EDWARDS LOOKS TO KEEP PRO STOCK WIN STREAK GOING AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas - The performance turn-around that Pro Stock racer Mike Edwards has been looking for all season finally came at Heartland Park Topeka earlier this month. Then, before he...
EDWARDS LOOKS TO KEEP PRO STOCK WIN STREAK GOING AT MOTORPLEX ENNIS, Texas - The performance turn-around that Pro Stock racer Mike Edwards has been looking for all season finally came at Heartland Park Topeka earlier this month. Then, before he could savor his first victory celebration of the season, he duplicated the effort at the Memphis Motorsports Park.
But for Edwards, a former NHRA Rookie of the Year, the recent success has been the perfect remedy for the many long nights spent at the shop at the start of the 1999 campaign, trying to eliminate the early season bugs that infested his new Camaro Z28.
Edwards, a two-time winner in four finals this season, says the car is coming around.
"This car has come a long way from the beginning of the season," Edwards said. "At first it wouldn't go 30 feet, much less 1320. We've worked hard to get it straightened out. It's not been an easy deal. Pro Stock is the toughest category in the world. The car really stepped up once we left the West Coast and started using Steve Schmidt's engines."
Edwards, a resident of Broken Arrow, Okla., hopes to extend his current winning streak to three at the 14th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec, Oct. 21-24 at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas. The $1.8 million race is the 20th of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Edwards' recent success keeps alive a streak that means a lot to the driver of the Dewco Performance Camaro. After making his Pro Stock debut with three victories in 1996, Edwards claimed victories in '97 and '98. After the slow start, he feared this could be his first winless season.
"We've won a race every season that we've been in Pro Stock and I wanted to keep that going this season," Edwards said. "In the last few weeks I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. I really buckled down on my driving and the car has been coming around. I think the program is finally going in the direction that it needs to be."
One of Edwards' eight career victories came at the Motorplex (1998 Castrol Lone Star Nationals), and he hopes to add another at the all-concrete quarter-mile facility he calls one of his home tracks.
"It depends on the conditions," said Edwards, currently sixth in the Winston point standings. "At this time of the year the Motorplex can be fast. We've had success there in the past and we're looking forward to going there. You have to be real consistent there and stay in the middle of the groove. Anytime you can race close to the house, it's a good deal. I consider the Motorplex and Heartland Park Topeka to be my home tracks on the NHRA tour, so it should be a lot of fun."