It was a historic double-up for Tony Stewart Racing on Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as Hall of Fame racer Tony Stewart and Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan both claimed victories in front of a capacity crowd at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) also won the fourth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Stewart, who made his NHRA debut last season in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, won in just his fourth career start, going 5.324 seconds at 269.62 mph in the final round in his Mobil 1 dragster. The legendary racer was the runner-up in his NHRA debut at the fall race in Las Vegas last year, picking up a memorable first win on Sunday, now giving Stewart wins in NHRA, NASCAR and IndyCar, as well as victories on every track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hagan strengthened his points leads with his third win in the first four races in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, going 3.943 at 326.79 in the final round in his 11,000-hp Haas Automation Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT. It gives Hagan his 46th career win.
Brown claimed his first win of the Top Fuel season in his 11,000-hp Matco Tools Toyota dragster and 72nd in his career, delivering his best run of the day in the finals, going 3.760 at 319.75 in a final round that also featured Steve Torrence, Brittany Force and Josh Hart. Brown finished second to Force in both of the first two quads but posted a .053 reaction time in the final round to grab his third career victory in Las Vegas. Torrence finished as the runner-up and also moved into the Top Fuel points lead.
In Pro Stock, Dallas Glenn got his redemption from last year's four-wide race in Las Vegas, picking up his second straight win by going 6.649 at 206.29 in his RAD Torque Systems Chevrolet Camaro. It gave him his sixth career victory and it came on a holeshot, as Glenn posted a .039 reaction time, which was enough to hold off Troy Coughlin's 6.646 at 206.35 in a final quad that also included Cristian Cuadra and Deric Kramer. Coughlin advanced to the final quad by winning the first two quads, earning his ninth career final round berth.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to action with the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals on April 28-30 at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.
All-New '24 Ford Mustang GT Makes NASCAR Pace Car Debut
The all-new '24 Mustang GT made its NASCAR pace car debut last weekend when all three of NASCAR’s top touring series competed at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. It marks the first of seven NASCAR races that the seventh-generation Mustang GT is scheduled to pace in 2023. The other NASCAR races include: Talladega (April 21-23), Dover (April 29-30), Darlington (May 12-14), Nashville (June 23-25), Chicago (June 30-July 2) and the annual Labor Day Weekend at Darlington (September 1-3).
The Grabber Blue Mustang GT pace car is stock, other than pace-car visibility items that include the light bar and custom Ford Performance and Mustang exterior graphics. The Mustang is powered by a new fourth-generation Coyote V8 engine, and the available active-valve performance exhaust system enables the Mustang GT coupe and convertible to deliver 486 hp and 418 lb.-ft. of torque. The standard Mustang GT delivers 480 hp. The fourth-generation Coyote V8 features a segment-first, dual intake and dual throttle-body induction system. Under the hood is a choice of two advanced engines: a 2.3L EcoBoost or a 5.0L V8.
Electric Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800 Targets New NHRA EV World Records
Ford Performance has unveiled the continued evolution of its electric-powered motorsports efforts with the Mustang Super Cobra Jet 1800, an aggressive revision to the NHRA world-record-holding Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. It is targeted to best the Cobra Jet 1400's standing world record for full-bodied electric vehicles (EVs) in the quarter-mile, 8.128 seconds at 171.97 mph.
In June 2021, Bob Tasca III drove the Cobra Jet 1400 to its reigning time in Norwalk, Ohio. The vehicle, originally built as a collaborative effort between Ford Performance, MLe Racecars, AEM-EV, Cascadia Motion and Watson Engineering, was then ready for its next challenge.
The Ford Performance led team went back to the drawing board and poured their effort into revisions and upgrades to the chassis, powertrain and control systems. To match this work, Ford Performance brought back the Super Cobra Jet name, first offered on '69 model-year Mustangs as an improvement to the standard Cobra Jet package.
