ATCO, N.J. (June 7-8) - With the premiere of the movie "2 Fast, 2 Furious" as a backdrop, JoJo Callos sends the Castrol SYNTEC0x28a7 Acura Integra after its first win of the season Sunday at rain-plagued Atco Dragway. Callos, the most prolific...
ATCO, N.J. (June 7-8) - With the premiere of the movie "2 Fast, 2 Furious" as a backdrop, JoJo Callos sends the Castrol SYNTEC0x28a7 Acura Integra after its first win of the season Sunday at rain-plagued Atco Dragway.
Callos, the most prolific winner in the history of the NHRA's Hot Rod class, again will confront the front wheel drive entries of Marty Ladwig and Mike Crawford in round four of the Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series.
Ironically, in a race sponsored by B.F. Goodrich, Callos is depending upon the latest tire technology from rival Goodyear to get him back into the hunt for the 2003 championship.
"We're going to swing real hard," said Scott Revell, manager of the Team Tactics operation that prepares cars for Callos, "and hope that the transmission holds together with all the (substantial) traction (available) at Atco.
"We've been testing all week (at Atco and at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa.) on a whole new line of tires. They still say Goodyear on them but, starting July 1, they're going to be the new Dunlop Sport tires that will be replacing the Goodyears in this market.
"We've been working real hard (this year) without much payback," Revell lamented. "Hopefully, this will be our week."
Callos, a veteran of organized "import racing," which evolved from the illegal street racing portrayed in the movie "The Fast and the Furious" and its new sequel, won six times in the first two years the NHRA produced its own series. That performance yielded a championship in 2001 and a near-championship (second place) in 2002.
The year before NHRA entered the "import wars," Callos won nine of the 13 races NIRA and IDRC races in which he participated.
This year, though, he has struggled to get back up to championship form. Even though he was runner-up last month at Englishtown, N.J., the Long Beach, Calif., driver has yielded center stage to the factory front wheel drive cars which have started from the No. 1 spot at every race and won two times.
"They're fast," Revell said of Ladwig's Sunfire and Crawford's Neon, "but the big advantage they have is that the can run the numbers without using up their equipment. The rest of us are having to push to the limit to keep up."
Nevertheless, a bigger immediate problem may be the East Coast weather.
"Saturday looks terrible," Revell said, "(with) heavy rain and thunderstorms. Sunday it's supposed to clear up so the best we may be able to hope for is to run everything off in one day."