Baytown, Texas - - Just two days after team owner Jerry Haas, of Fenton, Mo., unofficially broke both the existing NHRA national records for elapsed time and speed for the Pro Stock Truck category, recording a pass of 7.420 seconds at 181.59 mph...
Baytown, Texas - - Just two days after team owner Jerry Haas, of Fenton, Mo., unofficially broke both the existing NHRA national records for elapsed time and speed for the Pro Stock Truck category, recording a pass of 7.420 seconds at 181.59 mph at Houston Raceway Park during testing, rookie driver Matt Rhoades, 36, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., upgraded his Federal-Mogul license to a competition license for Pro Stock Truck on Saturday over the same quarter-mile track.
Rhoades is one of two new drivers for Haas' Pro Stock Truck racing operation for the 2001 season, which begins Thursday (February 1st) when the AutoZone Winternationals unfolds at Pomona Dragway in Pomona, Calif. Throughout his racing career, Haas, who is currently retired from active driving, has acted as a mentor for aspiring driving talent. Notable names that have driven Haas-prepared Pro Stock cars and/or trucks in past seasons include Kurt Johnson, Mark Osborne, Brad Jeter, John Nobile, and Billy Huff.
Reflecting on his new license Rhoades, who moves from the Federal-Mogul ranks in Super Gas to Pro Stock Truck, said, "We got it (the license) and now we're ready to go. Getting the license takes a load off my mind and allows the entire team to begin concentrating on the upcoming race in Pomona. The licensing procedure went along without much fanfare. We are going to put out every effort to qualifying both of Jerry's trucks at the Winternationals."
"Both truck are performing well now that we have changed from testing mode to race trim," said Haas, a 13-time Car Craft All-Star Drag Racing Team winner in the Pro Stock Chassis Builder of the Year category. " The ('Grumpy') Jenkins horsepower is awesome. We love it. It runs good with our combination, 100 percent right in both our trucks. I'm really looking forward to starting the season."
Rhoades began his motorsports career by racing go-karts. That sprung into motocross, which he raced professionally for many years. He then moved to professional Jet Ski racing, retiring at an age when many are just beginning to establish their careers. He then tried circle track racing before finding a home in drag racing.
Haas' second truck is driven by Charlie Greco, 50, from St. Davids, Penn., just outside Philadelphia. Greco didn't start a serious racing career until his mid-30s, around 1985, when he began campaigning in Comp Eliminator. His first career win came at the Keystone Nationals in Reading, Penn., in 1993. He also recorded a national event victory at the '97 Summernationals in Englishtown, N.J. After sitting out several seasons to oversee his food distribution business, Greco returned to racing last season, this time in Pro Stock Truck. Running as an independent, he competed in nine of the 15 nationals events at which Pro Stock Truck run.
"I'm excited about having two experienced drivers of the caliber of Matt Rhoades and Charlie Greco on board for 2001," added Haas. "Both have adapted to their Chevy S-10s with a minimum of track time. Both drivers should compliment each other."
Both the white truck driven by Greco and the orange truck with Rhoades at the controls will campaign the entire 15-race NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck schedule. The identically prepared trucks are backed by Jerry Haas Race Cars, Inc., with Chevrolet, Ace Clutches and G-Force Transmissions as associate sponsors.
-Jerry Haas Racing