Epping win goes to Hagan

Matt Hagan put his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T in the winner’s circle for the third time this year at the New England Nationals on Sunday, June 4, besting Courtney Force in the Funny Car final round at New England Dragway.


Hagan made a pass of 3.897 seconds at 332.59 mph after a .058-second reaction time in the right lane. It was enough to beat Force’s lap of 3.927 at 332.34 after she got off the starting line with a .078 reaction time. The pairing was a rematch of the final round during the season-opening NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, also won by Hagan.


The win, the 25th of Hagan’s career, extended Mopar’s streak of winning at least one Nitro category to ten consecutive events, dating back to Pomona in November last year. Mopar Funny Cars have also claimed wins in eight of the nine events so far in 2017.


Mopar teammates Ron Capps, Jack Beckman and Tommy Johnson Jr. were out of the competition, Beckman in the first round, Capps and Johnson in the semifinals. 

Leah Pritchett qualified her Dodge Challenger SRT Demon Top Fuel dragster No. 1 for the June 2-4 NHRA New England Nationals, further adding to the Demon’s dominance on the drag strip.


Sporting a special Demon livery celebrating the powerful new Dodge, Pritchett turned in a pass of 3.673 seconds at 328.86 mph in her Mopar HEMI®-powered machine during the third round of qualifying at New England Dragway in Epping, NH.


Pritchett, who has been dominating the class this season, lost in the semifinal round with a 3.735 at 325.40 mph to Antron Brown’s quicker and faster 3.707 at 331.28.


The following week at Englishtown, NJ, Pritchett started her day with a first-round bye in her specially branded Dodge Challenger SRT Demon dragster thanks to her No. 1 qualifying effort on Saturday. She then matched up against rival Steve Torrence. Pritchett’s car shut off down track and she was forced to coast to the finish line, but Torrence immediately smoked the tires, giving the win to Pritchett. She went on to face Antron Brown in the semis and turned in a solid run, but was bested by Brown for the second week in a row.


Her disappointing showing at these two events dropped her out of the lead in NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel points to third place.   [06/17/17]

Motorsports Hall of Fame of America to honor Forrest Lucas

Forrest Lucas and his wife, Charlotte. 


The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced that Forrest Lucas will receive the Bob Russo Heritage Award at the 29th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented By Bridgestone on June 28, at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach. The award, named in honor of the longtime motorsports journalist and historian, is presented at the recommendation of the MSHFA Board of Directors in recognition of the recipient's contributions to motorsports throughout their career.


Few people have done more to support motorsports at every level in the U.S. than Lucas, the founder of Lucas Oil Products, Inc. Lucas and his wife Charlotte founded the company in 1989. Motorsports became the cornerstone of the company’s marketing strategy a few years later, an involvement that has extended to sponsorship of race teams, events and series at all levels, from the grassroots to NHRA, NASCAR, drag boats, AMA Motocross and IndyCar.


Tickets for the 2017 Induction Ceremony can be purchased by calling 386.681.6843 or through the MSHFA website at www.mshf.com[06/17/17]

Vic Edelbrock Jr. dies unexpectedly

Vic Edelbrock Jr. passed away at his Rolling Hills, CA, home on Friday, June 9, at the age of 80 after complications from a cold.


Edelbrock Jr. took over the aftermarket performance parts company that bears his name after the untimely passing of his father, Vic Edelbrock Sr. Vic Jr., an only child, was just 26 when his father died in 1962. He inherited a company that had 10 employees and $200,000 in the bank and continued to grow the company into sales in the multi-million dollars.


In 1965 Bob Joehnck, who had been a close friend of Vic Sr., called Vic Jr. with a suggestion.


“He said, ‘Make a manifold for the small-block Chevy,’” remembered Jr. “I said, ‘They already make one.’ He said, ‘Trust me, make one.’ So, we made one.”


The Edelbrock manifold for the small-block Chevy became the foundation from which the company moved into legend. That manifold led to a relationship with Holley to mate Holley carbs to it, which eventually led to more parts for more cars.


Edelbrock Jr. served as president of SEMA from 1971-74 and was on the Board of Directors 1967-89. He was selected to the SEMA Hall of Fame and the IHRA Hall of Fame, He was named Person of the Year by the Performance Warehouse Association in 1982 and 1987. He was the recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.


