Matt Smith Still Leads after 3 @Norwalk

video, photos and story by Tim Hailey with a lil' help from team reports and the NHRA


Matt Smith's Cheshire Cat grin is back. Here he is with Junior Pippin engine man Lon Moyer. Smith is #1 by a mile after 3 Pro StockMotorcycle rounds at Nowalk with a 6.824 at 196.16 mph. If I'm not mistaken, I heard Smith say he is getting some help from Pro Stock Car's Elite Motorsports....continued

MORE about NHRA in Norwalk HERE

Tharpe, Millican Big Bristol Winners

photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey, NHRA and team reports

brought to you by Ben "Treating Media Right" Knight



Watch the interview with Tii Tharpe, Jay Turner and Mark Conner above

Epping winner Tii Tharpe is on a roll, qualifying number one right off the trailer at Bristol and beating teammate Jay Turner in the final. Tharpe's Dixie 6.549 at 205.01  was one of his slowest of the weekend but good enough to defeat Turner, who dropped a cylinder and ran 7.603 at 134.20. 

Turner and the team were responsible for three bikes in the semis, including Coon Ass Randal Andras. Turner let Tharpe pick out which of his two bikes he wanted to ride this year—every regret that decision Jay now that Tii has two straight? "Nah, it's good business," grinned Turner, who has enough championships under his belt—including this years'—to focus on business...continued

MORE from NHRA Bristol HERE

Fry and Nostalgia Nitro Roll

into Bowling Green

story and photos by NHRA


Mendy Fry, Top Fuel driver and wife of fortunate motorsports scribe Cole Coonce

Returning to the team that gave her the first opportunity in the Nostalgia Top Fuel ranks, Mendy Fry figured there would be some sort of transition period early in the 2017 season. But the return to driving for Tom Shelar and his High Speed Motorsports team has gone impressively well, winning the March Meet in Bakersfield and currently leading in points in Nostalgia Top Fuel. That makes Fry one of the favorites at this weekend’s 15th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion® presented by AAA Insurance (June 15-17) at Beech Bend Raceway Park, where the longtime standout hopes to keep the momentum going. 

“It’s gone incredibly well to this point,” Fry said. “We had a lot of adversity at the March Meet, but we really pulled together as a team. It was the first time I had been in a (Nostalgia) Top Fuel car in a few years and the performance of this car eclipses any car I’ve driven. We had some mechanical failures we came back from and had some things go our way, but when it mattered we got the job done as well...continued

MORE about Beech Bend HERE

Frederick Leads NHDRO Gateway Winners

story and photos by Tim Hailey


Gabe Frederick

Extra tall Pro Street racer Gabe Frederick always has one of the prettiest motorcycles at the track and sometimes one of the quickest. Still pretty, Frederick left no doubt who was quickest this past weekend at NHDRO’s Schwartz & Schwartz Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis. Frederick took number one qualifier and the McIntosh/Grayson Machine & Fabrication Pro Street win.

Sponsored by St. Louis defense attorney and Sportsman racing superstar Kenny Schwartz, the event was NHDRO’s annual trip west, the weekend when America’s fastest growing motorcycle drag racing series sets up it’s circus in the sunset shadow of the arch. The weather was perfect, the racer count strong, and the list of winners long.

It was a relatively short trip from Prairie Home, Missouri to Gateway for Frederick and his turbo Suzuki Hayabusa, and he started treating the track like it was his own from the get-go with a 6.82 at 212.93 mph in the first qualifying round that held up for number one...continued

MORE about NHDRO at Gateway HERE

Springspeed Nationals at Shakey

story by Steven Moxley photos by Julie Moxley


Rain disrupted this running of the annual Springspeed Nationals at Shakespeare County Raceway. Four qualifying sessions were completed on Saturday, which turned out to be the best day of the meeting. It rained in the afternoon and shortened Sunday’s qualifying session. Monday the track crew did a huge job drying the track and at 4.00 pm, the eliminations were started but only one round was completed...completed

MORE from the Springspeed Nats HERE

The 101st Indianapolis 500

Sato clearly fastest at the end of the day

captions, video and photos by Tim Hailey, story courtesy of IMS press releases


Second row starter Alonso's McLaren orange Dallara gets swamped at the start of the Indy 500 by row 3

Takuma Sato capped off another thrilling Indianapolis 500 that featured a record number of drivers leading the race. The driver of the No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda edged three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves to the finish line by 0.2011 of a second to become the first Japanese winner of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

Sato passed Castroneves for the lead on Lap 195 - the last of 35 lead changes in the 200-lap race on the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the seventh straight year that the decisive pass for the Indy 500 lead occurred in the last six laps. Sato held off aggressive charges from Castroneves, the driver of the No. 3 Shell Fuel Rewards Team Penske Chevrolet, in the sixth-closest finish in Indy 500 history....continued

MORE Indy 500 HERE

Santa Pod's Festival of Power!

