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NHRA Announces Jet Car Program Expansion for 2017 Season


GLENDORA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2017) — Throughout the 2017 season NHRA national events will feature exhibition passes from the popular jet cars. Known for their exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines and are a fan favorite attraction.

While jet cars have run exhibition passes at NHRA national events before, this season the wildly popular jet car program is expanding and will be featured at a record amount of races and will run Friday nights after the second Top Fuel session. Three of the familiar jet car teams will be returning to the NHRA circuit: Muy Caliente Racing sponsored by Lucas Oil, Hanna Motorsports founded by Al and Ellen Hanna and Larsen Motorsports sponsored by Florida Tech and Valspar Automotive.

“We are very excited to be expanding the jet car program for the 2017 season,” said Evan Jonat, NHRA director of national event marketing. “The jets are an exciting and unique spectacle for our racing fans. They really put on a thrilling show.”

Muy Caliente Racing consists of two jet cars, Terminal Velocity and MAV TV Missile, which are both sponsored by Lucas Oil Racing. Drivers for the jet dragsters are team owner Tony Franco, John “Sporty” Bandimere, Tony Franco Jr. and Tom Bogner, the director of motorsports for Lucas Oil Products Inc.

Hanna Motorsports was founded in 1978 and features three jet cars, the Eastern Raider 1998 Pontiac Firebird Jet Funny Car driven by Ken Hall, the First Strike 1999 Pontiac Firebird Jet Funny Car driven by Rich Hanna and the Queen of Diamonds Jet Dragster driven by Sarah Edwards. Hanna Motorsports also produces race car trailers and jet engine race track driers, services and builds jet cars for customers and creates and sells motorsports marketing packages.

Larsen Motorsports (LMS), founded by Chris and Elaine Larsen, fields four jet dragsters including the Florida Tech Jet Dragster and the Matrix System Jet Dragster. LMS partners with Florida Tech to give students hands on training and promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculums that can be put to use in the Larsen’s 30,000-square foot facility in Palm Bay, Fla.

Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 24 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street program for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Gainesville Raceway in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

2017 Jet Car Program Schedule

Feb. 24 – NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix Muy Caliente Racing
March 17 – Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla. Larson Motorsports
March 31 – DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas Muy Caliente Racing
April 21 – NHRA SpringNationals, Houston Larson Motorsports
April 28 – NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C. Muy Caliente Racing/Hanna Motorsports
May 5 – NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta Larson Motorsports
May 19 – Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan. TBA
June 2 – NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H. Hanna Motorsports
June 9 – NHRA Summernationals, Englishtown N.J. Larson Motorsports
June 16 – NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn. TBA
June 23 – Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio TBA
July 7 – Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago TBA
July 21 – Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver Muy Caliente Racing
July 28 – Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif. Muy Caliente Racing
August 18 – Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn. TBA
Sept. 1 – Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis Larson Motorsports/Muy Caliente Racing
Sept. 15 – NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C. Larson Motorsports
Sept. 22 – Dodge NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. Hanna Motorsports
Sept. 29 – AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis Larson Motorsports
Oct. 13 – AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas Larson Motorsports
Oct. 27 – NHRA Toyota Nationals, Las Vegas Muy Caliente Racing