A Super Stock First StrikeCalifornia-based Mopar proponent Don Little etched himself a little bit of drag racing history in February when he won the Super Stock eliminator at the NHRA's season-opening Carquest Winternationals at Pomona. Driving his SS/DA-classed, Hemi-powered '71 Dodge Challenger, Little won the event when his final round time of 10.204 secs (10.19 secs dial-in) prevailed over opponent Brad Plourd. Little's victory was unique because it marked the first time in NHRA drag racing history that a Stock eliminator car has won in Super Stock eliminator. Little's car was originally built for the A/SA class.

"To be honest I had grown a little tired of racing in just Stock eliminator," said Little, who was the NHRA's overall Stock eliminator World Champion back in 1999. "Then when NHRA announced that it would be rotating Stock and Super Stock eliminator at some of its events, it made sense to me to build something that could do both. Racing in Stock, I was used to always chasing down the competition, but in Super Stock it's different because now I'm the slower car."

Little's victory at Pomona came from the 62nd qualifying position and did take the veteran racer somewhat by surprise. Little, who is a highly regarded Mopar Stock eliminator engine builder based in Northern California, reported that his 426 Hemi-powered Challenger is rated by NHRA at 455 hp for SS/DA and 430 hp for A/SA. To convert the car from Stock to Super Stock was simple-he added a transmission shield, a window net, and upgraded his competition license.

Richie Stevens To MoparIn a major follow-up move within the Don Schumacher Racing stable, Louisiana's Richie Stevens Jr. has been named as the team's second Pro Stock driver, joining Jeg Coughlin Jr. Stevens will drive an all-new '05 Dodge Stratus with major sponsorship from Mopar. Wrenching chores will be handled by the legendary Bob Glidden. For Stevens, who has been racing Pro Stock cars of various configurations since the late '90s, the opportunity to race for such a high-profile team is not only deserved, but also a dream come true.

"When I got the call from Don Schumacher asking me to come aboard, I was thrilled," said Stevens. "Being associated with this team is a career highlight for sure, and I plan to make the best of it. Just having Don Schumacher, Bob Glidden, and Jeg Coughlin all on your side is unbelievable. We have all the positives we need to go out there and win a championship, and our target is nothing short of just that."

Stevens competed in Pro Stock from 1998 through 2002, and collected four national event victories in seven career final rounds. He took a short hiatus from racing in 2002 to run his family business, Stevens Collision Center.

EventsApril 22-24-Atlanta, GA: The Year One Experience-an exciting new twist for 2005. Slated to be held at both Road Atlanta and Atlanta Dragway, the event will continue our annual tradition of hosting action-packed gatherings for gearheads. Since we're making use of both a world-class road course (Road Atlanta) and a top-flight drag strip (Atlanta Dragway), the activities we have planned will be as diverse as they are exciting. We will be awarding the Year One Cup, complete with a lead-crystal cup, a $5,000 gift certificate, and an amenities package second-to-none in the automotive world. And, as always, there will be activities and excitement for every member of the family at the 2005 Year One Experience. Info: www.yearone.com.

April 24-Centerline, MI: North Oakland Mopar Muscle's 8th annual Car Show and Swap Meet, 8:00 a.m. at DaimlerChrysler's Centerline Parts Depot, the largest Mopar-only Swap Meet in Michigan. Info: (248) 975-NOMM; www.440sixpack.com.