John Lombardo Jr. Racing  
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LOMBARDO RACING NEWS
 
NORWALK, Ohio (July 4) – John Lombardo Jr. has eagerly awaited a win at Route 66 Raceway. The NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car driver was rewarded two-fold last weekend when he doubled up, winning the prestigious JEGS Allstars shootout on Saturday and the NHRA Route 66 Nationals on Sunday. The popular Californian driver qualified No. 2 for both fields and marched through several of the nation's top drivers.

Representing the Central Region, Lombardo raced through JEGS Allstars eliminations, first beating North Central Region drivers Andy Bohl and Chris Foster with 5.95 and 5.62 runs, respectively. He claimed the final round win over east coast standout Dan Pomponio in a 5.66 to 5.72 decision, helping Central clinch the Regional Team championship.

John and his Rick Jackson-led NAPA/Lucas Oil/Centre Pointe Collision team carried the pace into Sunday's Route 66 Nationals eliminations. Qualified No. 2 with a 5.62 effort, Lombardo powered through first round with a 5.59 victory over Canadian Paul Noakes. Second round opponent Sean Bellemeur broke on the starting line, though the NAPA car was ready for a race with a strong 5.60 E.T. A tenth separated John and semifinal opponent Chris Foster, 5.62 to 5.72. In the final round, the Jackson Lombardo Racing entry left first with an .043 reaction time and powered through with a 5.590 to defeat Kris Hool's 5.642.

The weekend was a big turnaround for the team who struggled to break out of the first round at the group's previous 2014 races. John credited team owner/crew chief Rick Jackson and a new consultant with the team's gains.

“Rick reached out to Les Davenport to help us communicate with our NAPA/Lucas Oil Mustang and I think the results speak for themselves. I would challenge anyone to find a better mediator. Clearly there was no shortage of power and Les made short work of tidying up a couple of areas. By our second lap we were No. 2 in a 22-car field, just a hundredth off of Clint Thompson's 5.61, but most importantly we had a car that appeared ready to perform in varying conditions.  Chris Perl, Scott Manning, and Lew Larson prepared a flawless car.  Nine sessions was demanding and they didn't miss a beat!"  Lombardo claimed.

Power and consistency proved to be important qualities when racing in a field full of “allstars”. Looking back at the weekend, John noted the competitors he had the pleasure of lining up against in eliminations.

“There were a ton of great cars and teams at Chicago. Pomponio has come alive in 2013 and 2014; Bellemeur, while with a new team, is a marksman at the line; Noakes scored his first national event win last year; Foster paced us to the hundredth on Sunday so that was tough, but Kris Hool's momentum and consistency going into the final round of the national event seemed the most impressive of our opponents. Kris was better than on time. He and brother Kevin set low E.T. on Sunday morning – there was every reason to believe they would keep marching.”

With renewed confidence, John Lombardo Jr. and the NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car team head further east for the 8th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, July 3-6. Revered for huge crowds of passionate fans and a second-to-none show, the race will be another test of the team's abilities, as 24 TAFCs are pre-entered.

“We hope to see similar conditions at Norwalk for a 'to be continued' situation. Just a glance at the Route 66 summary of eliminations tells you how tight the TAFC class is right now. Rounds are being decided by a couple of hundredths and half the field may be covered by six or eight. Our continued success will depend on making the most of each session and shot at the tree,” John concluded.

ESPN2's coverage of the NHRA Route 66 Nationals and JEGS Allstars race airs at 1 PM EST on Saturday, July 5.

Jackson Lombardo Racing is an NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team owned by California businessman Rick Jackson and 2013 Central Region champion John Lombardo Jr. The team's NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Mustang is driven by Lombardo Jr. and tuned by Jackson. Jackson Lombardo Racing receives support from NAPA Auto Parts, Lucas Oil, Centre Pointe Collision Centers, NAPA Batteries, NAPAFilters.com, NAPA Power Supreme, Arvada Excavating, NGK Spark Plugs, NAPA Belts and Hose, CP-Carrillo, Carlyle Professional Hand Tools, MAHLE, Midtronics, Mechanix Wear, NYNY Hotel and Casino, Gatorwraps, Raymond's Trophy, and Twin Palms.

