Ironhorse Rolls back Into Competition, Match Race Scene Readies It For The Nationals LEESBURG, VA.â€” It took only a matter of seconds to destroy one of the finest pieces of machinery to encompass the asphalt quarter-mile. However, it took a ...
Ironhorse Rolls back Into Competition, Match Race Scene Readies It For The Nationals
LEESBURG, VA.— It took only a matter of seconds to destroy one of the finest pieces of machinery to encompass the asphalt quarter-mile. However, it took a little longer for Johnny Rocca’s Ironhorse 1949 Mercury to rise from the proverbial ashes. For IHRA fans, the wait to see this legendary piece of machinery has been almost unbearable and now it is over. The Leesburg, Virgina based veteran has used his numerous match race venues to prepare this rebuilt monster for a return to the big event circuit. Competitors beware, this Phoenix has an unparalleled renewed enthusiasm.
However, that Egyptian mythological figure renewed itself alone. The Ironhorse was just the opposite. According to Rocca, had it not have been for the tireless efforts of chassis builder Tim McAmis and paint & body wizard Barney Squires along with the support of sponsor Prolong Super Lubricants, his classic hot rod would still be a piece of mangled fiberglass and chromoly tubing.
“We have been back,” says Rocca. “We have plotted our return to prominence by using our match races to get back into the groove. I am glad our fans can know that when they hear that unearthly scream of a supercharged engine firing to life from behind the water box, that there’s a very good chance that a fenderskirted Mercury is going to come by them blazing the tires on a burnout. I want to say a big “Thanks” to my sponsors and fans who stuck by me when the times were tough for making this return a reality.”
Rocca has been a busy man in his endeavors since taking delivery of a completely refurbished Pro Modified 1949 Mercury a little over a month ago. He has squared off in countless match races against the likes of Scotty Cannon, Wayne Torkelson and Doug Winters to name a few. He plans to redebut the “lead sled” in national event competition at the IHRA Summer Nationals in Cordova, Illinois.
Rocca along with a barrage of Pro Modified entries will be attempting to qualify for the Summer Nationals on Friday July 3 and Saturday, July 4. They will have 4 attempts to qualify as the sixteen quickest entries. Those sixteen will be a part of final eliminations on Sunday, which begin at noon.