DARLINGTON, SC - There's no place like home. That's exactly the feeling that veteran Pro Modified racer Ed Hoover has when the topic of discussion turns to Darlington International Dragway. However, since 1990, home has not been where he has been...
DARLINGTON, SC - There's no place like home. That's exactly the feeling that veteran Pro Modified racer Ed Hoover has when the topic of discussion turns to Darlington International Dragway. However, since 1990, home has not been where he has been able to hang his proverbial national event championship hat. Hoover, who resides in a small town called Gilbert located about 40 miles from Darlington, hopes to provide car owner Paul Trussell with his first-ever victory at the famed facility. The two-time national event winner in 1999 will be given an opportunity to end his dry spell at the upcoming CompetitionPlus.Com Groundhog Warm-up presented by Majesty Homes during the weekend of February 18-20 at Darlington.
Hoover hopes that the slow start of 1999 is something that is history for the team.
"It got rough in the early going," explained Hoover, who captured the first-ever Pro Modified national event title in Darlington during the 1990 season. "We learned a lot from falling short in the early part of 1999. We chased a bunch of problems, but once we located them all, things went smoothly."
Hoover's fortunes changed for the better at the Mopar Parts World Finals in Norwalk, in the latter part of the 1999 season. He scored a second win at the President's Cup Nationals in Budd's Creek. These two wins, combined with several late-rounds finishes netted the team a fifth place finish in the final Pro Modified points standings.
Hoover feels that the preseason test event in Darlington should give him an excellent baseline for the upcoming season.
"We're going to come in here and work on some crucial areas and get things started," explained Hoover. "This event will give a race-type atmosphere and that crucial when it comes to getting back into the groove after being off for the winter. You can rest assured, we're going to heat things up on this particular weekend."
There will be five professional divisions contested at the CompetitionPlus.Com Groundhog Warm-Up presented by Majesty Homes. The classes contested will be Pro Modified, Pro Stock, 500-inch Pro Stock and Nitro Harley. The defending champions are Ronnie Hood (Pro Modified), Chris Holbrook (Pro Stock), Jim Yates (500-inch Pro Stock) and Steve Moore (Nitro Harley). The Pro Stock Trucks are welcome to test as well.
The format is simple for this event. Darlington Dragway will provide free testing for any racer that competes in the aforementioned divisions on February 18 - 20, provided that they adhere to the following conditions. The racer must participate in a "Chicago Style" format on Saturday in which there will be three set sessions for runs. The first two attempts will determine the final round contestants, as the two quickest runs will qualify for the final round to determine the winner. The final round will be run during the third session. To qualify for the free testing, the racer must participate in all three days of the event.