• Featured ImageU.S. BOUNTY HUNTERS PRO STOCK

    First round:

    John Montecalvo defeated John DeFlorian Jr., 6.356 sec./222.82 mph to 6.477 sec./212.61 mph.

    Cary Goforth defeated Cale Aronson, 10.621 sec./84.19 mph to 13.693 sec./80.55 mph.

    J.R. Carr defeated John Konigshofer, 6.411 sec./221.89 mph to 6.441 sec./220.64 mph.

    Trevor Eman defeated Matt Bertsch, 6.417 sec./219.56 mph to 6.398 sec./220.15 mph.

    Second round:

    Montecalvo defeated Aronson, 6.357 sec./218.65 mph to 6.398 sec./220.31 mph.

    Carr defeated Eman, 6.383 sec./222.66 mph to 6.377 sec./220.21 mph.

    Final:

    Montecalvo defeated Eman, 6.318 sec./222.77 mph to 6.969 sec./154.47 mph.



  • Featured ImageTeam Aruba Feels Right at Home with IHRA

    After a long off season, Team Aruba was anxious to get back on the track and tackle the 1320 feet of an IHRA Nitro Jam racing surface. State Capitol Raceway in Port Allen, La. played host to the IHRA Mardi Gras Nationals this past weekend and was the stage for Team Aruba’s return to the restructured and renewed racing organization.

    “It was great to personally meet all the new members of the IHRA ownership and staff,” told Trevor Eman, pilot of the Aruba.com Mustang. “We could not feel more welcome in a racing sanctioning body than we did from them. The race was really fantastic all around. It was great to be back with the IHRA.”

    Despite Mother Nature cancelling Friday’s test session, Team Aruba qualified for the elite eight car field with a 6.39 elapsed time at 222 MPH. Eman and team were then set to take on number one qualifier and former World Champion, John Montecalvo, in round one. Although Montecalvo was a very formidable opponent, the Aruba.com Mustang made easy work of Montecalvo’s bowtie entry, when Montecalvo was forced to abort the run. Eman posted his best elapsed time of the weekend, a 6.326.

    Rainy weather on Friday made for tricky track conditions on race day and in round two, this would prove to be Team Aruba’s nemesis. Eman encountered tire shake that forced him to let off the throttle, giving opponent J.R. Carr the semi final victory.

    “Rain took its toll on the racetrack and affected the schedule in such a way that we could not test nor qualify on Friday,” Eman explained. “However, the IHRA staff did a phenomenal job on the racetrack getting it ready for Saturday. We were certainly impressed in their accomplishment of getting not only the track ready for racing, but certainly even the entire event in the books with all the added difficulties they faced. It has been several years since we have raced quarter mile so pre race testing and additional qualifying runs would have been helpful, but we were able to get the Aruba.com Mustang qualified and past round one, which was a great accomplishment for our first race back on the quarter-mile.

    “Regardless of the rainy weather conditions that hindered our testing and qualifying, this was truly a great event,” Eman added. “Besides being able to race quarter mile again, the greatest aspect of the entire weekend was the treatment we received by the people. The people from State Capitol Raceway and all of the New Orleans area fans treated us especially well.

    “I think you can comfortably say that New Orleans has somewhat of a different culture compared to the rest of the entire United States. And in our case, as we are from a different country and thus also differently cultured, we automatically create a connection with people that have different customs and traditions. We immediately felt connected to the people of New Orleans and appreciated their unique flavors, sights and sounds.”

    The Mardi Gras-themed Nitro Jam brought much of that culture right to the track, providing great entertainment for fans and racers alike. In recent years the IHRA has placed greater emphasis on the fan experience at their events, a move that has proven beneficial to fans, racers and sponsors alike.

