When Rodger Brogdon announced earlier this week that he was moving up to Pro Stock next year, it marked the beginning of a new chapter in a very successful racing career. But with the opening of a new chapter, comes the closing of the previous one, and that closure begins this weekend just outside Richmond, VA at the NHRA Torco Racing Fuels Nationals.

With only a limited number of events left in the 2006 POWERade tour, the time has come for Brogdon to get his RoofTec Racing team back into the Comp eliminator championship chase. Business ventures limited Rodger’s schedule in 2006 and have now dictated that the team that is currently 12th in the point’s standings embark on a coast to coast tour to finish out the season in it’s search to finish one position higher than last years #2 ranking.

Starting with this weekends National event in Virginia, Brogdon’s RoofTec team will rack up the miles over the next six weeks, also attending LODRS events in Noble, OK and Las Vegas, NV, then closing out the 2006 campaign at the season ending Finals in Pomona, CA.

The NHRA points system allows racers to claim their best 3 finishes at 6 national events, and their best 5 LODRS races out of 8. Brogdon’s RoofTec team still has room to improve on their points and as Rodger said “The opportunity still exists to claim the Championship. It will take a serious effort, but this team has risen to the challenge before. It’s not over till the fat lady sings, and I haven’t heard her even begin to warm up yet”!

The competition for this years Comp Eliminator crown is proving to be fierce, but Rodger Brogdon, Pete Smallwood, Scott Benham and the rest of the RoofTec team are now focused on their goal, and this team has proven in the past that they can run with the best. This chapter may be coming to a close, but be sure to stick around for the ending, it might just be that surprise ending that no one is expecting.
Heckel looking to be the shocker in Dallas

ENNIS, Texas - NHRA Competition Eliminator driver Shane Heckel will be looking to play the role of spoiler and 'shock' the field during this weekend's O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol at the Texas Motorplex just south of Dallas. After fighting various parts problems the past few events, Heckel and his team feel they can return to their early season form when the reset the B/Dragster national record.

Heckel, who helps run the family businesses, Triple H Car Ports and Ballistic Race Craft in LaPorte, Texas, feels a few minor mechanical problems have held the team back the past few races.

"It's always something with these race cars," said Heckel. "We found some problems with the clutch linkage in Denver, then found some other mechanical issues in Houston last weekend. Taylor and the guys at TRE Racing Engines have given us some mean power, so hopefully we can get it going the right way in Dallas."

Qualifying began today with Heckel sitting sixth in the 32 car field with a 6.820 second pass that was .470 under his class index. Qualifying will conclude tomorrow, with first and second round of eliminations on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideCompRacing.com for the latest news in Comp Eliminator.

Contact: Will Hanna/ Pro Race Communications
Email: Will.Hanna@InsideTopAlcohol.com
Rodger Brogdon and the RoofTec Racing team have thrown down the gauntlet to raise assistance for one of drag racings best, Lynn Nickerson. NHRA’s division 4 and national event announcer is once again dealing with cancer and Rodger Brogdon has issued a challenge to all of the racing community to answer the call. Brogdon’s RoofTec Racing team has anted up a $5000.00 initial contribution and challenges each and every one of the NHRA POWERade teams to meet or beat the team’s challenge.

Lynn Nickerson was diagnosed and treated for esophageal cancer in 2004.With the assistance of the late Shelly Howard, her husband Paul and their friend and associate Dr. Roger Sieman, treatment proved to be highly successful for Lynn during his stay in Oklahoma City.

Recently though, the self- employed Nickerson was greeted with the news that some spots were showing on his kidneys and he is now facing additional treatments to address these latest issues. Nickerson has been the NHRA Division 4 announcer for the last 10 years and considers each and every one of the division’s racers his personal friends. His employment as a courier takes him across the state of Texas each and every day, and allows him the opportunity to visit many of the division’s racers on a regular basis. His knowledge of their off track life adds extra dimension to his announcing on both the Lucas Oil Drag racing tour as well as his forays onto the national event announcing stage, and everyone has come to consider Lynn their close, personal friend.

At time like this though, is when we rally to help our friends, and RoofTec Racings challenge comes as the NHRA tour rolls into Lynn’s hometown for the O’Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex this weekend. Rodger Brogdon has started the ball rolling with the “RAISE THE ROOF” challenge, and looks to each and every one of the teams on the POWERade tour to answer the call for assistance. Donations this weekend can be handled at the track through Rodger...
Brogdon debuts AA/SM in Houston

Drag racing can sometimes best be described as the automotive version of the never-ending story. With different races, new cars, drivers that carry the story line and the assembled cast of supporting characters the story never ends, it just completes newer chapters.

And so it goes with Rodger Brogdon and the RoofTec Racing team and their chase for the national championship. The latest chapter wrapping up this weekend at Houston Raceway Park, the sixth stop on the LODRS tour in NHRA’s division 4. The debut of the much anticipated AA/SM for Rodger didn’t necessarily go as planned, but the weekend proved to be a tremendous opportunity to learn from a racecar that appears ready to conquer the world.

