Rocca and Critchley Win in Epping With the Help of "Superman" EPPING, N.H.-Troy Critchley put on a display of dominating performance this weekend at the IHRA Amalie Oil North American Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire. Behind the wheel of ...
Rocca and Critchley Win in Epping With the Help of "Superman"
EPPING, N.H.-Troy Critchley put on a display of dominating performance this weekend at the IHRA Amalie Oil North American Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire. Behind the wheel of "Ironhorse", the supercharged '49 Mercury Pro Modified owned and tuned by Johnny Rocca, Critchley drove to a final round victory over the nitrous-powered entry of Mitch Stott. The Austrailian-born driver used the power of Rocca's newly designed Kobelco supercharger, nicknamed "Superman", to record low elapsed time during every round of eliminations on Sunday. The win comes on the heels of two disappointing non-qualifying efforts as Rocca sorted out his radical new supercharger, which has been pronounced legal by IHRA officials.
A pair of recent IHRA Pro Mod rule revisions, which include a 75-pound weight reduction for supercharged cars, have been implemented at the last two national events to help to add parity to the Pro Mod class. Rocca and Critchley stirred up the already turbulent "supercharger vs. nitrous" water by storming to the top qualifying position during the first session with a stout 6.283 at 217 mph. They remained on the pole for what turned out to be the quickest 16-car field in Pro Modified history.
The "Ironhorse" ripped through the field during eliminations, beginning with a 6.27/222 mph win over Dale Brinsfield. In the second round Critchley out ran Alan Pittman with an impressive 6.24/225 mph charge that gave him lane choice over Steve Vick in the semifinals. The Rocca-tuned Mercury ran in the 6.20's for the third-straight time with a 6.29/222 mph win over Vick. In a classic final round addition to the "supercharger vs. nitrous" wars, Critchley's 6.30/224 defeated Stott's 633/224. The win moved the team up to fifth in the points chase, just six points out of third place.
Rocca's new 14.71 Kobelco blower nicknamed "Superman" may have been a big factor in the win, but it didn't come without a cost. Rocca figures he wasted about 36 pistons to get the combination right. "They forced us to go and work on research and development for our combination," said Rocca, "now they'll have to pay with the results."