The Drag Racing Scene: Review of 2016 News and Stories
Drag Racing Scene looks at the memorable news and trends throughout 2016. What an interesting year it has been at the dragstrip. Below are some of the noteworthy news items gathered and reported on by DRS staffers. Enjoy…
Outlaw 10.5 record shattered and reset throughout the year by a V-6!
During the opening race of the 2016 Arabian Drag Racing League, held at the prestigious Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar, Moe Atat drove the Al Anabi Performance sponsored machine to an incredible 3.91 at 198 mph.
… and continued to beat on the record throughout the year of 2016
The unique Corvette rewrote the record books with a 3.89 at 199 mph performance. How low will it go is anyone’s guess as the weather and track conditions continue to be extremely optimal, allowing the racers every chance to chase record-setting performances.
Fire destroys Texas race engine shop resulting from dyno explosion
One of the biggest oddities of 2016 was an exploding engine during a dyno pull, wiping out Tarkington Race Engines as it was destroyed by fire late February 25th when a fire ignited from an engine in the shop. Taylor Lastor was quoted in the Dayton News that he was “working on an engine when it ‘blew up,’ quickly engulfing the shop.”
Rickie Smith, From New Turbo Car to NHRA Pro Modified World Championship
You read in Drag Racing Scene about the debut of his new twin-turbo Camaro along with his crash and rapid rebuild. And ultimately, Rickie Smith secured his third NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series Championship during the NHRA Toyota Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Crow Mod dominates the news
The new Crow Mod resets the rules for street racing rolling stock made famous by the Street Outlaws television series on the Discovery Channel. From the debut of the most exotic “street race car” in existence to making nice with the NHRA by endorsing a number of anti-street racing PSA-style videos created at the
And let’s not forget Justin Shearer lighting up his fan base by ultimately taking his Firebird to compete in Pro Modified at the NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Drag racing continues to grow internationallyOne of the quirkiest examples of the growth of drag racing around the world was the announcement of a drag strip named Happy Land… in Vietnam.
Yet drag strips stateside continue a turbulent year…
It has been an interesting year for drag strips in the U.S. though, good news on new tracks and new ownerships, to facilities abruptly closed and/or placed on the quintessential auction block. Drag Racing Scene stayed on top of the good, bad, and ugly.
Bob Vandergriff abruptly walks away from Top Fuel
A mid-season announcement by Bob Vandergriff, team owner of Bob Vandergriff Racing, parks the Top Fuel racers Dave Connolly and Leah Pritchett along with all related employees who have been released from their duties. This was a devastating blow for Dave Connolly, who was currently #7 and Leah Pritchett, who was then #10 in NHRA Mello Yello Championship Point Standings. Each racer is making their individual comebacks in the sport.
Television star takes a wild ride
Jay Leno rode along in a harrowing crash in one of most iconic wheelstanders on the planet. Leno met up with drag racing exhibition icon Bob Riggle to go for a ride in his famous 1969 Barracuda Hurst Hemi Under Glass. Riggle pointed the Hemi Under Glass skyward in the Irwindale Speedway’s infield and after the front end came back down is when things went wrong!
Motorsports vs. the Environmental Protection Agency
Some battles may have been won but the war is not over when it comes to the EPA and their quest to regulate motorsports and the high-performance automobile in general.
The loss of Top Sportsman legend Ronnie Davis and the severe injury of noted photojournalist, Ian Tocher, in the same accident.
A single moment at the PRDA event at Rockingham Dragway impacted the drag racing fraternity deeply in 2016 with the loss of Ronnie “The King” Davis and severe injury of Ian Tocher within the same accident.
As both families continue to heal, remember them in this new year.
To donate to Tocher’s medical and other expenses follow this link: IAN TOCHER.
To help the Davis family cover his medical expenses use the following link: RONNIE DAVIS.
NHRA television viewership grows on all levels, just given the chance
We are pretty sure that the egg is on ESPN’s face with the 2016 growth of television viewership with the changeover to FOX Sports 1. All coverage from national events from pro to sportsman coverage along with the Pro Modified programs… All forms of NHRA drag racing on the tube grew by leaps this past year. See what happens when you can watch drag racing other than on the ESPN-Ocho at 4am…
The American Drag Racing League makes a return event in 2016 and announces a broad 2017 schedule
After it all ended with a bad financial partnership in 2013, it was thought that ADRL was done. Drag Racing Scene was quick to interview Kenny Nowling upon the announcement of the return of the American Drag Racing League for an event at Gateway Motorsports Park in November 2016 along with the announcement of a full 2017 schedule.
The year of the video
A cute dog cannot sneeze without three cell phones recording a video… The same goes at pretty much every drag strip mishap in 2016. From Youtube to social media along with the many posted here on dragracingscene.com, videos were all the rage this past year.
To all of our friends here at Drag Racing Scene, here’s to blue skies and no red lights in 2017