Name: Cody “Flash” Perkins
Home: Bluffdale, UT
Drives: 298″ Blown Top Alcohol Dragster
On the day Cody turned 8, the age NHRA let’s kids compete in the Jr. Drag racing league, his dad, Bob Perkins surprised him with his first car that had Cody “the Flash” Perkins lettered on the side. He made his first passes down the dragstrip that day and has been at it ever since.
At age 13, Cody was doing all the maintenance on his Jr. Dragster racecar including rebuilding the engines.
In 2000 he won Rocky Mountain Raceways track championship.
At age 16 Flash was doing all of the clutch maintenance on his dads Top Alcohol Dragster (TAD).
As soon as he had a driver’s license, Cody assembled his own bracket racing Dragster and began running 8s at 160mph.
At 18 Flash made the tuning decisions that qualified his dads Dragster #6 in the quickest TAD field ever, with a career best 5.438.
At 20, Flash stepped into his dads TAD. In his first race, he beat 3 of the best in the class (Federlin, Whitely, and Obannon) to take the win.
In 08′ Flash earned the most points in the west region to qualify for the prestigious Jegs Allstars race in Chicago.
In 09′ the team debuted the new chassis that has a multitude of components on it that have been built in-house. Including a majority of the carbon fiber pieces and the one of a kind injector that was Flash’s senior design project at the University of Utah, where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Business.
In 11′ Cody won the NHRA “Summer Nationals” at Heartland Park, KS.
In 25 short years, Flash has fit in more racing than some do in a lifetime. The best part is he’s just getting warmed up. He is quickly climbing the ranks with the help of his crew consisting of Mom, Dad and Grandma. It’s a true family operation. We recommend keeping an eye on this one, but with a nickname like Flash that’s harder than it sounds.
Name: Nitro Circus
Home: Bluffdale, UT
Drives: Trophy Truck
Team-The team got their start with motocross and stunt backgrounds. Over time they have added destruction to the list of talents and skills. There is a long list of vehicles the Circus has destroyed and the obvious next on their list of carnage is a trophy truck. This team of screwballs invites mayhem everywhere they go just by waking up every morning and getting out of bed.
2005- flipped trophy truck Baja 1000
2006- burned trophy truck Baja 1000
2007-Godfrey wins Ironman Baja 1000
2008- M.O.R.E. Champions Unlimited Class
2009- Kartek 500 overall winner
2011- Jared world distance record for over jumping a Trophy Truck + 200ft
2010-12 Filmed Nitro Circus 3D movie
Greg Godfrey- Baja Champ/Driver- As the godfather of Nitro Circus Greg Godfrey might not ever grow up. “With age comes a cage” is Greg’s newest motto and the trophy truck is a perfect circus toy for him. It’s just hard finding someone dumb enough to co-drive with him.
Jared Willardsen- Team Manager/Driver- Wherever Jared goes there always seems to be a Circus of clown friends and chaos. Determined to make this team something to worry about Jared will jeopardize anything to do so. He is far from a team manager and even farther from being easy on the equipment. If Jared takes it out it’s coming back BROKEN!
Dr. Joe Willardsen- Team Owner/Driver- The crew figured since Joe was a Doctor (But really just a dentist) he could buy a Trophy Truck and admit CPR if ever needed. Apparently Joe is the craziest one of all allowing these knuckleheads access to his truck. When Joe is behind the wheel he puts his doctor hat aside and drives like hell.
Name: Chris Demke
Home: Sunland, CA
Drives: Top Alcohol Dragster
Chris Demke of Maddern Racing Continues with 801 Racing Oil for 2012 Racing Season.
With the 2012 NHRA Drag Racing season ready to begin, it is with great pleasure that Chris Demke, pilot of the Maddern Racing Peen Rite Top Alcohol Dragster, announces that 801 Racing Racing Oil has returned with their team for the 2012 Racing season.
“We are pursuing a very aggressive racing season this year” noted Demke “and we are very proud to be representing 801 Racing Oil.”
“We saw significant improvement for our parts during servicing last year and look forward to providing the best representation possible for the 801 Racing Family.”
