SEMA adds category to ‘Battle of the Builders’ competition

Builders with a car or truck on display at the 2017 SEMA Show, to be held October 31–November 3, in Las Vegas, may now enter the SEMA Battle of the Builders® competition by applying online. The program recognizes and brings increased media exposure to top vehicle builders, their vehicles and the products that make the vehicles unique.


Now in its fourth year, the SEMA Battle of the Builders program shines the spotlight on the amazing talents and craftsmanship of builders who have already proven themselves by being a part of the SEMA Show.


New for this year is the expanded “Young Guns” category—a program that was introduced in 2016 to provide heightened exposure for up-and-coming builders. As part of the Young Guns program, SEMA has partnered with AutoCon, Bonnier Corp. and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association to award builders age 27 and younger (as of November 3, 2017) who do not have a vehicle at the Show an opportunity to participate in SEMA Battle of the Builders. Partnering organizations will award six winners at select regional events a prize package that includes an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2017 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot at the Show and automatic entry into the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition.


Winners from the partnering organizations will then compete in Battle of Builders at the SEMA Show, alongside the builders who entered with a feature or booth vehicle from the annual trade-only event. All competitors, their vehicles and sponsoring exhibitors receive increased exposure at the SEMA Show and the possibility of being featured in a one-hour, nationwide television special that will air on the Velocity Network. [07/08/17]

Capps wins all-Mopar final at Bristol

Ron Capps is making a habit of visiting the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series winner’s circle this season. On Sunday afternoon, June 18, Capps drove his Mopar HEMI®-powered Dodge Charger R/T from Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) to his fifth win of 2017 and his 54th Funny Car win overall during the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol (TN) Dragway. He defeated his teammate Jack Beckman in an all-Mopar final round.


Capps' win was the 10th for Mopar in the Funny Car category out of 11 events contested thus far in 2017. It also extended to a dozen the number of consecutive races won by a HEMI Nitro car, dating back to the end of last season. All four Mopar-powered DSR Funny Cars advanced to the semifinals at Bristol.


In the Funny Car final, Capps defeated Beckman on a holeshot from the left lane. Capps turned in a lap of 4.054 seconds at 317.05 mph to reach the finish line before his opponent, despite Beckman making a 4.040-second pass at 319.29 mph. Capps’ reaction time was .026 compared to Beckman’s .044.


The win broke an all-time tie between the two drivers, with Capps now leading Beckman 5-4 in final rounds. The final was a re-match of last week in Englishtown, where Beckman got his first win of the season.


Capps first powered past Alexis DeJoria in round one to set up a showdown with the stout Robert Hight. Capps got by Hight in a side-by-side race and then squared off with Mopar and DSR teammate Matt Hagan. Hagan hazed the tires early and Capps, the 2016 Funny Car champion, advanced to his seventh final round of the season and won for the fifth time. It was also his fourth Bristol win, tying John Force.    [07/08/17]

Dodge announces dealer allocation plan for Challenger SRT Demon

The limited-production, 840-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – the fastest quarter-mile production car ever – is due to start arriving in dealerships this fall. Today, Dodge is announcing just how it will allocate these rare beasts to its dealer body.


“We learned a lot when we launched the wildly popular SRT Hellcats,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT—FCA North America. “We’ve taken that information and created an allocation plan that is clear and concise, builds on Demon’s position as the Dodge//SRT halo and makes it easy for our customers to understand how they can put a Demon into their garage and, ultimately, out on the drag strip.”


The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the first-ever production car to do a front-wheel lift, as certified by Guinness World Records, and it’s the world’s fastest quarter-mile production car with an elapsed time (ET) of 9.65 seconds at 140 miles per hour (mph), as certified by National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). It also registers the highest g-force (1.8 g) ever recorded at launch in a production car.


