Hard-Earned Victory
A win in Hot Rod eliminator during the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals may not have been their most dominant win, but it must have been the most gratifying one for Sports Compact series racers Darrell Cox and Mike Crawford. The North Carolina-based team prevailed at Las Vegas with their '04 SRT-4 despite circumstances that would have sidelined a lesser team.

"We had some very hard luck. we broke our block on our first qualifying run," revealed team owner and tuner Darrell Cox. "We did not have a spare engine with us, so we had to rebuild a motor from the crankshaft up Friday night at the race track. So despite the fact we didn't run as quick or fast as we are capable of, I felt like we accomplished a lot just to get past those hurdles and make victory lane. It wasn't a pretty win, but to come back the way we did says a lot about our team.

"This is still a new car; we are learning more about it each time we go out," Cox continued. "Mopar is helping us with the parts we need, and Greg Reeves (Mopar engineer) is giving us very valuable input."

The victory was also an important step forward for team driver Mike Crawford.

"I haven't had much seat time since we crashed the car, and I still had a few butterflies," Mike admitted. "But now we are the first Hot Rod car to win at a NHRA POWERade event, and that feels tremendous."