    “We can’t wait to get to Bradenton to continue our effort in accumulating points,” Eman said, speaking of the next IHRA Nitro Jam to be held April 17-19 at Bradenton Motorsports Park. “We have a very good working race car, an engine producing a tremendous amount of power and above all, a very good team in place who all work together very well. This combination, together with a great group of people in the IHRA will make for great racing this season.”



  • Featured ImageKevin Bealko Wins U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock IHRA Nitro Jam Mardi Gras Nationals

    US_Bounty_HunterPS

    Kevin Bealko, of Bridgeport, West Virginia, qualified seventh in an eight-car field. He defeated Cary Goforth in the first round of eliminations, then faced teammate John DeFlorian Jr. in the second. Bealko defeated J.R. Carr in the final, 6.272 sec./224.71 mph to 13.602 sec./62.20 mph, to collect the coveted IHRA Ironman trophy.

    “It was a big win for us,” said Bealko. “Having to race my teammate, John, in the semi-finals is never our best-case scenario. To be able to get by him, then run J.R. Carr, who’s been stellar all day. I just got switched up on the lights and got an awful long light before I left. But the car went right down there and the whole way there I was just thinking of my crew they’re gonna kill me if I don’t get in front of him. I was able, by the grace of God, to get in front of him and we had a nice win.”

    U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock

    1. John Montecalvo (Center Moriches, New York) 6.235 sec./224.94 mph.

    2. Cary Goforth (Holdenville, Oklahoma) 6.270 sec./223.49 mph.

    3. Dean Goforth (Holdenville, Oklahoma) 6.290 sec./223.65 mph.

    4. J.R. Carr (Pasco, Washington) 6.305 sec./221.83 mph.

    5. Scott Hintz (Odessa, Texas) 6.320 sec./225.05 mph.

    6. John DeFlorian  Jr. (Arnold, Missouri) 6.339 sec./222.88 mph.

    7. Kevin Bealko (Bridgeport, West Virginia) 7.134 sec./142.15 mph.

    8. Trevor Eman (Pos Chiquito, Aruba) 6.390 sec./222.44 mph.

    9. Scott Beham (Conroe, Texas) 6.554 sec./192.06 mph.

    10. John Konigshofer (Otterville, Ontario, Canada) 10.846 sec./99.74 mph.

    U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock

    First round:

    John DeFlorian Jr. defeated Dean Goforth, Goforth fouled and DeFlorian ran 215.51 mph (E.T. was ruled invalid).

    J.R. Carr defeated Scott Hintz, 6.305 sec./224.10 mph to 6.339 sec./223.15 mph.

    Trevor Eman defeated No. 1 Qualifier John Montecalvo, 6.326 sec./222.05 mph to 7.913 sec./115.57 mph.

    Kevin Bealko defeated Cary Goforth, 6.275 sec./223.99 mph to 6.397 sec./221.72 mph.

    Second round:

    J.R. Carr defeated Trevor Eman, 6.314 sec./223.71 mph to 7.554 sec./162.07 mph.

    Kevin Bealko defeated John DeFlorian Jr., 6.379 sec./222.88 mph to 11.035 sec./77.68 mph.

    Final:

    Kevin Bealko defeated J.R. Carr, 6.272 sec./224.71 mph to 13.602 sec./62.20 mph.



  • Featured ImageNew Cars Join U.S Bounty Hunters Pro Stock in Baton Rouge

    One of the most expensive and highly technical classes in drag racing, U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock is seeing a nice increase in participation. The trend began with the Southwestern Nationals in February and will continue into the Mardi Gras Nationals in Baton Rouge, LA on March 13 & 14.

    Returning, at the Southwestern Nationals in February, were former IHRA racers, J.R. Carr and John Montecalvo. Both drivers have the experience and knowledge to win races with their powerful Chevrolet entries and will be in fight form at the Baton Rouge event.

    Joining the list of new entries at the upcoming Mardi Gras Nationals in Baton Rouge will be the Ford of Eman Racing with driver Trevor Eman leading the charge. Equipped with a new John Kaase Ford engine, the team hopes to take their flagship “Aruba” sponsored entry into the winners circle in celebration of Aruba National Anthem and Flag Day on March 18.