With only a couple of launches, and nary a full track pass, the team started the weekend off with an on and off the throttle pass to get them into the Comp eliminator show. With rain dancing throughout the area, and scheduled to do so all weekend, qualifying was limited to just two runs before eliminations were rescheduled to begin late Saturday afternoon. The RoofTec team wasn’t thrilled with the news, but understood the reasoning and need to adjust the schedule.

First round of eliminations found Brogdon paired up alongside the D/SMA of James Sharp, and while the initial launch was one of the weekends best, the balance of the run had to be aborted, and for the first time in several years, Rodger and the team found themselves out after round one.

With the NHRA tour scheduled to arrive next weekend at the Texas Motorplex outside Dallas, time now becomes critical. The weekends rain is scheduled to continue throughout Monday, so the team will only be able to get some testing done on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading north for next weekends event. “This team has been phenomenal over the last few weeks. Pete Smallwood, Scott Benham and everyone else have worked countless, late night hours thrashing to...
Pinky Cobbs decals distributed to help fight cancer

Don "Pinky" Cobbs, long time NHRA Division 3 Tech Director passed away prior to the 2006 season. In his memory, Pinky still will ride with all of the racers he took care of.

"I wanted pinky to be remembered. His memory needs to be riding on all the cars and people he touched, tech and rejected sometimes," said Dave Hirata, Div. 3 Top Alcohol Dragster racer. "I came up with an idea, asked Glen Kreider from RFC his thoughts, he got in touch with Mrs. Cobbs and she gave us her blessing. Bruce Westfall from American Colorscans (www.colorscans.com) donated the decals, and we got in touch with the Coughlins from Jegs. Bruce did a great job of designing and producing the decals in emergency fashion. He does a great job on the drivers posters you see in the pits so we knew of his quality. We are not selling decals, but are asking for any donation. The donations will be presented to the Jegs Cancer Research Fund in Pinky's name. If anyone knew Pinky, you couldn’t help but love the man. He was there for my first race and told me how it was, straight shooter, no holds barred. He would sure do what ever he could do for the racer. I will miss him coming over for that cup of coffee in the morning, as well as we all will."

Decals are available at the Hirata Motorsports trailer, Nhra Div 3 tech trailer, Frank Parker’s VIP Top Alcohol Funny Car trailer at any races, through mail, and any and all donations are accepted. Requests can be made by the following:
e mail: topfuell@xvi.net
mail donations to : hirata motorsports po box 235 lowell,in 46356
Phone 219 696 8939
The last time Rodger Brogdon and his RoofTec Racing team were on the racetrack was the Fourth of July weekend when team driver Brian Self won the LODRS event in Rusk, Texas. Since that time, even through the team has been absent “on” track, the “off” track activity has been fast and furious in preparation for the end of season assault on the NHRA Comp Eliminator championship.

The completion of Rodger’s new AA/SM at EasTexas racecars has set the stage for the end of the year run and, with the engine and chassis dyno time now behind them, it’s time to put the show back on track. And just like the Fourth of July, the fireworks will be back as well.

Said Rodger of testing this last week, ‘This new car is a rocket ship, the power from this new combination just lays me back in the seat, from start to finish. This baby is going to be one FUN ride!” The AA/SM class has been the topic of conversation this season in the Comp Eliminator ranks, and so far the one competitor that has been able to get one on track has shown it to be a formidable combination. Rodger is looking for that kind of performance for the rest of the season, in hopes of claiming the national championship that just eluded him in 2005.

RoofTec Racing returns to competition this week at the LODRS event in Baytown, TX at Houston Raceway Park, and will follow up next weekend (September 21-24) on the NHRA POWERade tour in Dallas TX. The Comp eliminator fields at both events will prove to be tough battlegrounds, but Rodger, Pete Smallwood, Scott Benham and Brian Self have risen to the occasion before. Be sure to keep an eye to the sky, the fireworks will be back in full bloom.

First round qualifying at Houston saw Rodger complete the first full lap on the new car with an easy off the line 7.464 at over 190 mph. “Just being able to get from point A to B with the new car was exciting.” Said Brogdon “Now with a baseline to work with we can start to get serious.”
Treadwell wins second straight Indy title

Last weekend we saw some of the toughest Comp racers in the country square off in the granddaddy of them all, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Treadwell took the win in the final over recent Memphis winner and former Stock Eliminator champ Lee Zane.

In qualifying, it was once again the Butner AA/SM show as he raced to a 66 under blast for the pole. Joey Tanksley followed closely with a 63 under blast in his C/D, while Jason Coan nailed down the No. 3 spot with a .61 under hit in his F/ED. 76 cars showed up to make the Indy 64 car field, with Brad Zaskowski making the bump with a .390 under pass in his H/SM Camaro.

