Thursday, March 23, 2017


by Tracy Renck

John Hale will be back racing in NHRA’s nitro Funny Car class at the upcoming national event at The Strip in Las Vegas, March 31-April 2.

Hale confirmed to Competition Plus he will be behind the wheel of a Funny Car owned by Steve Plueger.

“This came about because Jeff Arend and I are friends,” Hale said. “Jeff, who normally has been driving (Plueger’s) car, told me he is going to drive for the Russo’s (in Las Vegas), and Steve wasn’t sure whether he was going to go to Las Vegas and we talked and I offered to drive it for him.”

Arend drove Plueger’s Funny Car at the first two races this season – the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., and Phoenix. After failing to qualifying at the Winternationals, Arend qualified No. 14 in Phoenix and lost in the first round to Ron Capps.

Hale drove the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car for 48 races during the 2015-16 seasons.

In two years with Dunn, Hale’s best performance was a runner-up effort at the Gatornationals in 2015 to Ron Capps. He had a total of nine round wins over the two seasons.

“You need to stay current in these things if you’re going to drive them,” Hale said. “I want to keep my license current and the opportunity to do a race or two was really all I was looking for this year with my other (Nostalgia Funny Car) schedule, and this (deal) with (Plueger) fit in. This is exciting and there’s nothing like driving one of those cars. It’s hard to explain to anybody who hasn’t driven one and anytime you get an opportunity to drive one it is hard to turn down.”

Hale isn’t a stranger to Plueger.

“I actually got my license in his car back in 2013 and ran two or three races with him,” Hale said. “I think I ran two races for him in 2013 and I ran one for him in 2014.”

Although Hale did step away from Dunn’s full-time ride, he has continued to compete in the sport in in his “One Bad Texan” Nostalgia nitro Funny Car. His 2017 race schedule is listed on his website – Hale’s first race this season was the Good Vibrations March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., March 2-5.

“We won first round there and in the second round we had some oil out in our lane past he starting line and we hit it and one tire started spinning and it hooked me toward the center line and I had to give up,” Hale said. “We learned a good lesson that we should always go out there and check that lane. I will be running my Nostalgia Funny Car next on May 19-20 in San Antonio. We were a little hard on parts in Bakersfield, but when the car is running good numbers it takes a little bit of the sting away from hurting those parts. The car was really flying. We didn’t have a run slower than a (5).77 until the second round when got in that oil.”


LIFE AFTER THE BIG SHOW - John Hale is adjusting to life after the big show, and the biggest lesson for him is how the return to normal life isn't too difficult.
Hale resigned his position as driver of the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car at the end of the 2016 season. He might have left the major league of drag racing, but this didn't mean he was leaving the straight-line sport.

Hale returned to his comfort zone of racing in the NHRA's Heritage Series, with his nitro-burning 1969 Camaro.

"There is a good life after the big show," Hale said.

In a sense, racing the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series was a bucket list item. Been there, done that and now move on.

"It was a dream of mine since going to the Texas Motorplex and hanging out there, and sneaking underneath the tower on Friday nights and watching qualifying," Hale recalled. "I dreamed of someday being in one of those cars underneath that tower and I got to do that.

"I wouldn’t trade those last two years doing the big show for anything. But it took everything I had time wise, mentally and physically. And I’ve just got some other things that I want to do. I want to promote my barbecue sauce, I want to get my Nostalgia car back running tip top, you know. And I couldn’t do that and do the other at the same time. So I’m content."

Pomona this season provided a few butterflies, but they quickly flew away.

"I was waiting for those emotions to come," Hale admitted. "And when it came around, I wanted to be there. I miss driving the car, but if I were there, I probably wouldn’t miss it. Does that make sense?

"I watched from home on the TV. You know, it really sunk in when I saw someone else driving the car I’d been driving. I’ll probably get back in a car sometime later this year and keep my license current. And who knows what I’ll do next year." - Bobby Bennett

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Nitro Funny Car driver John Hale confirmed to that he will not be driving for Jim Dunn Racing in 2017.

Hale drove the Jim Dunn Racing Funny Car for 48 races in the 2016-17 seasons.

