up his sleeve.


    “We expect big things for 2014. The key is getting the confidence back in our program. To be successful we have to have confidence in everything we do.”


    The driving forces of the IHRA are clearly making strides in the right direction, including a recent announcement for a Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series (NJDRS) television package. The series coverage will still highlight the cars and speeds that fans love, but will work within the setting of an innovative reality show format that focuses on the characters of the NJDRS and brings out the personality of professional drivers.


    “I want to personally thank the IHRA for obtaining TV coverage for us,” Berner stated. “Our teams are full of personality and human interest. Mountain Motor Pro Stock racers are rich in diverse personalities. Dean Goforth is a perfect example. The story of how he became a self-made man is incredible. Kevin Bealko has another amazing story. These are the people that you look up to, not only in racing world, but in all walks of life. These stories need to be told; they will really draw fans back to the sport of drag racing. We need to be better about telling our stories and letting driver personality show through. This reality TV coverage is a great step in that direction.


    “I’m looking forward to all that this season holds for us. In more ways than one, we’re getting back to the roots of our racing, focusing on the people and stories that helped create drag racing as we know it. It’s going to be an extraordinary year.”

  • Kevin Bealko and Black Diamond Motorsports team ready to take over IHRA Pro Stock in 2014 return

    In West Virginia, coal mining is life.


    From the biggest cities to the smallest of towns, even the very people who breathe life into one of America’s most naturally beautiful states, the coal industry plays a very important part in the lives of the people of the Mountain State.


    But for every light bulb turned on as a result of coal-generated power, there are stories of tragedy and loss, an understanding that Martinsburg, West Virginia native and longtime racer Kevin Bealko knows all too well.


    Black Diamond Motorsports

    The Black Diamond Motorsports team is looking forward to Pro Stock’s return to IHRA competition


    “I came from a family of five boys and, like most boys, we were all crazy about cars and speed. In 1957 our father was killed in a mining accident, so our mom raised us tolerating our need for speed,” Bealko said. “We lived with that passion for years and when mom passed away in 2006, I thought it would be great to have my brothers and I honor her by getting involved in drag racing.”


    Born from that tragic accident so many years ago, Bealko and his family found healing through drag racing. And now drag racing is helping him give back to the very industry he grew up around.


    Today, Bealko has turned his passion for drag racing into a successful side-venture, one that has truly blossomed over the last couple of years. Going from a single-car operation in 2007 when he bought his first Jerry Haas-built Cobalt, to the duel-car operation he heads today alongside friend and teammate John DeFlorian, Bealko is excited about the opportunities afforded him through the very sport that helped him through tough times.


    “We have grown into a pretty large team. I have all four of my brothers on our team, Rob, Larry, Andy and Ben, along with so many others who make this team possible,” Bealko said. “Being we are in the coal business, both of our cars represent coal mining and what it means to our country. It means cheap, affordable and clean energy while supporting jobs and financial stability for our nation.”


    While racing has always been in the blood of Bealko, it wasn’t until 2011 when he got the itch for Mountain Motors. That year Bealko purchased a brand new Pontiac GXP from Haas and began competing in the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class with ADRL. Just one year later, Bealko met John DeFlorian, a shop foreman at the Jerry Haas race shop, and added a second team with DeFlorian at the wheel.


     Kevin Bealko Camaro

    Bealko will debut a brand new Jerry Haas-built Camaro at the IHRA season opener in March


    Since that day, the Black Diamond Motorsports team has rocketed onto the drag racing scene with new elapsed time and speed records set throughout 2012 and multiple wins in both the ADRL and XDRL competition over the past two seasons.


    But still, something was missing, something that couldn’t be filled by bottling up these mammoth engines in a distance of only an eighth-mile.


    Bealko needed to let his cars roam free.


    “I can remember watching the huge crowds of IHRA fans loving the quarter-mile Mountain Motor Pro Stock battles back in the day and I wanted to be a part of that,” Bealko said. “So when I had an opportunity to get involved with my fellow racers and bring this great class back to its true home in IHRA, I jumped at the chance.


    “It is our hope that the 2014 season will bring the IHRA and our MMPS class back to the forefront and create a strong future for side-by-side Pro Stock racing.”


