Shreveport: Johnny Rocca, Paul Athey race recap

Athey advances to the quarterfinals in Rocca's 'Ironhorse' at the IHRA World Finals Shreveport, LA-Paul Athey, the driver of Johnny Rocca's 'Ironhorse' '51 Pro Modified, advanced to the quarterfinals of eliminations on Sunday at the 4th annual...

Athey advances to the quarterfinals in Rocca's 'Ironhorse' at the IHRA World Finals

Shreveport, LA-Paul Athey, the driver of Johnny Rocca's 'Ironhorse' '51 Pro Modified, advanced to the quarterfinals of eliminations on Sunday at the 4th annual IHRA Mopar Parts World Finals held at Red River Raceway. Athey fell in the second round after qualifying in the No. 6 position for the 16-car Mopar Pro Modified field.

Athey piloted Rocca's '51 Mercury to a 6.33 at 224 mph during the opening round of Mopar Pro Modified qualifying to grab the No. 6 spot on the ladder. The 'Ironhorse' returned for Friday's evening session at Red River Raceway and improved to a stellar 6.28 at 224 mph to move up to the No. 5 spot. Athey's Oldsmobile-powered ride shook the tires during both of Saturday's final two qualifying sessions but still finished in the top half of the field in the No. 6 position.

Rocca's Mohegan Sun-sponsored entry was paired up against No. 11 qualifier, Mitch Stott, during the opening round of eliminations on Sunday. Stott left the starting line first with a .481 to .498 reaction time but car owner and tuner, Johnny Rocca, provided Athey with the muscle to drive around Stott at the top end and take the win. Athey's 6.41 at 219 mph held off Stott's 6.48 at 205 mph and gave Athey lane choice over second round opponent, Shannon Jenkins.

In a classic side by side Pro Mod battle, Athey and Jenkins left the starting line with almost identical reaction times but Jenkins slowly pulled away to take the win with a 6.28 at 223 mph to Athey's game 6.36 at 221 mph.

Paul Athey finished his first full-season in the Mopar Pro Modified class ranked 11th in the IHRA Summit Drag Racing Series national standings. If you would like to find out more about Paul Athey, Johnny Rocca and all of the stars of the IHRA, visit the No. 1 website in all of drag racing, CompetitionPlus.com.

-HC-

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Series Drag
Drivers Johnny Rocca , Paul Athey