    Also joining in the championship hunt is IHRA newcomer Scott Benham behind the wheel of the Team “O” Motorsports Jerry Haas built Chevrolet Cobalt owned by Richard Otwell. Benham, no stranger to racing is a former NHRA Competition Eliminator and Top Sportsman competitor. He will be representing Texas with pride heading into Cajun country.

    The U.S Bounty Hunters Pro Stock entry list also includes reigning World Champion Cary Gofoth along with his father Dean in their Dean’s Casing Service entries. Plus the Black Diamond Motorsports cars of John Deflorian (U.S. Bounty Hunters) and Kevin Bealko (Amsoil), the Canadian based Koningshofer brothers Ford along with the Fords of Scott Hintz and Brad Waddle (Innovators West) .

    The IHRA Nitro Jam Mardi Gras Nationals will mark the biggest drag race in the history of Louisiana at one of the sanctioning body’s most prestigious tracks in United States.

    Nitro Jam is “heads-up” drag racing entertainment – first racer to the finish line wins – in all four pro categories. The exciting show includes qualifying and eliminations for: AMSOIL Nitro Funny Car presented by Aeromotive, U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock, Nitro Harley and Jet Dragster classes.



  • Featured ImageTrevor Eman and Team Aruba Gear Up for the Mardi Gras Nationals

    arubamustang

    The Aruba.com Drag Race Team from the ‘One Happy Island’ has headed back north to kick off their 2015 race season. This year the team will be back contesting their fast Ford Mustang with the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA). IHRA will venture to Baton Rouge, La. March 13-14 for the Mardi Gras Nationals. Driver Trevor Eman and his crew will join the increasing number of Mountain Motor Pro Stocks who are returning to the organization that gave birth to the class.

    To gear up for their season opener, Team Aruba recently tested at Union Dragway, a facility located just a few miles from their Union, SC based shop. “We flew into Union, SC last Thursday,” told Eman. “On Saturday we went to our home track for a little ‘shakedown’. It’s very nice to have a track so close to our shop. In a very short period of time we can load the race car, drive out to Union County Dragway, make a couple of runs and be back home to unload the race car.”

    With a quick test session in the books and more prepping at the shop, Team Aruba began making the trek to Louisiana to join the Mardi Gras Nationals festivities.

    “Thursday night the IHRA will be having a small Mardi Gras celebration at the track that we are looking forward to,” Eman continued. “Perhaps we can bring a little bit of Aruba flavor by mixing up some of the popular ‘Aruba Ariba’ drink that everyone enjoys.

    “All in all we have a well prepared race car for this weekend’s race. The Aruba.com Mustang is ready for the quarter-mile where we hope to see some fast numbers and go some rounds.”

    Besides wanting to get a good start to the season, Eman and team are also hoping for a good showing in celebration of Aruba National Anthem and Flag Day on March 18. No matter how many hours the team logs on American soil, their roots are firmly set in their island home, and they enjoy nothing more than bringing new fans to a paradise vacation.

    “As usual, we will have our Aruba information booth set up where all our fans can come by and pick up any information they would like about Aruba, together with some free souvenirs,” Eman explained. The Aruba.com pit area is always colorful, indicitive of the One Happy Island and it’s friendly natives.

    “We’re looking forward to connecting with new and old fans at the IHRA this season. I hope they all stop by our pit area and say hello. It’s sure to be a good time down in Louisiana!”

    Keep up with Team Aruba on Facebook and Twitter. Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!

    For more on your Aruba vacation visit www.Aruba.com and www.Destination-Magazines.com.



  • Featured ImageCary Goforth wins IHRA Nitro Jam series season opener at Southwestern International Raceway

    U.S. BOUNTY HUNTERS MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCKS: Goforth met John Deflorian of Arnold, Mo., in the final round of eliminations for the U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro Stock class. Goforth defeated Deflorian 6.348 sec./219.72 mph to 6.40 sec./217.98 mph.

