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.
April 30-Mobile, AL: Mopars at the Battleship 10th annual-exclusive Mopar Car Show and Swap Meet. Best Pre-'76 and Best Post-'75 awards will be given. Best Pre-'60, Best A-Body, Best B-Body, Best C-Body, Best E-Body, and Best AMC Awards. Show proceeds to benefit the Mulherin Custodial Home. Info: Larry Jordan, (251) 653-5154; email@example.com; www.southernmopar.com.
April 30-Virginia Beach, VA: Mopars on the Boardwalk Car Show on Virginia Beach Boardwalk, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., registration 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Enter boardwalk at corner of 20th and Atlantic Ave. Burnout Contest Saturday night, party on Friday night. Info: www.moparmadness; show cars: (757) 858-8083; vendors: (757) 425-3111; firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 1-Bellevue, WA: The Seattle Chapter of Mopars Unlimited will be hosting the 24th annual All-Mopar Spring round up. For this year's show, we are returning to the campus parking lot at Bellevue Community College. We are expecting 300-plus show cars, commercial and amateur swap meet vendors, new vehicle displays, etc.
The show is sponsored by Eastside Chrysler Jeep of Bellevue, and Accurate Auto Body of Redmond, Washington. Info: www.moparsunlimited.com.
May 1-Great Bend, KS: Mid America Mopars 17th annual Car Show at Brit Spaugh Park. Info: Gary, (620) 793-6742; Steve, (620) 587-3308.
May 7-Farmington, NC: 20th annual Mopar Fun Run Show and Swap meet at Farmington Motor Sports Park. Sponsored by the Piedmont Mopar Club and Smith Stokes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep. $5 Charity raffle tickets for a 360 crate-motor. Info: Ron Osborne, (336) 674-5180; Piedmont Mopar Club, P.O. Box 7494, Greensboro, NC 27417.
May 15-Chicago, IL: Mo-Power Madness brought to you by the Chicagoland Mopar Connection. Info: www.chicagolandmopar.com.
May 13-15-Englishtown, NJ: 19th annual Mopar Atlantic Nationals held at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This show has something for everyone: drag racing, car show, swap meet, vintage race cars, and more. Info: Paul Bailey, (732) 446-7800; www.racewaypark.com.
May 15-Riverside, CA: 8th annual Mopars in May Car & Truck Show & Swap Meet. Car show, swap meet, 50/50, with all proceeds going to California School for the Deaf. Info: Mike, (909) 981-0477; email@example.com.
May 21-22-Kansas City, MO: 7th Kansas City Chrysler Classic at Kansas City International Raceway, MCG Points Series Kickoff, featuring Chrysler product car show, swap meet, big Dog bracket racing, Hemi and Max Wedge combo, Saturday night jets and gambler's under the lights! Info: (614) 268-1181; www.classicevents.com.
May 21-22-Spartanburg, SC: 17th annual National Dodge Charger Meet, sponsored by the Dodge Charger Registry. No entry fee. Info: Wayne Wooten, The Dodge Charger Registry, P.O. Box 79, Meherrin, VA 23954; (434) 223-1305; www.dodgechargerregistry.com.
May 22-Tunkhannock, PA: Pennsylvania Pentastars Car Club 10th annual Mopar and AMC car and truck show at The Carriage Inn, Rt. 92 South. Info: Dave Hastie, (570) 388-2740; http://papentastars.tripod.com.
June 4-Sevierville, TN: 16th annual Mopar Car Show brought to you by Smokey Mountain Mopars, Inc. at the Sevier County Fairgrounds, Sevierville, TN. Registration open from 8-12, and judging starts at 1. Info: Larry Hartman, (865) 397-5146; firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 4-Newport News, VA: Colonial Mopar Tour Cruise with tours at the Historic Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown Settlements. Saturday night cruise in with live music at Oyster Point Dodge. Tour starts 8:30 a.m. at Oyster Point Dodge, 11999 Jefferson Ave, Newport News, VA. Info: www.moparmadness.info; (757) 858-8083; email@example.com.
June 10-12-Columbus, Oh: 13th Columbus Chrysler Classic at National Trail Raceway, featuring Chrysler product car show, swap meet, Daytona-Superbird reunion, Big Dog 0-8.99 e.t. bracket, King of the Street, and nostalgia drag racing. Over 2,000 cars, 500 vendors, and 15,000 spectators. Info: (614) 268-1181; www.classicevents.com.
June 10-11-West Salem, WI: 7th annual All Mopar Show and Swap, sponsored by Coulee Region Mopars. Friday night cruise 5-9 p.m. Saturday Car show with trophies, Swap meet, Car Corral, Model Car Contest, and more. No admission or show/swap fees. All Mopar and Mopar-powered vehicles are welcome. Event held at LaCrosse Interstate Speedway. Info: www.couleeregionmopars.com; Roy Stephan, (608) 788-7272; Steve Link, (608) 784-0317.
June 11-Nampa, ID: Mopars Unlimited of Idaho's 18th annual Show and Shine at Lakeview Park. Car show with goody bags, dash plaques, trophies, giveaways, car raffle, car corral, food, and specialty vendors and much more. 17th annual Northwest Mopar Championships drag racing on the 12th at Firebird Raceway in Emmett, ID. Info: Doug Pederson, (208) 288-2340; www.moparsunlimitedofidaho.com.
June 11-12-Kansas City, KS: All Mopar show and swap meet sponsored by the High Performance Auto Club at Community America Ballpark located next to the Kansas Speedway. Info: Dick, (816) 618-7284; visis www.hpacmopar.com.
