Topekan Dustin Thulin has been a factor throughout his six-year career in Heartland Park Topeka’s Saturday Showdown dirt track series, but Thulin is still looking for his first championship, with last year’s third-place finish in the B Modified class his highest ever.
But if Thulin can continue the hot pace he’s set thus far in 2014 his first title could be in his future.
Thulin has won the past two weeks in the No. 45 and has three wins on the year while building a 73-point lead over Brian Murphy in the B Mod standings.
“It’s been pretty good the last few weeks,” Thulin said. “We’re kind of starting to hit our stride we feel like anyway.”
Some drivers like to avoid championship talk but Thulin admits that winning a title is one of his primary goals.
“It’s been a goal for a couple of years now,” he said. “We haven’t always been able to commit 100 percent as far as being there every week, but we’ve kind of chased it a couple of years now and it’s definitely a goal. It’s 100 percent the goal.”
With the season right at the halfway point, Thulin’s key to holding on to the points lead will be consistency while also getting to victory lane whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“(Consistency’s) probably not been my strongest point,” Thulin said. “I’ve always been kind of a guy that’s going to go for the win at all costs. In year’s past that has probably hindered me as far as winning the championship.
“But right now, with it being as early as it is, I’m focused on winning but obviously finishing is the biggest goal and making sure you get to the end.”
And Thulin knows that there are plenty of competitors in the B Mod class capable of making a run at the title he so badly wants to win.
“It’s a real strong class,” Thulin said. “Generally you have at least two or three former champions running against you every night in that class.
“You’ve got some guys who come and go and there’s a couple that people may not know their name as well but they’re real strong. It’s always a fun battle for us.”
Topeka, KS – Tanner Mullens continued his hot streak on the week at Heartland Park Topeka Saturday night. Mullens, fresh off 2 top 10 finishes with the USMTS, picked up a win Friday night and followed it up Saturday night by winning the USRA Modified Feature. It was Mullens first trip to HPT this season. Dustin Thulin rolled from the pole position and wired the field in the USRA B Mods in-route to winning his 3rd feature of the season. Jim Powell Jr. had an awesome battle at the front of the pack and would hold on for his 4th win of the season in the USRA Stock Cars. Randy Kohn is having a banner year in the Pure Stocks, Saturday night he takes home win #4 on the season. James Lemke took home the gold in the Sport Compacts.
Topeka, KS – It was BigTime Bail Bonds Night at the races and extra money was dropped on all the divisions. Darron Fuqua, who drives the BigTime Bail Bonds GRT, came up ‘BigTime’ late in the Modified feature. Fuqua battled with Jeremy Chambers for several laps before Fuqua went by on the outside and took the lead for good going on to his 5th win of the season. Dustin Thulin inherited the B Mod feature win after a post race inspection DQ (it was Thulin’s 2nd win of the season), Robert Garst was the hero of the night as he pulled off the double play! Garst not only took home a win again in the Stock Car class but he also logged the victory in the Pure Stock division. William Joyce became the 2nd different feature winner at HPT in the Sport Compacts.
Effective June 15, the minimum age for kids eligible to participate in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League will be 5 years old. The announcement was made at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the birthplace of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League was founded in 1993 by NHRA and Raceway Park founder Vinnie Napp. Napp developed the first small-scale replica dragster for his son in 1991, and the first pair of NHRA Jr. Dragsters launched down the Raceway Park dragstrip in 1992. Today the league has grown dramatically, and the program is offered at most NHRA member tracks across the United States.
In the 5-year-old classification, the Trainee category, participants can begin running a Jr. Dragster with a crate engine from Briggs & Stratton with a slide valve limiting the power output of the engine. Trainee participants will make single passes down the dragstrip to get familiar with the car and track surroundings in a non-pressure environment.
Another separate classification for 6-and-7-year-olds also has been created, the Youth category, which will allow participants to begin competing head to head on the track at the 13.90-second index with a crate engine and slightly increased power output from the Trainee category engine.
“It is important to provide competition opportunities for children in these age groups so they can become exposed much earlier to the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League and the sport of NHRA Championship Drag Racing,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration. “With similar introductory programs available in stick and ball sports for ‘pee-wee’ competitors, we wanted to put an NHRA Drag Racing option into that mix for families to consider.”
NHRA also instituted a new licensing process for all new Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League participants that require each driver to complete a cockpit orientation, basic driving test, track orientation, and test passes.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League also offers different categories for age groups up to 17 with speed and elapsed time restrictions for participants based on age and experience. Those categories are novice (8-9), intermediate (10-12), and advanced (13-17).
In addition to the weekly programs offered at NHRA member tracks, the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League offers two marquee events. The NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Western Conference Finals is set for July 10-12 at Utah’s scenic Rocky Mountain Raceways, and the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern Finals will be held July 24-26 at Tennessee’s famed Thunder Valley, Bristol Dragway. Nearly 1,000 kids compete for individual and team honors at the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League Eastern and Western Conference Finals, with nearly $50,000 being awarded at each event, including $2,500 and an NHRA Wally champion’s trophy to each individual winner.
The NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League creates family involvement in drag racing at an affordable level. Many of the league’s former participants have gone on to compete in other NHRA classes. Top Fuel racer Shawn Langdon (the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel world champion and a two-time Super Comp national champion in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series) and current NHRA Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens are among the league’s most accomplished graduates.
Originally posted at NHRA.com
Image courtesy of mx2jrdragsters.com
Due to the weather forecast the Street Legal/Test n Tune for Friday June 6th, 2014 has been cancelled
The ET Bracket Race scheduled for June 7th, 2014 will be moved to Sunday June 8th, 2014. Gates will open at 8:00 am, first round time trials at 9:00 am. We will be running all classes Jr. Dragster A, Jr. Dragster B, Jr. Dragster C, Time Only, Street/High School, Sportsman, Pro, Super Pro, Super Street. 1 time Buybacks after first round only.
Today was an exciting day at Heartland Park with John Force stepping into the Funny Car qualifying lead, J.R. Todd (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) also qualifying as leaders in this year’s 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event. Mello Yellow qualifying will resume Saturday at 1:30 PM with eliminations and qualifying taking place in the morning
We’re sure to have more great races tomorrow but wanted to bring you some housekeeping news as well.
Frequently asked questions
We’ve created a Frequently asked questions section dedicated to the NHRA event happening now! If you have a question, please look here first to see if you can get your answer quickly. If you’re question isn’t there, the page has details on how to contact us so we can get you an answer.
If you’re looking for the most up to date event results, check out the NHRA page here. They have a section dedicated to the results.
Ticket exchange/ rainout policy
We have it posted in the Frequently asked questions, but wanted to put it here as well. If you have questions about the ticket exchange/ rainout policy, please see the NHRA ticket exchange/ rainout policy here.
Thanks again to all the fans and have a safe, fun time at the track this weekend!
The Heartland Park Topeka team
We’ve had a few questions regarding Grey water and showers so we updated the Parking and camping/RV locations and thought we’d post to the front page as well. If you are planning on heading to the track and needed Grey water service, please use the information below to arrange service. Also below is the detail on shower location during the NHRA Kansas Nationals this year.
Grey Water Service
If you needed gray water or pump service for your race team, NHRA needs or campers, please contact Loretta at (913) 238-7900 who will assist to arrange this service. They will be coming to Heartland Park Topeka at 7 am and 4pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Showers are available at the Tech Building from the time the gates open until 1 hour after the races end. The Tech Building is located at the South end of the Pit Area as seen in the image below