The Super Cobra Jet 1800 utilizes the same four PN-250-DZR inverters coupled to two double-stacked DS-250-115 motor pairings as before, but now attached to a new transmission from Liberty and powered by an entirely redone, lighter-weight battery system designed by Ford Performance and MLe Racecars. The power is sent to an MLe Racecars-revised rear end featuring improved suspension geometry from PMR and larger Mickey Thompson drag radials to optimize launches.
"Our changes have made significant improvements to the car, including removing hundreds of pounds in weight and increasing horsepower to 1800," explained Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.
On top of going for a new full-bodied EV record, the Super Cobra Jet 1800 will also attempt to claim records for fastest EV 0-60 mph and fastest two-wheel-drive EV 0-60 during an NHRA event later this season. MLe Racecar's cofounder and official program test driver Pat McCue is planned to be in the driver’s seat.
NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Race Results
The Holley NMRA Drag Racing Series completed its second event of the season as the 15th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals Presented by MAHLE Motorsport took over Rockingham Dragway last weekend. More than a dozen individual champions were crowned at the event, which features many of drag racing’s quickest Ford-powered vehicles.
Edelbrock Xtreme Street/VP Racing Madditives Renegade: Jeff Kinsley raced past Martin Connelly's Mustang in the final round. Kinsley, in his Camaro, turned on the win light with a 4.646 on the eighth-mile course to cover Connelly's competitive 4.899.
Whatever It Takes Transmission Parts Limited Street: Samantha Moore won the season-opener against Stacy Roby in Orlando, but Roby evened the score in Rockingham after Moore fouled by eight-thousandths of a second at the start.
Fastest Street Car Coyote Stock: Former class champ Frank Paultanis used a holeshot in the final to claim his latest title. Paultanis shifted his way past Ed Bennett in the final round, 9.775 to a quicker 9.762.
Richmond Gear Factory Stock: Matt Williams topped Mark Anderson in the final round. Williams gained a big lead off the starting line and won via a holeshot with his 10.205 elapsed time getting to the finish line before Anderson’s 10.108.
MagnaFuel Open Comp Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle: Susan Roush McClenaghan drove her Roush Performance Mustang in both classes, topping Jody Blalock to earn the Open Comp crown and then won the Modular Muscle title by topping Charlie McCulloch.
Suncoast Performance 8.60 Street Race: Casey Flora won the final round after opponent Bo Webb fouled at the start. Flora's path to the final round included wins against Kevin McKotter and Terry "Beefcake" Reeves.
ARP Open Comp: Will McKay made up for his early loss last month in Orlando when he stopped Tom Hoffman in the final with an 11.444 on his 11.41 dial. Hoffman also quickly bounced back from a tough start with a runner-up finish. Hoffman broke out by a hundredth of a second at the finish line.
HP Tuners Super Stang: Rodney Ward drove his '14 Mustang past Anthony Jaeger's Cobra Jet replica to seal the victory. Ward gained a reaction-time advantage and then sealed the victory with a 12.54 against his 12.50 dial. Jaeger made it close with an 11.49 against his 11.43 dial.
Fastest Street Car Ford Muscle: Lloyd Mikeska topped Cindee Hall and her Ford Falcon in the final round. Mikeska posted an 11.781 on his 11.75 dial for the win after Hall broke out with a 12.699 on her 12.75 dial.
CJ Pony Parts Truck & Lightning: Johnny Lightning captured the title when he topped Robert Chuhran in the final round. Lightning was first off the starting line and held on for the double-breakout win with an 8.630 against his 8.64 dial. Chuhran ran quicker than his 9.23 prediction with a 9.195.
Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales Open Comp All-Star Showdown: James Johnson Jr. captured the win against Bill Wittenauer, who became the highest-placing Ford driver in the after taking his Mustang to a runner-up finish.
True Street: Peter Delpino earned the top honors with a 9.276-second average in his 2019 Mustang GT. Delpino held off Jason Wagoner, who was close behind with a 9.303 average. The individual index winners included Ramon Roman (9-second), Timothy Bradshaw (10-second), Kevin McKenna (11-second), Chris Parisi (12-second), Jerry Jones (13-second), Elaine Moistner (14-second), and Ken Mason (15-second).
For more racing news, visit Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) website.