Budds Creek, MD - It was a wild weekend at Maryland International Raceway, and once again, the Mopar Pro Modified gang were at the epicenter of all the excitement. Perpetuating the tradition of controversy, discord and over-the-top performance...
Budds Creek, MD - It was a wild weekend at Maryland International Raceway, and once again, the Mopar Pro Modified gang were at the epicenter of all the excitement. Perpetuating the tradition of controversy, discord and over-the-top performance that has endeared this "outlaw" class to so many from the very beginning, shots were fired at the CARQUEST President's Cup nationals that will reverberate across North America for a long time to come.
Pending a likely re-evaluation of the rules, the supercharged segment of the class exerted their current superiority in a huge way, with Mike Janis setting the ET record at an amazing 6.112, and defending champ Fred Hahn contributing to the carnage with a new speed mark of 231.20. But there was another "blower guy" in action this weekend that did his share of damage as well, and he surely enjoyed every minute of it.
Chip King, from Semora, North Carolina, made his presence known at this race in 2000, and this weekend he proved that the track at MIR was still a favorite of his Indy Cylinder Heads-sponsored Dodge Avenger R/T. After establishing a solid foothold in the field on Friday, King continued to work his way up the ladder on Saturday, eventually pacing his prototype Hemi-powered Mopar to a stellar 6.257/226.20, and number 5 spot in one of the toughest fields ever assembled in the history of Pro Mod competition.
As the elimination rounds got under way on Sunday, King lined up beside the new Australian-built '53 Studebaker of Canadian Al Billes for a shot at advancing. The blown yellow Stude' left first, but soon launched into severe tire shake, and as it fishtailed violently, Billes threw in the towel, allowing King to cruise into the second round on the heels of a 6.303/223.54 pass. Next up was the supercharged Corvette of number 4 qualifier Thomas Patterson, which experienced engine problems after a sluggish start, and again King advanced, this time laying down a solid 6.272/ 225.03. So far, so good.
His productive weekend would come to an end in the semi-finals, however, as one of the aforementioned record-breakers finally crossed his path. Janis had been chewing up the opposition with a string of "6-teen" passes, and King now stood between him and another event title. At the flash, Janis out-reacted King 0.453 to 0.504, and then stretched out his lead to grab a convincing win, 6.170/230.29 to 6.293/224.77.
All in all, the weekend in Maryland was another successful outing for King and the Indy Cylinder Heads gang, who continue to wring impressive performance from the experimental Hemi powerplant. The next stop for King is the season finale 4th Annual Mopar Parts World Finals at Red River Raceway in Shreveport, LA on October 12-14.