    Coming off of such a successful run on the eighth-mile circuits, Bealko and DeFlorian will immediately look to establish themselves as the team to beat among the field. With such former competitors as two-time IHRA Pro Stock champion Pete Berner and other great names such as Cary and Dean Goforth, Bealko knows it will not be an easy hill to climb.


    And for that reason, Bealko is excited to announce his brand new car in 2014.


    “Our GXP continued to get faster and faster over the last few years, reaching a couple of semifinals and qualifying for every race, but we are ready for something new,” Bealko said. “So we sold the GXP and now we are building a brand new 2014 Jerry Haas Camaro that will make its debut in Tucson in March.”


    Now all that is left is to put rubber to pavement and see where the 2014 season takes Bealko and these 220 mph rocket rides.


    “Our Black Diamond crew is thrilled to be racing with IHRA,” Bealko said. “We all feel that the IHRA represents a great future for our Pro Stock class. The 2014 schedule is awesome and we can’t wait to visit and interact with fans all over the country. Race day can’t get here soon enough!”


    Bealko and the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class will compete at every IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series event in the United States in 2014 with the first IHRA Pro Stock champion since 2009 crowned at the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway in October.

  • IHRA announces return of Mountain Motor Pro Stock to Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series

    Pro Stock returns to its quarter-mile home with IHRA


    NORWALK, Ohio (December 11, 2013) – IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) and the International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA) are thrilled to announce the return of one of IHRA’s most treasured classes, Mountain Motor Pro Stock, to the Nitro Jam Drag Racing series in 2014 as these powerful machines return to quarter-mile competition with the IHRA next season.


    Debuting with the IHRA in the early 70s as one of the IHRA’s original and most unique classes, the stars of Mountain Motor Pro Stock will return to the IHRA in a 10-race championship to be held across the United States as part of the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series. Mountain Motor Pro Stock will showcase an eight-car field with two rounds of qualifying on the first day of competition followed by an additional round of qualifying and three rounds of eliminations on the second day.



    IHRA is thrilled to welcome Mountain Motor Pro Stock back to its national event lineup in 2014


    This landmark announcement will partner one of IHRA’s oldest and most exciting classes with an already thrilling lineup of nitro-driven competition in Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered and the world’s only jet dragster championship as the IHRA brings together the best of both worlds in entertainment and competition within the drag racing industry.


    “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome one of IHRA’s core classes and a true fan favorite in Mountain Motor Pro Stock back to the ranks of the IHRA,” said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “Fans of these powerful cars are anxious to see them return to their natural environment on the quarter-mile and we are more than excited to provide the class a stage to showcase that incredible speed and raw power. The racers making up this class are all true professionals and the competition within their ranks is among some of the best in all of drag racing. I think they will add a unique and much-needed presence to the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series in 2014.”


    Spearheaded by longtime Mountain Motor Pro Stock racers Pete Berner, Dean Goforth and Kevin Bealko, the all-new IHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock class will feature a diverse lineup of racers from across North America. The class will feature a 10-race championship series with points-earning races being contested at IHRA national events in the United States.



    Lead by longtime Pro Stock racers Pete Berner, Dean Goforth and Kevin Bealko (pictured), the Mountain Motor Pro Stock teams will contest a 10-race championship with the IHRA next season


    Class rules and purse structure will be announced in the coming weeks.


    “We appreciate IHRA bringing back Mountain Motor Pro Stock in 2014. Speaking for someone who has spent most of his racing career with IHRA, I feel I am back where I belong,” said Berner, a two-time IHRA Pro Stock World Champion. “We are more than excited to return to quarter-mile IHRA racing. We have a great group of championship caliber racers, all with power to run in the low six second range given the right conditions. How can we not be excited? We cannot wait for the 2014 season to get underway.”


    With the return of Mountain Motor Pro Stock to the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, the IHRA continues its commitment in returning to its traditional drag racing roots within the professional ranks while also continuing to provide a concise and entertainment-driven event for fans of all ages.


    “Our crew at Black Diamond Motorsports are fired up to be racing a full 2014 schedule with the IHRA,” Bealko said. “We feel this opportunity gives our team the best venue to secure a future Pro Stock home with a great organization. The 2014 Nitro Jam schedule will be a great opportunity to interact with Pro Stock fans from all over North America. We look forward to racing our two Jerry Haas Camaro’s and competing for an IHRA championship.”


