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NHRA "Silly Season" announcements and rumors leading to the 2024 season...

ocdart

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Brian Lohnes' latest 'NHRA Insider Podcast' included the following announcements and rumors:
* Cruz Pedregon - John Collins and Lee Beard are out. Jason Bunker (from Paul Lee's funny car) is in as Crew Chief and John Medlen may be consulting.
* John Force - Mac Savage resigned from John Force Racing. No news where he may be going.
* Shawn Langdon - Kurt Elliott, Ronnie Thompson and Jason McCullough are out. No news on where Kurt Elliott may be going. Ronnie Thompson appears to be going to the Josh Hart team. Jason McCullough reportedly is going to Capco (does this mean that we will see Billy Torrence at more races in 2024?).
* Clay Millican - Nicky Boninfante reportly is going to the Clay Millican team to work together with Jim Oberhoffer
* Tony Stewart Racing has scheduled a press conference for next Wednesday during the PRI show in Indianapolis. Is it related to drag racing or something else? Stay tuned.
* Brian says we will have 14-16 full-time Top Fuel teams for the 2024 NHRA season. Short TF fields may be a rarity.
* Brian also says we should regularly have 20 full-time Pro Stock cars in attendance at every event

Good stuff!
 
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Not all bad news

The Tony Stewart announcement is intriguing
maybe adding another team/car ? or teams/cars ?
will he be in a T/F car ?
he acted like he was happy in T/AD
I think that class needs to be split, in 2
'Jr. Fuel' & 'Blown Alcohol'

I saw Antron Brown is having/it was speculative at 1st
former multiple P/SM Champion Angel Sampe (now licenced)
in a Mission Foods sponsored T/F-er, in 2024

all 22+ (24 ?) races for the P/S-er next season too

I wish it would be the new 'Factory X' (even Factory Showdown)
where they race every brand of the big 3,
cars that look more like a showroom stock car (sort of)
GM/Copo, MoPar/DragPak, Ford/Cobras, but all highly modified now
(Pro-Mod too) need both (all 3) added to the Pro-classes
& regular TV coverage
there's now far more interests than
the old BS Pro-Camaro P/S Class, all Elite, with a couple KB/Titan cars,
now known as Pro-Stock
(what a sham, I'm someone that truly loves P/S, the old format)

or much better than the stupid *** Tf/Harleys :jackoff:

I wish they'd show more days of live qualifying too
instead of cramming it in & going against NCAA/NFL Football
all the damn time or all of it on Sunday
every god damn stick & ball sport
or NASCAR, perempts the NHRA coverage
Maybe the new In & Out Burger/support/sponsorship will do something
 
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Checking the nhra.com website today found the following updates:

* Jonnie Lindberg named as the Crew Chief for Paul Lee's nitro funny car team
(Should we change the class name from Pro Stock (Pro Camaro) to Pro Elite Motorsports since there will be 8-9 Elite associated Camaros in every 2024 Pro Stock field of entries?)
* Erica Enders will drive the Johnson's Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance Camaro
* Troy Coughlin Jr. will drive the Jegs/White Castle Camaro
* Aaron Stanfield will drive the 2nd Johnson's Horsepowered Garage/Janac Brothers Racing/JC3 Energy Services Camaro
* Jeg Coughlin Jr. returns to Pro Stock full-time driving the SCAG Power Equipment Camaro
* Jerry Tucker will drive the Outlaw Mile-Hi Light Beer Camaro
* The Cuadra family (Fernando Sr., Fernando Jr., Cristian, and David) will compete in their Corral Boots/Cuadra Camaros
* Bo Butner III is moving from Pro Stock to be driver of one of the two-car Elite Motorsports Mountain Motor Pro Stock team cars. He will be backed by Johnson's Horsepowered Garage. The driver of the 2nd Mountain Motor car is yet to be named.

