GRAND BEND, ONT. - Johnny Rocca feels strongly about his Native American heritage. The Leesburg, Va.-based, Pro Modified car owner stands solidly behind his feelings and honor towards his ancestors and the message that they brought to this world.
GRAND BEND, ONT. - Johnny Rocca feels strongly about his Native American heritage. The Leesburg, Va.-based, Pro Modified car owner stands solidly behind his feelings and honor towards his ancestors and the message that they brought to this world. At the recently completed IHRA Mopar Parts Canadian Nationals, Rocca brought forth a new message that included education of the racing world to the Native American cause as well as one that indicated to his racing comrades that his radical supercharged Mercury was ready to return to the upper echelon of the class. His driver Troy Critchley reached the finals of the inaugural Canadian event.
Rocca, of Leesburg, Va., who is a proud member of the Southern Band Tuscarora tribe, could only smile as both his "spiritual gathering" brought more awareness to his culture. Another plus was that his car also broke out of a slump that had plagued the team for the first two events.
Rocca feels that his ancestors looked down on him and smiled. He confides that he doesn't ask his elders anything in prayer and meditation. The longtime drag racer says that he's grateful for the fortunes they've afforded him.
"We typically don't ask for anything," explained Rocca. "It gives us a lot of internal strength and it's just a way of paying homage to those that have made a better life for us. Our ancestors owe us nothing and therefore we just give thanks in all that we do. Our meeting on Thursday was a great thing and I hope that we'll do this more in the future."
The Aussie native slipped into the third spot with a 6.362/212.81. He stepped up in the first round and knocked off the Corvette of Tommy Gray. Critchley then knocked off Quain Stott before taking out Carl Spiering in the semis.
In the finals, Crichley launched hard, but it was a quicker and faster Fred Hahn that scored the win.
For the latest IHRA results, visit www.ihra.com. More information on Johnny Rocca can be found at www.usaracing.com.
The next stop on the IHRA tour will take place at the IHRA Amalie Motor Oils Summer Nationals, June 15-17 at Cordova, IL.