    For more information on the return of Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing to the IHRA and the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series, please visit www.ihra.com for complete details.

  • IHRA returns to U.S. 131 Motorsports Park Aug. 9-10


    MARTIN, Mich. (August 5, 2013) – The 2013 IHRA Nitro Jam series returns to U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan August 9-10 for the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam presented by Perry Harley-Davidson. This exciting 1/4 mile showdown is the biggest drag race in Michigan and will feature racing in several different classes with professional and sportsman racing throughout the weekend.


    Here is what’s making headlines entering this weekend’s race:


    EVENT: CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam presented by Perry Harley-Davidson


    WHERE: U.S. 131 Motorsports Park | 1249 12th Street, Martin, MI 49070


    WHEN: August 9-10


    CONTACT: (269) 672-7800 | www.us131msp.com


    TICKETS: www.nitrojam.com



    Side-by-side Jet Trucks battle at 2013 IHRA Northern Nitro Jam



    Jet Trucks

    For the first time in the history of the International Hot Rod Association’s Northern Nitro Jam, two jet trucks will race side-by-side at the fastest track in Michigan.


    Jet-powered drag racing veteran Neal Darnell will pack a punch with his 30,000 horsepower “Shockwave” jet-powered semi-truck as he takes on Les Shockley in the “Super Shockwave” ’57 Chevy in a battle that will feature over 60,000 combined horsepower and a grand total of five jet engines making for one of the loudest, fastest and most exciting drag races in motorsports history.


    The rare side-by-side jet truck race will take place both Friday and Saturday night at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park as the two machines will fill every inch of the racetrack and will reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour all while producing side-by-side 30-foot flames and launch so powerful it will actually register as an earthquake.


    Side-by-side jet truck racing is so rare, it has happened less than dozen times in the history of the sport. And race fans will see it twice this weekend at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.


    And if that isn’t enough, the jet truck showdown will be joined by the Battle of the Jet Trains as the awesome show of K.C. Jones in the “Cannonball Express” taking on the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” will create more jet power than has ever been seen at the IHRA’s Northern Nitro Jam.


    U.S. 131

    Some of the biggest names in drag racing history have competed at this event over the years




    The Northern Nitro Jam is the International Hot Rod Association’s longest running event with the first event taking place in 1973 and eventually finding a permanent home on the schedule every year since 1997.


    Some of the greatest names in drag racing history have competed at the Northern Nationals with some of the past winners being Don Garlits, Warren Johnson, Connie Kalitta, Kenny Bernstein, Ronnie Sox, Bob Glidden, Mark Thomas and Clay Millican.


    The event has been held every year at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park since 2002.


    While the lineups have changed from year-to-year, this will be IHRA’s most diverse lineup with competition in Top Fuel Dragster, AMSOIL Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Fuel Altered plus the return of Mountain Motor Pro Stock in a special exhibition race, four jet-powered racecars, the “Chevy Rebellion” wheelstander, pyrotechnics, two full days of IHRA sportsman racing and more.



    Mike Minick and the ‘Chi-Town Hustler’ crew will be looking for their first Nitro Jam win

    Mike Minick



    There was a time where the “Chi-Town Hustler” was the most well-known and feared Funny Cars in the sport of drag racing.


    Driven by Pat Minick and joined by Chicago buddies Austin Coil and John Farkonas, the “Chi-Town Hustler” was a fierce competitor on the match racing scene, sometimes traveling to nearly 100 races in a single season. With Minick behind the wheel, the Chicago-based team kept a grueling schedule throughout the 60s and 70s before the match racing scene began to dry up and teams resonated toward competition on a national tour.


    Today, the legend of the “Chi-Town Hustler” lives on in the form of Pat Minick’s son, Mike, who drives the “Chi-Town Hustler” alongside crew chief Troy Martin. Mike’s dad Wayne also drove the car leaving three generations of drivers in one of the most famous cars in all of drag racing.


