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
Legendary drag racer John Force has never lived in Topeka, but Force has been a fixture at Heartland Park Topeka since the track opened in 1989 and has been a semi-regular visitor to the winner’s circle at HPT, posting a track-best nine national-event wins.
The 16-time world Funny Car champion, who turned 65 earlier this month, will be back at Heartland Park this weekend, leading Team Force in the NHRA Kansas Nationals.
Force said last week in a phone interview that he’s anxious to get back to Topeka.
“I raced in the early days over at the Kansas City Raceway in Independence, Mo.,” Force said. “Then when they built this new super track, it was awesome to come in here.
“The hotels, the restaurants, everybody in town, they want you there. It’s fun to go back there and then when you can race at a race track that’s a high-end track with great stands and facilities and plenty of parking, I love it.”
The fact that Force, who won his 16th championship last season, has had unparalleled success at HPT is icing on the cake.
“To win nine races, I can’t complain,” he said.
Force, who has 139 national-event wins, won at Heartland Park for the first time in 1993 and added wins in ’94, ’96, ’97, ’99, ’00, ’05 and ’08. He won both races at HPT in ’96.
His most recent Topeka win in 2008 was also one of his most emotional wins, with Force winning for the first time after suffering serious injuries in a horrific crash at Dallas in 2007.
Force, currently second in Funny Car points to his son-in-law, Robert Hight, will be aiming to make more memories this week.
“Tell Topeka we love them and we need them in the stands,” Force said. “We need to pack Topeka. We’ve got to grow NHRA and we’ve got to grow that race track.
“It’s a family deal and come on out and we’ll give you a show, the greatest show on earth.”
The Kansas Nationals gets under way at 8 a.m. Friday with Sportsman qualifying. Mello Yello Drag Racing Series pro qualifying sessions in Pro Stock, Funny Car and Top Fuel are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7 o’clock Friday.
Sportsman eliminations will start at 8 a.m. Saturday with pro qualifying sessions set for 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Sportsman eliminations will continue at 9 a.m. Sunday, with Mello Yello Series eliminations getting under way at 11 a.m.
Sixty three cars checked in to do battle at HPT on Saturday night. Darron Fuqua worked his way to a 3rd straight victory in the USRA Modified division. Fuqua battled with early leader Kyle Covert before gaining the upper hand and moving on to the win. Jim Powell Jr. pulled off his 3rd victory of the season in the USRA Stock Car class, Humboldt Speedway hot shoe, Derrek Wilson, came to HPT and easily won the Pure Stock feature and it was Brian Murphy getting past Dustin Thulin late in the USRA B Mod feature to take his 1st win of the season.
For several seasons Topekan Ron Kohn was happy working behind the scenes in Heartland Park Topeka’s Saturday Showdown dirt track series, helping prepare his son Randy’s Pure Stock car.
But after getting a taste of driving — and winning — it may be hard to get the 53-year-old Kohn out of the 07 any time in the near future.
Now in his third season competing in the Pure Stock class, Kohn visited victory lane for the first time in his most recent HPT start, a win he’s still trying to come to grip with.
“It was my first feature win and I really didn’t expect to (win),” Kohn said. “I just wanted to try to stay up there close to those guys, but it worked out just right.
“I kept thinking other cars would come around me and they didn’t. I was like, “I can’t believe this.’ It was kind of surreal I guess you could say.”
Ron Kohn hadn’t even planned on racing until Randy decided to switch race cars a few years back.
“I’ve been involved in it with my son for five or six seasons,” Kohn said. “He’s the one that started it and I was helping him out. This is his older car after he got a newer one built.
“I never thought much about (driving) until he said he was getting a different car. He said, “Do you want to drive the other car,’ and I thought, “No, no, I don’t want to do that,’ and then I started thinking, “You know, you always wanted to do something like that, so why not?’ I started working on the older car and trying to learn what to do and what not to do.”
Kohn admitted that it’s taken time to get used to driving, but he’s happy with the way things have worked out.
“I really didn’t know quite what to expect going into this and there’s ups and downs, of course,” Kohn said. “Right now we’re enjoying the ups.
“I never really expected to be up close, let alone win one. Of course it’s always fun when you’re up front and you win one.”
The 2014 season has been kind to both Kohns thus far, with Randy leading the points and Ron ranking second. Now the goal for Ron is to continue to be a factor in the Pure Stock class.
“As long as I keep things together and the car’s going we’re going to try to do the best we can and stay up front,” he said.