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The legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits has been an innovator in electric dragsters. The 17-time world champion posted a world-record run of 189.04 mph at Palm Beach International Raceway in May 2020, which has since been broken.

The country’s two largest drag racing organizations, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) have announced the addition of electric vehicle classes in recent days.

Electric cars will compete within the NHRA Summit Racing Series in all seven divisions. The NHRA has been meeting with the auto manufacturers that produce electric vehicles. The Vance & Hines motorcycle team debuted the Harley-Davidson LiveWire bike at last year’s U.S. Nationals.

The IHRA Summit SuperSeries has added electric vehicles to North America’s premier bracket racing program.

Each IHRA member track will have the opportunity to crown one EV Summit SuperSeries track champion and send that competitor to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals in Memphis.

The legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits has been an innovator of electric dragsters. In July 2019 at 87 years old, he broke his own world record with a pass of 189.04 mph at Palm Beach International Raceway.

The 17-time world champion also held the previous record at 185.60 mph. Garlits wanted to be the first to break the 200-mph barrier in his Swamp Rat 38 dragster, but Steve Huff beat him to the punch. Huff set the new standard with a 201.07 mph run at Tucson Dragway.

Electric vehicles are nothing new in motorsports with the Formula E Series starting in 2014. The first champion of the international series, Nelson Piquet Jr., has a local connection.

He was the winner of the 2012 Widow Wax 200 for the NASCAR K&N Series at Bristol Motor Speedway with Bluff City native Chris Carrier serving as his crew chief. Current Cup Series star Ryan Blaney finished second in that race.

CHEROKEE RACE PARK

The Rogersville drag strip has a test-and-tune scheduled Friday along with a Powder Puff race for women (16 and over).

In addition, there is a points race scheduled Saturday with a $1,200-to-win Pro race and a $1,000-to-win No Box race. There are also races for the Motorcycles and Junior Dragsters.

KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY

Nik Williams is 2-for-2 in NASCAR Advance Auto Weekly Series Late Model Stock features at Kingsport Speedway.

The driver of the black No. 32 Chevrolet went four-wide for his winning pass in last Friday’s 60-lap feature. Williams, the 2019 track champion, could have more competition Friday night with word that another former champion will be returning to the 3/8-mile concrete oval.

There will actually be twin 35-lap features for the Late Models plus features for the Sportsman, Pure 4, Mod 4 and Pure Street classes.

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS

Round two of the Hot Summer Nights Supercross Series is slated for Saturday at I-81 Motorsports Park. Johnson City rider Adam Britt won the season-opener for the Pro division at Muddy Creek Raceway back on April 10.

WEEK OFF

Volunteer Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway are both scheduled to return to action Saturday, May 15.

The Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series is coming to Volunteer Speedway for the Tennessee Spring Nationals. It will feature heat races and the A-Main for the sprint cars.

Other races on the 4/10-mile Bulls Gap dirt track include features for the Crate Late Model, Sportsman Late Model and Street Stock divisions.

Lonesome Pine Raceway has its weekly racing action that same day on the 3/8-mile asphalt track. There are feature events scheduled for the Limited Late Model, Mod Street, Mod 4, Pure 4 and Pure Street classes.

Adding to a busy day of motorsports, the DER Bracket Series season-opener at Bristol Dragway is scheduled and the Kingsport Miniway has a full slate of go-kart races on May 15.

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