DARLINGTON, SC - Mark McElwee left a lot of people wondering at the conclusion of the 1999 season. The determined Pro Outlaw driver from Port St. Lucie, Fla., joined the IHRA tour five races late and still managed a spot in the top ten for the...
DARLINGTON, SC - Mark McElwee left a lot of people wondering at the conclusion of the 1999 season. The determined Pro Outlaw driver from Port St. Lucie, Fla., joined the IHRA tour five races late and still managed a spot in the top ten for the radical IHRA division. One might could draw the conclusion that either the program was that weak or that McElwee was just that good. We tend to believe that he was that good. The Frank Hawley Drag Racing School graduate won't go as far as to say that he was tremendous, but rather will harp on the consistency afforded the team through a hard-working crew spearheaded by his brother Artie "Buzz" McElwee.
"I was really impressed with what the car did when I nailed the throttle," explained McElwee. "Buzz and everyone that worked on the car made sure that I had a tremendous weapon in which to do battle with. Our top ten points finish should say wonders for the supporting cast that I have here. You can rest assured that we're going for more than just a top ten finish in 2000."
In the second half of the season, the McElwee family's, Powershield Coatings-sponsored dragster only lost in the first round once during their campaign in Super Eliminator, which was later renamed Pro Outlaw. Mark went as far as to score two semi-final finishes and secured the pole position at the CARQUEST Autumn Nationals in Rockingham, NC.
McElwee feels content being a contender because he knows the division is chock full of talent.
"I don't think anyone will run away with the title in 2000. We are going to have some tough competition. Laurie Cannister, Mick Snyder, Dave Price and Neal Parker are going to be as dedicated to winning this title as we are. That's going to make it tough on all of us and unfortunately there can only be one champion. We'll just try to win as many battles as we can along the way. If we win the most, we'll be the champions."
The team will make their 2000 season-opening national event debut at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals this week, March 9 -11 in Darlington, SC. The event will be televised on TNN.