World's Fastest Super Stock competitors converge on Indy; Mopar Performance Parts Hemi Challenge II set for U.S. Nationals. CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 23, 2002) -- The second annual Mopar Performance Parts Hemi Challenge II is set for the 48th annual...
World's Fastest Super Stock competitors converge on Indy; Mopar Performance Parts Hemi Challenge II set for U.S. Nationals.
CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 23, 2002) -- The second annual Mopar Performance Parts Hemi Challenge II is set for the 48th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at the historic Indianapolis Raceway Park over Labor Day Weekend. And like last year's inaugural event, nearly 25 racers will be chasing the $10,000 bonus awarded to the winner of the Aug. 31, NHRA Super Stock showcase.
The Mopar Performance Parts Hemi Challenge II is a heads-up NHRA Sportsman category shootout for the world's quickest and fastest Super Stock race cars. The event was inspired by the great history Mopar possesses within the class that it dominated prior to the development of the Pro Stock category in the early 1970s. Every driver that entered is eligible for competition.
West Virginia resident and NHRA Super Stock category standout Bucky Hess and his 1968 Hemi-powered SS/AA Plymouth Barracuda took home the cash last season in a dramatic final-round match up with James Keyes. A classic, street-inspired burndown; followed by mechanical woes for Keyes allowed Hess to cruise through the timing lights and into the record books. An accomplishment Hess won't soon forget.
"I went into that weekend with a lot of confidence," Hess said."I want to be the one that people have to beat this weekend. I will keep with my game plan, cut good lights and see what happens. I sure would like to get a second one. I have a small crew, but they worked so hard to make this happen last year."
Mopar Performance Parts Marketing Manager David Hakim explained the program.
"The modern-day Sportsman racer is the backbone of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series," Hakim said."Mopar feels very strongly about its loyal Sportsman competitors. The Hemi engine and Super Stock racing are synonymous with each other. Mopar's dominance of the category back in the late 1960s and early' 70s has been a benchmark that everything else is compared."
Limited Production Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Darts boast an illustrious history at the U.S. Nationals. In 1968, Arlen Vanke piloted his Super Stock Plymouth Barracuda to victory while Ronnie Sox, of the famed Sox & (Buddy) Martin duo, claimed the 1969 trophy in another Hemi-powered Barracuda. Ron Mancini drove his 1968 Hemi Dart to Super Stock gold in 1970, and Dan McCallum's 1968 Stock Automatic Barracuda was found in victory lane during the 1994 U.S. Nationals.
Success for Hemi-powered Mopars has also been seen in the Pro Stock category as Herb McCandless won the 1970 event in a' 70 Plymouth; while Sox grabbed the 1971 edition in a Hemi Barracuda.