Joe Hornick provides technical aid to three top finishers at NHRA Topeka

Joe Hornick provides technical aid to three top finishers at NHRA Topeka

Courtney Force, Robert Hight, and Shawn Cowie. TOPEKA, Kan., 21 May 2018: Courtney Force captured her first career back-to-back NHRA Funny Car victories on Monday afternoon at the 30th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals. Poor weather postponed track activity until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, resulting in only two rounds of eliminations for Top Fuel and Funny Car, and one round for Pro Stock. Funny Car: Courtney Force snatched Topeka dominance by powering her Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro to a pass of 3.928-seconds at 329.83 mph to defeat defending national champion and teammate Robert Hight in the final round. Number 1 qualifier for the event, Force seized her third win of the season and 11th of her career. In the final round, they were fairly evenly matched until the 600ft mark where Hight hazed his tires, liberating Force to claim victory. Courtney Force’s incremental margins (negative if behind): 60ft (-0.012), 330 ft (0.001), 660ft (0.033). MOV: 0.1534 seconds (approximately 60 feet). Courtney Force’s incremental times: 60ft-0.894 sec., 330ft-2.271, 660ft-3.187/282.30 mph. Robert Hight’s incremental times: 60ft-0.888 sec., 330ft-2.278, 660ft-3.226/257.97 mph. Hight, who struggled throughout qualifying and consequently landing in 14th spot, pedaled his way through the first round, defeating Cruz Pedregon. In round two, he raced to a fine 3.924-second pass at 330.23mph. Then, during Monday’s semifinal round, he recorded a 3.911 pass at 330.55mph, setting fastest lap of the event and simultaneously defeating Shawn Langdon. In the final, Hight was obliged to concede lane choice to his teammate and smoked the tires towards the finish line of the trickier right lane. He ended his racing weekend with a 4.087...
They ran the company with prudence for 100 years, then ignored technology and buried it in ten.

They ran the company with prudence for 100 years, then ignored technology and buried it in ten.

Robots at the front desk and in the kitchen are among the fears prompting a possible strike this month by Las Vegas hotel and casino workers. It is yet another example reflecting the speed and pervasiveness of new technologies, to say nothing of software advances that will continue to disrupt most traditional industries. —<>— In 1998 Eastman Kodak comprised 170,000 employees and sold 85 percent of the photo paper used worldwide. Then their business model failed, and the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. Kodak’s fate is likely to repeat in many industries within the next 10 years. Ironically, it was a Kodak engineer, Steven Sasson, who, in 1975, invented and built the first self-contained electronic camera. The first models embodied only 10,000 pixels and its development followed Moore’s law. Thus, as with most exponential technologies, it was discouraging at first before becoming superior and inevitably ubiquitous. Similarly by the early 1960s, the British motorcycle industry was in a state of collapse. The Birmingham-based Norton company won the inaugural Isle of Man TT in 1907 and by the 1930s had assumed total domination, winning 14 Junior and Senior TTs with remarkable single-cylinder supermacy in that decade alone. But after WWII, they and their British competitors refused to anticipate the prospects of superior multi-cylinder Italian engines built by Moto Guzzi, Gilera and MV Agusta, which were followed by similar advances by the Japanese. Better an emblem of progress than to perish in obscurity. The familiar process of change currently persists with advancements in Artificial Intelligence, autonomous and electric cars, health, education, 3D printing, agriculture and employment. Uber, for example, is just...
Grudge Racing

Grudge Racing

Grudge racing has dominated the drag racing scene in the southern US States for decades. But in recent years, the Internet has conquered every part of its frenetic life, particularly Facebook postings that have expanded its Southern origins (Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas) westward to the Mississippi and north to the shores of Lake Michigan. To its masses, its chief dynamic is straight forward: betting. There is no maximum amount—when a dollar changes hands it’s a Grudge race. Read, courtesy of Drag Racer magazine, how a small-block hemi is the winning formula for Covington, Georgia engine shop, Coupe...
The woman who mastered the LS Fest…twice

The woman who mastered the LS Fest…twice

By Martha Maglone: Brenda Cox has a gift for drag racing. In Bracket and Index events in 2017, she won two NMCA races back-to-back at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, and conspicuously repeated the double triumph by winning the LS Fest West in Las Vegas in 2017, the inaugural event, and again in 2018. Performing two passes at 12.25sec and another at 12.26, she recorded the most consistent series of runs of the entire event. She also won Best Package in the Three Pedals Rumble LSX class. An index contest co-sponsored by TorqStorm, she claimed ownership of one of the Michigan firm’s finest supercharger kits as well as winning the title, trophy and prize money. The best package, which applied to the first round of competition, refers to the driver’s Reaction Time and deviation from Dial-in. “You add your reaction time,” she explains, “to the amount you ran over on your dial-in. Well, I was .045 over on my dial-in, and when you add that amount to the reaction time (.174), my total package was .219.” Brenda, from Victorville, California, has been participating in the sport for the past 12 years. She purchased a new GTO in 2005 and began racing it the following year. “A friend invited me to an event at Fontana and I was hooked!” “I love my racing—I was thrilled by the way things turned out in Las Vegas,” she said. But winning successive events is quite the achievement. So, how did she manage it? “My level of concentration at the lights has probably been my greatest strength,” she replied.  On her last...
The 4-link system – credit where due please!

The 4-link system – credit where due please!

In response to our Don Garlits article of 12 Nov 2013 on the pioneering of the rear-engine dragster, one of our readers, Mr D. Smith, made this noteworthy comment concerning the invention of drag racing’s ubiquitous four-link system: Connie Swingle, who was instrumental in many of Garlits’ successes, was sharp, but Jerry Dawson of St Louis was clearly one of the first to build a rear-engine dragster. I have a faint recollection that Dawson and Connie knew each other. Sadly, intelligent inventors don’t always receive the credit they deserve. I conceived and produced the first billet 4-link system. It was adjustable in 1/8in increments. Although pictures were featured in an issue of an 1998 National Dragster after we debuted the design at the US Nationals on Labor Day weekend, it took NHRA a few issues before publishing it. Then miraculously, 3-plus years later, Don Ness is credited with inventing and patenting the first 4-link system with infinite adjustment. Actually, those were my exact words to National Dragster’s writer who wrote that exact phrase in the N/D issue, which featured a full-page article on the race car. Don’s patent used my exact verbiage to describe what everyone with an NHRA Dragster subscription saw years earlier. God bless Don, for Lord knows we all copied many of his innovative ideas. But he certainly copied mine, has sold millions of dollar’s worth of my intellectual property, and will continue to receive the credit because he patented it. Stealing intellectual properties is not just restricted to the dubious acts of foreign countries, it happens here everyday....