CHRIS BENNETT TO RACE FUNNY CAR IN OUTLAW DRAG RACING
No Mercy Nitro Funny Car owner/driver Chris Bennett will be competing in the newly-formed Nitro Outlaw Drag Racing Association that debuts March 17 at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz.
“This is a new car and we are a new team,” Bennett said. “I’ve been running Nostalgia Funny Car and a Nostalgia Fuel Altered for years. I’m a third-generation guy and it has been my lifelong dream to build a pro NHRA nitro Funny Car. The problem is it is expensive to run one. We currently don’t have sponsorship and this (racing in the Nitro Outlaw Drag Racing Association) represents an opportunity to get out and learn the car and get some experience on it and learn how to tune it ourselves before we try and compete on the regular circuit in NHRA.”
In addition to the season-opening race, Bennett plans to run Nitro Outlaw Drag Racing Asssociation events at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis (April 28), Bandimere Speedway in Denver (June 9) and Oct. 13 at the Texas Motorplex.
Each Nitro Outlaw Drag Racing Association race is invite only and held in conjunction with the National Hot Rod Diesel Association. Fans will be treated to ground pounding 8,000-plus horsepower Nitro Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters.
“What we like about the Outlaws is they have a unique way of doing things and it brings the fans back to the track and offers an opportunity for us to put on a show,” said Bennett, who is a retired United States Air Force pilot. “I’ve done plenty of match racing through all my years. I love match racing and it makes financial sense for us.”
Nitro Outlaw rules limit the nitromethane percentage to a maximum of 80 percent and limit blower (manifold) pressure to 60 pounds to reduce the potential for engine damage.
No Mercy Racing (NMR) is bringing in long-time nitro veteran Funny Car driver Jeff Arend as a tuning consultant to prepare the Dodge Charger Hemi as a championship contender for the scheduled four Nitro Outlaw races.
“Jeff has demonstrated a wide breadth of knowledge and experience while helping out the Peter Russo NHRA Nitro Funny Car team as they have made substantial progress over the last four to five races,” Bennett said.
Team Chief and NMR partner Brad Miner concurred with Bennett.
“Jeff fits well within our team dynamic and in addition to his knowledge base, he has tremendous contacts throughout the sport that are willing to assist when called upon,” Miner said in a press release. “Jeff understands the mindset of what it is like to run as a self-funded, independent team; not only is he going to help put NMR in the Nitro Outlaw winner’s circle, but he’s a friend and a great instructor that can teach us how to eventually run the car ourselves.”
Bennett said the team is tentatively planning to compete on a limited NHRA schedule in 2018 in Las Vegas (April 6-8), Sonoma Calif. (July 27-29) and the fall race in Las Vegas (Oct. 25-28).