Rockingham, NC - For the second year in a row, Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock competitor Chris Holbrook breathed a huge sigh of relief when the IHRA/Summit Racing Series Tour wrapped up another season of tough competition. But the reasons for this...
Rockingham, NC - For the second year in a row, Sunoco Race Fuels Pro Stock competitor Chris Holbrook breathed a huge sigh of relief when the IHRA/Summit Racing Series Tour wrapped up another season of tough competition. But the reasons for this welcomed release from the pressures built up over a long racing schedule couldn't have been much further apart.
At this point in 1999, the Redford, MI driver had taken on all comers and emerged victorious, claiming the Sunoco Pro Stock World Champion, logging five victories behind the wheel of his Stu Evans Motorsports Ford Mustang in the process. The future looked bright for the young Michigander, and he eagerly looked ahead to a title defense in the new Millenium.
But you know that old saying about 'best laid plans', right? Well, if you don't, just ask Holbrook. He'll be glad to fill you in - if you've got an hour or two. That's just how diametrically opposed Holbrook's 2000 season was compared to the one previous. Forget 'Murphy's Law' - in the IHRA this season, not happily, it was 'Holbrook's Law' much of the time.
The sooner the details of the first half of the '99 season are forgotten, the better, as far as Chris is concerned. In a nutshell, Holbrook lost his championship ride when the Evans team disbanded over the winter. Thanks to the generosity of fellow Pro Stock racers, Holbrook was able to stay on the track, if not in the points hunt, behind the wheel of several different cars, eventually including his old Top Sportsman Mustang.
The defending champ, a true sportsman, gamely soldiered on. But you know that not being in a competitive position come race day had to hurt a guy like Chris Holbrook, a dedicated racer possessed of a fierce passion to be at his best at all times. Fortunately, salvation came along in the guise of fellow racer and car builder Jerry Haas, and the Luckett-Bohanon Racing team. They unselfishly let Holbrook have the use of their new 2000 Ford Mustang, beginning at the CARQUEST World Nationals in August.
From that point on, Chris qualified at every event on the remainder of the schedule, up through the Mopar Parts World Finals at Shreveport, LA. Having the new Mustang to wring out for five races was a real boon to the Hollbrook team, as Haas has one just like it earmarked for delivery to Holbrook's race shop sometime this winter.
So Holbrook was back in stride - not winning any races yet, but feeling the old fire in his gut because he at last had a car around him that was on a par with the rest of the field. With one event yet to go, this weekend's conclusion of the rain-shortened CARQUEST Autumn Nationals at Rockingham, Chris was at last able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. And although he failed to qualify this time around, his 6.759 just outside the 6.733 bump, he at least knows where he stands for the beginning of the 2001 season - and this time he's sure! With a clean slate and a brand new race car, Chris is more than willing to let Mr. Murphy have his 'Law' back as soon as he wants it.