“From all of us at Maddern Racing, we’d like to thank 801 Racing Oil, for believing in us and continuing on with our team throughout the 2012 Racing Season.”
801 70W Racing Oil is specifically blended for nitro-methane and methanol fuel burning engine applications. Additional, it is designed to treat and protect the internal moving parts of an engine, reduce friction, reduce operating temperatures and create a better film strength for longevity of parts.
For more information on Chris Demke and The Maddern Racing Team, please log on to: http://www.maddernracing.com.
Name: Dale Pulde
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Drives: 1977 Trans Am, Nostalgia Funny Car
DALE PULDE: ARGUABLY THE BEST FUNNY CAR DRIVER EVER HOF Induction by: Jon Asher
There are numerous members of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame who can trace their competitive days back to high school. But, how many can say they were driving a Funny Car between classes in American history and algebra? To our knowledge, Dale Pulde is the lone inductee who can make that claim.
While there have been a number of “firsts” associated with Pulde’s career, beyond records, beyond victories and beyond World Championships, one thing stands out: The respect with which he’s viewed by his fellow drivers. The media and fans can shout about the driving skills of their favorites from the highest hills, but such comments have a heck of a lot more validity coming from the people you’re racing against and defeating.
As a mechanic with three decades of national event experience put it during one of Pulde’s recent outings, “Any other driver would have crashed this car by now, it’s so bad, but with Pulde at the wheel it goes right down the center of the groove every time.” When Pulde won the ‘88 Winternationals, an experienced driver watching said, “When I saw those two cars smokin’ the tires there was no doubt in my mind about who would win.” Once again, Pulde’s decades of experience on some of the nation’s nastiest tracks (the Coca-Cola Cavalcade of Stars circuit comes to mind here) as he won by a ton.
Almost forgotten is that Pulde was one of the first “corporate” drivers when he wheeled the legendary Mickey Thompson’s Peter Paul Candies-backed Pinto in the early 70s. M/T wanted more than “just” a driver. He wanted someone who would be an excellent representative for the sponsor, and found the right guy in Pulde.
A decade later Pulde’s bright personality and unmatched skills behind the wheel proved instrumental in convincing Miller Brewing to sign him to their first major sponsorship in drag racing. All Pulde and partner Mike Hamby accomplished during their tenure with the Milwaukee brewer was to deliver the second and third of their three IHRA World Championships along with a third place finish in NHRA. Pulde is still the winningest Funny Car driver in IHRA history, surpassing the records amassed by fellow Hall of Famers Raymond Beadle, Kenny Bernstein and four others.
How good is Pulde? Former NHRA F/C champion Gary Scelzi said, “I never would have gotten my license without Dale’s help. He’s awesome.” Need more? How about this from 14-time champ John Force: “Dale Pulde is one of the baddest guys to ever drive one of these cars. He knows everything about ‘em, and if there’s a problem, he’ll not only fix it, but then he’ll drive around you and win the darn race!” Force should know. Subbing for the off-track injured Whit Bazemore in ‘96, Pulde stormed to a victory in Dallas, the first for Bazemore’s team, this after Force had “warned” his own team how tough Pulde would be, and proved it by taking out the champ on the way to the winners circle.
During numerous telecasts of NHRA races, Hall of Famer, the late Steve Evans, regularly referred to Pulde as “the finest driver to ever sit behind the wheel of a Funny Car,” but the owner of that string of War Eagle entries is much more than a driver, tuner or car “manager.” His uncanny memory for names and faces has made him a favorite of the fans, while his seldom self-censored remarks have also made him a media magnet. When you want to know what’s really going on in the pits, or why no one’s getting down that left lane, Dale Pulde’s the man to ask. He’s also the man to call when you just have to have the best behind the wheel of your car. Who else can claim back-to-back 4.70s within 10 minutes of one another — in different cars? Now, if that had only happened during national event competition.
Name: James Day
Home: Mission Veijo, CA
Drives: Anything that goes fast
I am very serious about driving a racecar. I grew up around racecars watching my father, Richard Day (Driver/Owner) drive his own Funny Car. Richard Day was involved in Drag Racing from 1968 to 1987. During part of that time he was a partner with Chuck Worsham (Owner of the Checkers Schucks, and Kragen Funny Car) in a Top Alcohol Funny Car called “The Screamer”, they became the A.H.R.A world champions in 1980.
