Shirley Muldowney defeated "Big Daddy" Don Garlits Friday. All photos courtesy NHRA

NHRA ‘Unfinished Business’ — Muldowney wins; Garlits, Prudhomme and Bernstein upset

1 Comment

Friday’s first round of NHRA’s “Unfinished Business” – which brought eight of drag racing’s most iconic drivers or riders out of retirement for another pass or more down the quarter-mile – turned out to be a day of upsets.

The crowd at Gainesville (Florida) Raceway came there expecting a great show and that’s what they got, watching as the legendary drivers took on each other in the single-elimination matchup in identically prepared Toyota Camry street cars.

Here’s how things played out, along with the schedule for Saturday’s semifinal matchups:

Shirley Muldowney (left) defeated “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in their first-round ‘Unfinished Business’ matchup Friday in Gainesville, Fla. Photo courtesy NHRA.

* Three-time Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney defeated “Big Daddy” Don Garlits in a rematch of their 1982 Top Fuel final at Gainesville. Muldowney now holds a 6-5 all-time record against Garlits.

According to National Dragster’s Phil Burgess, “Garlits surprised many by deep-staging against Muldowney in the battle of former three-time world champs, but her pink Shirley’s Kids Toyota roared away to take a comfortable win, 15.49 (seconds) to 17.41.”

* In another battle between former Top Fuel titans, Joe Amato upset Kenny “The Budweiser King” Bernstein, 16.52 seconds to 17.20.

* Perhaps the biggest upset of the day came when Ed McCulloch narrowly defeated Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, 15.50 to 15.67 seconds.

It was payback of sorts for McCulloch, who came into Friday’s event with a previous career record of 2-14 against Prudhomme during their heated rivalry in the 1970s and 1980s.

* Pro Stock legend Warren “The Professor” Johnson defeated the most successful champion in Pro Stock Motorcycle history, Terry Vance, with a 14.96 (seconds) margin to 17.22.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Muldowney will face Johnson while Amato will square off against McCulloch.

The final and championship round to determine the Unfinished Business overall champion will take place during Sunday’s final elimination rounds of the 50th Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at the Gainesville track.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

IMSA
2 Comments

FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter