People, Places & Racing News

Racing News: B. Torrence, Hagan, Line and Oehler Win E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in NHRA’s First Race Since February

Compiled by SEMA Editors

nhra
Billy Torrence powered his way to the Top Fuel win last Sunday as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series raced for the first time since February at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

B. Torrence, Hagan, Line and Oehler Win E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals in NHRA’s First Race Since February

Billy Torrence powered his way to the Top Fuel win last Sunday as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series raced for the first time since February at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Ryan Oehler (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won in their respective categories at the third race of the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. It marked NHRA’s first event in more than four months after suspending competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing off with points leader Doug Kalitta in the final round, Torrence went 3.802 seconds at 322.34 mph in his 11,000-hp Capco Contractors dragster to beat Kalitta’s 3.852 at 307.86.

Funny Car’s Hagan drove to his first win of the 2020 season in his 11,000-hp Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, beating Don Schumacher Racing teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. in the final round with a 4.328 at 215.00. It gave the two-time world champ his 34th career win, and he advanced to his 61st final round thanks to victories against both Daniel and Tim Wilkerson, as well as DSR teammate and points leader Jack Beckman.

In a battle of retiring Pro Stock drivers, top qualifier Line knocked off No. 2 qualifier Jeg Coughlin in the final round, going 6.647 at 207.21 in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to slip past Coughlin’s 6.658 at 206.76.

It was the perfect start to the Pro Stock Motorcycle season for Oehler, who won his first career NHRA race in his first final round, going 6.974 at 194.16 on his Flyin’ Ryan Racing/B&K Cylinder Heads EBR to defeat Matt Smith.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues this weekend with the Lucas Oil NHRA Summernationals at Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Royal Purple
In addition to Royal Purple’s sponsorship as the official motor oil of the premier Formula DRIFT PRO category, it will also offer a contingency sponsorship for the Formula Drift PRO2 category.

Royal Purple Sponsors Formula DRIFT PRO2 Category With Contingency Program

Royal Purple Synthetic Motor Oil has announced that in addition to its sponsorship as the official motor oil of the premier Formula DRIFT PRO category, it will also offer a contingency sponsorship for the Formula Drift PRO2 category. As part of the $6,000 program, Royal Purple will award prize money of $500, $300 and $200, respectively to the first three PRO2 drivers at each event, provided they are participating in the contingency program. This will be available regardless of whether they reach the podium as long as their competition cars display the new Royal Purple/Formula DRIFT decal. The top 2020 Royal Purple contingency driver will also receive an additional $2,000 at the end of the season.

Kenda Tires USA Announces Partnership for Upcoming 2020 Championship Off-Road Tour and Team Kenda Drivers

Kenda Tires has announced its continued support of off-road short-course racing and the Championship Off-Road Series. Kenda is partnering with ISOC Racing to support the 2020 racing schedule and individual motor parks as a series sponsor. The 2020 Championship Off-Road Series kicked off last weekend at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, Minnesota. The 10-round series will also make stops at Dirt City Motorplex in Lena, Wisconsin, Bark River International Raceway in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and finish up with two weekends in Crandon, Wisconsin. Due to the on-going threat of COVID-19, the series revamped the schedule and postponed the opening round scheduled for June 20–21, at Crandon International Raceway. The Forest County Potawatomi Brush Run has been rescheduled for September 25–27. With the Series now opening at ERX Motor Park in Elk River, the track has released revised operational guidelines.

ORMHOF
The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) 2020 Induction & Awards Ceremony will be presented by 4 Wheel Parts live from the South Point in Las Vegas, Sunday, November 1.

4 Wheel Parts Joins Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame to Host Off-Road's Biggest Night of the Year

The Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame (ORMHOF) 2020 Induction & Awards Ceremony will be presented by 4 Wheel Parts live from the South Point in Las Vegas, Sunday, November 1. 4 Wheel Parts carries products originated by several Hall of Fame members, including Thurston Warn of WARN Winch, Peter Brown of KC HiLites and tires by Dick Cepek and Mickey Thompson. With 99 current inductees, the Class of 2020 will include the 100th member of the Hall of Fame, plus several more distinguished honorees. ORMHOF By-Laws allow for between three and seven inductees each year. The ORMHOF Class of 2020 will be announced later this summer.