I have worked on racecars my entire life; Drag racing is my first love. I am now following in my father’s footsteps as a driver and I am willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this goal of becoming a World Champion like my father.
Attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in March 1997
(Super Comp Dragster): For my eighteenth birthday my parents sent me to Frank Hawley’s school to drive a Super Comp Dragster. This was my first chance to go down the drag strip. It was a great feeling to cover the quarter mile at over a hundred and fifty miles per hour. That is the worst thing they could have done for me; my desire to drive a racecar went through the roof.
Licensed at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in May 2000
(Top Alcohol Funny Car): I decided it was time go after my life long dream of becoming a driver. I had to prove to everyone and most importantly myself that I could drive something high powered. So I went back to Frank Hawley’s school to drive a top alcohol funny car. I made six laps and ran a best of 6.15 seconds at 220 miles per hour. It was the greatest accomplishment of my life. I finally proved to myself that I have what it takes to become a world-class driver.
Drove Texas Stagecoach A-fuel Dragster 2002: I made passes in the car in Topeka Kan. With an early shut off pass at 5.80 seconds at 210 miles per hour. My final Licensing Run in Houston was a best of 5.50 seconds at 240 miles per hour. I drove this racecar for the rest of the 2002 season
Driver of the Warrior Racing A-Fuel dragster in 2003: The car was ready to go but unfortunately we ran into funding problems and were never able to race.
Driver of Bob Steffens’ Front Motored Top-fuel Dragster in 2004: Raced the car the entire 2004 season running the best of 6.22 at 240 mph.
Driver of Bob Steffens’ Front Motored Top-fuel Dragster & Darryl Hitchman’s A-Fuel Dragster in 2005: I started off the 2005 season once again behind the wheel of Bob Steffens’ nostalgia top fuel car and then made the switch to Darryl Hitchmans A-Fuel dragster. I ran the rest of the year with Darryl running a career best of 5.39 ET at 265 mph.
Driver for Larry and Roy Miersch A-Fuel Dragster part time in 2006: I drove the Miersch Racing A-fuel Dragster as a test driver when Schumacher Racing would allow me the time off.
Driver for DLS Motorsports Nitro Funny Car full time in 2007-2009: We are running some IHRA and some NHRA events this season. The switch to the Nitro Funny car was a magical experience. Getting behind the wheel of a pro car has been a life long dream. I am learning valuable experience pedaling the car and keeping the car in the groove. I don’t care what any body says, the alcohol classes are more of a leap than a stepping stone, but I wouldn’t give this up for the world.
Name: Garret Bateman
Home: Albany, OR
Drives: A/Fuel Dragster and 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Land Speed Car
Career Best Elapsed Time: 5.24 seconds (A/Fuel), 5.75 (Nostalgia Funny Car)
Career Best Speed: 270 mph (A/Fuel), 245 mph (Nostalgia Funny Car)
Career Best Land Speed: 222.786 mph AA/BGC
1998: Clutch assistant for Fluke/Rydin Decal Top Fuel Dragster
1999: Clutch specialist for Fluke/Rydin Decal Top Fuel Dragster
2000: Clutch specialist for Fram Top Fuel Dragster
2001: Chief mechanic on Commercial Business Machines A/Fuel Dragster. Helped tune dragster to track speed records at Boise, Idaho (262.77) and Woodburn, Oregon (257.31).
2001: Obtained A/Fuel license driving Commercial Business Machines A/Fuel Dragster with a final elapsed time of 5.58 seconds at 249.7 m.p.h. in the minimum six required laps.
2002: Took time off to pursue racing sponsorship.
2003: Chief mechanic on Commercial Business Machines A/Fuel Dragster. In his role as chief mechanic, Garrett and team won the Lucas Oil series race at Woodburn, Oregon and led the crew to a track record e.t. of 5.37 seconds.
2003: In his first race since obtaining his competition license, Garrett qualified third (5.36 seconds at 266 m.p.h.) and reached the final Championship round of the 2003 NHRA Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, California.