* Bo Butner III is also transitioning to the role of Director of Team Development for Elite Motorsports
 
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What happened to the maximum of 4 cars/per class, per professional/team rule ?
so that the superteams couldn't take over the NHRA,
like they have now...

Elite's
Blatant violation, NHRA just looks the other way
or says it's a technicality, they have exploited

Elite-Pro Camaro Class, :carrot:
Ricky Jones's Racecars, quality built cars, I'll give him props

But ;
Elite,
Mostly all Rented cars/leased cars,
Pro-Stock or 'Pro-Camaro's' (for now) leased engines program...
What will they do now ? 'the Camaro' is not going to be a further/future GM model ?
after 2023 season... (2024 according to GM)
The ol' within 5 years' NHRA models/body style rule
wonder what GM crap-box they will have ? after the 5 years runs out...
I'm sure that long-standing NHRA P/S (or any Pro-Classes) rule,
will be fudged for them now too...
I'm sure for their Elite team...
All 8-9-10 of them (including MM/PS), all sharing data,
so Miss Piggy can buy/rent/lease/get another championship...
Or is it just to knock off the KB/Titan now a 4 car team...

Sorry I had to say it...

Why did she drop the Stephens from Enders-Stephens in her name ?
 
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Why did she drop the Stephens from Enders-Stephens in her name ?
I've wondered that, too. Can't find anything on the net saying whether they're still married or not, but her wiki does show this:

Spouse(s)Richie Stevens, Jr. (2012-2017)

I've always figured the absence of her mentioning him indicates they aren't together anymore.
 
And the Camaro ends production in January 2024

Nascar
NHRA
 
I've wondered that, too. Can't find anything on the net saying whether they're still married or not, but her wiki does show this:

Spouse(s)Richie Stevens, Jr. (2012-2017)

I've always figured the absence of her mentioning him indicates they aren't together anymore.
I spelled Steven's wrong too, Doh !!!

I saw that too
I thought they were still married
& she did have both names hyphenated (?) on the car originally,
several years ago now

:thankyou:
 
More from the 'Silly Season'...
* Announced today that after 27 consecutive years of NHRA competition, Leah Pruett is stepping aside from driving the TSR Top Fuel car to focus on starting a family with husband Tony Stewart. Tony will be the driver of the TSR Top Fuel car in 2024. Leah says she is planning to return to racing in the future.
* Buddy Hull will be the full-time driver of the Jim Dunn Racing funny car replacing Alex Laughlin. No news about if Alex is returning to Pro Stock or somewhere else.
* On the 12/05/23 podcast Brian Lohnes and Tony Pedregon announced John Collins will be assisting David Grubnic on Brittany Force's Top Fuel car

* (see post #1) Brian Lohnes podcast also announced Mack Savage is going to Kalitta Racing. Which Top Fuel car he may be with is not yet known.
 
I saw that TSR Tony Stewart is gonna' get in 'Leah's car' (their words)
the team voted on it, to have him drive
(I knew he would, no matter what he said he was going nowhere,
& about 'he was having way too much fun in TAD'
)
she's gonna' try to have a baby/get pregnant,
said;
"she doesn't know if she could even get pregnant has some rare disorder
or whether/when she will be back in the seat
"

Leah, she's like 36 (?), he's like 53 (?) the clock is ticking...
I wish her/them well, I'll bet Tony wins 2-3 in the 1st season
at the wheel of T/F, be cool as hell to have them as parents,
as a lil' kid...

I also saw something on Autoweek
(Sweedish lady, living in Finland) Ida Zetterstrom
FIA European T/F Champion is coming to NHRA too
Joe Maynard JCM racing (I think that's the same guys as Clay Millican) take it on
 
And more from the 'Silly Season'...
* Announcement today that Shawn Reed will run a full season of Top Fuel with Rob Wendland as Crew Chief and Ryan Elliott as Assistant Crew Chief. The team will operate under a technical alliance with Antron Brown's AB Motorsports team.
 
