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Racing News: Ashley, Hagan and Glenn Race to Victories at Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

Ashley, Hagan and Glenn Race to Victories at Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals

AshleyIn a rematch of last year’s Top Fuel final round at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Justin Ashley picked up his second straight win at the storied event, powering past Austin Prock last Sunday at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) also won the third of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.

Ashley went 3.713 seconds at 330.63 mph in his 11,000hp Phillips Connect Toyota dragster powered by National Debt Relief, leading from start-to-finish against Prock’s 3.762 at 327.43. It gives the Top Fuel points leader his second straight victory and ninth career win, as well as a clean sweep of the weekend in Pomona after winning the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge last Saturday.

Prock reached his first final round of the year after he got past Leah Pruett, Steve Torrence and John Force Racing teammate and defending world champion, Brittany Force. Those two will match up in the next Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge in Chicago, while the other pairing will feature Ashley and Brown.

Hagan jumped back in the points lead with his second win in three races for Tony Stewart Racing, going 3.967 at 328.06 in his 11,000hp Haas Automation Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to defeat defending world champ Ron Capps. Hagan posted a .032 reaction time in the final round, while Capps ran into trouble early in the run. In the next Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Capps will race Tasca in Chicago, while Hagan will take on Haddock.

In a final round matchup of two KB Titan Racing cars, Dallas Glenn drove to his fourth career win and first this season in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro, beating Matt Hartford in the final round with a 6.546 at 209.92. It bumps Glenn to first in points for the first time in his young career.

The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action on April 14–16 with the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Ford and RTR Reveal All-New Mustang Formula DRIFT Competition Vehicles; Vaughn Gittin Jr. Returning to Compete

MustangSharing DNA with the all-new, seventh-generation ’24 Ford Mustang, Ford, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and RTR Vehicles revealed the newest Formula DRIFT Spec 5-FD competition Mustangs. Two-time Formula DRIFT Champion, Gittin Jr., also announced his return to the sport after a year’s absence. Working in parallel with Ford, RTR has been developing three Mustang RTR Spec 5-FDs with entirely new exteriors based off the Mustang production car.

Additional competition enhancements include more than 1,300 hp and enhanced suspension development. These mark the most significant evolution of the Formula DRIFT Mustang in years, to be piloted by some of the greatest drift drivers from RTR Vehicles’ Drift Team, including Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and newest team member, three-time champion James Deane.

Ford and RTR have also teamed up to create a segment-first electronic drift brake for the ’24 Mustang. The electronic drift brake collaborative effort between Ford and RTR can be seen on the camera car here, highlighting its all-new, segment-first, track-only electronic drift brake that unlocks the rear-wheel-drive drifting capability of Mustang with the visual appeal and functionality of a traditional, mechanical hand brake.

The drift brake is part of the Mustang Performance Electronic Parking Brake equipped in 2.3L EcoBoost and 5.0L V8 Mustangs with automatic or manual transmissions and the available Performance Pack. The drift brake emulates with advanced electronics the hydraulic drift brake found in RTR’s Formula DRIFT Mustang, with more than three times the braking force of a conventional mechanical parking brake system.

The all-new Ford Mustang with available electronic drift brake and Performance Electronic Parking Brake goes on sale this summer.

Gittin Jr. will compete in select events behind the wheel of his all-new Monster Energy Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD, sharing driving duties in 2023 with teammate Adam LZ.

2023 Formula DRIFT Events:

  • April 7–8, Long Beach, Calfornia — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
  • May 11–13, Braselton, Georgia— Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, and James Deane
  • May 26–27, Orlando, Florida — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
  • June 22–24, Englishtown, New Jersey — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
  • July 13–15, Madison, Illinois — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
  • August 11–12, Monroe, Washington — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa and James Deane
  • September 14–16, Grantsville, Utah — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa and James Deane
  • October 13–14, Irwindale, California — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa and James Deane

Hoonigan Creates Petition to Make April 3 a National Holiday in Honor of Ken Block

A petition created by Hoonigan and published to proposes April 3 (or 4/3) be made a national holiday named “43 Day” in honor of Ken Block. The number 43 references the number Block used on all his cars during racing events and stunt videos, including the Gymkhana series. From the petition:

“We believe that this would be a fitting tribute to an iconic figure in the world of action sports, and a way to celebrate his achievements and contributions to the sport. By designating April 3rd as “43 Day,” we can recognize and honor Ken Block’s legacy in a meaningful and lasting way.

Those interested in supporting the cause can visit and sign the petition themselves.

Dai Yoshihara’s TC America Debuts With Pit+Paddock, ARP and Eneos

DaiDaijiro “Dai” Yoshihara’s first wheel-to-wheel racing effort in TC America has created a splash with Pit+Paddock, ARP and ENEOS as early supporters of his campaign. Yoshihara made his official race debut with the Florida-based Victor Gonzalez Racing Team (VGRT) at Sonoma Raceway last Saturday. Pit+Paddock, ARP, and ENEOS represent a significant trio of title sponsors for Yoshihara’s SRO campaign, while Turn 14 DistribuIon, PowerStop and MBRP bolster this inaugural effort as supporIng sponsors.

The pro athlete and motorsport star joins a cast of diversity with VGRT, who bring competitive Honda platforms to each of the three TC America classes: TCA, TC and TCX. Ruben Iglesias Jr. represents the team in TCA, 2019 TC America TCR Champion Michael Hurczyn in TC, and Yoshihara in TCX, the series’ topmost tier. Yoshihara’s Pit+Paddock, ARP and ENEOS-backed homologated Type R will battle against seven TCX entrants: two teams utilizing the same Type R platform and five who steer BMW M2 CS Cup cars.

Skip Barber Racing School to Serve as the Official Racing School of Andretti Autosport

Skip Barber
Sebastian Wheldon

Andretti Autosport has announced a partnership with Skip Barber Racing School. The partnership builds upon decades of history between the two brands, with more than a dozen of Andretti’s INDYCAR drivers, past and present, and five members of the Andretti family having been trained in Skip Barber programs.

The newest member of the Andretti driving family to train with Skip Barber will be junior development driver Sebastian Wheldon. Wheldon, the son of late, two-time Indianapolis 500 Champion Dan Wheldon, makes his Skip Barber Formula Racing Series debut, April 3–5 at Road Atlanta, with support from Gainbridge. Graduating from the karting ranks, this will mark the first season of car racing for the eldest Wheldon brother as he follows in his father’s footsteps who enrolled in the Skip Barber Racing School Formula Car Lapping Day at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in 2000.

The 2023 Skip Barber Formula Racing Series will consist of eight weekends and 16 races that will offer drivers access to the most iconic tracks coast-to-coast. New this season, the Series will award $500,000 in scholarships with the overall Series champion being offered a scholarship valued at $100,000 to advance to the USF Juniors Series the following season.

Rocket Battery and United States Touring Car Championship to Partner for 2023 Season

Rocket Battery has announced a partnership with the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) for the 2023 racing season to be the official automotive battery of the series. The big beneficiary of the program will be the competitors who will receive free batteries if they finish on the podium as well as discounts on purchases.

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