2004: Began making license upgrade laps in Creasy Family Top Fuel Funny Car.
2005: Baca Family Top Fuel Dragster clutch specialist.
2006 – 2007: Driver of Big O Tires A/Fuel Dragster. #1 Qualifier at Sonoma, Ca. NHRA Autolite Nationals. 2006 Northwest Division Six Rookie of The Year. Won the 2006 Lucas Oil series Division 7 race at Las Vegas. Ranked #13 in NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster national points 2006. Semi-Finalist 2007 NHRA Winternationals at Pomona, Ca.
2008: Runner up Top Alcohol Dragster 2008 NHRA National Open at Mission, Canada.
2009: Driver of the Steve Plueger owned “Plueger & Gyger” Mustang Mach 1 Nostalgia Top Fuel Funny Car. Runner up and #2 Qualifier at 2009 51st March Meet at Bakersfield, Ca. Won 2009 Sacramento Funny Car Fever and set track record. Won 2009 Spokane Raceway season opener and set track record. Won 2009 Sacramento Night of fire and re-set track record. #1 Qualifier NHRA National Open at Mission, Canada. #1 Qualifier Pepsi Nightfire Nationals at Boise, Idaho and set track record. #1 Qualifier NHRA Hot Rod Reunion Bakersfeild. Set track e.t. records at Las Vegas, Spokane Raceway, Sacramento Raceway, and Boise, Idaho. 2009 NHRA Heritage Series Nostalgia Funny Car Champion.
2010: Obtained class A competition license at Bonneville salt flats driving a stock bodied 1968 Plymouth Barracuda. Set Bonneville land speed record of 222.786 mph as a rookie while obtaining class A license. 2010 Bonneville Land Speed World Record Holder AABGC.
Name: Brett Winberg
Home: Sandy, Utah
Drives: 1990 Ford Mustang IHRA/NHRA Top Sportsman race car
Powered by a 1,100 horse power, 514 cubic inch displaced Ford running on Methanol, this 8-second pony pounds the quarter mile tracks at his local track of Rocky Mountain Raceway and also ventures out to Hypoxia Raceway in Evanston Wyoming and Firebird Raceway in Boise Idaho.
Brett started his racing career in 1984 when he was slopping it up in the mud racing his Ford Powered Mud Racer 100 feet at a time…………After many years of traveling the Rocky Mountain region racing in the mud Brett switched over to the water racing his Ford Powered 20’ Hawaiian flat bottom Jet Boat in Idaho, Utah and Arizona. After a tragic accident in the water, Brett took some time off until 2004 and decided to start pounding the asphalt again at Rocky Mountain Raceways racing in the Sportsman series where he has moved into the Top Sportsman class as of 2009.
When Brett is not piloting his Ford Mustang on the weekends, he spends most of his time working at LubeTrak, an oil analysis company based in Sandy Utah.
Name: Johnny Ahten
Home: Los Angeles, CA
Drives: A/Fuel Dragster
Johnny’s involvement in drag racing began as early as birth. Being born into a family of racers laid a solid foundation for his passion in the sport.
Ahten Racing began as early as the late sixty’s with brothers Al and Bob, Johnny’s father and Uncle, hitting the local strips of Southern California.
The evolution and levels of racing progressed through the years as did Johnny’s desire to some day drive a Dragster. In 1998 he attended Frank Hawleys’s Drag Racing School, and the hook had been set! Early the next year Johnny competed in his first full season of Top Eliminator West. He captured the Rookie of the Year title and finished 2nd place in the points. He continued to hone his driving skills the next few years until 2004 when the team moved up to Top Alcohol Dragster. Johnny qualified at his first event immediately after upgrading his license earlier in the week. The following year the team finished 5th place in NHRA’s Division 7 in only their first full season. Johnny was also the 2004 Valvoline Cup National Champion in Pro-Heads Up. It took only one year of competition for Johnny to reach his first final round in Fontana, California.
When not racing, Johnny is employed as a Fire Captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “Both my racing and my career can be very similar; both require good people skills and performance under pressure.”
Johnny is happily married to Monica, and they share two boys, a 5 year old (Owen), and a 4 year old (Eli).