    “I was born and raised around the sport and around this car. I think there are pictures of me cleaning rubber out from underneath the body when I was five,” Minick said. “About 15 years ago I really started getting into it, getting hands on alongside my dad and servicing the car between rounds. This car and this sport has been a part of my life for so long and it is awesome to be able to continue that tradition today.”


    Mike Minick took over driving duties in the car in 2011 when he got his license and he has been driving the car ever since.


    This season the team gave the car an overhaul and put a brand new Dodge Omni body on the car in hopes of getting more performance out of the machine and so far the results have spoken for themselves.


    At the IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex just two weeks ago Minick and the “Chi-Town Hustler” gang ran their best elapsed time and speed ever behind the wheel of the legendary car. The pass was a 5.789 second lap at 246.75 miles per hour in the finals against Pete Gallen, a race that was actually won by Gallen on a holeshot by .005 seconds at the line.


    “We were really happy with our numbers in Grand Bend. It was the quickest and fastest laps we have ever made which made it kind of bittersweet that we lost in the final, and on a holeshot nonetheless,” Minick said. “We tried some new combinations over the winter and the car seems to be responding well to the changes. This has been our best year ever as far as performance so we are happy about that, no all we need to do is add a win.”


    Minick will be looking for his first Nitro Jam Ironman this weekend against the likes of Mike McIntire in the “McAttack” Camaro, Rick Krafft in the “Bullet Bob” Pontiac and Greg Jacobsmeyer in the “All-Star Dodge” Challenger.


    Top Fuel

    Several records will be challenged this weekend at Michigan’s fastest track




    Year after year some of the fastest laps run during the IHRA season take place on the pristine surface at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.


    From Pete Gallen’s earth-shattering 5.55-second nostalgia Funny Car run in 2011 to the single fastest Top Fuel pass in IHRA history by Bruce Litton in 2007 at over 328 miles per hour, U.S. 131 Motorsports Park is known as the place where the fastest of the fast come to play.


    And this weekend records will once be challenged in several of IHRA’s premier classes including Nitro Harley, Fuel Altered and Top Fuel.


    Top Fuel veteran Bobby Lagana Jr. has already said that he and the “Nitro Ninja” team will be looking for their fastest run in more than a decade of nitro racing and, in the process, hope to challenge Clay Millican’s elapsed time mark of 4.484 seconds set in 2005.


    Jay Turner and Ron Maroney will also be looking to set new marks in their respective classes at the Martin, Michigan track, the only difference with them is that they have already surpassed their numbers once.


    Just two weeks ago Ron Maroney made one of the fastest Fuel Altered passes in IHRA history at Grand Bend at 5.935 seconds at 236.13 mph, but he couldn’t back it up. The same goes for Jay Turner who earlier this year knocked on the door of the Nitro Harley record at over 228 miles per hour on the back of a motorcycle, but he too couldn’t reproduce the numbers.


    Throw in Mike Minick’s incredible passes at Grand Bend and all four nitro classes could be pushing on the door of new records in IHRA’s Nitro Jam series this weekend.


    Tony Pontieri

    Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing returns to the IHRA in the U.S. for the first time since 2009




    It is one of IHRA’s original classes, and it is returning to action this weekend at Martin.


    The IHRA’s famous Mountain Motor Pro Stock class will return with a two-car exhibition race this weekend between two-time IHRA World Champion Pete Berner and Canadian Tony Pontieri.


    The two cars will do battle at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park just like old times, joining IHRA’s regular lineup of nitro classes and jet finale.


    It will be an exciting return and the first time Mountain Motor Pro Stock has competed at an American IHRA event since 2009.



    Jeremy Mason swept the Quick Rod category at U.S. 131 last year




    This weekend’s event will be the third and final race on the Division 3 North Stars season on the Summit Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL. It will also be the second race in three weeks after Grand Bend.


    Coupled with U.S. 131 Motorsports Park’s usual bracket series, a huge turnout of cars is expected this weekend at one of the most popular tracks among racers.


    Last year Jeremy Mason doubled up in Quick Rod, while Jacob Elrod won twice in two different classes on his way to claiming the Top Dragster and Super Rod championships in Division 3. Also 2012 Martin Stock winner Brent Darroch went on to claim the world championship in the same category, using this race as a major stepping stone to his win in Memphis.