For more information on John Lombardo Jr. and the Jackson Lombardo Racing team, please visit www.jackson-lombardo.com. Keep up with John and the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lombardoracing) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/lombardoracing)

CHICAGO (June 25) – NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car driver John Lombardo Jr. is making the annual trip from his Brea, Calif. home base to Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. to compete at the Route 66 Nationals this weekend, June 27-29. While racing at the national event, he will also take part in the JEGS Allstars specialty race, featuring eight of the best alcohol-burning Funny Cars in the country.

Lombardo is one of twenty-two Top Alcohol Funny Car drivers entered to compete at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, which is considered to be one of the best national events for Sportsman racing. Though the JEGS Allstars field is limited to eight cars – two from each of the NHRA's four regions – the competition will be just as grueling, as John explains.

“The Jegs Allstars eight-car shootout format, where each team needs to earn their place during the prior year's regional points, gathers the toughest in the country. And if we're fortunate enough to go rounds in the Jegs eight-car show on Saturday and the Lucas Oil Series national event on Sunday, we may see the Christmas tree nine times in one weekend – you won't hear any complaints coming from the cockpit!”



The unique Jegs Allstars format allows each region or division to compete as a team, with each driver accumulating points for his or her region. Lombardo previously raced for the Division 7 team. This year, he'll race under the Central Region banner.

“Everyone touches on the team competition, and rightfully so. I've been fortune to represent my region and compete twice in the past, enjoying a Division 7 victory and trophy touring rights,” noted Lombardo, who is the reigning Central Region TAFC champion.

In addition to the prestige of racing in the Allstars event, John Lombardo Jr. and his Rick Jackson-led team are honored to participate thanks to the support of event sponsor JEGS Performance and series title sponsor Lucas Oil. The opportunity to race in front of Chicago-area fans is also a yearly highlight for the West Coast group.

“Jegs and Lucas Oil are the official corporate partners of NHRA's sportsman drag racing program; they are the cornerstone of all that we build on, in both regional and national event competition. Their commitment is significant and consistent.

“Route 66 Raceway is one of the best facilities and Chicago is one of the best markets on tour, so I always look forward to this race. We will be ready to slug it out with the nation's best and put on a stellar show in Chi-town!” John exclaimed.

Racing at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, June 27-29, kicks off on Friday with qualifying sessions at 11:30 AM and 3 PM. JEGS Allstars activities begin with driver introductions at noon on Saturday, followed by first round at 1 PM. National event eliminations start at 9 AM on Sunday.


Jackson Lombardo Racing is a NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team owned by California businessman Rick Jackson and 2013 Central Region champion John Lombardo Jr. The team's NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Mustang is driven by Lombardo and tuned by Jackson. Jackson Lombardo Racing receives support from NAPA Auto Parts, Lucas Oil, Centre Pointe Collision Centers, NAPA Batteries, NAPAFilters.com, NAPA Power Supreme, Arvada Excavating, NGK Spark Plugs, NAPA Belts and Hose, CP-Carrillo, MAHLE, Midtronics, Mechanix Wear, NYNY Hotel and Casino, Gatorwraps, Raymond's Trophy, and Twin Palms.

For more information on John Lombardo Jr. and the Jackson Lombardo Racing team, please visit www.jackson-lombardo.com. Keep up with John and the team on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lombar...50?ref=profile) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/lombardoracing).

 

Make my next one a "Mile High Turnaround" please!

 Now I realize that posting this on Friday the 13th and of course any Mile High references will lead some to inappropriate depths of misunderstanding, I'm politely requesting a get well weekend in Denver.  Everyone at Jackson Lombardo Racing is ready and no one will welcome going a few rounds and hopefully battling for the hardware more than I will.