    CaryGoforth
    Goforth earned his way into the final by defeating Canada’s John Konigshofer in the first round and Texan Scott Hintz in the second. Deflorian trailered J.R. Carr in the opening round of eliminations and waded into the final by defeating John Decalvo in the second.

    U.S. Bounty Hunters Mountain Motor Pro Stock

    Winner:Cary Goforth (Holdenville, Okla.) Camaro 6.348 sec./219.72 mph.

    Runner-up:John Deflorian Jr. (Arnold, Mo.) Camaro 6.40 sec./217.98 mph.

     

    SWNLadder



  • Featured ImageBlack Diamond Motorsports is Ready for the Hunt to Begin

    Kevin  Bealko’s  Black  Diamond  Motorsports,(BDMS)  IHRA  Mountain  Motor  Pro  Stock  team  is   ready  to  start  the  hunt  for  a  IHRA  Pro  Stock  Championship  with  a continued sponsorship with AMSOIL “The First in Synthetics” while welcoming the U.S.Bounty Hunters as  a new primary sponsor.

    668
    Kevin & Karen Bealko

     

    BDMS had a great 2014 IHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock season with both BDMS Camaro’s winning races and reaching the finals in seven of the nine IHRA contested races. The BDM Camaro’s ended the season placing  second  and  third  in  the  IHRA  Pro  Stock  Championship  points.

     

    BDMS was extremely proud to be flying the AMSOIL Colors in 2014 while working with the AMSOIL’s staff and using their professionally tested products. Partnering with AMSOIL was a major factor towards BDMS very successful 2014 season.  AMSOIL  will  continue to be the Primary  Sponsor  of Kevin  Bealko’s Camaro  and  will  continue  to  be  BDMS   secondary  sponsor  on  John’s DeFlorian’s Camaro.  AMSOIL is truly “The First in Synthetics”.

     

    John DeFlorian (Bret Kepner Photo)
    John DeFlorian (Bret Kepner Photo)

    BDMS is very pleased to welcome the U.S. Bounty Hunters as the 2015 IHRA Pro Stock  Class  Sponsor  and  BDMS is really excited  to  fly  their  colors  as  a  Primary Sponsor  on  John  DeFlorian’s  new  2015 Camaro  as  well  as  a  Secondary  Sponsor  on Kevin Bealko’s  2014  Camaro Fred  Slack,  Denise Mirro, and their Bounty Hunter Crew will  be quite visible at all the 2015 IHRA Nitro Jam Events.

     

    “We  are  also  excited  to  partner  with  one  of  the  top  teams  in  that  class  in  Black  Diamond   Motorsports  with  Kevin  Bealko  and  John  DeFlorian.  With  this  perfect  marriage,  we  are   committed  to  making  this  partnership  successful  and  continue  growing  our  brand  ”  said  Fred   Slack  with  US  Bounty  Hunters.  Denise  Mirro,  with  US  Bounty  Hunters,  also  stated  “We  are   also  proud  to  sponsor  the  incredibly  exciting  Pro  Stock  class  and  adorn  the  side  of  Black   Diamond  Motorsports  team.  Much  like  IHRA’s  hands-­on  treatment  with  the  fans,  Black   Diamond  Motorsports  gives  their  fans  the  same  attention  that  fans  of  racing  want  more  of.”

     

    BDMS  is  very pleased  to  be  running  the  1/4  mile  again in their second  season  with  the  IHRA.  Running  with the  IHRA  last  season  was  a  great  racing  experience  and  BDMS is very thankful to the IHRA for their support of Mountain Motor Pro Stock Racing!!! BDMS will open the season this weekend at Southwest International Raceway in Tucson Arizona.