story and photos by Steven Moxley

Gerd Habermann's kids LOVE going to school

The 2017 European drag racing season kicked off at Santa Pod Raceway with the Festival of Power meeting. Strong headwinds greeted the competitors on the first day of qualifying and then a stiff crosswind for the two remaining days of the meeting...continued

MORE of the Festival of Power HERE

Williford, Gadson Burn PST Records

story courtesy of IDBL with additional material by Tim Hailey, photos by Holoway Saunders

Rodney Williford

The International Drag Bike League (IDBL) is again home to the world's quickest Pro Street drag bike pass after last weekend's record-breaking MTC Summer Nationals at Maryland International Raceway. Orient Express Pro Street racers Rodney Williford and Richard Gadson made sure the season-opening event lived up to the tag line "World's Quickest Streetbikes" with the quickest side-by-side Pro Street run in the sport's history. In the final, Williford's turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa rocketed down the track at 6.69 seconds, the first time a Pro Street bike has officially dipped into the 6.60s. He hit 222.88 mph to edge Gadson's nitrous-GS and his 6.74-pass at 204.29 mph by a mere .009 at the stripe....continued

MORE from the IDBL opener HERE

Almost Like a Race

3.5 hour practice provided many of the thrills

with fewer bills and drills

story and photos by Tim Hailey with texts from press releases


Defending Indy 500 champion Alex Rossi brought the turn 2 suite fans to loud, standing ovations on Sunday with his oh-so-close-to-the-wall exite of the turn. That bravado put Rossi on the outside of the front row for this year's race. The suites weren't so full for Monday's practice, but Rossi's bravado was in the house as he diced with Tony Kanaan for lap after lap.

Fans at Indianapolis Motor Speedway were treated to a thrilling dress rehearsal for the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 with this afternoon's practice on the 2.5-mile oval—all for a lot less dough and hassle than raceday. A total of 2,705 laps were completed by the 33 entries in the session that featured large groups of cars running together in full race trim, dicing and passing all around the circuit. It was the busiest practice day this year, even though the track was open for only 3.5 hours compared to the six hours available on practice days last week.

Chip Ganassi Racing's Max Chilton finished on top of the speed chart today with a lap of 228.592 mph in the No. 8 Gallagher Honda. Chilton said he spent most of the day in the car "apart from visiting the little boy's room for 10 minutes." He logged 108 laps to further his Indianapolis Motor Speedway education. "The more laps you do around here, the more you learn," said Chilton, who finished 15th as an Indy 500 rookie in 2016 and will start in that spot in this year's race. "I don't think anyone out there is overly happy with their car in race traffic. You keep trying to learn, trying to get it better...continued

MORE about Monday's Indy 500 practice HERE

Nickey Hayden: "The man everyone wants to be"

story from press releases, photos and captions by Tim Hailey


MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden sadly passed away on Monday after the American was involved in a collision with a car whilst cycling on the Riviera di Rimini last week. Hayden had been rushed to a local hospital before being transferred to Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, later succumbing to the injuries he sustained. He was 35 years old.
A true Champion on and off track, Hayden will be deeply missed. MotoGP Legend, 2006 World Champion, WorldSBK race winner, fiancé, uncle, brother, son, friend or simply the “Kentucky Kid” who rose from American dirt track to the absolute pinnacle of his sport, Hayden was known for many things to many people, and put his name to an astounding number achievements both within racing and beyond its limits – key amongst which was his moniker as ‘the nicest man in Grand Prix racing’. A true competitor with an incredible commitment to his sport, and a true family man dedicated to the people around him.

Nicky Hayden's memorial HERE

Dixon wrestles Indy pole

Carpenter, Rossi fill out front row

story and photos by Tim Hailey with texts from press releases


Trimmed out and Truckin'—Scott Dixon at speed

Scott Dixon thrilled Indianapolis 500 qualifying fans like they haven't been in more than two decades, capturing the pole position for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with the fastest average speed since 1996. The four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion and fourth-winningest driver in Indy car history completed four on-the-edge laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval at 232.164 mph. The 10-mile run in the No. 9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was the best speed seen at IMS since Arie Luyendyk set the track record of 236.986 mph in second-day qualifying on May 12, 1996. That was the last year before the ill-fated IRL switched to a spec chassis formula and reduced horsepower.

"It feels fast," Dixon said. "Any speed (above) 215 or 220 around this place feels really fast, but I think you just block it all out. You're constantly just trying to feel how the car is, see where you can place it, see if you can improve the next lap. It's been so intense this weekend just trying to hold on to the car for the four laps. I think that's where all the focus has been. But I think for the Verizon IndyCar Series, it's cool to see these speeds gradually creeping up. It's good to see we've made a big improvement. I think I did a 227 average last year, so it's a nice little jump....continued

MORE Indy 500 Qualifying HERE

Bourdais Crash Silences Indy Crowd

Chevy man Carpenter fastest on Saturday

but Honda has 6 in the Fast 9

story and photos by Tim Hailey with texts from press releases



After hanging out through a 5 hour rain delay, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway crowd was cheering loudly as 4X Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais laid down the fastest two laps of qualifying and was getting faster. Bourdais had the fastest car in Friday practice and the fans were excited to see that his speed was real. And then it went real bad real quickly. The crowd gasped as the back end of Bourdais' car kicked out in turn 2. Sebastien corrected, drifted the Dallara for a bit before the car regained traction and shot 234 mph into the Safer barrier at a 45 degree angle. The crowd's gasp turned to a shudder, then a deafening silence as the Holmatro Safety Crew reached the car and began the delicate work of removing the injured driver.