I just read this morning the former race track known as Wild Horse Pass
isn't dead after all, it will be back on NHRA schedule for 2024
under the nostalgic name, it once was Firebird Raceway in Chandler
 
I just read this morning the former race track known as Wild Horse Pass
isn't dead after all, it will be back on NHRA schedule for 2024
under the nostalgic name, it once was Firebird Raceway in Chandler
That’s great news! When I lived in Phoenix, I loved that track, small town feel at the grudge nights.
 
That’s great news! When I lived in Phoenix, I loved that track, small town feel at the grudge nights.
Yeah I liked Firebird Raceway/Chandler too
we did Super Chevy Sunday there 'for years'
when I ran 'world fastest street cars' stuff
or when I was in the fledgling years of Door Slammers/Top Sportsman
it was in Feb., always like sunny clear skies & 85*+
when back home it was cold, or wet raining/snowing ****,
& cold track surfaces...

I have fond memories of that time & track
 
* Buddy Hull will be the full-time driver of the Jim Dunn Racing funny car replacing Alex Laughlin. No news about if Alex is returning to Pro Stock or somewhere else.

Addendum to Buddy Hull announcement:
* Buddy Hull sold his Top Fuel operation to Jacob McNeal who will be running about half of the 2024 NHRA season
 
Tim is my favorite racer. What a genuinely nice guy. And who wouldn't love a guy who still tunes and drives his own nitro car? He'll be missed as a driver, but it's nice to see him continuing on as a tuner and with his son, Dan, driving.
 
Announcement today on both nhra.com and competitionplus.com that Robert Hight is temporarily getting out of the drivers seat of his John Force Racing funny car due to "personal medical reasons". Hight says he plans to be back driving as soon as his medical issues are resolved.
Austin Prock will be taking over driving duties from Robert Hight for the Cornwell Tools/AAA Funny Car to begin the 2024 season. The funny car will truly be the "Prock Rocket" with Austin driving. dad Jimmy Prock the crew chief, and brother Thomas as assistant crew chief.
The competitionplus.com article says Austin Prock is linked to be John Force's eventual successor behind the wheel of the PEAK funny car.

Hight medically sidelined; Prock to drive Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevy Funny Car

AUSTIN PROCK FILLS IN FOR ROBERT HIGHT AS JFR FUNNY CAR DRIVER IN 2024 | Competition Plus

01/18/24 Addendum: Brian Lohnes weekly podcast said Robert Hight will be out of the JFR funny car for the entire 2024 NHRA season because the recovery from his medical issue will take some time.
 
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Announcement today on both nhra.com and competitionplus.com that Robert Hight is temporarily getting out of the drivers seat of his John Force Racing funny car due to "personal medical reasons". Hight says he plans to be back driving as soon as his medical issues are resolved.
Austin Prock will be taking over driving duties from Robert Hight for the Cornwell Tools/AAA Funny Car to begin the 2024 season. The funny car will truly be the "Prock Rocket" with Austin driving. dad Jimmy Prock the crew chief, and brother Thomas as assistant crew chief.
The competitionplus.com article says Austin Prock is linked to be John Force's eventual successor behind the wheel of the PEAK funny car.

Hight medically sidelined; Prock to drive Cornwell Tools/AAA Chevy Funny Car

AUSTIN PROCK FILLS IN FOR ROBERT HIGHT AS JFR FUNNY CAR DRIVER IN 2024 | Competition Plus
I just read that this AM, on my home page too...

Hope it's nothing too serious & he gets back soon...

All Prock team in JFR,
dad Jimmy Crew Chief & Austin driving & his brother Tom asst. crew chief
 
Like them or not, it takes a hell of a big and brave man to handle one at WOT for a full pass! I think they are fun to watch but motorcycles are my thing, love my Harleys.
be mighty boring, even more than it is, if everyone liked the same **** :thumbsup:
 
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