Rocca and Critchley Aim For First IHRA National Event Championship At Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals DARLINGTON, SC-- Johnny Rocca intends for his Prolong Super Lubricants- sponsored Ironhorse Mercury to make a bang at the IHRA ...
Rocca and Critchley Aim For First IHRA National Event Championship At Prolong Super Lubricants Winter Nationals
DARLINGTON, SC-- Johnny Rocca intends for his Prolong Super Lubricants- sponsored Ironhorse Mercury to make a bang at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals, but a totally different one than last year's event. The race had been relocated to Desoto Memorial Speedway in Bradenton, Fl., and during the second session a wishbone locator broke sending the fender-skirted creation bouncing off of the right lane guardrail. A lot has changed since that day and the Leesburg, Va., based team owner hopes it's for the better.
"We made some changes and decided to attack some things different," explained Rocca. "We still intend to attack everything with the same intensity, but we're taking a different route. We have a new car, a new driver and I will be the tuner. I would venture to say that this change has already shown promise and will continue to improve in time. This team will be serious players in the championship run."
The veteran driver Rocca stepped out of the driver's seat and hired Australian native Troy Critchley in an attempt to focus more efforts to promoting Prolong's X-treme Machines product line and to concentrate more on the tuning aspects. He does not rule out a return to the driving chores. Critchley has already proven his worth by qualifying number one at the Snowbird Nationals in Bradenton, Fl., late last year and in posting the quickest run at the Majesty Homes Groundhog Warm-up last month. Prior to gaining this new position within the team, Critchley drove a right-seated, Ford Crown Victoria Top Doorslammer for Aussie legend, Victor Bray.
Another change has been in chassis builders as he has retained Pro Modified legend Scotty Cannon's C&P Race Cars to build his latest installment of the lengendary Ironhorse 1949 Mercury. This car will feature the same chassis design as the 1953 Studebaker that won the 1998 Pro Modified championship. Rocca's Merc from last year was totally destroyed in a crash in the Fall of 1998.
Rumors persist of his purchase of Cannon's tune-up and race combination, although none have been substantiated. According to Rocca, the only sure-fire way to tell is if the legendary rubber chicken is dangling from the roof of the golf-cart, a Canon trademark. A constant will be that motivation will be in form of an alcohol-burning powerplant prepared by Mike Hedgecock at Eagle Racing Engines.
Rocca and Critchley plan to open their championship conquest at the IHRA Prolong Winter Nationals in Darlington, S.C., March 12-14. The Native American and Aussie duo, along with each Pro Modified contestant, will be afforded four qualifying runs during the course of the event and the quickest sixteen entries will compete in final eliminations on Sunday. This event will be televised on ESPN2 with the dates TBA in an upcoming issue.