    Last year’s winners were Mike Sowards and Gary Wojnowski Sr. (Top Sportsman), Scott Doyen and Jacob Elrod (Top Dragster), Mark Nowicki and Joe McDougall (Super Stock), Brent Darroch and Brad Zaskowski (Stock), Jeremy Mason (Quick Rod), Jacob Elrod and Brad Lefever (Super Rod) and Rick Baehr and Mark McKay (Hot Rod).


    CLICK HERE for schedules, ticket links and more information on the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam presented by Perry Harley-Davidson at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.


  • Mountain Motor Pro Stock returns to IHRA in 2013

    Throughout 2013, rumor mills teemed with hints and questions about the return of Pro Stock to the IHRA. Recently, the rumors were put to rest as IHRA made the announcement that Pro Stock would be featured at two of their Nitro Jam events this year.


    Pete Berner and the Summit Racing Equipment Team will be among four teams returning to the genesis of Mountain Motor Pro Stocks for the MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex, July 19-21 and the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam presented by Perry Harley-Davidson at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, August 9-10.


    image003 (1)

    Pete Berner’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock will be in action at two Nitro Jam events in 2013


    “The secret is out,” Berner said. “We’re going back to IHRA, and I’m really looking forward to racing again at what used to be home for Mountain Motor Pro Stock. This four car, Chicago style shootout is sponsored by Summit and I want to thank Jim [Greenleaf], as well as Scooter [Peaco, IHRA Vice President], for their efforts in making this a reality. I know that Pro Stock is a favorite class of many drag racing fans and I hope they are as glad to see us back at IHRA as we are to go back.


    “The last time we ran quarter-mile, we set the World Record. With the car and power we have now, we’ve surpassed our eighth-mile time on that record setting run, so depending on the conditions, we might have the opportunity to reset it again.”


    Paul Spriet, Grand Bend Motorplex Owner/Operator, is also looking forward to seeing Pro Stock return to his facility with the IHRA


    “Having Mountain Motor Pro Stock back at GBM for the 14th Annual IHRA Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals is a dream come true. Many of our fans grew to love this class as it evolved within the IHRA program because it is the one class based on pure power, no power adders, no blowers, just 800 cubic inches of raw horsepower. GBM also holds many firsts for the Mountain Motor Pro Stock program. We were the first track to have a Pro Stock break into the 6.30’s and then into the 6.20’s. With the advancements the class has made since then there is no telling what they will run this year!”


    “We’re thrilled to have the thunder of Mountain Motored Pro Stock back at GBM,” added GBM General Manager, Rob Biekx. “There’s nothing else with the authoritative roar of 900 plus inches of power and it’s going to be great to hear that music again at the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals!”



    Two-time IHRA champion Berner will return to IHRA for the first time since 2009


    Berner will also be attending the Martin Nitro Jam, August 9-10.


    “We always look forward to racing at U.S. 131. Even just testing there, we have fans come out to show their support. I’m sure the Pro Stock and Summit fans in that area will be happy to see the return of Pro Stock to IHRA. I know that I and my team are excited and looking forward to what the future holds.


    Jason Peterson, General Manager of U.S. 131 Motorsports Park, is excited to see what Pro Stocks will do on his quarter-mile track


    “It’s been several years since we’ve seen 900 cubic inch, unlimited Pro Stocks run on the quarter-mile. It’s great to have them back and to see great side-by-side, 220 miles-per-hour racing. I’m confident it will be worth the wait.”


    Berner won championships in IHRA competition in 2008 and 2006 and he finished runner-up to series veteran John Montecalvo by five points in IHRA’s last fulltime season of Pro Stock racing in 2009. He has eight wins and 21 final round appearances during his IHRA career.


    “At both events, we’ll have a variety of the fastest Pro Stock cars in the world,” Berner elaborated. “Fans will certainly not be disappointed. This is a great chance to showcase our heritage in front of the IHRA fans and will be a good move for our class and for the sport. Many of our fans have been asking us about racing on the quarter-mile again. I hope their enthusiasm in seeing us back at IHRA will match my own! This Summit Racing Equipment Team is very excited about returning to the quarter-mile and seeing our old friends and fans!”


    Tickets are on sale now for both events and are available online at www.nitrojam.com.

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