“It was my own decision,” said Hale when asked why he will not be with Jim Dunn Racing next year. “There some things around here (his home in Addison, Texas) I want to do. I got a new airplane and I’m building a new hanger for it at McKinney (Texas) National Airport and I’m just trying to stay on top of things here at home. Getting to race for a legendary team like Jim Dunn Racing was a lifetime dream. I felt like I had the best independent-run car out there.”

In two years with Dunn, Hale’s best performance was a runner-up effort at the Gatornationals in 2015 to Ron Capps. He had a total of nine round wins over the two seasons.

Hale’s main occupation is in the barbecue sauce business. He sells the “Best of Texas Barbecue Sauce.” The sauce was originally labeled “Terry’s Texas Style Barbecue Sauce” and then Hake took over the company a few years back and the barbecue sauce was named “John Hale Racing Texas Nitro Barbecue Sauce.” Hale said the name was changed to “Best of Texas Barbecue Sauce” as the company enters into the national retail market. To learn more about Hale’s barbecue sauce visit

Although Hale is stepping away from Dunn’s full-time ride, he isn’t going to leave the sport of drag racing. Hale said he will continue to compete in his “One Bad Texan” Nostalgia Funny Car. His 2017 race schedule is already listed on his website – It is comprised of eight Nostalgia races beginning March 2-5 with the Good Vibrations March Meet at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif.

Written by Tracy Renck  Tue, 2016-12-13 18:00

Monday, November 7, 2016

NHRA: Moon dragster graphics on Dunn Funny Car at Finals

November 07, 2016 -- Jim Dunn Racing will sport a unique design on the team’s nitro Funny Car at this weekend’s Auto Club NHRA Finals, displaying graphics on the side of the Mooneyes Funny Car body are derived from the famous Mooneyes dragster of the 1960s.

The design features the Dragmaster chassis with a small block Chevy engine, Moon/Potvin front-mounted supercharger, and Hilborn injection.

The Mooneyes dragster originally raced at NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis in 1961, and won the A/Dragster class on a 9.52 elapsed time at 153.06 mph during the 1962 Winternationals in Pomona. The Mooneyes dragster was piloted by famed drivers such as Dante Duece and Gary Cagle. In 1963, while sponsored by Revell, the Mooneyes dragster was among several other race cars that toured in England and recorded a 9.99 elapsed time at 164 mph.

The original Mooneyes dragster is housed at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Florida, while a replica will be on display for all fans to see at the Finals.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hale “over the moon” headed to Pomona in the 3 second club

ADDISON, TX (Nov. 3) – It’s always amazing to look back at the entire season and realize, with all the highs and lows that come with competition, there’s nothing like this sport. Entering Pomona in the 3 second club is a huge accomplishment for our team. We certainly have reason to celebrate as we wrap up the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. 

We were hoping to see a bit more of Lady Luck in Las Vegas but you know how fickle she can be! We did have some great runs, minimal damage in Q3, so overall it was a great weekend.

Friday, during Q1, we had a clean run and ever so briefly were seated in the second spot. Q2 wasn’t nearly as kind to us. Got pushed out of the groove and had to back off the throttle early.

We certainly have had a thing with our burst panel this season. Went up in smoke at the hit, backfired and knocked out the burst panel before even getting 100 feet out. Q4 was a redeeming round, thankfully! It was another smooth run and the car went right down the groove. With that pass we made it in to the show in the 15th spot. We had the 4.04 bump making it the quickest field ever in Funny Car history.

First round of eliminations Hagan got off the line first. The Circle K Funny Car made up for it a little at the 330 mark. However, Hagan pulled ahead to get the win light against our 4.38 at 201mph.

Speaking of Funny Car history, we’re going to be delivering a little nostalgia to Pomona for the final race of this season.

The weekend kicks off with FanFest at Lordsburg Taphouse and Grill on Thursday from 6:00-8:00PM. The City of LaVerne shuts down “D” Street in support of the event each year. There will be a variety of cars on display lining the area outside the taphouse. The autograph signing session will run from 7:00-7:45PM. If you’ve never been to this location, it’s a pretty laid-back tavern with sports on TV and a patio that offers pub food paired with tap beers and a full bar.

