Fountain of youth for 83-year-old drag racer: 300-plus mph


When 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force turned 65 this past May, many wondered if drag racing’s greatest senior citizen might start slowing down.

While Force insists he’ll drive for at least another five seasons, he has nothing, nada, zero on Chris Karamesines.

Known as “The Golden Greek,” Karamesines is still driving the most potent car in drag racing – a 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel dragster capable of hitting 330 mph – and he just took delivery on a state-of-the-art new ride.

At the age of 83!

In fact, Karamesines is so pumped about his new canopy-covered Top Fueler, built by legendary Don Schumacher Racing, that he’s already making plans to keep racing for a long time still to come.

“The car Schumacher put together for me is beautiful,” Karamesines told Rod Geiger of “It’ll give me another 10 years. With that kind of car and [sponsor] Lucas Oil helping me, it makes it nicer to drive.”

Born in Detroit in 1931, Karamesines turned 83 on Nov. 11. He’s without question the oldest active competitor in the sport today, according to the NHRA.

And he’s been competing on drag strips around the country for – get this – since the 1950s.

That’s nearly 70 years!

And along the way, he became the first driver (unofficially) to break the 200-mph barrier (204.54 mph), back in 1960 at Alton Dragway in Illinois, according to NHRA annals.

Karamesines in 2001 was named No. 30 of the 50 greatest drivers in NHRA history and was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2006.

He continues racing part-time, as well as remains in pursuit of a lifelong dream of winning an NHRA national event. With his new ride from Schumacher, Karamesines’ chances just increased exponentially.

That’s not to say the Golden Greek has never won a race in his lengthy racing career.

On the contrary.

Not only has he been one of the most prolific and successful match racers in the country over the years, he’s also won numerous events in other racing series including the International Hot Rod Association, the American Drag Racing Association and the American Hot Rod Association.

With what is essentially a lifetime sponsorship from Lucas Oil, Karamesines can’t wait for the 2015 season to begin in early February in Pomona, Calif.

Said Karamesines, “With Lucas Oil giving us the funding and [DSR] giving me a nice car, why would I stop?”

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Beta Motorcycles joins SuperMotocross in 2024, Benny Bloss named first factory rider

Beta Motorcycles 2024 Bloss
Beta Motorcycles

Benny Bloss will race for the factory Beta Motorcycles team in 2024 as that manufacturer joins SuperMotocross as the ninth brand to compete in the series. Beta Motorcycles will make their debut in the Monster Energy Supercross opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California in January.

Benny Bloss finished among the top 10 twice in Pro Motocross, in 2016 and 2018. – Beta Motorcycles

“The wait is over and we can finally share everything we have been working towards,” said Carlen Gardner, Race Team Manager in a press release. “It has been a great experience being a part of this development and seeing the progression. The only missing part was finding a rider that would mesh well with our Beta Family.

“After a one phone call with Benny, we knew it would be a good fit for him, and for us. We are happy to have him on board for the next two years and can’t wait to see everyone at Anaheim in January.”

Bloss debuted in the 450 class in 2015 with a 15th-place finish overall at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Bloss has a pair of top-10 rankings in the division with a sixth-place finish in the Pro Motocross Championship in 2016 and a seventh in 2018. His best Supercross season ended 15th in the standings in 2018.

“I’m extremely excited to join the Beta Factory Racing team,” Bloss said. “It’s cool to see a brand with such a rich history in off-road racing to come into the US Supercross and Motocross space. I know this team will be capable of great things as we build and go racing in 2024.”

Bloss is currently 22nd in the SuperMotocross rankings and has not raced in the first two rounds of the Motocross season.

Testing for Beta Motorcycles is scheduled to begin in August and the team expects to announce a second rider at that time.

The family-owned brand adds to the international flare of the sport. The company was founded in Florence, Italy in 1905 as Società Giuseppe Bianchi as they built handmade bicycles, The transition to motorcycle production in the late 1940s.

Beta Motorcycles competed and won in motocross competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s with Jim Pomeroy and other riders.

Beta will join Triumph Motorcycles as a second historic brand to join the sport in 2024. First established in 1902, Triumph has won in nearly every division they have competed in, dating back to their first victory in the 1908 Isle of Man TT. Triumph will debut in the 250 class in 2024 and plans to expand into 450s in 2025.