June 18-Wichita, KS: 20th annual Wichita Area Mopar Club/Air Capitol All-Mopar Meet, New Market Square, 21st and Maize Road, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Info: Lyle Suhr, (316) 262-8355; Jim Homan, (316) 377-0050.
June 18-Belen, NM:10th Annual Hub City Mopar Fest (Anniversary Show, Father's Day weekend). All Mopar Car Show, Swap Meet and Model Car Show.Trophies for 20 classes including under-construction and daily driver, as well as many special awards including long distance. Goody bags to first 125 entrants, event tees, vendors, great raffle door and prizes, swap meet. Info: www.moparclub.com; Paul, (505) 896-8115.
June 16-18-Lebanon, TN: Tennessee Cruzin Classic Car Show at the Nashville Superspeedway. This three-day event will feature more than 2,000 American-brand cars built between 1900 and 1980 competing for up to $200,000 in prize money. Approximately 1,000 more classic cars, trucks, tractors and motorcycles of any model years will be on display. Info: Dale Holland, (800) 427-8946; www.tennesseecruzin.com.
June 19-Columbia, MO: 18th annual Show-Me Mopar Festival, 6 miles south of Columbia on Highway 63, I-70 exit 128A. Info: (573) 636-9777; Eve, (573) 474-2397.
June 25-26-Hamilton, OH: 5th Tri-State Chrysler Classic at Tri-State Dragway, Chrysler product car show, swap meet, Hemi Super Stockers the Original Max Wedge Shootout, and Slant 6 Showdowns. Open to all Chrysler related vehicles. Info: (614) 268-1181; www.classicevents.com.
June 26-Chicago, IL: Mopars at the Park brought to you by the Chicagoland Mopar Connection. Info: www.chicagolandmopar.com.
June 18-19-Madison, WI: 18th annual National Dodge Charger Meet, sponsored by The Dodge Charger Registry. No entry fee. Info: Scott Wagner, (414) 546-0577 (Wisconsin); Wayne Wooten, The Dodge Charger Registry, P.O. Box 79, Meherrin, VA 23954; (434) 223-1305; www.thedodgechargerregistry.com.
June 19-24-Madison, WI to Boerne, TX: Tracks Across America Dodge Charger tour from Wisconsin to Texas, sponsored by the Dodge Charger Registry. No entry fee. Info: Wayne Wooten, The Dodge Charger Registry, P.O. Box 79, Meherrin, VA 23954; (434) 233-1305; www.dodgechargerregistry.com.
June 25-26-Boerne, TX: 17th annual National Dodge Charger Meet sponsored by The Dodge Charger Registry. No entry fee. Info: Wes Pieper, 830-981-5383 (Texas); Wayne Wooten, The Dodge Charger Registry, P.O. Box 79, Meherrin, VA 23954; (434) 223-1305; www.dodgechargerregistry.com.
July 1-3-Grand Junction, CO: 15th annual Mopar Magic Weekend in Grand Junction, Colorado. All Mopar car show presented by Mopars Unlimited of Colorado. Info: Carol or Roger Bryant; firstname.lastname@example.org; 970-434-7756.
July 8-10-Carlisle, PA: The Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals presented by DaimlerChrysler for all Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth, and Jeep vehicles. Show field, swap meet, car corral, and Mopars, new and old, as well as concept cars and special guests to keep you entertained. Info: www.carsatcarlisle.com.
Also this year, do you have a Super Bee or Road Runner that came with an A-12 package? At the 2005 Chrysler Classic in Carlisle, PA, The A-12 Restoration group from Moparts.com is hosting a get-together of all lift-off-hood Road Runners and Super Bees. Info: Moparts.com, and go to the A-12 restoration page for more info.
July 8-9-York, PA: Fourth annual York US 30 Musclecar Madness at the York Expo Center, York Fairgrounds. This year, a "Tribute to Ronnie Sox" and the Sox & Martin race team. Two day Cruisin' Into Summer cruise in and Legends of Drag Racing. Info: www.yorkus30.com; Darwin Doll, (717) 755.5849.
Nickens Neon NewsTexans David and Bo Nickens have sold their '01 Dodge Neon to West Virginia-based racer Lonnie Johnson. Prior to consummating the final sale, the Nickens were at the NHRA Carquest Winternationals in Pomona, where they came very close to sending the car off to its new home with a national event title! Driver Bo Nickens wheeled the former Pro Stock car to the semifinal round in Competition eliminator before fouling out to the dragster driven by eventual winner Michael Stone.
David Nickens confirmed the machine features a unique 470 Hemi-engine, which he manufactures. "It's basically a 500-inch Pro Stock motor, which has been de-stroked," revealed David. "It's one of our main products. We continue to specialize in Mopar engine applications for Sportsman racing." The slick-looking Neon, which is run in B/A class with a planetary transmission, has carded a best of a 7.41 e.t. to date.
Pomona PromiseNHRA POWERade drag racing fans got a serious dose of "Nitro Dodge" during the season-opening Winternationals in California following a record number of Dodge Stratus Funny Car class entries. No less than five new Dodge Stratus cars ran at the event. The Mopar parade was led by Gary Scelzi, who finished second in points last season behind the wheel of the Mopar/Oakley Stratus. Scelzi was the quickest in qualifying and during eliminations hit a best run of 4.717 at 331.53 mph. Scelzi's FC class teammates, Whit Bazemore and Ron Capps, also qualified. Bazemore had the best finish overall for the Dodges in attendance, placing in the semifinal round in the Matco Tools Stratus, while Capps was the talk of the pits following the unveiling of his new, spectacular-looking, Brut-sponsored Dodge Stratus.
The Pomona event also included the debut of new Dodge Stratus Funny Cars for California's Frank Pedregon and Ohio's Jim Head, who both show great promise.