Friday we will be delivering a treat to the fans of our sport. We will honor the nostalgia that exists as we celebrate the 50th year of Funny Cars in the NHRA. To be a part of events like this is truly a dream come true.

So thankful to all of our fans who have come out to the track and supported us through the season, as well as all of the fans who drove the FOX Sports viewing numbers to an unprecedented number. Reading posts on social media and having fans drop by to wish us well…that’s what keeps us going when the numbers are off, when I just have a bad run, or when we have a mechanical issue that keeps us from doing what we know we can do.

Really looking forward to wrapping up this season on a positive note with our inclusion in the three second club, a nostalgia treat in Pomona, and a forecast without rain!
Photo Credit: Charles Anderson

Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
Las Vegas Summary
Q1:  4.056/311.77 
Q2:  4.833/166.85
Q3:  20.880/160.90
Q4:  4.031/318.62
Qualified #15
E1:  4.38/201

For more information please visit John Hale Racing.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hale ready to challenge Lady Luck in Vegas

LAS VEGAS (October 24) – In the city where the sky’s the limit, John Hale is ready to beat the odds at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Photo Credit: Jack Franklin
With just two races remaining in the 2016 season, the team feels confident they are heading in the right direction.

Since they set their career best E.T. in Seattle they have been experiencing some fluctuating issues that have been addressed. It was evident they had worked out the kinks with their performance in Dallas.

Competing in a fashion more fitting for their combined experience was exactly what the team needed to see.

“It was nice to leave the Dallas race seeing Jim happy with the way the fuel valve responded to his changes.”

Boosting their confidence with clean straight runs right down the groove, the team will continue to refine their improvements and hope they have the right combination to bring them the win light.

“We are looking forward to running 3’s again in Vegas in what will most likely be an all 3 second field.”

The team is ready to take on the challenges of Lady Luck. “Let’s roll the dice and see what happens.”

Next Race: 16th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals When: Oct. 27-30, 2016 Where: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 12:30PM and 4:30PM Friday, 12:30PM and 4:15PM Saturday, and eliminations at 11:00AM, 12:45PM, 2:15PM and 3:37PM Sunday.

TV: FS1, Oct. 28, qualifying, 6:00PM (ET), live; FS1, Oct. 30, qualifying, 10:00AM (ET); FS1, Oct. 30, finals 4:00PM (ET), live.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
For more information, please visit John Hale Racing.

Dallas Summary
Q1: 4.704/182.18
Q2: pass
Q3: 4.053/308.78
Q4: 4.032/291.38
Qualified #14
E1: 4.070/308.64 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Smooth pass ends home track advantage

DALLAS (October 18) – Racing at our home track, we were looking forward to saving on those shipping fees for Wally. It wasn’t meant to be our turn, not yet anyway. 

Q1 we had a cylinder go out on the right side at about 200 feet. The car pushed to the right and we got about 500 feet out and had to give up the run. By Q3 we were hitting our stride again and had a fantastic pass. This turned out to be our quickest pass of the weekend; clean, straight and right down the groove. Against Dave Richards in Q4, we had a great side-by-side and were nose to nose all the way through the run. Q3 and Q4 we improved enough to make the show for Sunday.

Round one of eliminations we were up against Tommy Johnson, Jr. We had yet another clean pass, right down the groove again, and ran a 4.070 at 308.64. Holeshot wins being what they are; TJ got the win light this time.

“People ask me what my favorite race track is. It's definitely the Texas Motorplex. That's where my dream began years ago. So any race that I'm driving there is a good race. This was a good one as well. We went into Q1 with a new fuel valve and progressed each run as we learned what it wanted from the car. Big Jim was happy with the results and when he's happy we are all happy. We think we have a good hotrod going into Vegas.”

We might not have attained that elusive Wally in Dallas, but we are confident we are headed in the right direction. The numbers show that we are having more consistent runs. Both our speed and ET are showing the improvement. Of course we still want to run in the 3’s consistently. Having these clean passes in Dallas has given us some solid data to carry forward to Vegas, and then to on Pomona.

