SHREVEPORT, La. - The key ingredients for Scott Weney's championship stew consisted of three things, an early Von Smith loss, a green light and a win-light. After the first round at the IHRA Mopar Parts World Finals in Shreveport, La., Weney had prepared a gourmet meal. Von Smith lost in the first round of eliminations and Weney topped Andy Kelly to hand the Royersford, Pa.-based driver to claim his first career World Championship.
Weney was at a loss for words.
"This was nothing short of a dream come true for us," explained Weney, who reached the final round six times in 2000. "It has been what we worked for from the day we started racing. I kind of knew in my heart that this championship season would transpire, but you never want to take things for granted. This is drag racing, after all."
He continued, "I couldn't have done this without the support of Ken Sheetz, my crew and my wife Candi, as well as my family back home. I think we showed exactly what you can accomplish if you never give up and pursue your dreams. I began to pursue my dreams of being a championship driver a couple of decades ago. The journey is not over yet."
Weney's rise to stardom began in March when he finished runner-up at the season-opening Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington. He rebounded with a win at the Holley Spring Nationals in Rockingham, NC., and added a second at the Mopar World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. In between the victories he had runner-ups at Grand Bend, Ont., Leicester, NY., and one in Stanton, MI.
Nothing could stop Weney. Not even an engine explosion that destroyed the body at the CARQUEST Empire Nationals in Leicester, could make him falter. He and his crew as well as the employees of his family-owned S & W Race Cars prepared a Chevrolet Corvette body and he never missed a beat reaching the finals in the next two events in Stanton and Norwalk. He won one of those events.
In fact, this weekend's event in Shreveport marked only the third time that he didn't reach the finals of a 2000 national event. He finished in the semi-finals, dropping a tough match to Jim Lape.
Weney is leery of the prize that comes with the championship. "I would expect that number one on the car to turn into a bullseye before the season is complete," explained Weney. "That's okay, we proved that we could play offense. Next year, hopefully we'll prove that we can play defense as well."