STANTON, Mich. - Ed Hoover can add to his list of sayings, "I get by with a little help from my friends." The 40-year old, veteran driver of Paul Trussell's 1963 Corvette, used a good luck charm from a friend that he hadn't seen in 15 years to score his first win on the IHRA scene in 2001. Some credit clutches and others credit tuning decisions for victories, Hoover shows the competition his lucky buckeye.
The key for its success is to use it sparingly. In the two times that he has driven with it in his pocket, he's reached the winner's circle. He received the gift during a Pro Modified exhibition event in Commerce, earlier this season. Hoover won that event.
"We were in the midst of one of the worst seasons that we had ever had," recalled Hoover. "A friend that I had not seen in 15 years walked up to me at a race and gave it to me. He went on to tell me that he had followed my career over the last season or two and knew I was a rough time. He offered the buckeye as a good luck charm and instructed me to use it only when I needed it. I decided before we headed up here that I would bring it out."
Hoover proved that one necessarily doesn't have to be the quickest to win. The diesel mechanic turned professional drag racer qualified fifth and mowed down competitors such as Dan Rowe, Alan Pittman and points leader Mike Janis to reach the final against Fred Hahn.
Hoover is quick to point out that he must give credit where credit is due.
"Paul Trussell deserves the thanks for giving me this opportunity," explained Hoover. "If it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here. I want to say thanks to George and Sharon, my crew as well as Pat Norcia at RAM clutches. This a team effort, we all work together with a common goal and that is to win. I think we did very good today."
Hoover began his march in qualifying. Known for his prowess in attacking tricky racing surfaces over the last two decades of fast doorslammer racing, Pro Modified's original national event winner lifted early in his first attempt and coasted to a 6.722. The run did not secure a berth in the field after the first session. He didn't lose any rest as he rebounded with a 6.337, 223.28.
Hoover did quite a bit of dancing around on the top end during his first run on Saturday. He was already in the show with a 6.337, 223.28. He maintained a level of consistency as he produced a 6.359. This run would prove to be his most impressive because it came during the heat of the day when others were struggling. The final attempt proved to be a homerun, a 6.307, 223.25 good enough for the fifth spot.
In defeating Rowe in a rematch of the St. Louis Pro Modified exhibition to stopping Hahn in the final, Hoover has sounded the bell that he's ready to lead the nitrous fraternity into the second half of the season.
For more information on Ed Hoover and Trussell Motorsports, visit their website at www.trussellmotorsports.
Complete results of the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals will be available in Monday evening's debut of the latest issue of www.competitionplus.com.