Photos by Phil Hutchison NHRA NED Photographer
With temperatures forecasted to be in the upper 90’s and possible triple digits, the racing in the Northeast will not be the only thing that’s hot. Two major events are scheduled for the area offering fans everything from Nostalgia racing to the NHRA NorthEast Division Lucas Oil Series
From Friday June 22 thru the 24th the NED Lucas Oil Series returns to Lebanon Valley Dragway in West Lebanon NY. The event, the third of seven Lucas Oil events contested in the Northeast Division will feature Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car, Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. Plus the MXI/Magnaflux Top Sportsman and Top Dragster Series’ presented by Select Performance along with Pro Stock Snowmobile.
Defending their 2011 Lebanon Valley wins will be Top Alcohol Dragster winner Massachusetts’s driver Dan Page behind the wheel of Arthur Gallant’s A/FD and Top Alcohol Funny car champ Eric Lourie driving his 2002 Camaro out of Terryville CT
Other 2011 winners defending their titles are: ; Al Ackerman, Comp Eliminator; Robert Park, Super Stock; Lee Zane, Stock Eliminator; Steve Martel, Super Comp;; Alexander Thompson, Top Sportsman; Ray Balian, Top Dragster.
One other 2011 winner, former NED Lucas champ Mike Sawyer. has the distinct responsibility of defending not one, but two titles as the Acton MA racer won Super Gas and Super Street at last years event. That one may be tough.
Lebanon Valley Dragway is located on Route 20 halfway between Pittsfield, Mass., and Albany, N.Y. For more information call the track, 518-794-7130, or visit http://www.dragway.com.
A few hundred miles south of Lebanon Valley at Maple Grove Dragway outside Reading PA, the 50th Anniversary of the track will be taking place and promises to be one of the best events Maple Grove has ever held. The following is a press release courtesy of Evan Smith and Maple Grove Dragway
To celebrate everything that has happened over the decades, Maple Grove Raceway will present the 50th Anniversary Spectacular on Saturday, June 23. The event will feature a bit of everything that has built the track, from the local racer taking part in the weekly bracket series, to nitromethane-powered Funny Cars that have thrilled generations of fans who have come through the ticket gates.
“The time has finally arrived for Maple Grove to celebrate its past, present and future,” said MGR vice president/general manager Lex Dudas, who has planned this event since last fall with his staff. “This will definitely be a ‘can’t miss’ show.”
Pit gates open for racers at 9 a.m. with spectator gates opening at noon.
Through the day there will be a car show, including a special “Where Were You in ’62?” corral that will feature cars from that year. Drivers who come in a 1962 car to display will be admitted free.
The car show opens at noon with grand marshal Don “The Snake” Prudhomme picking his 25 favorites at 4 p.m. with awards at 5.
The build up to the main event will begin at 6 p.m. with NHRA announcer Bob Frey serving as master of ceremonies for the prerace introductions. Members of Maple Grove’s Walk of Fame – including the 2012 class of Prudhomme, the ECCA, Dale Pulde, Raymond Beadle and Frank Hawley – will be introduced along with all champions from the weekly Money Trail E.T. Series that began in 1971.
At the center of the main event that starts at 7 p.m. is the Auto-Plus Cavalcade of Funny Cars. Eight nitro-powered cars will take to the track including several favorites as Pulde’s War Eagle, Hawley’s Chi-Town Hustler, Beadle’s Blue Max and Peter Gallen’s Poverty Stricken. Eight alcohol-powered Funny Cars will take part, too.
The Winged Express fuel altered will make its return to Maple Grove for the first time since 1971. This fast car, known for its unpredictability on the track, has been a fan favorite since the 60s. Also on the track will be Danny O’Day’s Wheelstander.
Jet car fans will get more than their share of thrills. Al Hanna’s Funny Car duo of Top Secret and Gojo Firebird will be racing each other, as will K.C. Jones’ Team Steam of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and the Cannonball Express.
If that wasn’t enough, Bob Motz’s Jet Truck and its wall of flame will be lighting up the evening sky.
To top it all off, fireworks will light up the evening sky.
NortheastDragReview.com will be covering both of these great events. Check back for results.