A Classic Double Take
When Indiana’s Randy Addington tows to local dragstrips, his racing operation provides fans with a glimpse into drag racing’s history. Addington, who is now retired from the farming industry is a real drag racing aficionado who displays and races two very impressive period-correct 1937 Chevy gassers. Randy’s first ’37, which he has owned for 15 years and raced for 10, is a blown 455ci model that would have technically been an A/G back in its day. That car is capable of 9.5 e.t.’s at 140+ mph. During 2014, Randy introduced a second ’37 to his team. That one is a straight-axle car that features a naturally aspirated 434ci engine and can run 10.6 e.t.’s at 120 mph.
“Both of these cars were originally street rods when I bought them and I did all the conversion work myself,” Randy revealed. “I did some drag racing back in the 1970’s, and I’m a big fan of the Stone, Woods, and Cook and ‘Big John’ Mazmanian era. That’s where a lot of this comes from—I got that fever back and these cars are the result.”
Randy runs his machines exclusively within both eighth- and quarter-mile exhibition circuits. He has become a popular fixture at nostalgia racing events, including the “Geezer Gasser” racing group. He often tasks his good friend Roger Plate (the owner of Indiana’s Muncie Dragway) to drive one of his cars.
Let’s Be “DeFrank”
The 2016 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing season produced some very special accomplishments for Super Stock class stalwart, Californian Jimmy DeFrank. First, racing the Jim DeFrank & Sons 2010 Chevy Cobalt, DeFrank climbed even further up the drag racing mountain of notoriety when he won the NHRA World Championship for the second time with the same race car—a very rare occurrence within drag racing. Anchored by a quick start to the season that produced a huge victory at the season-opening Winternationals event in Pomona, DeFrank remained in title contention all season. In the end, he prevailed by a wide points margin for not only the overall NHRA World Championship title but also for the Pacific Division (for the 13th time). DeFrank’s World Championship in 2016 with this Cobalt complemented his 2012 title with the same car. For the Chatsworth-based racer this was his fifth championship (also won in 1997, 1999, and 2009)—more than any other Super Stock class racer. That puts him on a very elite short list with only six other Sportsman-level racers in history who have accomplished that.
NHRA’s brutally competitive 2016 Top Alcohol Funny Car class concluded with a successful title defense for Chevrolet-brand racer Jonnie Lindberg. The driver of the Landmeco-sponsored race team, which is based from Upplands Vasby, Sweden, prevailed in the Lucas Oil Series national points title chase. After winning the 2015 title racing a Chevy Monte Carlo-bodied car, Lindberg made the switch to a new, cutting-edge Chevy Camaro for last year’s campaign. With the Camaro-bodied race car, he came out on top at four NHRA national events (including the marquee Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indy) to ultimately prevail. Amazingly, too, Lindberg survived the entire 2016 season with his national record 5.361 e.t. (set in 2015) still intact. Lindberg’s 2016 title marked the third consecutive season that the NHRA Lucas Oil TAFC World Championship has been taken offshore. Australian Steve Harker won the title in 2014—also racing a Chevy-bodied car.