Compiled by SEMA Editors
Hector Arana Jr. made history last Friday when he reached 200.23 mph during his second qualifying run at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
Arana Jr. First to 200 mph on NHRA Drag Bike
Hector Arana Jr. made history last Friday when he reached 200.23 mph during his second qualifying run at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, making him the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to top 200 mph. He later improved to a 201.01-mph run last Saturday, resetting the world record. Arana, who races on Mickey Thompson ET Drag motorcycle tires, took home $10,000 from Denso Spark Plugs. The company announced the prize money prior to the race last Friday as the Pro Stock Motorcycles prepared to make their 2018 NHRA season debut at the Gatornationals. Arana set the previous record of 199.88 mph in 2015. The 200-mph barrier was expected to be broken in 2018.
The I.D. R Pikes Peak all-electric prototype race car will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, June 24, in Colorado.
Volkswagen Unveils Naming for I.D. R Pikes Peak Race Car
Volkswagen has named its latest motorsport project the I.D. R Pikes Peak. This all-electric prototype race car will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, June 24, in Colorado. The four-wheel-drive race car points to the sporting potential of the I.D. family of all-electric vehicles, and is also the first step toward a closer relationship between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport. The Volkswagen brand plans to offer more than 20 fully electric cars by 2025. Manufacture of the first production model of the I.D. family is scheduled to start at the end of 2019 in Zwickau, Germany. The international Pikes Peak hillclimb, also known as the “Race to the Clouds,” has been held since 1916 near Colorado Springs. The 12.4-mile route starts at just above 9,000 ft. and climbs to the summit at 14,115 ft. above sea level.
Daniel Keilwitz will be joined by Eric Curran this week for the Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas for the first race in the 2018 SprintX Championship.
Eric Curran Joins Callaway Competition USA for SprintX Championship
Following a successful debut for the Callaway Competition USA Corvette C7 GT3-R on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, earlier this month, German driver Daniel Keilwitz will be joined by American Eric Curran this week for the Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas for the first race in the 2018 SprintX Championship. Also a competitor in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Curran will be able to provide knowledge of all five tracks on the Pirelli World Challenge 2018 SprintX calendar to co-driver Keilwitz, who is new to racing in the United States. Most recently, Curran celebrated a third-place finish in last weekend's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Heading into SprintX Rounds 1 and 2 at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Keilwitz is tied for second place with CRP Racing’s Daniel Morad. The Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas begins Thursday, March 22, with the series test day, and the races to follow, March 24–25.
Toyo Tires and NASA Celebrate 16 Years Supporting Amateur Road Racing
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has announced it will continue as the Official Tire of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) in 2018. This represents the 16th year that Toyo Tires and NASA have committed to expanding the sport of amateur road racing together throughout the United States. As part of that long-standing partnership program, Toyo Tires and NASA have also announced the official 2018 Toyo Tires Contingency Support Program, which will again include Racing, Enduro and Time Trials. American Iron, Spec Iron, Spec Z, and CMC classes will be eligible for more than $5,000 in awards per weekend. Toyo Tires is also offering the largest single payout in the history of amateur road racing during the inaugural Toyo Tires Classic, which will award the overall winner with a cash payout of up to $80,000 and more than $130,000 in total cash awards to the Spec Miata competitors during the event. Toyo Tires is making well over $1 million in awards available to NASA competitors during the 2018 racing season. For complete details on the Toyo Tires Contingency Program, visit https://prizes.drivenasa.com/.
In his Kalitta Air/DHL dragster, Richie Crampton took home the Top Fuel victory last Sunday afternoon at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Crampton, Beckman, T. Gray and Krawiec Win at Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
Richie Crampton took home the Top Fuel victory last Sunday afternoon at the 49th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Tanner Gray (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also winners in their respective categories at the third of 24 events on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule. Crampton got the uncontested win when he piloted his Kalitta Air/DHL dragster to the winning run of 3.854 seconds at 314.90 mph after Shawn Reed had to shut off his dragster on the starting line. Beckman claimed his first Funny Car victory at Gainesville with a hole-shot win of 4.035 at 323.58 in his Infinite Hero Dodge Charger R/T against teammate Matt Hagan, who defeated teammate Ron Capps in the semi-finals to advance to his second final round of the season. In Pro Stock, Gray powered his Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro to victory with a run of 6.588 at 210.18 to defeat defending category world champion Bo Butner in the final round. Defending event and world champion Krawiec rode his bike to the winner’s circle with a pass of 6.824 at 198.44 on his Screamin’ Eagles Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson. The 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the DENSO Spark Plug NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, April 6–8, in Las Vegas.
To show support for the company’s local track, Pacemakers Dragway Park, LSI recently hosted the dragway’s annual awards banquet at the company’s headquarters in Mt. Gilead, Ohio.
Lubrication Specialties Inc. Hosts Pacemakers Dragway Park Awards Banquet
In support of grassroots- and sportsman-style racing, Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI)—manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret—has recently announced a “Support Your Local Track” initiative for the 2018 season. To show support for the company’s local track, Pacemakers Dragway Park, LSI recently hosted the dragway’s annual awards banquet that was co-sponsored by TrickFlow and Summit Racing Equipment at the company’s headquarters in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. More than 100 racers and supportive family and friends attended the banquet to give recognition to the 2017 champions. Additionally, Hot Shot’s Secret is a sponsor of all six of the dragway’s Pacemakers Cash Days events, which feature automotive and motorcycle racing on an eighth-mile-length dragstrip.
NGK Announces Entitlement Sponsorship of NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
NGK Spark Plugs (U.S.A.) Inc. has announced its entitlement sponsorship of the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, which will be held April 27–29, at zMAX Dragway. The multi-year agreement gives NGK Spark Plugs top billing for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series’ original four-wide fracas.