Norwalk, OH - Defending Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock Champ Chris Holbrook must feel like the guy who walks out of the mall at night and can't recognize his car in the jammed parking lot. At this weekend's Mopar Performance World Nationals at ...
Norwalk, OH - Defending Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock Champ Chris Holbrook must feel like the guy who walks out of the mall at night and can't recognize his car in the jammed parking lot. At this weekend's Mopar Performance World Nationals at Norwalk Raceway Park in Ohio, the young driver from Livonia, MI was strapped into the fourth race car he's driven this season.
After an incredible 1999 season which saw Holbrook take it all in IHRA Pro Stock, his reversal of fortunes this season are almost too bizarre to be true. After the opening race of the season, Chris' long-time race team folded. A group of fellow racers came to the rescue, and put together a car for the next race. Unfortunately, the former driver of that car crashed his new machine, and after that race Chris had to relinquish his ride again.
Not to be beaten, Holbrook transformed his former Top Sportsman Mustang to Pro Stock specs, and hit the trail once again. The car was never very competitive, but Chris was determined to keep racing until Jerry Haas could build his new Mustang. He suffered through a frustrating string of DNQ's, but he never quit.
His forgettable season thus far hasn't dampened the championship spirit of Chris Holbrook, however, and this weekend in Norwalk he finally had the opportunity to get back into a competitive racecar. Chris had made a one race deal to put a new Jerry Haas-built 2000 Mustang through its paces. And since this is the same car that Haas is building for him, Holbrook seized the opportunity to get some seat time in the Luckett and Bohanon entry.
The car had about four passes on it when Chris went to the line for the first round of Qualifying. So in order to properly maintain the tradition of new car blues, the 'Stang went dead on the line after the burnout when a throttle cable snagged. Two attempts later, however, Holbrook was in the field. In the 16th and last position, but in the field nevertheless.
Of course the worst thing about being 16th is that you get the top qualifier in the first round. And this time around it was the tough Jerry Yeoman, winner of the previous race in Michigan. For a change, the bad luck was in Holbrook's opponent's lane. Yeoman's car inexplicably rolled through the lights, and Holbrook took advantage of the situation to take his first 'round' win in many races
Round two saw the old gremlins return, as Holbrook faced off against Ron Miller. Chris left way early, and Miller caught the big break this time as he broke the car at the 330' mark. "If only" just about sums up the whole season as the frustrations go on for Holbrook. But he's a tough guy, a determined competitor, and a winner. He's going through one of the worst cases of "what doesn't kill you just makes you stronger" than most people have ever been subjected to. But, when he gets this thing turned around, and have no doubts that he will, he'll be looking to make up a load of lost time, pride and trips to the winner's circle.