Name: Rayo’s Motorsports (Alex & Leo Navarrete)
Home: Mexicali, Baja
Drives: 2011 Off-Road class 12 race car
The name for the team “Rayos Motorsports” was formed by the last name of the pilots Alex and Leonardo Navarrete Rayos.
Their beginnings in off-road racing began in 1996 when they acquired their first race car, a two seated class 9 manufactured by the workshop J.E.F.E in Mexicali, with it, they competed for 2 years, achieving a championship in the organization category CORP.
In 1998, they took a different one seat class 9 made in USA by JIMCO, with whom won 2 championships, in 2000 they decided to change to a faster class and more competitive so they acquired a class 1 / 1600 made in USA by JIMCO, a category that would give the greatest triumphs: 4 consecutive CODE championships over all were achieved (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007); in 2008, again they decided to switch to a faster class and acquired a one seat class 10 car made in USA by JIMCO, which only ran two years since the category lower the number of entries in the various organizations such as CODE, RECORD and SCORE. Because of this, in 2011 they decided to change again venture into the category and class 12 to be raced. This is a great motivator for them; these category in which we are currently participating in local series like CODE, as state level as RECORD and international as SCORE and SNORE.
Name: Steve Gasparrelli
Home: Azusa, CA
Drives: Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Top Alcohol Funny Car
Steve drives in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class and does so in his father’s footsteps.
Steve began driving race cars in 1998 and his first drag racing vehicle was in top alcohol funny car.
Steve’s home track is not surprisingly his favorite track… Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, California. This track is also where Steve earned his first win.
When asked what his most memorable moment is, in his professional career, Steve remarked ‘Winning my first “Wally” at the 2000 NHRA Finals.’
Steve’s racing goals include winning a national championship and a divisional title every year.
Name: Travis Gaylord
Home: Sandy, Utah
Drives: 1987 Ford Mustang IHRA No-Box race car
Travis got his start racing in the NHRA Sportsman Series at Rocky Mountain Raceway’s near Salt Lake City, Utah when he was 16 years old.
After helping his dad build his car, Travis took ownership of this small block powered rocket in 2006 and has made many changes over the years making this Foxbody a fun car to drive.
When the track changed its sanctioning to IHRA, Travis switched to the IHRA No-Box category and plans on whooping up on the competition in his 500 horsepower blue oval runner. The person he loves to race against the most is his dad who races in the same category.
When Travis is not piloting his Ford Mustang down the Â¼ mile on the weekends, he spends his time working at a local Big O Tires store in Salt Lake City and also owns and operates My4x4store.com, an aftermarket 4X4 online parts accessory store.
Name: Dan Pomponio
Home: Berlin, NJ
Drives: 2010 Monte Carlo, Top Alcohol Funny Car
Dan started his racing career in 1968 when he was 15 at Atco Raceway. Dan’s first race car was a ’57 Chevy. He bracket raced with this car until the early 1970′s. At that point he went into a partnership with a friend who had a ’68 Camaro and continued bracket racing.
In the late 70′s, Dan bought out the partner and campaigned the car in Modified Eliminator, then Super Gas from the class’s inception. After a successful career in Super Gas, Dan sold the car at the end of 1991. The family took some time off from racing due to school, a move, and work demands.
Dan returned to drag racing in 2004 with a Top Alcohol Funny Car. With a push from the family, this was a life long dream realized. Dan earned his license in just six passes (the minimum required) and qualified at his second competition. He made his competitive debut with a perfect .000 reaction time. He finished his first year racing Top Alcohol Funny Car at #5 in NHRA’s Northeast Division 1. Dan has consistently placed in the top 10 in the division his entire racing career.
The Pomponio Racing Team is truly a family affair. Dan and his wife’s, Beth, first date was to a drag race. Now, the team includes son, Danny as crew chief, daughter, Maureen, son-in-law, Ted, and their two children. Dan’s brother, John, has been part of the team since he was 10 years old. His son, Johnny, continues the family love of drag racing as a team member, also. Rounding out the team is long time friend and Super Gas racer, Pete “Lucky” Luciano, and his daughter, Leanne.
