April 26, 2009 -
We had some delays in the early part of the day, but the weather held out for a good day of racing. Congratulations to all of the winners of first Texas Muscle Car Club Challenge of the Texas Motorplex 2009 Season. We hope to see everyone again on the September 13 Texas Muscle Car Club Challenge.
April 25, 2009 -
Thank you to all the racers that came out for the third race in the O’Reilly Bracket Racing Series. We ran to the eighth mile due to the high winds, but otherwise Mother Nature gave us a great day of racing.
April 20, 2009 -
Congratulations goes out to all of the winners at the 2nd Mopars at the Motorplex. Thank you to everyone that helped make this a great event.
Due to the excellent forecast on Sunday, the MOPARS at the Motorplex scheduled for Saturday April 18 will be run on Sunday April 19.
Gates will open on Sunday April 19 at 8:00am. Spectator admission is $10.00 for adults and Children 12 & Under are Free. Time Trials will begin at 9:00am. The will also be a car show, swap meet and a car corral going on throughout the day.
April 20, 2009 -
Friday April 24 – Ennis Relay for Life / American Cancer Society
Texas Muscle Car Club Challenge hits the Texas Motorplex on April 26 featuring over 10 muscle car clubs from the North Texas Area. Gates open at 8:00am with Time Trials beginning at 9:00am. It is just $12.00 to watch and $30.00 to race, you must be a member of one of the featured car clubs to participate and memberships will be available at the event. Click here for more info
April 19, 2009 -
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Between them, Morgan Lucas and Eddie Krawiec had suffered a combined 13 Professional final-round losses without earning an NHRA Full Throttle Wally, but both were able to erase those deficits within a few minutes of one another in a dramatic pair of clashes in the final rounds of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Lucas won in his sixth final and Krawiec in his seventh to highlight a rain-delayed day of racing. Jack Beckman joined them in the winner’s circle by preventing Ashley Force Hood from repeating her 2008 Funny Ca triumph here.
The race also has been a testament to perseverance as rain halted action several times, most notably a three-hour delay one pair into the first round of Pro Stock – which put the factory hot rods off the normal round cycle and led to a later completion of their competition — and a two-hour delay prior to the final rounds. Further bad weather after the first three Pro finals cancelled the balance of the day, and the Pro Stock final will be contested Monday morning between Jeg Coughlin and Mike Edwards.
A first-time Top Fuel winner was assured when former Alcohol Dragster pilots Lucas and Massey both reached the final round. Both cars had been flawless in the early rounds but both broke traction in the money round, After multiple throttle pedals, Lucas finally collected his first Top Fuel trophy, 5.23 at 162 mph to Massey’s 5.41 at 145 mph.
“This is probably one of the most exciting moments of my life, if not the most exciting,” said Lucas. “I’ve had the same crew for the past couple of years and the guys have really paid a lot of dues to get to this point. It’s the first final we’ve been in since 2005. I don’t even know how to talk right now I’m so excited, to be honest with you. This whole thing was what it’s about, and it’s what I’ve dreamedabout for years. I was in the car seat-belted in thinking about this and dreaming about it. The fact that I got to race a good friend like Spencer really makes it better. If it was Shawn [Langdon], I probably would have liked it a little bit more because he’s my teammate, but that’s a selfish prerogative.
“It’s huge to race against these guys, and the class of the field is getting younger every year. It’s getting more fun and exciting. I can’t wait to go to the next race now, and there were a lot of times when I’d been dreading going to the next race because of the car I’ve had. I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the past year and I think Jimmy Walsh has been a good addition to the team. What I think is most important is that we have two cars and one big team and we’re all working toward the same goal. Because of what Geico Powersports and Lucas Oil are doing for us, we get to have two cars out here. This is just one of the best days of my life and tomorrow I’ll probably be in a lot of pain thinking about it.”
Lucas, who had earned 10 Alcohol Dragster victories in his career, reached his first Top Fuel final since the 2005 Denver event by working his Jimmy Walsh-wrenched GEICO Powersports rail past Joe Hartley, Bob Vandergriff Jr., and Cory McClenathan, the last two with back-to-back 3.87s; his 3.87 to 3.88 victory over former Atlanta winner McClenathan was by a scant .002-second.
Massey, a three-time TAD winner who had won this race the last two seasons in Alcohol Dragster while driving for veteran Gene Snow, had won just one round in his rookie season entering the event, but reached his third straight Atlanta final round with a trio of runs between 3.85 and 3.89, powering his Don Bender- and Todd Smith-tuned Don Prudhomme Racing/U.S. Smokeless dragster past bump qualifier Troy Buff, fellow rookie Shawn Langdon, and reigning season champ Tony Schumacher in the semifinals. Massey’s victory over Schumacher came on a 3.86 to 3.84 holeshot and kept Schumacher’s U.S. Army team winless at this event, one of the few at which the class’ winningest driver has not triumphed.