SCORE Announces September Dates in San Felipe for BFGoodrich Tires 52nd Annual SCORE Baja 500

Responding to further analysis of information and forecasts for the Coronavirus situation with Mexican authorities, race teams and sponsors, SCORE International has announced new dates and a different venue for the 52nd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 500, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The race will be held in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico, from September 22–27. The event will include qualifying for SCORE Trophy Truck, SCORE TT Legend, Class 1 and the Trophy Truck Spec classes to be held midway through race week. Finishing positions from the 52nd SCORE Baja 500 will determine start positions for the 53rd BFGoodrich Tires SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The results of both races will define the point titles for the 2020 SCORE World Desert Championship. Detailed race info will be available over the next several days on the SCORE website under race info at www.score-international.com.

Yokahama
After being sidelined for months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yokohama returns to the track this month with two Porsche one-make race series events. 

Yokohama Tire Back on Track With Two Porsche One-Make Race Series

Two key components of Yokohama Tire’s road racing motorsports program are back. After being sidelined for months due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Yokohama returns to the track this month with two Porsche one-make race series events: The Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West, July 17–19, at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Grantsville, Utah, and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, July 31–August 2, at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. First up is the season-opener for the Porsche Sprint Trophy USA West series, where Yokohama is partnering with Competent Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA). Yokohama is the title partner and exclusive tire provider for the six-event series. Also starting up again is the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama. For the 12th consecutive season, Yokohama is the series’ sole tire supplier. The eight-venue series features semi-pro drivers in three classes of matched Porsches.

Pre-Registration Now Open for Holley’s Second Annual Intergalactic Ford Festival

Holley’s second annual Intergalactic Ford Festival lands in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at Beech Bend Raceway, October 1–4. Once again, Holley is teaming up with NMRA and its All-Ford World Finals for a weekend of NMRA drag racing, Holley’s grand champion and autocross events, pro-level and amateur drifting, a dyno challenge, show-n’-shine, an Aussie-style burnout competition and more. Pro Formula Drift drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the rest of the Fun Haver Tour will headline drift demo sessions at Ford Fest. Holley’s Ford Festival is open to any vehicle with a Ford engine. Visit the Ford Festival website to preregister.

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart, Ray Evernham Launch New Superstar Racing Experience Series

A new series for racing all-stars has been launched by a group of industry leaders, including three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham. The Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) is set to debut with six races on CBS in 2021. Featuring head-to-head short-track competition with elite drivers from various motorsports disciplines, SRX is similar to the defunct IROC Racing Series, in which Stewart won its final championship in 2006. As Evernham told The Associated Press, he has been in talks with at least one tire maker and is seeking manufacturer support for the full-body race car. Stewart, who also owns Eldora Speedway in Ohio, is expected to participate as one of the 12 drivers. Additional drivers have not been announced. The races are set to feature around 90 minutes of racing with no pit stops, but instead a halftime period where drivers, crew chiefs and teams will be able to discuss race strategy and make adjustments. Stewart and Evernham have also teamed up with former NASCAR COO and former IMG Sports and Entertainment president George Pyne and Sandy Montag, CEO for talent representation firm The Montag Group.

Formula 1 Adds Italy and Russia to 2020 Schedule

Following the announcement in June confirming the opening eight races of the Formula 1 calendar, officials have announced Mugello, Italy, and Sochi, Russia, will join the revised 2020 calendar. The pinnacle of motorsports will visit Mugello, September 11–13, for the Formula 1 Gran Premio Della Toscana Ferrari 1000, and will also visit Sochi, September 25–27, for the Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix. This brings the current number of confirmed GPs to 10 with more to be announced in the coming weeks. F1 previously announced the officials expect the revised 2020 season to have between 15 and 18 races. For the complete schedule, visit the Formula 1 website.

For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.