Dan has talked to kids at local high school’s driver education classes for a safety program to stop illegal street racing. He and other area racers display the cars and try to impress on the students the dangers of street racing and the joys of drag racing.
Name: Kristen Dennis
Home: Magnolia, TX
Drives: A/Fuel Dragster
How cool is it for Kristen Dennis to be the fastest driver in her family? For several years, driving a 260 mile per hour race car was a dream for Magnolia, Texas resident Kristen Dennis.
In 2010 at the DragRaceHose.com Spring Warm-Up event held at Houston Raceway Park, her dream became a reality as Dennis completed her licensing requirements for the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster division.
Over the period of two days, Dennis made seven runs down the HRP quarter-mile driving the family’s recently purchased A/Fuel Dragster tuned by veteran chassis builder and crew chief, Joe Monden. Those seven runs were Dennis’s first down a drag strip in any dragster. And she handled the car like a seasoned veteran of the sport of drag racing.
In April 2010, in only her second race day start, Dennis took home her first Wally, by running a 5.33 at 267mph in the LODRS Division 4 event at Texas Motorplex.
Today she can be found at several IHRA Nitro Jams running the Ladies First / 801 Racing Pro Fuel Car! She may be a lady but she’s is no stranger to the Iron Man either!
Name: Alex Barrett
Home: Beaumont, CA
Drives: Nostalgia Funny Car
One look at Alex Barrett and it is hard to believe that he is a 15 year veteran of drag racing, having made thousands of passes down the drag strip.
Twenty two year old Alex started his drag racing career at the age of 8 years old. His story, while similar to other racers starting off in the NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League, is unique in that he continually demonstrated an unusual determination and commitment to becoming a professional drag racer.
Alexʼs dad, Jim, took Alex to his first drag race when he was just 6 years old. Spending the day at Pomona watching racing and walking through the pits changed Alexʼs life forever. While walking through the pits they came across the NHRA Jr. Dragster display and Alex got to sit in one of the special display cars. On the way home from the race Alex announced to his dad that he was going to be a professional drag racer! Alex continued to attend races at Pomona and bought his first Jr. Dragster at 7 1/2 years old. He started competing just two weeks after his 8th Birthday in May of 1996. He enjoyed a successful career in the Jr. Dragster ranks winning many races and a few track championships.
Alex purchased his current funny car chassis in September of 2007 and competed for a year in the NHRA Heritage Series in the Nostalgia Eliminator 1 class with a 1932 Bantam altered body. In 2008, he bought his current 1970 Plymouth Cuda funny car body and mounted it to his chassis. He continues to compete in the NE 1 class. The Cuda body was already yellow and his friend Rick at AVI Wraps.com finished it off with the purple accents which has made Alex and his Rocketeer a fan favorite at every event they attend. Initially, the family owned team of J & A Racing Inc, only competed in 2-3 races a year. 2010 was a breakout year for Alex, competing in the entire 6-race Heritage Series, where he not only qualified for every race, but also finished 3rd in the series points. “My team did very well last season and we had a chance at the championship up until the last race of the year. Unfortunately, that race to be the only one in which we lost first round all season” said Alex. “We ended up a very respectable 3rd in one of the most competitive classes in drag racing”.
Alex currently is working as a mechanic at DownTown Auto Care in Beaumont, CA. He has been married to his wife Amy since May 2010. In fact, the couple was scheduled to get married on Friday, May 28th and leave for their honeymoon Saturday morning. After successful outings at the March Meet and the Fontana races, Alex and his team found themselves 4th in the points. After some discussion, instigated by Amy, they decided to cancel their honeymoon and attend the Las Vegas race where they qualified number one and advanced all the way to the final round only to lose by 14/1000 of a second. “Amy is an incredible girl and is extremely supportive of my career. I know I will be successful because of her support”, said Alex. Another highlight of Alexʼs 2010 season was the opportunity to team up with CleanBoost Oils, Joe Powell Motorsports, and the Pro Alcohol Funny Car Association (PAFCA) to compete in the 19th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion. “I am extremely grateful to CleanBoost, PAFCA and Joe for the opportunity they gave me and will never forget it”, said Alex.