Of the news and rumors regarding the world of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series that came to life during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis this past week, the most significant was the announcement of a brand-new Top Fuel team that involves several familiar faces.
The teams on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series are making preparations for the 2015 season, some of whom have already begun testing in South Florida. The 80-day break between the 2014 Auto Club NHRA Finals and the 2015 Circle K NHRA Winternationals gives drivers like champions Tony Schumacher, Matt Hagan, Erica Enders-Stevens, and Andrew Hines a chance to revel in what they accomplished in-between the off-season work. For others, the disappointments from their 2014 campaigns simmer like a steamy broth that fuels their desire to take full advantage of the clean slate that comes with a new year. In this column, we present the hungriest racers of 2015.
Two weeks removed from the thrilling conclusion of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, many questions remain about the upcoming season while teams are getting ready for off-season testing. Let’s take a look at the racing news that looms this winter.
The stories that unraveled at the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series finale were befitting of the milestone 50th anniversary of the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. A thrilling winner-take-all Pro Stock final, a close Funny Car championship battle, and the quickest Top Fuel field in NHRA history culminating with the best run of the season were among the reasons that the Southern California fans got more than their money’s worth at the longstanding event.
Nov. 10, 2013, marked the conclusion of last year’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, with the final day of eliminations taking place at the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals. With the 50th anniversary of the event slated to take place this weekend, let’s take a look at how things have changed and how they have stayed the same in the past 365 days.
The motorsports world was reacclimated to the mosh pit that traditionally follows a win by a Kalitta Motorsports driver this season. Doug Kalitta and Alexis DeJoria have had great success during the regular season, and J.R. Todd put one on the board in Denver that sparked a mosh pit deemed worthy of being a SportsCenter Top 10 highlight. In Las Vegas at the NHRA Toyota Nationals, Funny Car winner Del Worsham showed that the Ypsilanti, Mich., outfit that churns out the hits for a raucous crowd on the starting line is a four-piece band.
Silly season is that time of year that occurs during fall when Southpoint Circle and Northfield Drive in Brownsburg, Ind., morph into Wisteria Lane. Allegiances change and key personnel start parking their daily drivers in front of different buildings. In the past week, we were rocked with one bombshell and one not-so-well-guarded secret.
Only one driver in a 16-car field gets to take home the Wally at a given event in Top Alcohol Dragster or Top Alcohol Funny Car on the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Scoring two such wins on the same weekend is an amazing achievement that is only possible in the chance that a postponement forces an event to be completed during the qualifying days of a future race. Clinching a championship on top of that would be an extremely rare trifecta if Chris Demke and Steve Harker didn’t both do it on the same weekend at the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading.