People, Places & Racing News

Racing News: Danny Thompson Sets Land Speed Record

Compiled by SEMA Editors

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Danny Thompson set a new land-speed record for a piston-powered vehicle in the Challenger 2 streamliner during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Danny Thompson Sets Land Speed Record

Danny Thompson—son of the legendary Mickey Thompson—set a new land-speed record for a piston-powered vehicle in the Challenger 2 streamliner during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats. On August 13, Thompson set a new AA/FS record with a speed of 411.191 mph. He backed up that run with a 402.348-mph run the following day, and completed the weekend with a record-setting 406.769-mph official average—a significant margin over the previous record of 392.503 mph. In 1960, Mickey Thompson became the first American to exceed 400 mph on the salt. On the 50th anniversary of his father’s original 406-mph run, Danny Thompson removed the Challenger 2 from storage and brought it to his Huntington Beach, California, shop to begin the extensive process of restoring, retrofitting and updating the streamliner.

Valspar Automotive Re-signs with Larsen Motorsports for Another Season of Matrix Automotive Finishes

Valspar Automotive has renewed its contract with Larsen Motorsports for the 2017 race season, sponsoring the jet dragster team with its Matrix Automotive Finishes line of products. Jet pack cars driven by Kat Moller, Elaine Larsen, Dawn Perdue, Allison West and Jake Elliott are finished exclusively in Matrix products with full-on graphics supporting the Matrix brand.

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Scott Douglas wins PRO 4WD at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Photo credit: TORC Series

Douglas Wins PRO 4WD Race at the Dirt Track

Last Saturday’s racing on the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway saw CJ Greaves take a victory to lock up his third-straight PRO 2WD title with one race still to go in the 2016 season of TORC: The Off-Road Championship presented by AMSOIL. Scott Douglas won last Saturday’s PRO 4WD race, while Kyle Kleiman earned his fourth-straight Atturo Tire PRO Light win. And two more championship titles are still up for grabs as the TORC Series now heads to Crandon, Wisconsin, for its grand finale on Labor Day weekend.

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Eric Barron earned second place. Photo credit: Tyler West and Icon Vehicle Dynamics

Team M/T Earns Six LOORRS Podium Spots

Team M/T landed six podium spots during rounds 11 and 12 of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS) competition two weekends ago at the at Wild West Motorsports Park in Sparks, Nevada. Darren Hardesty Jr. topped the podium in the Pro Buggy class in round 11, with teammate Mike Valentine earning third place. In round 12, Garret George earned the number-two spot, and Valentine took third. In the Pro 4 class, Eric Barron had the fastest lap of the weekend in round 12 with a time of 51.70 seconds on lap six of the qualifier, and also earned second place. Jeff Hoffman placed third in the Pro Lite class in round 12. Two races remain in the series, with the next race weekend scheduled for September 23–24 at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park.   

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Petty’s Garage will unveil limited-edition Ford Mustang during Richard Petty’s 80th birthday celebration at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 3.

Richard Petty And Petty’s Garage to Unveil Limited-Edition Ford Mustang During MCA Celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Petty’s Garage will unveil its 80th Birthday Tribute Car during Mustang Club of America’s (MCA) celebration at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, September 3, at 9:30 a.m. Hand-built by some of the top NASCAR designers in the industry, the limited-edition Mustang honors Richard Petty’s 80th birthday and is based on the ’15–’16 Ford Mustang GT. The limited-edition Mustang is powered by Ford’s 5.0 Coyote motor and features a host of performance upgrades, including Petty's Garage Big Brake kit, a fully adjustable suspension, performance exhaust, Forgeline three-piece wheels and a choice between 670 hp or 825 hp.

Billy Glidden Sets IHRA Pro Mod World Speed Record, Takes Home Northern Nationals Title

Mickey Thompson-sponsored Pro Mod racer Bill Glidden finished the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) season with his first IHRA win and a new world speed record of 250.98 mph in the Precision Turbo and Engine (PTE) 2014 Pro Mod Chevrolet Camaro. Glidden stopped Jason Hamstra in the final round to secure the title.

Andrew Gray Takes Formula DRIFT Japan Victory; Chris Forsberg Moves to the Top of the World Championship Standings

Formula DRIFT Japan presented by G-Shock returned to the Okayama International Circuit for Round 3 of the Formula DRIFT Japan Championship/Round 8 of the World Championship. Andrew Gray battled to victory to solidify his defense of his 2015 Formula DRIFT Japan title, and Chris Forsberg battled second-place finisher Kazuki Hayashi to secure a healthy lead in the overall chase for the World Championship. The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 7: Showdown, September 9–10, 2016, at Texas Motor Speedway.