With little word about Bourdais' condition, the Speedway refrained from showing the replay. It was clearly a very serious crash. It was the kind of crash that used to kill drivers at Indianapolis before Safer barriers, carbon fiber monocoques, HANS devices, etc. And there are still no guarantees. James Hinchcliffe was nearly killed when impaled by a suspension piece in a turn 3 crash 2 years ago.

As Bourdais was transported to the hospital, and crews begain picking up pieces and mopping up oil and radiator fluid, attention turned to the head of the qualifying line. Last year's rookie winner Alex Rossi had been sitting in his car during the whole, very long delay. The day that began cold and wet was now hot and terribly humid. What must the young driver have been thinking and feeling in his nomex firesuit and helmet, strapped tightly into a car that—like Bourdais'—could go from great to garbage in a split second.

Rossi calmy and professionally delivered four smooth, quick laps that held up for 5th in Saturday's order, earning even more respect from the Indy crowd.

Later, driver Sebastien Bourdais was diagnosed with multiple fractures to his pelvis and a fracture to his right hip. Overnight surgery was successful and the Frenchman is reported to be in good spirits. "Surgery went well," INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Geoffrey Billows said. "I've met with Sebastien this morning and he was doing even better than I expected...continued

MORE about Indy 500 qualifying HERE

Who Will Rise to the Top at Indy?

Race for #1 qualifier is up in the air

photos by Tim Hailey with texts from press releases and additional commentary by Hailey


Sebastien Bourdais is the surprise performance leader heading into this weekend's Indy 500 qualifying

Speeds set in the final practice day prior to weekend qualifications for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil did little to determine a favorite for pole, possibly because of 2.5 hours of track time lost to midday rain. When the checkered flag waved to conclude practice, Sebastien Bourdais surprisingly had the fastest lap of the day and week, at 233.116 mph. "There's never a bad day when you're at the front," said Bourdais, driver of the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.

The four-time Indy car champion ranks sixth all-time with 36 wins, but Bourdais has never qualified or finished better than seventh in six previous Indianapolis 500 starts. The 38-year-old Frenchman feels good about his chances this year. "The car felt good," said Bourdais, who pocketed $10,000 for being fastest on the day. "We tried a couple of things and finished the session really happy with the speed and the car balance. Hopefully it stays that way. ... It's pretty exciting just to be in the mix, knowing that we seemingly have a chance to do well in qualifying...continued

MORE Indy 500 practice coverage HERE

Williford and NHDRO Blister Indy

story and photos by Tim Hailey

Rodney Williford

Million dollar racecars circle the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at speeds in excess of 220 miles per hour, their turbocharged, seven hundred horsepower motors propelling drivers encased in amazingly protective carbon fiber capsules in cars weighing 1580 pounds.

Six miles to the west at Lucas Oil Raceway, NHDRO’s McIntosh Machine & Fabrication Pro Street bikes also make seven hundred horsepower, weighing in at 650 pounds with riders, protected only by their helmets and leathers, slingshotting street legal, no-bar, wild-wheelieing missiles to speeds over 220 mph....continued

MORE about NHDRO's May Bike Fest HERE

Pole to Win Sweep for Power

photos by Tim Hailey with texts from press releases and additional commentary by Hailey


Will Power enjoys his victory lap

Will Power used the backdrop of iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway to move past a pair of Team Penske greats in the Indy car record book. Driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, Power dominated today's INDYCAR Grand Prix on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course to collect win No. 30 in his 13-year Indy car career. The milestone victory pushed the 36-year-old Power ahead of current teammate Helio Castroneves and retired Team Penske legend Rick Mears for sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list.

Power, making his 175th career start, led 61 of the 85 laps in the caution-free race and cruised across the finish line 5.283 seconds ahead of Scott Dixon in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. Power has now won at least one race in 11 straight seasons and becomes the fifth different driver to win in as many Verizon IndyCar Series races this season.

"It feels really good to finally have a good day," Power said. "Everyone on this team has been working really hard. We should have had a couple of wins by now.

"I think that is (win) No. 30; that is a good number. I want to make it 31 by the end of this month....continued

MORE about the Indy GP HERE

LE Wins All-WAR Final in Atlanta

video and photos by Tim Hailey, story by Hailey, NHRA and team reports



Behind the scenes of the first ever All-White Alligator Racing NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Final. Watch this interview with 2016 PSM champion Jerry Savoie and WAR tuner Tim Kulungian...continued

MORE from Atlanta NHRA HERE




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