Year Of The MoparCould 2005 be the Year of the Mopar in NHRA Pro Stock racing? That very notion gathered momentum following a great showing during NHRA's recent Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, held at Firebird Raceway near Phoenix. The Pro Stock class, which had been regularly dominated in recent seasons by GM-branded machines, saw no less then five Dodge Stratus' invade Sunday's final swift 16, one of which emerged the winner.

The father and son team of Roy and Allen Johnson prevailed after qualifying 12th. Allen Johnson went on to the final round, where he shutdown Ron Krisher for the event championship. Johnson had a winning time of 6.801 at 202.36 mph.

"I think the parity is back in Pro Stock," said Johnson following his win. "We've been dominated, particularly by Greg Anderson, the last two years, so the rest of us were pretty anxious to get some wins. This was a big win for our program and for Mopar. it's nice to put them back in the winner's circle."

Another Mopar, driven by Richie Stevens Jr., paced the event's Pro Stock program in Don Schumacher's all new Mopar/Valspar-sponsored car. Richie qualified 1st with a 6.735 and also set top speed of the event at 205.35 mph. Dodge Stratus drivers, V. Gaines, Larry Morgan, and Jeg Coughlin Jr., also qualified driving their Hemi-powered cars.

Coronet ClassicJohn Winslow, from San Jose, California, campaigns one of the West Coast's truly rare birds. In a Super Stock category, which allows for head-to-head competition between the very latest in technology and traditional early equipment, Winslow's SS/JA '65 Coronet definitely falls within the latter. Winslow's machine is powered by an original-style 426 wedge. While he admits that engine combination may not necessarily be the most optimum, it is the science of drawing out the power and campaigning it that is part of the attraction.

Winslow is quick to credit fellow West Coast Mopar proponent and racer Steve Wann with help in overcoming some of the shortcomings. Wann machined and assembled the engine at the Rettig Brothers facility in Modesto, California. "Steve Wann is a brilliant engine builder, and he is the only reason this car is this fast," Winslow affirmed. His machine has a best run of 10.80 to its credit, which compares to the NHRA national class index of 11.30.

Winslow's machine utilizes a 727 Torqueflite transmission. A recent enhancement includes a suspension upgrade and air shifter, which has helped to make the vintage car more consistent leaving the starting line.

EventsMay 15-Chicago, IL: Mo-Power Madness brought to you by the Chicagoland Mopar Connection. Info:

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;

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;

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;

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;

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;