     

    BDMS  is  certainly  looking  forward  to  seeing  our  race  fans  at  Southwest   International  Raceway  in  Tucson!!!

     

     

     



  • Featured ImageSAN ANTONIO NATIONALS POSTPONED; BATON ROUGE ADDED TO 2015 SCHEDULE

    The San Antonio Nationals originally scheduled for March 13 & 14, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas has been postponed. Replacing that date on the 2015 Nitro Jam Schedule will be the return of the Mardi Gras Nationals at State Capital Raceway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
    “Time was simply running out for a resolution that the track could reopen in time to host the San Antonio Nationals in March,” said IHRA President Scott Gardner. “Our parent company, IRG Sports + Entertainment, have been in negotiations to purchase the facility for the past six months and are still pursuing the purchase of this facility. The only thing IRG was not able to confirm for us was a final timetable for the transaction, which is why we had to make this change in the schedule. We are optimistic we will return to San Antonio this fall once the ownership and direction of the facility becomes clear.”

     

    Professional classes at the Mardi Gras Nationals will include Amsoil Funny Car, Nitro Harley, U.S. Bounty Hunters Pro-Stock, Jet Dragster and exhibition runs of the Fire Force Jet Fire Truck. The sportsman program will be E.T. bracket classes.
    “We made a decision not to include the Pro-Am classes at this event namely due to a lack of notice for the Division 4 Summit Pro-Am competitors” continued Peaco. “We have handled a lot of calls from Texas racers regarding the San Antonio date and I really didn’t want to throw a venue change at the Division 4 competitors this late in the planning process. I know with the uncertainty of San Antonio’s reopening date many racers may have made other plans for that weekend. We will open the Division 4 Summit Pro-Am season at Pine Valley March 27-29 as scheduled. When we return to San Antonio in the fall we will put the event back together and we can give all the competitors plenty of notice on the new national event date.”
    State Capital Raceway, located in southern Louisiana returns to the IHRA Nitro Jam schedule after a 2 year hiatus. The quarter-mile dragstrip features 660′ concrete launch pads, concrete barrier walls, Compulink timing, LED scoreboards and seating for 9,000 fans.
    “I’m very thankful that Track Manager Gary Carter called us to offer up a replacement date at the facility. Track owners Lanny and Val Lewis are some of the best people in the IHRA family and they always have the welcome mat out for IHRA. I know the professional racers love the track as it provides a great opportunity to set records with an elevation of a mere 18 feet above sea level,” said IHRA Vice President Skooter Peaco.
    The IHRA 2015 Nitro Jam season will open February 6-7 at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Arizona.
    For more information on the 2015 IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series schedule and lineup, please visit www.IHRA.com for complete details.



  • Featured ImageIHRA ANNOUNCES JOHN BISCI AS NEW PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MEDIA DIRECTOR

    JohnBisciThe International Hot Rod Association™ (IHRA) and IRG Sports + Entertainment™ (IRG) has named John Bisci as its new public and media relations director.

    With more than 30 years of media relations experience, Bisci will serve as the public and media relations director for IHRA Motorsports and will be the gatekeeper for all communication both internally and externally. Bisci will be responsible for all advance and on-site media relations for IHRA, Nitro Jam, Sonic Rush Tour and various other IHRA events in addition to many other responsibilities.

    “I’m very happy we found John as he has a massive amount of experience in working with the media, generating promotional programs and social media experience,” said Scott Gardner. “He will be hitting the ground running as we gear up for a very busy season.”

    “I am both pleased and proud to accept this challenging position,” Bisci said. “I am looking forward to representing this company and its thrilling style of motorsports entertainment. It will be my job to tell the IHRA’s story to the world and work with all forms of media.”

    Bisci spent the past year at Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pa., as Director of Communications.