“The 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon represents the best of what Dodge//SRT stands for – performance capabilities that are second to none, iconic styling and a heritage built on pushing the boundaries of what is possible at a price that is attainable,” Kuniskis added. “We know some dealers may be tempted to sell to the highest bidder, but we are encouraging them to leverage the Demon as a halo for both the brand and their dealership, to bring customers into their showrooms and see everything we have to offer.”


Dodge is also creating a new Demon Concierge hotline (800-998-1110) to provide direct communication for customers and dealers. A new website will also allow them to track their orders at  [07/08/17]

‘Roadkill’ comes to Ohio and then Woodward Avenue

David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan - hosts of "Roadkill," an automotive Internet show produced by Motor Trend and Hot Rod magazine - and cast member Elana Scherr muse about what might break, what broke and how badly it broke.


When the Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags sponsored by Dodge rolls into Norwalk, Ohio, on June 30-July 1 at Summit Motorsports Park, the spotlight will be on classic cars and the speculation will be on whether or when they'll break down.


In addition to racing, the event will feature camping, bonfires, a drive-in theater, swap meet, giveaways, Hooptie Challenge and more.


All makes, models, years and styles of cars are welcome, as are motorcycles and go-karts, although check with the track if you're hoping to race something other than a car. The car show is open to all, and you can register online at or show up at the track on Saturday and join the fun.


Back for 2017, "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge," TEN: The Enthusiast Network’s popular drag racing event and car festival, which attracted more than 30,000 fans last year, returns to M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan. Moving up a week, Roadkill Nights takes place on Saturday, Aug.12, kicking off southeast Michigan’s weeklong celebration of classic cars and car culture.


This year’s "Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge" is even bigger and better, bringing back legal street drag racing on Woodward Avenue and even more experiences, including Dodge Thrill Rides in the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat and the 645-horsepower Dodge Viper. Fans will also get to see the new 840-horsepower 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon on the dragstrip and “drive” it via a high-octane drag racing simulation experience. Mopar drag racers Leah Pritchett and Matt Hagan will be in Detroit along with “The House of Muscle” car guru Mike Musto.


Additional activities include cacklefest, wheelstander exhibition runs, dyno tests, show ’n’ shine, “Roadkill” stunts and exhibitions. New family-friendly activities this year include thrill rides on the M1 track, large inflatable slides and obstacle course, rock climbing walls, face painting, as well as live music and entertainment on the main stage, and an eclectic array of food truck offerings and beverages available for purchase.  [07/08/17]

Pritchett’s Demon to race Papa John’s Camaro

As part of Papa John's sponsorship, Papa John and Top Fuel drag racer Leah Pritchett have teamed up to create the Charity ChallengeSeries throughout the NHRA season, in which Papa John races his gold 1971 Camaro Z28 down the drag strip against Leah in a Dodge Challenger. The series has raised $40,000 so far this season for the InfiniteHero Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes awareness and provides resources to help combat the mental and physical issues that returning military heroes and their families may face. The next Challenge race will be July 8 at the Fallen Patriots at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL.


Accompanying a new television spot featuring Pritchett is a limited time offer of Papa John's Double XL pizza, which features 10 big slices topped with extra-large Italian sausage and deli style pepperoni, then another layer of traditional Italian sausage piled on sixteen inches of hand-tossed crust with cheese made from mozzarella. Papa's Double XL pizza is available through July 23 for only $12. Double the fun and try Papa John's bigger chicken poppers, which includes ten pieces and a choice of dipping sauce for $6. Order online at, through Papa John's mobile ordering app for iPhone and Android devices, or through the Apple TV.    [07/08/17]

Three for the future?

Three talented high school students from Georgia, Delaware and Michigan have earned top honors in the 2017 Drive for Design contest, sponsored by the FCA US Product Design Office. The contest, in its fifth year, challenged U.S. high school students in grades 10-12 to design a Dodge vehicle 30 years in the future. The FCA design team partnered with EyesOn Design and Lawrence Technological University for this year's contest.


