Johnny Rocca's IRONHORSE USA Racingâ€™s 1949 Mercury P.O. Box 4294 Leesburg, VA. 22075 For Immediate Release December 8, 1997 BRADENTON, FLâ€” If the NHRA Snowbird...
Johnny Rocca's IRONHORSE USA Racing’s 1949 Mercury P.O. Box 4294 Leesburg, VA. 22075
For Immediate Release December 8, 1997
BRADENTON, FL— If the NHRA Snowbird Nationals can be used as a harbinger of things to come, 1998 might be a long season for the Pro Modified contingent. Leesburg, Virginia’s Johnny Rocca declined to use the NHRA Winter Series event as a launching point for his supercharged 1998 combination and still managed to claim his first win over veteran racer Rickie Smith. Rocca used a quicker reaction and coupled it with an astounding 6.51/211 lap to fend off the furious challenge of Smith, who carded a 6.49 in his losing effort. The win ended a season of frustration for this veteran driver. “The effects of the dismal season were starting to take their toll on me and my confidence,” explained Rocca. “To win a race like this and get a jump on 1998 is a blessing in disguise. Words can’t explain what I am feeling at this moment.” Winning at Bradenton was no cakewalk for Rocca, still running in his 1997 trim with the lumbering 1949 Mercury. He topped such top IHRA stalwarts as Ed Hoover, Quain Stott before stopping Smith in the finals. All of his opponents finished in the top ten of the IHRA Snap-On Tools points series.