    Bisci’s experience in media relations includes nearly 14 years (2000-2014) as Public Relations Manager for Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Prior to working in Las Vegas, Bisci spent six years working as a media specialist for NASCAR teams and sponsors in the Charlotte, N.C., area. Bisci launched his motorsports media career in 1988 and served as public relations director for three short tracks in the Northeast.

    Bisci will work alongside the staff at the IHRA’s offices in Norwalk, Ohio, and will report for duty in February.

    The IHRA’s 2015 Nitro Jam season will open Feb. 6-7 at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Ariz.

    For more information, please contact the IHRA at (419) 663-6666 or visit www.IHRA.com. Follow IHRA on Twitter and Facebook.



  • Featured ImageTeam Aruba Comes Back for 11th Racing Season in the US

    arubamustangTeam Aruba is back for another US Drag Racing tour in their Aruba.com Ford Mustang. This season they return to the birthplace of Mountain Motor Pro Stock, the International Hot Rod Association. The 2015 IHRA season will kick off at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson, Az. February 6-7.

     

    “IHRA has shown they have set up a great deal for the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class for 2015 with great class sponsors,” stated Team Aruba driver, Trevor Eman. “We certainly look forward to seeing what this season has in store. We’re excited to be racing quarter mile again and returning to the home for Mountain Motor Pro Stocks.

     

    “Although Extreme Pro Stock will not be with the PDRA anymore as of this year, we certainly would like to thank and congratulate the PDRA on what they have accomplished in 2014. We are grateful that they had the class in 2014,” Eman added, speaking to the organization Team Aruba competed with in 2014. Due to a split in class support across organizations, the PDRA selected not to run the Pro Stock division in 2015. Many hope that the class will be unified and grow as IHRA becomes the premier place for mountain motors to compete once again.

     

    “We’re very excited to have Pro Stock,” stated IHRA President Scott Gardner. “They came back in 2014 and now even stronger in 2015. Teams like Team Aruba, for example, are coming on board with us this year. We’re excited to have them, in particular. They’re a very professional team, representing the Ford camp and Aruba. I’ve seen them in action in the past years and it’s great to have them come home to IHRA.”

     

    “We truly believe that Mountain Motor Pro Stock needs one stable sanctioning body to compete in,” Eman added, reflecting on the recent history of his class. “Having options is nice, but we saw last year how the class only split itself between two sanctioning bodies, creating a situation where neither had full fields. Hopefully we can see 18-20+ fields and make the competition as tough as possible again. That’s what makes racing fun, exciting, and gives you the ultimate bragging rights when you get the opportunity to knock out four racers on race day.

     

    “At the end of last season we took delivery of our brand new T&E trailer, which we only got to use at the last race, so we certainly look forward to racing out of our new trailer this entire IHRA season,” Eman continued. “We’ve come a long way since we started racing back in 2004. We have been able to acquire more assets over the course of our racing career such as a spare engine, collection of specialized tools and equipment, additional transmission etc, etc. It got to the point that if the flathead screwdriver was not in the right place the trailer door wouldn’t close. It was time for a new trailer and even having gone to just one race with the new trailer last year, it made a world of difference. So, I’m sure once we get better acclimated to the new trailer this year, it will allow us to only work more efficiently during between runs maintenance.”

     

    As Team Aruba moves back to the IHRA they hope to reconnect with old fans and meet new ones, as well. Their colorful pit area and welcoming smiles are always a fan-favorite no matter what organization they’re in. This year will be no different as Team Aruba continues their main objective of making the ‘One Happy Island’ famous.

     

    “Aside from looking forward to strong competition this year, we certainly look forward to meeting as many fans as possible. We hope to get to speak to many people both about our Mountain Motor Ford Mustang, but more importantly, about our great island destination, Aruba. Hopefully we can see a successful year for Team Aruba this year and with that have our fans come visit our ‘Happy Island’, Aruba.”

     

    Keep up with Team Aruba on Facebook and Twitter. Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!

     

    For more on your Aruba vacation visit www.Aruba.com and www.Destination-Magazines.com.