Heading to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 28-30, we hope Lady Luck rides with us in the city where the sky’s the limit.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
Dallas Summary
Q1: 4.704/182.18
Q2: pass
Q3: 4.053/308.78
Q4: 4.032/291.38
Qualified #14
E1: 4.070/308.64 

For additional information, please visit John Hale Racing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Deep in the heart of Texas a Wally awaits

DALLAS (October 12) – Sunny skies predicted, with an average daily temperature of 87, welcome the 31st annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals to the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.  We’re going to shake off those dark clouds of Reading and draw on that “One Bad Texan” mindset at John Hale’s home track. You know you don’t mess with Texas!

If you follow John Hale on social media, you know the importance music plays in his life. He starts each day by posting a song that inspires and motivates his day. Drawing on his love of music, and quoting the words of Steven Van Zant (guitar and mandolin with Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band), “Band members have a special bond. A great band is more than just some people working together. It's like a highly specialized army unit, or a winning sports team. A unique combination of elements that becomes stronger together than apart.” Sums up our Jim Dunn Racing team! We know we have the right combination to win; it’s just a matter of the stars aligning, and debugging the quirks, to turn on those win lights. No better time to do this than under the stars of Texas.

As for Reading, dismal is the word that comes to mind. Soggy and cold, we were only able to squeeze in one round of qualifying before the skies opened up, again, and again. The NHRA Safety Safari did an amazing job of attempting to dry the track (many times) in the hope we could get in more qualifying rounds. We did end up in the 10th position going in to round one of eliminations. How we got there wasn’t pretty; we made it was all that mattered at that point. An 8.614 at 75.88 is not the kind of run you get excited over but getting in on Sunday, any way we could, trumped the disappointment over that one qualifying run.

Unfortunately, Sunday did not go much better for us and closely resembled our qualifying run. We were up against Mike Smith for the first time in eliminations. Both of our cars shook the rear tires coming off the starting line. He managed to get his car hooked up again and finished the run. Just couldn’t get our car back up to speed and we coasted to the finish. Disappointed with the performance at Reading would be an understatement. After the elation of our team breaking in to the 3’s, and following those runs by additional 3’s, our hopes were high that a Wally was forthcoming. It just wasn’t meant to be, at least not in Reading.

Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Texas, John Hale prepares for this competition at his home track. Knowing that stars do align in Texas, the dream of bringing home a Wally seems to be closer than ever. For a team with a tight budget, saving on shipping fees for that Wally is an added bonus!

The City of Ennis and Texas Motorplex have partnered for a PreStage Fan Fest in Downtown Ennis on Wednesday, October 14, between 5:00-9:00 p.m. We will be there signing autographs at the Brookshire’s Autograph Session and hope you will be able to come out and enjoy roaming through pro and sportsman cars, food trucks, music and more.

Dallas is one of three remaining races in the 2016 NHRA season. After Dallas, our next race moves to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 5:00 and 8:00pm, Friday, and 1:30 and 4:30pm, Saturday. Eliminations start at 12:00am, Sunday. Fox SPORTS - Finals October 16, 2:00pm-5:00pm (FS1) LIVE and October 16, 7:00pm-10:00pm (FS2) REPLAY. Qualifying October 14, 7:30pm-8:30pm (FS1) LIVE - October 15, 6:00am-7:00am (FS1) REPLAY, October 16, 1:00am-2:00am (FS1), October 16, 1:00pm-2:00pm (FS1) REPLAY. All times ET. Schedule subject to change; check local listings.
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery
Q1:  8.614ET 75.88mph
Qualified # 10
E1:   8.538ET 74.48mph

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bring on the Reading Monopoly Magic

READING (September 28) – Reading Railroad is the first of the four railroads on the Monopoly board. With just four races remaining in the countdown to the championship, John Hale is hoping to make this stop on the NHRA board their opportunity to take home the team's first Wally this season.

Welcoming Dodge as the title rights sponsor of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Maple Grove Raceway, we hope to keep the Jim Dunn Racing/Oberto Funny Car moving up the scoreboard to a qualifying position on race day.

