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The latest update as of March 13, 2013

Blink twice and another year has slipped past....

The drag racing season is really starting to heat up as the NHRA is into it's third national event of 2013 this weekend with the traditional East Coast kickoff party at the Gatornationals. The ADRL held it's first race of the year at Rockingham last weekend, the new X-DRL is just a few weeks away from it's debut, and the IHRA is readying for it's first Nitro Jam event of the year at Tucson's Southwestern International Raceway next Saturday.

One common thread running through all four of the major North American sanctioning organizations is the re-invention, or re-branding of all of them, from the NHRA's new major sponsor, Mello-Yello, to the new owners of the IHRA, which has passed from the circus folks at Feld Entertainment to the owners of the Pam Beach (Florida) and Memphis (Tennessee) dragstrips. The ADRL is now under new ownership as the original founders of the association, the Nowlings, have bought out Sheikh Khalid Al Thani of Qatar.

Hot on the heels of that acquisition was the sudden and hasty announcement of a competing sanctioning body, the X-DRL (Extreme Drag Racing League), formed by a breakaway group of ex-ADRL racers and their apparently rich backers. With their first event scheduled to run three weeks from now, the comparisons between it and the ADRL will be eagerly awaited by racers and fans - and most of all - the media. Based on the great spectator turnout and sometimes spectacular competition at Rockingham last weekend, the "X-men" are going to be hard pressed to top the ADRL's season start.

Our racing coverage at Northern Thunder will be commencing next weekend, with reports and pictures from the IHRA opener at Tuscon, then ramp up further with on-site reports and pics from the NHRA Western Regional race at Las Vegas the following week, and the SummitRacing.com Nationals at Vegas on Easter weekend. Most of the coverage from The Strip at Las Vegas will be appearing on SpeedZone Magazine, but after months of inactivity here, it's going to be a virtual blizzard of bytes with myself and Bob Snyder behind the cameras and me on the keyboard.