After a bit more research there is a distinct possibility that this is not NHRA's crime, but rather Drag Illustrated's. It appears NHRA Communications issued this story in TEXT form only --- no pictures. But then the publication, Drag Illustrated, tried to liven up that press release by attaching a photo or two to the article. And in this case they apparently grabbed a shot from Only Racing's web site, doctored it up to remove the copyright, and then published it. Thus...they ended up with wrong car...wrong track...wrong event. And a copyright infringement on top of it all.
I'm sure Only Racing will continue to follow up with his own research, but so far this is what I think happened.