He served as president and CEO of Edelbrock Corp. until 2010, when he gave up those positions but stayed on as chairman of the board.  [06/17/17]

Kratz looking for new woman driver after Rogeo’s departure

Easy Elegance, Inc., the parent company of Liquid Glow car care products, announced that Alex Rogeo has left Liquid Glow and Liquid Glow Racing.


Richard Kratz, CEO of Easy Elegance and editor of Mopar Max, reaffirmed the company’s continued efforts in support of women in motorsports stating, “Liquid Glow has been, and will continue to be, a big supporter of women in motorsports. To that end we will commence the search for a new female driver shortly.”


Kratz went on to emphasize that, “Liquid Glow remains committed to its racing program and we expect to resume racing before the end of the season.”    [06/17/17]

Pacifica named ‘best family car’ by Edmunds

Parents magazine and Edmunds have named the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica the “Best Minivan” on their list of the “10 Best Family Cars of 2017.”


“If you’re looking for the perfect family vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica is tough to beat,” said Ed Hellwig, Edmunds senior editor. “It has more than enough room for kids and cargo along with unique family friendly features and top-notch safety scores.”


For the 10th consecutive year, experts from both Parents magazine and Edmunds examined and assessed hundreds of vehicles, narrowing down the list to the 10 models that offer the best combination of value, performance, safety and family-friendly features.


The “10 Best Family Cars of 2017,” including the Chrysler Pacifica, will be featured in the July issue of Parents magazine, available on newsstands June 7, as well as online at www.parents.com/best-family-cars.


And speaking of minivans, although overall U.S. minivan sales are down so far this year by 14%, Chrysler and Dodge sales were up!  (FCA US photo)


Mike Rankin of Strathroy, Ontario, and his family have picked up the keys to a new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica as the prize for this year’s 2017 Breakaway Giveaway Contest. In addition, $5,000 will be donated in Rankins’ name to the Strathroy District Minor Hockey Association.


The 2017 Breakaway Giveaway Contest was part of FCA Canada’s long-running Dodge Caravan Kids program. Started in 2006, it is a joint effort between participating minor hockey associations throughout the country, FCA Canada and Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram, Fiat retailers. The program provides funding to help subsidize costs like ice time, registration and tournament fees, jerseys, arena refurbishments and so on for minor league teams.


“We at FCA Canada would like to congratulate Mike and his family on winning a new Canadian-built Chrysler Pacifica and the Strathroy District Minor Hockey Association for receiving the financial donation in his name,” said William Levasseur, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, FCA Canada Inc. “Furthermore, we’re very proud to mark the 11th year of our Dodge Caravan Kids program. Over a decade of combining Canada’s game with Canada’s favourite minivan has proven a win-win, especially for the over 240,000 kids we’ve supported.”


To date, the Dodge Caravan Kids program has provided more than $8 million in funding to over 16,000 minor novice hockey teams, helping more than 240,000 kids enjoy the game of hockey across the country.  [06/17/17]

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Beckman was on fire at E-town (literally and figuratively)


In the third qualifying session on Saturday, June 10, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Jack Beckman was running with Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps. Beckman got about 500 feet out when he lost a cylinder and then the blower blew. He brought it to a stop and quickly got out of the car. Capps made it safely down the track.


The crew was able to make repairs to Terry Chandler’s Infinite Hero Dodge Charger and go on to win the Funny Car class.

Mopar’s Dale Aldo (front left) joins Jack Beckman and his team in the winner’s circle.


The 2012 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion put his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T in the winner’s circle for the first time this season and the 25th time in his Funny Car career.


“Fast” Jack defeated his teammate Ron Capps’ Dodge Charger R/T with a pass of 4.100 seconds at 312.42 mph in the final round to just better Capps’ lap of 4.143 at 299.66. Beckman’s reaction time was .081 to Capps’ .088 off the line.


Mopar teammate Matt Hagan, who had won the week before, lost in the second round of eliminations as did Tommy Johnson Jr.  [06/17/17]

Johnston claims first Victory NSS win at Eddyville's Nostalgia Nationals

Shaun Johnston braved the heat and the challenge of 29 other Super Stock racers to claim the Nostalgia Nationals title at Eddyville, Iowa. The finals came down to Johnston's wedge-powered ’67 Plymouth against Bill Schlee's 1965 Hemi Belvedere. Shaun took his first Victory NSS series win with a very close finish over Schlee's Hemi.


The Victory series returns to action at Cedar Falls Raceway on July 14-15, along with the DragRacingOnline.com AA/FC Challenge. [06/17/17]


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