Mopar Speed news 2004-03-02

Mopar Speed Tuesday, March 2, 2004 Hemi-powered Darts and Barracudas sweep top Super Stock qualifying spots at Winternationals History was made at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway during last weekend's 44th annual NHRA Winternationals, as the legendary...

Mopar Speed
Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Hemi-powered Darts and Barracudas sweep top Super Stock qualifying spots at Winternationals

History was made at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway during last weekend's 44th annual NHRA Winternationals, as the legendary Hemi® Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas from the 1968 model year swept the top-six spots of Super Stock qualifying.

Led by top-qualifier Harry Holton in his 1968 Hemi-powered SS/AA Barracuda, he laid down an earth shattering elapsed-time of 8.66 seconds, which was 1.340 seconds under the NHRA index for the SS/AA class.

Right on Holton's heels was Michael Ogburn with an 8.76 elapsed-time. The remaining top qualifying spots were occupied by Dave Raybourn, Jerry Jenkins, Fred Henson and Jim Grossi, all driving Hemi-powered Darts or Barracudas.

Since the introduction of these limited production factory-built race cars, it has been more than 30 years since they occupied the top six qualifying spots at the NHRA Winternationals.

Each of these vehicles is an example of the low-production factory hot rods that Mopar churned out in 1968, representing the ultimate in the big-power/small-package combination. The cars are able to compete today, thanks in large part to a commitment Mopar Performance made many years ago in bringing back the 426 Hemi engine.

"We attribute these cars' increased success to the fact that Mopar Performance readily offers the high-quality core products to keep these cars on the track, such as engine blocks, crankshafts, intake manifolds and cylinder heads," said David Hakim, Product Line Manager, Mopar Performance.

"Great engineered quality parts is only half the equation in making these go as fast as they do," Hakim said. "The other half is the constant ongoing research and development of the 426 Super Stock Hemi engine by builders such as Ray Barton and Harry Holton [No. 1 Qualifier at Pomona].

"These cars are running mid eight-second times at around 150 mph -- this is quite an accomplishment, considering the 3000-plus weight of the vehicle and the lack of aerodynamics."

It was like 1968 all over again when six Hemi-powered Mopars swept the top qualifying spots at the NHRA Winternationals last weekend.

Jerry Jenkins, above, qualified fourth of the bunch. Jenkins captured the championship of the 2003 Hemi Challenge, held at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis last September.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dave Raybourn , Fred Henson , Jerry Jenkins