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IHRA makes much-anticipated return to historical Rockingham Dragway May 17-18 for Spring Nationals

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

It is one of the oldest, most prestigious events in the history of the International Hot Rod Association, and after a three year hiatus, the IHRA Nitro Jam Spring Nationals are finally back at Rockingham Dragway.

On the IHRA schedule nearly every season since it was founded in the early 70s, the spring race at Rockingham Dragway has seen some of the most famous figures in drag racing's long and storied history turn a tire at the timeless track located in the heart of motorsports country. And now the IHRA will return to The Rock with the next chapter in the  IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series saga.

Serving as the fifth of 12 events on the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series calendar the weekend of May 17-18, Rockingham Dragway will host competition in five unique classes including Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley, Nitro Altered, Mountain Motor Pro Stock and Jet Dragster all run on the full quarter-mile. The professional classes will be joined by the IHRA's Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL as hundreds of local racers flock to the hallow grounds looking to make their own history.

Rockingham Preview 2

   The world's best Nitro Funny Car drivers take center stage at the IHRA Spring Nationals

This is drag racing how it is meant to be, and it all takes place May 17-18 at The Rock.

“There is no denying, Rockingham Dragway holds a special place in the hears of IHRA racers and fans. It has hosted so many legendary figures and seen so many drag racing firsts and we are so excited to return to the track with our new brand of IHRA drag racing,” said Scott Gardner, President of IHRA Motorsports. “Of all of the events on the 2014 schedule, this is without a doubt one of the most anticipated stops on the tour. There is so much history that has been made at Rockingham Dragway and we look forward to making even more May 17-18 with the return of the Spring Nationals.”

This year, every lap matters as the stars of Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley, Nitro Altered, Mountain Motor Pro Stock and Jet Dragster push their machines to the limit in their chase for the 2014 IHRA World Championships. Qualifying will take place Saturday, May 17 followed by eliminations on Sunday, May 18, both with high stakes on the line.

Three nitro-powered classes will take center stage at Rockingham Dragway, joining the legendary racers of Mountain Motor Pro Stock and the thrilling Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster team.

Among the record-setting performances in 2014 have been great showings from IHRA’s Nitro Funny Car and Pro Stock classes.

Rockingham Preview 1

   It wouldn't be an IHRA event at The Rock without Mountain Motor Pro Stock

One of IHRA’s original classes when it was founded in the early 70s, Pro Stock returned to IHRA competition after a brief hiatus this season and has been met with overwhelming support, not to mention topping the list of record-breaking performances.

Earlier this season John DeFlorian shattered the IHRA records in speed and elapsed time with a blistering 6.224-second pass at 226.70 miles per hour pass in San Antonio. Currently, DeFlorian sits second in the Pro Stock standings behind Oklahoma native Cary Goforth. They will be joined by Goforth’s teammate Todd Hoerner, along with two-time IHRA Pro Stock world champion Pete Berner, Scott Hintz, Kevin Bealko and more.

In Nitro Funny Car, Californian Jason Rupert leads the way in the Bays and Rupert “Black Plague” ’69 Camaro coming off of two Nitro Jam victories in the first three races. He is joined by “Mr. Explosive” Mark Sanders, Tim Boychuk in “Forever Forward,” John Hale in the “Mike Burkhart” tribute Camaro, Mike McIntire Jr. in “McAttack,” Bruce Litton in the “US Male” Vega, Ronnie Young in the world famous “Blue Max,” Mike Halstead in “Candies & Hughes” and more.

Multi-time IHRA Nitro Jam champion Peter Gallen will make his 2014 debut in the "Poverty Stricken" AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car as he looks to take on the world's best in what has been outstanding competition with fields regularly pushing the limits of the nostalgia machines.

Also making history in Rockingham will be the debut of the world’s only Jet Dragster championship program being contested by the four fastest women in drag racing – the Larsen Motorsports jet team. This four-car team is made up of four very talented female competitors with vastly different backgrounds. From a 19-year-old college student, to a female test pilot, a nurse and an entrepreneur who holds the operation together, the team of Elaine Larsen, Marisha Falk, Dawn Perdue and Kat Moller will compete in 300 mph, side-by-side jet-powered drag racing action.

Rockingham Preview 3

   The all-female Larsen Motorsports Jet Dragster team will put on an amazing show

IHRA’s other nitro divisions will include Nitro Harley and Nitro Altered, two radical and extreme classes that are among the most popular in the world for their death-defying competition.

Iconic racer Jay Turner leads the 220 mph nitro-powered motorcycle class, joining points leader Randal Andras, Mike Scott, local star and new record holder Mark Cox and more.

Nitro Altered, another extreme class once banned from organized competition due to the extreme danger behind the wheel, will include Arizona native Ron Maroney in “Blind Faith,” Las Vegas native and third generation racer Kyle Hough in “Nanook, the popular “Arizona Thunder” driven by Mike Hilsabeck, “Bullet Bob” driven by Don Blackshear and more.

In addition to all of the on-track action, the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Spring Nationals will feature an all-new and fully interactive Fan Fest pit experience. Fans can tour the pits, meet the drivers and take part in a number of fun family activities including the Larsen Motorsports Jet Technology Center, a hands-on look at the design and technology behind a jet-powered racing team, and the Hollywood Cars of the Stars featuring real cars from famous movies and television shows such as the General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Batmobile from the 1960s Batman television series and more.

In addition to the professional action, the Spring Nationals will also two full days of sportsman racing competing on the IHRA’s Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by AMSOIL. Racing in the Division 9 doubleheader will take place Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets to the 2014 Spring Nationals are $25 on Saturday and $20 on Sunday for adults and $10 for children. Adults can save $5 if they purchase their tickets in advance at

Showtime is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday for qualifying and 1 p.m. on Sunday for eliminations.

For more information on the 2014 IHRA Nitro Jam Spring Nationals, visit

Rockingham Preview 4

   Don't miss the IHRA Nitro Jam Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway May 17-18

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 May 2014
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