“The Drive for Design contest helps connect our design team to the extraordinary artistic talent of students across the country and allows us to help guide them for a potential career in automotive design,” said Mark Trostle, Head of Performance, Passenger Car and Utility Vehicle Design, FCA – North America. “All of the submissions were creative and visionary as they truly thought about what vehicles could look like in the next 30 years.”  [07/08/17]

First place – Davis Kunselman, Mount de Sales Academy

Second place – Richard Chen, Delmar High School

Third place – Paige Webb, Stoney Creek High School

‘Celebration of Life’ set for Vic Edelbrock

A Celebration of Life for Vic Edelbrock, who died on June 9, will be held Saturday, July 15, at Vic's Garage, 510 Madrid Ave., Torrance, CA 90501 at 6 p.m. Beer and wine will be served with hors D’oeuvres.


NO flowers. Please send donations in Vic's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or American Lung Association. Please RSVP to Maria Jones at Edelbrock LLC, phone 310-781-2222 x 2724 or email  [07/08/17]

Terry Chandler succumbs

After a valiant fight, Terry Chandler succumbed to brain cancer on Tuesday afternoon, July 4. Mrs. Chandler, 65, underwent surgery in April to remove one of three tumors in the front lobe of her brain.


Mrs. Chandler and her husband, Doug, own Chandler Aviation at the Cavern City Air Terminal in Carlsbad, NM.


In 2013 Mrs. Chandler joined with her brother, racer Johnny Gray, to fund the Funny Car he drove for Don Schumacher Racing as a tribute to their late father, John R. Gray. Upon Johnny’s retirement from driving at the end of that season Mrs. Chandler began funding the team and added driver Tommy Johnson Jr. She wanted her racecar to be a “giving car” and wrapped it with the Make-A-Wish design.


A few months later Mrs. Chandler added the DSR car driven by Jack Beckman and donated its branding to the Infinite Hero Foundation.  For the past two years she funded the Riley Kids Funny Car to benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indiana.


"Terry is just an incredible lady, and we'll never know how many lives she impacted," Don Schumacher said. "We'll miss her every day, but we'll never forget her smile and her big heart."


A private funeral service will be held with a public memorial tentatively set for over Labor Day Weekend near Indianapolis during the NHRA U.S. Nationals.


Richard Kratz and the Mopar Max staff join the entire drag racing community in expressing deep sorrow for the loss of this wonderful and caring woman. In a short time she made a major contribution to the sport of drag racing.  [07/08/17]

Capps nominated for 2017 ESPY Best Driver award

His 2016 Funny Car world championship season and hot start to the 2017 season has earned Ron Capps a nomination for an ESPY award in the Best Driver category. This is the first time he has been nominated for the prestigious honor in his 23-year NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career.


Capps is nominated alongside Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud, and NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. The ESPY Awards, for Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly, was created by ESPN in 1993. The nominees are selected for their performances over the past 12 months.


“What we did with our NAPA Auto Parts team last year was huge after trying to win the championship for about 20 years,” Capps said. “Just to be nominated with this group is unbelievable.”


Fans can vote for Capps and their other sports heroes at here.


The 25th edition of the ESPY awards will be hosted by Peyton Manning and will be held at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Voting for the ESPYS ends Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m. ET.   [07/08/17]

2018 Dodge Durango has some aggressive attitude

Dodge took the wraps off its new 475-horsepower 2018 Dodge Durango SRT, introducing America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV with 475 horsepower at the Chicago Auto Show in February.


Now, new for 2018, all Durango R/T models share the all-new Durango SRT’s aggressive, functional performance hood and fascia as standard equipment. The performance hood features a center air inlet duct flanked by heat extractors, a front lower valence that houses a new cold-air duct system and LED fog lamps. Durango GT models equipped with the Blacktop or Brass Monkey appearance package now offer the performance hood, first seen on Durango SRT, as an available option.


