Jenkins Reaches Finals At IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals, Finishes Runner-up STANTON, MI. -- With a torrid heat wave gripping most of the United States, who better to challenge the temperatures and the competition at the IHRA CARQUEST...
Jenkins Reaches Finals At IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals, Finishes Runner-up
STANTON, MI. -- With a torrid heat wave gripping most of the United States, who better to challenge the temperatures and the competition at the IHRA CARQUEST Northern Nationals than "The Iceman" Shannon Jenkins. Jenkins and his Parson's Brothers-owned, '41 Willys is as unrelenting as the heat as he laughs off challenges and stomps the competition en-route to a sensational comeback season. For Jenkins, the sun was his worst enemy in the finals.
"It was rough," explained Jenkins. "I give all the credit to Steve Vick. He's a great driver and he deserved to win. Our day will come around again. I'm just glad we were able to extend our points lead with Hahn going out first round."
The remarkable weekend started with an impressive showing in qualifying. After not competing at Stanton last season, Jenkins returned in impressive fashion for 1999. He produced the quickest run of the first session with a 6.564/210.77, which put him in the top spot going into the Friday evening session. His work was far from done in the second session as he improved with a 6.53/215.41 and retained the top spot.
Jenkins continued his improvement and stepped up to a 6.524/213.64 to remain the quickest nitrous entry in the Pro Mod division. However, he slipped to the second qualifying position. With his stock falling to quicker final attempts by the other Pro Mods ahead of him, Jenkins stepped up with a 6.476/214.43 to land in the fourth spot.
He had to race Gary Shearer in the first round. The former World Champion allowed Shearer to get him off of the line, but reeled him in with a 6.485/214.86.
The "Iceman" then matched skills with Quain Stott in the second round. Jenkins was undefeated against Stott in 1999. While he readily agrees that Stott is due to beat him, he confided that today was not to be the day as he beat him for the fifth time in 1999.
In the semis, The "Iceman" was paired against the surprising Johnny Rocca/Troy Critchley combination. Critchley and the '49 Mercury had already upset top qualifier Fred Hahn in the first round and was starting to raise some eyebrows. The "Iceman" would have nothing of the sort, and made sure Critchley's Cinderella story reached midnight. Jenkins pulled off a cool 0.450 reaction time while Critchley "melted" under the "Iceman's" pressure and fouled. Jenkins then rocked to a 6.475/215.51 pass, good enough for lane choice in the finals.
The final round turned out to be quite a crowd pleaser. The "Iceman" faced third qualifier Steve Vick and his '68 Camaro. Vick had a better reaction time, 0.467 to 0.505, and held off a late surge by Jenkins in an extremely close race. Approximately eleven inches separated the two cars at the finish line with Vick posting a 6.497/217.56 victory over The "Iceman's" 6.462/216.00 Jenkins plans to continue his championship conquest at the IHRA MOPAR PARTS World Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, August 26 - 29. Jenkins, 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 of Drag Review.