As always in Indy, every round is filled with monster matchups, and round one was no exception. Among the biggest was No. 3 qualifier Tanksley squaring off with Div. 5 points leader Michael Johnson's potent G/SMA. Tanksley hit the tree better, but had to pay for the winlight with a .63 under to .60 under contest. Then we saw Butner square off with the hard-running Robert Bailey's A/ED. Bailey tried to run him down, but Butner had the power to hold him off with a .60 (167 mph) under pass to Bailey's .57 under. The next pair put Bruno Massel's Wyotech DD/AT against the wild A/A of Vinnie Deceglie. The run was costly for both as Massel took the win with a .66 to .63 under contest. Perennial Div. 2 powerhouse Larry Pritchett then squared off with West Coast hitter Ken Justice. Pritchett took the win in a .60 to .54 under contest. The 'DOH' of the round went to Bob Book and his A/D when he went .59 under after his opponent Ernest Watson went red. The freak story of the round was when Vinny Barone and Don Winget squared off. Winget went red while Barone blew the tires off the line. Downtrack, Barone, idling down the track, thought he was getting directed off the track at one of the early turnoffs, so he swung wide to make the turn....
Busy Coughlin doing double-duty at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Team JEGS driver Jeg Coughlin Jr., has announced plans to race a pair of sportsman entries during the upcoming Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park Aug. 30-Sept. 4. Coughlin will be racing in Super Stock during NHRA’s largest and most prominent event, and he will also be making a long-awaited return to Competition Eliminator. The three-time NHRA world champion will assume his now familiar role as the guest driver of Michael Ogburn’s West Coast Hemis Super Stock Barracuda and he recently finalized a deal to drive a new Chevy Cobalt in Comp for Oklahoma-based team owner Richard Freeman.

“I plan to stay very busy while I'm at Indy, but I'm really looking forward to it,” said Coughlin. “The West Coast Hemis Barracuda is one of my favorite cars to drive and I'm also excited about getting a chance to race in Comp Eliminator again.”

Behind the wheel of Ogburn’s Harry Holton-tuned Barracuda, Coughlin will once again be a top contender for the $10,000 top prize in the popular Mopar Performance Hemi Challenge on Friday, Sept. 1. Coughlin won the Hemi Challenge at Indy in 2004 and recorded a runner-up finish last year.

“The Hemi Challenge is a fantastic event,” said Coughlin. “I was fortunate enough to win it two years ago and I'd like nothing more than to win it again. The guys on the West Coast Hemis team have spent a lot of time this summer preparing especially for this race and even though the field is very competitive, I think we'll have a car that can give them a run for their money.”

Coughlin last raced in Competition Eliminator in 1997, winning several events and contending for the world championship until the final weekend of the season. He recently got the opportunity to return to the class following a casual conversation with Freeman.

“I talk to Richard Freeman fairly often and when he told me that he'd just purchased a new Cobalt from Rod...
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Rampy & Mettler score wins this weekend

We saw racing action in Division 3 and 7 this weekend. In Div. 3, we saw perennial power hitter David Rampy take the win at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis, while Tom Mettler took home the Wally at the Div. 7 meet in Sonoma.

In St. Louis, qualifying lived up to it's billing, with the two new classes taking the top two spots. Bruno Massel took the pole with a 75 under blast in his DD/AT, followed closely by Bo Butner's AA/SM 72 under jaunt. Defending World Champ Jeff Taylor nailed down the three spot with a 67 under pass in his E/SM.

First round saw a few indexes get dirty, but the big whack of the round went to Steve Ambrose's 60 under win over Allen Sherman's holeshot-aided 46 under pass.

Jacklyn Gebhardt took the big whack in round 2 with her A/ED in overcoming a massive holeshot to Jason Coan's F/ED. Gebhardt went 62 under in the contest. The big upset of the round was Ambrose taking out No. 1 qualifier Massel. Massel had problems, giving Ambrose a clean ride into the next round.

Charlie Greco was the next giant killer, taking out Butner's AA/SM with his E/A. Butner took a nap on the tree, losing a 47 under to 58 under contest. Rampy, Taylor and Ambrose all advanced to the semifinals as well.

Rambo then showed why he's 'tha man,' taking out Greco in an ultra-close contest, winning with a 48 under shot in his A/EA to Greco's 49 under. In the other frame, Taylor stayed clean defeating Ambrose, 46 under to 40 under.

This set up the final between the two powerhouses of the class. Rambo was clean, while Taylor had lost a nickel in round 3. Rambo took the win on another holeshot, running 55 under to Taylor's 57 under blast. Taylor's mph was only 150 down 6 from his qualifying.

The St. Louis Index offenders were:

Gebhardt A/ED 7.23 (-.02)
Taylor E/SM 9.22(-.02)

Meanwhile, out west the action returned to Infineon Raceway, where the Fram-Autolite...