 When teams struggle you look for a cause.  Just as in running a business, you're always looking for a problem to solve.  In road racing you push the car hard enough to fail in the front or the rear, corner entry or exit, lower it until it bottoms in the braking zones, trim it out until you can't control it, then tune to remove the stopwatch polluting evils.  I guess in many ways our NAPA Lucas Oil TAFC program is similar; Rick Jackson has assembled a team and combination of some of the very best components.  Hadman builds a great car and no expense was spared on this one.  Chris Perl, Lew Larson, and Scott Manning have been spot on with prep.  With near track record runs at Vegas and top speed virtually every session, Rick makes the power-we just need to find our zone or window on race day (with this new combination).  There is no question of drive, desire, resources, or commitment, in fact adversity is a far better test of virtues-we will get this right.  We stayed and tested after Topeka, with very encouraging results.

 I've never raced at Bandimere (in the Denver Market) and this weekend we have a great group of customers, friends, and family joining us at one of the most professionally run and family owned drag racing facilities in the country.  The next few weeks bring a busy racing schedule.  Denver's altitude poses tuning challenges but our plan is simple, qualify well, win the race, and repeat at each stop. 

Please stay tuned for updates during the weekend, we appreciate you!

 John

 


Greetings all!

Pomona marked the debut of our brand new NAPA/Lucas Oil Mustang Top Alcohol Funny Car.  To borrow a cliche from our GPC pals, at 262.9 MPH clearly "this dog will hunt!" 

Centre Pointe Collision artfully graced the aircraft grade carbon fiber skin with a beautiful black and blue scheme.  The subtle but stunning colors allow NAPA Legend Batteries and NAPA Filters logos to deliver without imposing. 

Saturday morning, after a couple of tries at tailoring our new car and program to stout but largely improving track conditions, we were mid pack and honestly under potential.  For our third and final qualifier Rick Jackson, Chris Perl, Lew Larson, Mike Ursetta, and Jim Adolph gave Alan Reinhart reason to resound "Lombardo goes to the top!"  Our 5.56 was low until the final pair, when Jay Payne edged us by just two hundredths.

With the field now set, first round of eliminations-which we have to win to run on Sunday-was just a normal service and a couple of hours away.  We met Harrington, and although less than perfect, NAPA Power Supreme helped us pull through a little shake to win with a 5.71.  By this time John Force, Robert Hight, and others have laid down career best numbers showing this track has some teeth.  Next round we need to be aggressive but take the tune up past the traction window and our day goes up in smoke.

Second round Sunday it's us and Brian Hough, a serious racer and good driver from the Northwest.  He ran 5.67 in round one, a tenth or so off of low e.t., but appeared to have sacrificed several pistons.  Of course the pistons are his to hurt, but it makes him a wild card; once they solve that problem their performance may come right into line.  We left the starting line with the makings of a great drag race, his .045 grabbed a hundredth to my .059.  Our Mustang had an untimely breakage at the top of low gear, about 2.5 seconds into the run.  Hough stepped up with a 5.56, earning the good fortune of a bye in the semis and beat the "always talented but so far destined to be a bridesmaid" Sean Bellemeur for the Wally.

I'm proud of our progress with the brand new car and excited about the combination of crew, driver, and equipment.  We're going to go "let the clutch out" a few more times and after a couple of NAPA appearances we'll be back in assault mode and going deeper into eliminations!


Thanks for your support to all of our sponsors: NAPA Auto Parts, Lucas Oil, Centre Pointe Collision Centers, NAPA Batteries, NAPA Filters.com, NAPA Power Supreme, Arvada Excavating, NGK Spark Plugs, NAPA Belts and Hose, CP Carrillo, Carlyle Professional Hand Tools, Mahle, Midtronics, Mechanix Wear, NYNY Hotel and Casino, Gatorwraps, Raymond’s Trophy, and Twin Palms!.   


John

 
 
 

 

 
 

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