Ironhorse Finishes As Quarter-finalist, Qualifies On Pole For Second Race In A Row! ROCKINGHAM, NC -- A 1949 Mercury has been given the moniker of being a lead sled. However, the 1949 Mercury of Johnny Rocca proved to be no "lead sled" in ...
Ironhorse Finishes As Quarter-finalist, Qualifies On Pole For Second Race In A Row!
ROCKINGHAM, NC -- A 1949 Mercury has been given the moniker of being a lead sled. However, the 1949 Mercury of Johnny Rocca proved to be no "lead sled" in qualifying by capturing the pole for the second race in a row. The 6.272/220.31 mph shot laid down by the Iron Horse team in the final qualifying session proved to be the third quickest in IHRA Pro Modified history.
Driver Troy Critchley came out in the first qualifying session hoping to pic k up where he left off at in Epping. His combination was much tougher than Rockingham could handle and rattled thetires, forcing him to pedal to a 6.599. He was the third alternate after the first session. The Australian wasmuch better in the second session with a 6.426/217.65. He ended the day a s the third quickest.
Gremlins set in as ignition problems killed the engine as it rolled into the water box for the third session. As a result, they made no qualifying attempt during the third session. He still retained the third seeding. Critchley was up for a severe case of deja vu' as he stormed to their quickest and fastest run of their career with a 6.272/220.31 for the top spot in the quickest Pro Modified field ever.
In the first round, the Aussie faced veteran Carl Moyer and his 1957 Chevy. Moyer got the holeshot but Crithcley and the Prolong-sponsored, "Ironhorse" trotted to victory. The Rocca-tuned Merc ran another impressive time of 6.320/220.85 to Moyer's losing 6.628/212.81.
The Ironhorse the faced the 1963 Corvette of Quain Stott in the second round. Critchley was late on the tree and that was the advantage that a slower Stott needed. Stott ran a slower 6.425/220.58 mph and that was enough to fend off Critchley's quicker 6.381/219.78. The difference at the finish was 0.006, less than a bumper. The tale of the tape was Critchley's losing .544 to Stott's .494.
Rocca and Critchley are slated to return to competition at the IHRA EXPRESS Auto Parts.Com President's Cup Nationals, in Budd's Creek, Md., on Oct. 1-3. The Native American and Aussie duo, along with each Pro Modified contestant, will be afforded two qualifying attempts on Friday and another two on Saturday with final eliminations slated for Sunday.