2018: An Extraordinary Year
It was another exceptional year for Noonan customers, especially in drag racing as they celebrated championships and record setting performances throughout the year.
Here’s our tribute to these extraordinary racers and teams:
Severance Racing may have left their charge to capture their fourth-consecutive NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster National Championship, [missing a few races for personal reasons], but capture it they did with their Noonan 4.8” Borespace, Mach 1 Cylinder Head Hemi. Joey Severance is the most winningest Top Alcohol Dragster driver in NHRA history.
The collaboration between Al Billes and Tommy D’Aprile wowed many with their brand-new combination and team, first debuting in early January 2018. They posted a dominating performance all year to secure the PDRA Pro Boost Championship with their Jerry Bickel ’69 Camaro powered by a Noonan 4.9 Bore Space Hemi Engine and Al Billes Supercharger.
With a brilliant drive, Jonas Aleshire secured his second Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) win of the year on Nov. 2, at the same time as wrapping up the MWPMS championship at the series' 2018 World Finals in Ennis, TX.
Our long-term customer, Mike Janis Snr and Jr led the NHRA Pro Mod series most of the way in 2018. They were the team that everyone else was chasing and they kept lifting the bar, right up until the last event in Las Vegas where they were crowned NHRA Pro Mod champions.
Early adopters of the 4.9 Bore Space Hemi also included Raymond Commissio and the Caruso Family Racing ’69 Camaro’s. Joe and Marc Caruso were so impressed by the immediate results of the changeover that they also debuted and qualified their Camaro into a remarkable 11th position at the NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod field at the US Nationals in September 2018.
The Noonan Mach 1 Hemi, based on the conventional 4.8 bore space Chrysler 426 design that is mandated for the NHRA Top Alcohol categories, powered women racers YNOT Racing’s Annie Whiteley and Melanie Salemi’s Purple Reign to record-setting performances in their categories. Whiteley recorded a speed of 275.34 mph in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car at the Gatornationals earlier this year, while Melanie Salemi reset the PDRA Pro Boost record with a 3.624 second elapsed time in the 1/8th mile at the PDRA Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Coincidentally, at that same event Todd Tutterow and his WYO Motorsports team, testing in NHRA Pro Mod trim with a Noonan 4.9” Borespace Hemi, recorded a 5.662 in the ¼ mile, which is ‘unofficially’ the quickest NHRA legal Pro Mod pass in history.
Also, in NHRA Pro Mod, J4 Racing and Jeremy Ray scored his first win at Ennis, Texas in October. The Carolina Kingpin relied on Noonan Mach 1 power to record the third quickest ‘official’ run in Pro Mod history when he posted a 5.683 in qualifying at the NHRA Carolina Nationals.
From a turbo powerplant perspective, Noonan has played a strong role, collaborating with Carl Stevens’ Xtreme Race Engines 4.8 Hemi packages. Working with Stevens’ on the development of this potent package has powered Rick Hord to the quickest and fastest runs in NHRA Pro Mod history with a 5.681 and 260.91 mph. Stevens also piloted Jim Bell’s turbocharged entry to a $100,000 win at the World Series of Pro Mod in Denver, Colorado.
Kyle Hopf, Daniel Pharris and Shane Tecklenburg teamed up in Australia to debut a brand-new Noonan 4.9” Borespace Turbocharged Hemi in Radial Wars. Tecklenburg and Pharris were suitably impressed with not only the performance of the combination but also the ease of working on it during the race “there is no doubt that we didn’t use all of the power it’s capable of, it has so much more to offer. It didn’t give us any trouble even though it was brand new to me, the driver and the chassis! It’s not often you can say that!” said Tecklenburg.
‘Super’ Dave Atkins and his team reset both ends of the LSX eighth-mile record with an astounding 3.87-second pass at 198 mph and positioned himself to become a major player in the Radial vs The World category in 2018 with his Noonan LS Edge Billet Engine Block. Later in the year he also took this combination into the 5’s over the quarter mile at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk Ohio.
In Top Alcohol Hydro, Noonan power takes Andy and Joe Reynolds to the top qualifying position, not once, but twice this season. They Reynolds team have stepped up to Mach 1 Cylinder Heads, Andy stated that "we have seen a significant improvement in our program and whilst we are still learning what they want, we feel that they can improve our performance even more. We are looking forward to seeing what they can handle".
Our most recent product innovation was debuted by NHRA Stars, Richie Crampton – Top Fuel Driver at Kallita Motorsports and Jonnie Lindberg – Nitro Funny Car Pilot at Jim Head Racing. Hotrod Drag Week 2018 saw the stars deliver unbelievable first-time results with Richie’s 1967 Chevy 210 Station Wagon sporting a Noonan ALL-SREET DRIVEN WATERJACKETED HEMI ENGINE. The “Sh*tbox of Doom” was driven to the race track in Charlotte, North Carolina where the Noonan 4.8” H20 Engine package produced two 6 second passes before the pair had to attend to their NHRA commitments.
Looking toward 2019 and beyond, Noonan has solidified their commitment to be the leader in boosted drag race engines by moving all manufacturing to their Spartanburg, S.C. manufacturing facility. This completes the transition of manufacturing from the Noonan’s homeland of Australia to the US.
“Our business plan has always been to bring the operations under one roof, as this will allow us to improve many facets of our business” said Jamie Noonan, Co-Owner.
Renee Noonan, Co-Owner added “we’ve listened to and acted on the advice of our customers and believe we can create a more efficient end to end service delivery capability. We are looking forward to being able to improve our customer philosophy”.