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The latest update as of February 5, 2023

The 2023 Drag Racing season is underway

After a long winter hiberation, the snow has melted at Northern Thunder's headquarters in Spirit Bay, and we're back to where we left off in early November 2022. Yes, we're still working on filling in the blanks for many of our event features from last season but we are making progress. And while we're at it, we're laying the groundwork for much quicker postings from the events we'll be covering this season. Our ace photographer, Bob Snyder, is recuperating from a recent hip replacement, and if his right knee doesn't cause more trouble, he'll be back in action starting with the 65th annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet in just four weeks.

After that, it's one week off before the 3rd annual Funny Car Chaos Classic kicks off the FCC season at the Texas Motorplex. There's already 39 cars entered in the Funny Car field, and 18 AA/Fuel Altereds on the pre-entry list. As it's been for the past two seasons, it's going to be a tremendous start to what should be the biggest and best season of Funny Car Chaos racing yet. With nine races on the schedule, it will be an action-packed year of "run what ya brung" 1/8th mile racing.

Partnering with Funny Car Chaos is the even wilder concept of Nitro Chaos which will double the number of events in 2023, as it's done each year since it's inception in 2021 with a single race. Last year thee were two events and this year will see a total of four, starting at Edgewater Raceway Park in late April, then as part of a double-header extravaganza (coupled with an FCC race) at Eddyville Raceway in late May. The Nitro Chaos series concludes with a race at Mo-Kan in mid July and the finale at Thunder Valley (Noble, OK) in September. An added attraction this season is a $10K points fund with $5,000 to the series champion. Individual race payouts are $7,500 to win ("A" field), all the way down to $1,000 for first round loser in the "B" field.

As stated on the Nitro Chaos home page... ANY nitro powered machine is eligble and "If it's burning 80% NITRO or better, it's legal and it's ON!". The closing line of their mission statement reads "Dragsters of any kind, altereds, funny cars, door slammers, BRING IT!". Winning the inaugural event in 2021 was Scott Palmer in his "Big Show" Top Fuel car, setting series records of 3.218 - 265.54 along the way. Last year saw former two-time NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion Megan Meyer take the "A" field win over teammate Julie Nataas at the Mo-Kan event, while a pair of Fuel Altereds battled in the final round at Eddyville. Taking that win was Jody Austin in the "Bushwhacker" over Anthony Whitfield in the small-block Chevy-powered "Mighty Mouse".

In other drag racing news, the Drag Illustrated-backed "World Series of Pro Mod" event is running at Bradenton, FL on the first weekend of March. The biggest news out of that race - so far - is the $100,000 to win purse for the 40-car invitational field in the marquee Pro Mod class. When qualifying concludes, the 32-car field will run for the BIG money in five rounds of racing. Unlike any other drag race anywhere, it's a winner take all race, with all the cash on the line in the final round. The only other money at stake is the low qualifier bonus of $10,000, a not insignificant sum on it's own.

Backing up the Pro Mods is a 16-car $25,000 to win (again, winner take all) Mountain Motor Pro Stock field which will include some of the biggest names in Pro Stock racing, including the defending (and five-time) NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders in one of the best mountain motor cars in the business, an ex-J.R. Carr Mustang. Other classes included in the show will be a 16-car NHRA-legal Factory Stock Classic field, and an Xtreme Front Wheel Drive Challenge. For those unable to attend the event in person, it has been reported that the event will be telecast on CBS Sports in prime time in mid-April, with a minimum one-hour show that may be expanded to two hours.

The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series started this weekend with the first Southeast Division Two race at Orlando, FL with fields ranging from Top Dragster and Top Sportsman, to Competition Eliminator, and on down to Junior Dragster. Solid turnouts in all categories and decent weather were a good omen for the start of another season of NHRA sportsman racing. The next events on the NHRA calendar are three weeks from now with a doubleheader Divisonal and Regional event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, as the popular Arizona facility enters it's final season of racing. Another double event is taking place at Belle Rose, LA's No Problem Raceway as the South Central Division Four season starts and the first regional event of the Central Region is on tap at the same time.

Following that big weekend of drag racing action, the March Meet and the World Series of Pro Mod will be the second consecutive week of major events which will continue until the conclusion of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Series in mid-November. In other words, it's going to be another busy year in the drag racing world. Stay on top of things by checking out our latest updates on a regular basis this year and in the future.