The Mettler Racing Team has plans to campaign their machine extensively on the West Coast this season, attending all NHRA Pacific Division Lucas Oil Series events, as well as select NHRA national events. While still seeking their first ever national event victory, the team was inspired following it's strong "final four" showing during NHRA's 2005 season-opening event at Pomona Raceway.
Dart Hits Bulls Eye
The California-based, father-and-son team of Dave and Darren Smith have built one of the most remarkable Mopar machines ever seen in NHRA Super Stock class racing. Over a two-year period beginning in 2002, they meticulously designed, assembled, and prepared an astounding '68 Dodge Dart. The car is unusual bcause it is campaigned in SS/GA trim, utilizing a 440 engine with a single four-barrel carburetor.
"As far as I know this is the only SS/GA Dart in the nation," revealed driver Darren Smith. "We have been racing Mopars for a long time, and we felt this would be an interesting combination. The car weighs 3,370 pounds, and NHRA has rated the motor at 375 hp. Bob Lambeck did the machining and dyno testing; Eric Jones did the heads and manifold; we did all of the assembly. We run a 727 transmission equipped with 904 parts. So far the car has been very competitive, running well under the national index at 9.77 and 134 mph."
Darren Smith had previously raced in the NHRA Stock eliminator category, enjoying great success with his '00 Dodge Dakota truck that Darren's sister, Staci, has now taken over. since its debut during last year's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, the new Dodge Dart has seen only limited action at NHRA national event races.
The car features an absolutely stunning silver-and-blue paint scheme applied by Critical Car Care. That finish has already won the team Best Appearing Car award at two major events, one each at the NHRA national and divisional level.