As was the case in Top Fuel, a first-time winner was assured in Pro Stock Motorcycle when Krawiec, who won the season championship last year without capturing a single event winner, and NHRA class rookie Doug Horne both reached the final round. Krawiec got his long awaited first win in his seventh final, defeating Horne, 6.90, 192.91 to 6.94, 191.13.
“This is something that I was waiting for,” said Krawiec, who moved to fourth place in the standings, five points ahead of Horne. “To finally get my first Wally and to put it on my mantel next to my big championship trophy is a pretty big deal,” said Krawiec. “This is an opportunity that I’m grateful to have, and I’m just glad to be out there racing.
“My main focus was just to go out there and make another lap [in the final]. That’s something that I learned mid-season last year, that I took that off my back, not to go out there. And whatever happens, happens. That’s my mentality now going out there. I didn’t put any undue pressure on me. It was just go out there and make a good clean straight run and hopefully your win light turns on.”
Krawiec, who had qualified his Vance & Hines Screamin’ Eagle Harley No. 2, bookended a second-round victory over Matt Guidera with a pair of easy wins as LE Tonglet was a no-show in round one and national record holder Matt Smith’s NitroFish Suzuki broke against him in the semifinals; this is the second straight event in which Smith has bowed out in the semifinals due to breakage.
Horne, who qualified in his NHRA debut in Gainesville, then reached the final round in Houston in just his second event, continues to amaze his new peers as he made it two final-round appearances in three starts aboard his Buell by besting Michael Phillips, 2007 event winner Karen Stoffer, and Andrew Hines, the latter on a thrilling .009-second win on a semifinal holeshot, 6.95 to 6.94.
The Funny Car final round was a rematch of the Houston money round and the battle for second place in the standings, and this time Beckman was able to reverse the outcome when Force Hood’s Mustang faltered on the top end, Beckman got the win, the seventh of his career, 4.12, 303.43 to 4.15, 248.39.
“On paper, Ashley’s car had us whipped,” said Beckman. “That car’s been the class of the field for about eight or nine months. But anything can happen when you got eight thousand horsepower nitro in the tank, and this is such an awesome feeling. It’s not that you get pessimistic; it’s that you never know when you’ll make a final round with the field as tight as it is now. The other thing is we weren’t that good this weekend. But Johnny West, a lot like Don Garlits, if you give him rounds to tune off of on Sunday he gets better every single run.
“A trophy is a trophy, and 10 years from now you might not know necessarily who you beat for it, but when you’ve had a day like today where you’ve beat four awesome opponents — the three John Force Racing cars and Tim Wilkerson — it makes today feel a lot more special.”
Beckman reached his 14th career final round in Funny Car with his Johnny West-tuned Valvoline/MTS Charger by taking down half of the John Force Racing team – Robert Hight and John Force – in the first two rounds and Tim Wilkerson in the semifinals, though his 4-teen performances were solidly behind Force Hood’s 4.0-second pace and gave up lane choice. He completed his JFR trifecta in the final round for his first win since the 2008 event in Charlotte.
Atlanta Dragway already had provided a career’s worth of highlights for Force Hood. It was at this event last year where she scored her historic first win – becoming the first woman to win in Funny Car – and at this event two years ago where she first raced – and beat – her famous father head to head. This year she started her run to the final round from the No. 1 qualifying spot with a 4.073, and raced her Dean Antonelli- and Ron Douglas-tuned Castrol GTX Mustang past Del Worsham, teammate Mike Neff, and former John Force Racing pilot Tony Pedregon with a bracket-like series of passes — 4.078, 4.082, and 4.079 — to reach the seventh final round of her Pro career. Her 311.41-mph charge in the first round against Worsham was the fastest Funny Car speed in the 1,000-foot era, but she bettered it a round later with a 312.13-mph blast.
After rain halted Pro Stock after just one pair in the first round, they were scheduled to complete their final later in the day, but rain returned after the other three Pro finals had been completed, forcing them to wait an additional day.
Coughlin’s Jegs.com Cobalt was bracket-car consistent in working its way to the final, knocking off passes of 6.648, 6.648, and a 6.636 in the semifinals to defeat low qualifier Greg Anderson’s 6.632 on a holeshot by just .006-second to reach his 90th career final, 72 of which have come in Pro Stock.
Edwards, who reached the final round at the season opener in Pomona and three times already this season has been the No. 1 qualifier, reached his 31st career Pro Stock final by shifting his Young Life/Penhall GXP past red-lighting Steve Spiess, Allen Johnson, and Summit-backed Jason Line with a trio of low 6.6-second passes.
Pro Stock and the balance of Sportsman racing will begin Monday at 9 a.m. The Pro Stock final round will be shown Monday night at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2.
Saturday: Massey gets first pole; Force Hood, Anderson, Hines also lead Atlanta fields
Friday: Defending champs Force Hood, Hines lead Friday qualifying in Atlanta