A Wann-A-Be No LongerCalifornia's Steve Wann got a monkey off his back in April when he won his first-ever NHRA national event race. Driving the classic Rettig Brothers-sponsored C/SA '70 GTX, the long-time Mopar-brand competitor scored in Stock eliminator during NHRA's SummitRacing.com Nationals held in Las Vegas. Wann mowed down the big field and claimed his championship when he easily won a heads-up match against another C/SA car driven by Aaron Kappien. Wann's 10.81 at 121.92 won decisively.
"I'm very excited to get my first win," said Wann. "I have been racing Mopars for a number of years, but to win in this class you also need a little bit of luck, and I had some good fortune go my way today."
Wann reported that since first acquiring the GTX in 1989, he has been steadily working to make it faster and more consistent. Despite not winning at the national event level until now, Wann's credentials within NHRA's Pacific divisional Sportsman ranks are formidable; they include some 15 race wins and a divisional points championship.
Wann's GTX utilizes a motor program from the Rettig Brothers facility in Modesto. Don Little and Harry Holton contributed to that winning engine combination.
Wann normally runs his car as a B/SA-class car, in which he holds the NHRA national record. But for the Las Vegas event, he added some weight to run in C/SA. He was also in competition for the event's Super Stock eliminator title, racing his fan familiar '97 Dodge Dakota truck. He went to the third round in that eliminator.
Warfish Wins Cajun ShootoutMichigan's Charlie Westcott Jr. earned a popular victory during the second annual Jegs Sports Nationals held at Belle Rose, Louisiana in April. Westcott drove the highly feared "Warfish" '68 Hemi Barracuda to victory in the Mopar Hemi Shootout.
After qualifying second of 16 cars entered with an 8.704 e.t., Westcott Jr. beat Joe Teuton Jr., Jerry Jenkins, and David Barton to advance to the championship round, where he faced a similar '68 Hemi Barracuda driven by Ohio's Jim Pancake. Westcott Jr. got the win when his 8.661 at 151.48 mph prevailed over Pancake's red-light start of 8.684 at 151.60 mph.
The Belle Rose Hemi Shootout had been previously paced by California's Harry Holton, whose 8.658 e.t. led all qualifiers. Holton ran an even quicker 8.598 in round one before being eliminated. Bucky Hess set top speed for the SS/AA cars at 154.43 mph, also in round one.
EventsJuly 16-Williamsport, PA: 6th annual Mopar Muscle of Central Pennsylvania Car Show. Show to be held at Van Campen Dodge/Chrysler. All Mopars and AMCs welcome. Info: Tom, (570) 753-5170; Ed, (570) 649-6419; www.moparmuscleofcentralpa.com
July 31-Roanoke, IL: Mopars Invade Roanoke Car Show. All Mopar and AMC car show, sponsored Roanoke Motor Co. "Viper Capital of the USA" and the Heartland Mopar Club. Registration begins at 9:00 am. Info: (309) 962-5402; DNSGentry@myfam.com
August 6-Columbus, Oh: Third Neo-Fest Custom Compact Nationals at National Trail Raceway, featuring car show, manufacturer's midway, auto cross, drifting, bracket racing, superstar DJs and more, noon-midnight. Info: (614) 268-1181; www.classicevents.com
August 6-Burlington, NC: At Piedmont Dragway, Gibsonville, NC. The event will include a car show, swap meet, trophy street drag racing, trophy bracket racing, Dodge truck shootout, Hemi shootout, Dean Sox of Sox and Martin. All proceeds to hospice. Info: Chris Ketteman, (336) 513-5211; www.drmoparshp1.bravehost.com
August 12-14-Columbus, OH: 25th annual Mopar Nationals featuring the Plymouth Road Runner. Car show, swap meet, car corral, and racing, the Nats have truly become the largest all-Mopar gathering in the country. Info: www.moparnats.org.
August 28- Chicago, IL: Mopars on the Mississippi brought to you by the Chicagoland Mopar Connection. Info: www.chicagolandmopar.com