Mopar®/Dodge NHRA Sportsman Spotlight: NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas
Wann and Smith Earn Dodge Rewards
A very deep field of Sportsman competitors took part in the 17th annual NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, including more than 75 cars in both the Stock and Super Stock Eliminator categories.
In Stock Eliminator, Steve Wann, known as “Mr. 413,” advanced his A/SA 1962 Plymouth Fury to the quarterfinal round. The driver from Modesto, California, turned in a pass of 10.276 seconds at 126.70 mph on a 10.28 dial-in, breaking out by .004. He left the starting line with a .036-second reaction time.
In Super Stock Eliminator, Darren Smith from Palmdale, California, turned in the best performance for Mopar®. He put his SS/FA 1968 Dodge Dart GTS powered by a 440 cubic-inch engine in the fourth round, where he laid down a lap of 9.838 at 128.80 on a 9.75 dial-in. He bowed out by less than two feet at the finish line after an outstanding .006 reaction time.
Wann and Smith were named the Dodge Top Finisher of the event for their efforts. The program is in place at all 24 national events in 2017 and awards $500 to the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock Eliminator driver who advances the farthest in a Dodge or Plymouth vehicle to supplement Mopar’s deep contingency program.
Both Stock and Super Stock competitors also took part in class eliminations in Las Vegas, with several Mopar-powered drivers taking home Wally trophies.
In Stock Eliminator, Larry Gilley of Hilmar, California, won the E/SA class in a ’69 Dodge Dart; Mike Cotten from Cave Creek, Arizona, took the F/SA win in his ’73 Plymouth Duster; Mike Loge of Antioch, California, drove a ’70 Plymouth GTX to the H/SA victory; and Paul Wong from Las Vegas claimed the Combo-Stick win in a ’65 Plymouth Belvedere.
Four Super Stock drivers also claimed victories, as Cotten won SS/JA in his ’70 Plymouth Barracuda; Wayne Taylor of Chino, California, took the GT/MA win in a ’99 Chrysler Sebring; Kevin Helms from Plant City, Florida, claimed the FSS/E victory in a ’10 Dodge Challenger; and Lloyd Wofford of Jonesboro, Arkansas, won FGT/J in a ’79 Plymouth Volare.
Darcy Clarke of Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, also collected a Wally trophy when his SS/EA 1964 Plymouth Savoy won the Best Engineered Award.