In addition to the new front fascia, Durango R/T is one of only two models to be available in a B5 Blue exterior color (late availability); Durango SRT being the other. Front Park Assist, which uses sensors in the front bumper, is now included with ParkSense® Park Assist System and is now standard on Durango R/T models. New for 2018, Durango GT models now feature a standard power liftgate and Capri and suede bucket leather seats. Capri leather seats and the Technology Group are also available as standalone options, as well.


Dealers are currently able to place orders and vehicles will start arriving in dealerships in the third quarter of 2017. Pricing for the 2018 Dodge Durango will be announced closer to vehicles arriving at dealers.  [07/08/17]

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DRO AA/FC Challenge celebrates July ‘Night of Fire’ in Iowa


The AA Funny Car Challenge presented by Hemi Parts King is coming to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on July 14-15 for the track's annual Night of Fire.


The DRO AA/FC series features 5-second, 260-mph nitro Funny Cars racing a quarter mile distance -- something fans cannot see at the NHRA's 1,000-foot distance. Already committed to attending the race are Series points leader Paul Romine, former DRO Champ John Hale, and Texan Ronny Young driving the legendary Raymond Beadle’s “Blue Max” Plymouth Arrow.


Other cars include Anthony Bronge in the “Iowa Punisher”, Bazz Young in the “Down-Under Thunder”, Vic Tiffin in “Gold Digger” and Kevin Lennon in


The nitro cars will be running at Cedar Falls Motorsports Park under the lights with qualifying set for 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and elimination rounds on Saturday at 6, 8, and 10 p.m.


Also on the program will be the (mostly Mopar) Victory Nostalgia Super Stocks who stand up on two wheels almost every time they launch down the track. [07/08/17]

Caputo-Armstrong chosen after driver search for Mopar Max Magnum

Liquid Glow has announced Jennifer Caputo-Armstrong as the new driver of their Liquid Glow Racing / Arrington Powered Dodge Magnum drag car. To see the full press release go to here.


“We started our search for a new driver just before Memorial Day,” said Liquid Glow CEO, Richard Kratz. “The response was overwhelming. We had so many women apply who have great resumes and personal stories, but in the end Jen really stood out. She brings so much to the team we just knew it was the perfect fit.”


In addition to serving as owner and tuner of the Magnum, Kratz is editor of


Jennifer Caputo-Armstrong is a Hollywood stuntwoman, stunt driver, athlete and former Pro Woman Motocross racer. During her close to 25-year movie career she has performed and coordinated stunts in over 200 major movies and TV shows in many international locations as well as her home base of Hollywood, CA. This year she received the Artemis Women in Action Lifetime Achievement Award. Her full list of movie credits can be found at here.


Jen will be licensing in the 900+ horsepower, 9.8-second Magnuson supercharged Liquid Glow Dodge Magnum 426 HEMI this summer and the team will resume racing this fall. The goal is to get Ms. Caputo-Armstrong comfortable in the car and get some competition experience to be ready to resume a full schedule in 2018.


“My life has been one of constant change and need for adaptation to my surroundings,” said Jennifer. “I’m counting on this being an asset in the drag racing world. I am a huge supporter of all activities that empower women. This is especially true of women who chose to compete in what would normally be considered a ‘man’s world.’ It was obvious to me, after speaking with Richard and seeing the racing program he has put together, that this view is shared by the Liquid Glow family. This fact made the driving opportunity even more appealing.”


“We are really excited about this,” said Richard. “It’s all about entertainment, movies, television, drag racing. It’s all about entertaining the fans. What could be more entertaining than merging the bright lights of Hollywood and the raw horsepower of drag racing? It’s going to be great for the team, the fans, and our marketing partners.”  [07/08/17]

Holden GTS breaks Australian record with Dodge Demon tech

The Agent just had to share this look at an Australian VF GTS (like a Chevrolet SS with an LSA instead of an LS3) making a record run thanks to the same technology that is currently used on the Dodge Demon. A tip of the hat to LSX Magazine for the terrific story.[07/08/17]


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