Making a car run the best it can has different meanings for different people. Some feel that however a car runs just by assembling the parts is good enough. Then, there are the few that really make a science out of perfecting how a car runs. Not only is proper parts selection paramount, but every part is then scrutinized to make its small part of the complete package as best as it can be. Then, you have the guys that race their Mopars in the Pure Stock Drags.

This class of racing puts a unique twist on the 1320 because the rulebook requires cars to be very near stock—stock engine components like the block, heads, intake, and carburetor are a must. What's more, the cam must retain an original equipment grind and the valvetrain must be stock. It's so restrictive, that porting of the heads, or even port matching are not allowed. To make power, an engine must breathe, but these cars even have to run factory cast-iron exhaust manifolds, mufflers, and tailpipes—all in the factory location.

Normally, a slick or at least a larger tire can help you when you launch, but not for these guys. They have to run factory-sized tires. In this class, you can't just throw horsepower at the car to go fast. You've got to build the right power for the available traction, position it correctly in the power band, tweak the engine for the car's rear gear, harness it deftly, and ride that moving the line between traction and wheel spin. If you do it right, you'll be on your way to a hot e.t. If not, your opponent runs off and leaves you—and there's no way to recover lost time. Even though the Pure Stock racing rule book has survived with few changes over the years, the cars seem to get faster and faster each year thanks to more meticulous engine machining, chassis prep, and driving practice.

Recently, we spent some time at the Pure Stock Drags that are held at a remote track in the middle of northern Michigan's potato fields. We wanted to see just how the Mopar guys were running, and see if we could get a glimpse into what it takes to make these boe stock cruisers run like race cars.

Top 10 Mopars At the 2012 Pure Stock Drags by e.t
10 Mike Leyes
'69 Road Runner
440 Six Barrel
12.70/110.34
9 Steve Hodges
'64 Plymouth Sport Fury
426 Max Wedge
12.37/116.94
8 Reg Lewis
'67 Plymouth GTX
426 Hemi
12.30/117.15
7 Ed Cook
'69 Road Runner
440 Six Barrel
12.26/114.31
6 Jim Spetzman
'69 Superbee
440 Six Pack
12.06/115.59
5 Bob Karakashian
'70 Cuda
426 Hemi
11.94/118.73
4 Paul Petcou
'70 Challenger R/T
440 Six Pack
11.92/117.40
3 Jim Keyes
'67 Dodge Coronet R/T
426 Hemi
11.77/122.00
2 Tom Hoover
'64 Plymouth Belvedere
426 Max Wedge
11.55/122.58
1 Rick Mahoney
'68 Road Runner
426 Hemi
11.54/125.31