Dixon, Millican, Pro Mods, Jets, Funny Cars, Wheelstander Headline Northern Nationals~
Victimized last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Northern Nationals presented by ARP and Perfit Corporation returns this week Friday and Saturday, (Aug. 6-7) to US 131 Motorsports Park with a program that includes both modern and nostalgic Top Fuel dragsters, nostalgia Funny Cars, Pro Modifieds, jets, a wheelstanding P/T Cruiser and the Lane Automotive Bracket Series.
The star-studded lineup for the track’s signature event includes the Top Fuel Dragsters of former IHRA world champion Pat Dakin of Dayton, Ohio, Spencer Massey, 18 time national event winner, will be driving Dakin’s 300+ miles-per-hour Top Fuel Dragster, and three-time NHRA world champion Larry Dixon of Indianapolis along with the Lagana family’s track record-holding “Nitro Ninja” entry which will be driven by six-time IHRA world champ and current NHRA touring pro Clay Millican of Dummonds, Tenn.
Martin fan-favorite Dom Lagana drove the “Nitro Ninja” down the track’s quarter mile in 4.485 seconds at 338.35 mph in 2017. Lagana, who will be on site with older brother Bobby Jr., still is recuperating from extensive injuries suffered last year in a passenger car accident in Indianapolis.
Dakin, the 2018 Northern Nationals winner, owns the distinction of being the oldest Top Fuel driver to have raced in a final round on the NHRA tour. He was 73 when he lost to three-time reigning NHRA World Champion Steve Torrence at Norwalk, Ohio, in 2019, 42 years after he was runner-up to Shirley Muldowney in the NHRA Grandnational at Montreal, Canada.
Although not capable of the incredible zero-to-330 miles-an-hour acceleration of the Top Fuel dragsters, the most unique race cars at the Northern Nationals may be the jet-powered dragsters of Elaine Larsen, a two-time IHRA world champion, and teammate Dewayne Hill, an eight-year Marine veteran who, when he isn’t driving land-locked jets, is a Safety and Security Coordinator for the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) at Camp Canaveral.
Larsen and Hill will showcase their “fire show” for the first time at 9 p.m. Friday in conjunction with the second of two qualifying sessions to determine the eight starters in the front-engine fuel dragster and Nostalgia Funny Car classes. They’ll race again at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday along with the Top Fuel dragsters, nitromethane-burning Pro Modifieds, NHRA touring pro Mike McIntire’s “McAttack” Toyota Nitro Funny Car, the three-engine “Homewrecker” jet truck of Jerry McCart and Mike Kuntz’s unique wheelstanding show vehicle.
The Lane Automotive Brackets, featuring racing in Top ET, Street and Modified classes only, will crown a set of winners on Saturday and another on Sunday.
Friday cars will test on the track from 5pm-11pm. The pro show will be run at 7 pm and 9 pm with the Larsen jets racing down The Fastest Track in Michigan at the 9 pm show.
Saturday gates open at 8 am, time trials for the Lane Bracket Series will begin 9 am. Nostalgia Top Fuel Q3 at 2:00 pm, Nostalgia Top Fuel round 1 at 4:00 pm, Nitro Shows at 6 pm and 9 pm.
Tickets for the Northern Nationals are available on-line at www.us131msp.com or at the gate. Purchased in advance, adult general admission tickets are $20 Friday and $30 Saturday, a saving of $5 over the gate price. Children 6-12 are $10 per day. Children five and under are free with a ticketed adult. Parking is free for cars.