Recapping last weekend in St. Louis, with the heat soaring on Friday, qualifying didn’t go as well as the team would have liked. Saturday’s third round of qualifying was a little quicker than Friday’s and by Q4 we were sitting on the bump spot at 4.156. Matching our Q3 ET to the thousands, we managed to run ten miles an hour faster in Q4. Good enough to get us in the show for Sunday.

On Sunday, we faced Robert Hight in round one of eliminations. Coming in to this round, we were one and one against Hight in prior matchups. Track temperature was sitting at 111 degrees when we staged. The car smoked the tires early and we slowed with E1 ending as one of our roughest rounds at this event.

While no one wants to be out in E1, it did give us an opportunity to spend time with the amazing fans in St. Louis. We’ve recently started incorporating some of the photos our fans submit to social media into our event gallery. It was great to have the time with them, though of course we would have also enjoyed sharing time together in the Winner’s Circle. We’ll get there! Moving our ET in to the 3 second club was one goal we have met this season and we will continue to chip away at the gremlins.

The Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway should be yet another chance for us to run in the 3’s. With temperatures in the low 70’s both days of qualifying, and mid-70’s on race day, there should be plenty of great qualifying runs. When all is said and done, we’d like to own this railroad stop, and the next three, in true spoiler fashion.

Reading kicks off with the Mopar Mega Block Party at First Energy Stadium on Thursday evening from 4:00-10:00p.m. We will be out there and signing autographs from 6:30-7:30p.m. We will also have a chance to sign autographs for our fans attending this event during the Mello Yello Autograph Session on Saturday at 9:30a.m.

After Reading, the next stop will be in our home state of Texas at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.

Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:00 and 5:00p.m., Friday, and 12:00 and 3:30p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 12:00 p.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying action from 3:00 to 4:00p.m., Friday. FOX Sports 1 will carry eliminations LIVE on Sunday from 11:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. (All times listed in PT).
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery

Position 16 - 661 points (-1612)

Visit John Hale Racing for more information.
Support our sponsors: Circle K, Oberto, Dodge.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hale and Jim Dunn Racing ready to turn it up at the Zoo

BRAINERD (August 16) – Encouraged by their record breaking runs in Seattle, Jim Dunn Racing and John Hale are ready to head east toward the next stop on the NHRA schedule. Brainerd International Raceway is home to the 35th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals from August 18-21.

“Going into Brainerd knowing we can run well into the 3.90's with no engine damage gives Big Jim the confidence to turn it up a little bit more heading into Indy and I'm more motivated than ever to improve my skillset.”

After the final day of qualifying was cut short by rain, Hale was paired up with Courtney Force in the first round of eliminations last year at the 34th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd. Force came in with her best starting spot and had lane choice over Hale. It was the first time the two lined up against one another in eliminations.

This year, the Circle K Funny Car has several rounds of eliminations in the history book. Combined with the recent under 3 second runs, the team feels encouraged coming in to Brainerd.

Last July the raceway was severely damaged amidst a thunderstorm that brought extensive damage to the state of Minnesota. The facility had bleachers blown over on the track, roofs ripped off buildings and campers turned over in the campsite. Social media awareness delivered and volunteers were there the next morning to assist with cleanup. The 2015 NHRA race in Brainerd was not under any delay thanks to the efforts of volunteers and others involved in the rebuilding process.

Brainerd is the last race of the season prior to the historic U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3:30 and 6:00 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4:00 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 11:00 a.m., Sunday. (All times Central)
PHOTO CREDIT: Auto Imagery
Traxxas Nitro Shootout
The NHRA Traxxas Nitro Shootout will take place at the Lucas Oil Raceway in conjunction with the U.S. Nationals.  There are eight spots each in the Top Fuel and Funny Car categories, with seven of those already secured in each by wins at prior regular season events. The eighth spot is filled via fan vote and a lottery-style drawing. Voting will begin on August 21 for the coveted final spot on the roster. The winner in both the Top Fuel and Funny Car category will be awarded $100,000. The top four finishers in each event receive an award, with the runners-up receiving $15,000 and the semifinal losers $7,500. Watch for announcements regarding voting that will be posted to our social media in the near future.
About Oberto
Quality and innovation have been hallmarks of the Oberto Brand since our humble beginnings in Seattle, Washington in 1918. We remain committed to providing you with the highest quality, best tasting meat snacks.

Recap Seattle Summary
Q1: 4.530/190.32 
Q2: 4.005/315.86 (broke prior ET record)  
Q3: 3.956/316.75 (new career best ET)
Q4: pass
Qualified #12
47th round of racing and seven round one wins to date.
E1: 3.994/290.94

Visit John Hale Racing for more information and support our sponsors Oberto and Dodge.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

One bad gatecrasher: Funny Car's John Hale embraces spoiler role at Martin Dragway's Northern Nationals

MARTIN – The International Hot Rod Association's Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car class is filled with intrigue heading into this weekend's season finale at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park.
And it suddenly got more intense now that a wildcard has entered the mix. John Hale has crashed the gate, putting even more sizzle into the annual Northern Nationals.
John Hale's One Bad Texan 1969 Camaro Funny Car made a pass of over 254 mph Friday night at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin. (Photo courtesy of Eli Kaminski)
John Hale
(Photo courtesy of Eli Kaminski)
Hale's full-time job is racing Big Jim Dunn's Funny Car in the National Hot Rod Association, where he currently sits 13th overall in the season point standings.

But with the NHRA off this weekend, Hale has headed up to Martin Dragway, and he has brought his 1969 Nitro Nostalgia One Bad Texan Funny Car with him.

What Hale wants to do most this weekend is play the role of spoiler. His main goal is to help California's Jason Rupert win his third consecutive championship when the IHRA wraps up its 2016 season. Rupert is the driver to beat, but he has a trio of racers on his bumper.

"My buddy Jason Rupert is in the (points) lead, but not by much," said Hale, a 51-year old native of Addison, Tex. "I hope I can block or shake that up somehow for him. I have done it before with him and helped him win a championship. Hopefully, we can have that same outcome this weekend and celebrate with him."

Rain played havoc on Friday's opening round at Martin, washing out the Sportsman action while limiting the professionals to one qualifying session. Racing will continue and conclude Saturday, with champions to be crowned in IHRA's Pro Stock and Nitro Motorcycle divisions in addition to Funny Car. The Pro Modified class title has already been decided.

Hale made a pass of 254.67 mph in 5.82 seconds in his lone run Friday after the IHRA and Martin safety crews worked throughout the late afternoon to dry the quarter-mile. Hale clocked in fifth overall in the field, which Rupert topped with a mark of 5.578 at 259.22 mph. Rupert has a potential elapsed time world record if he can back it up Saturday during the second round of qualifying.

"This is my weekend off from professional racing, but I still take it very seriously," Hale said. "It's a weekend off, but I want to do good here. This is the final weekend for IHRA.

"For me there is less pressure. You don't have to worry about the huge sponsor money to run these cars week in and week out. This pretty much comes out of our own pocket, so there isn't as much pressure."

Hale said he is running his Nostalgia Funny Car up to five times this season. He added that not only do the cars look cool, but they are a blast to drive.

"I like them because they still represent the Funny Cars back in the late 70s, before aerodynamics came into play and the bodies became rounded and they had huge spoilers on the back," Hale said. "You can look at them and see still a Mustang or a Camaro or a Cuda, and I think that's what the fans like, too.

"They are noisy, they have flames and they haul ass. Who doesn't like that? These cars demand respect. They are a handful to drive. With these cars, you have to shift about half-track. Any Funny Car is a handful to drive, but the bigger cars are more of a challenge, but these definitely demand respect."

The professionals are scheduled to participate in a second round of qualifying Saturday at 2 p.m., with eliminations scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Sportsman qualifying is slated to begin at approximately 9 a.m.

"I have fond memories of Martin," Hale said. "I have won here and run some pretty good numbers. I love the track and this area of the country. It's a beautiful facility."

By Steve Kaminski |
on August 12, 2016 at 10:22 PM, updated August 12, 2016 at 11:09 PM


Billy Harper qualified third in Pro Modified, enabling him to clinch the season championship.

Tracy Kile topped the field in Nitro Motorcycle with a pass of 6.412 seconds at 219.08 mph. Trevor Eman is fast qualifier in Pro Stock, going 219.19 mph at 6.383 seconds.