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Turning on win-lights in your Mopar

With our publisher’s blessing I should be able to put my ideas, opinions and thoughts in front of my favorite racers, Mopar racers, each month. It will be my pleasure to report on new products through tech features, industry news and bring real-world results to you in a way that you can apply them to your racing ventures if you so desire.

First, a little history about myself. If you read our “big brother” magazine (DragRacingOnline.com) you may recognize my name. If you do, thanks! If not, that’s OK too. You will be seeing it a lot more in the pages of this magazine as I have been racing Mopars for over 27 years. Mostly big-block stuff but I had a few years with a small-block Stock Eliminator car and a 340 bracket car. I will try to share my ideas on everything from what parts work to what parts don’t, where to spend money and where not to waste it. I will also give you some of the ideas that I have used to improve my racing as a driver. I have raced with and without delay boxes and used to do both at the same vents, that was fun!

This month I just wanted to introduce myself and hit on a few subjects that I find interesting and some things that over the years I have seen take place in bracket racing in the geographic area I am familiar with, namely the upper Midwest.

For the last six years I have been racing a rear-engine dragster. I know, Mopar racers are door-car guys! Well trust me, I was too. I towed that ’67 Dart of mine all over the place bracket racing. Florida five times, Texas six times, Kentucky four times, Oklahoma five times, Colorado two times, Indianapolis four times and tracks not too far from my Iowa home like St. Louis, MO; Brainerd, MN; Rockford, IL; Topeka, KS; and all the Iowa tracks for nearly 12 years. I couldn’t have asked for better or more reliable car to turn win lights on with.

Then I got the “dragster bug” in 2001. Had to have one as I thought they were the answer for even more wins. I have done really well with the four-link dragster we built as “Project 4-Link” in DragRacingOnline. I have had my share of win lights come on, but I still get a kick out of watching those Mopars with the torqueflites carry the wheels out there about 6 feet -- super cool.

If you haven’t read about it you can go to the Archives at DragRacingOnline.com and start about Feb. 2001 and see it go from a pile of pipe to a 7.40-second, 950 hp Mopar. It was fun doing the articles and even more fun racing it. I never quit thinking about that old red Dart though; “Attitude Adjustment” was a huge part of why I fell in love with Mopars and racing. I sold it to a good friend and even though he doesn’t race much it feels good knowing it went to a “good Mopar home.”

In the next few months those of you that drag race a little and those that drag race a lot might enjoy my diving into the driver’s seat a little and see if I can make you a better bottom-bulb racer and maybe improve your top-bulb skills if you are a delay box racer. I know from my travels there is a very large percentage of the Mopar racers that run in the No-Delay Box brackets. I think a lot of that is because of the importance of keeping those old Mopars as stock-appearing as possible. Let’s face it, if you cut up another Camaro or Nova, who cares. If you cut up a ’65 Dodge Coronet or a ’68 or ’71 Cuda it almost hurts, doesn’t it?

I think another thing that has kept so many Mopars in the No-Box bracket was the lack of a good transmission brake to hook the delay box up to for years and years. That has since been much improved thanks to companies like Turbo-Action and A&A Transmission but it put the true-blue Mopar racer behind a little when it came to delay box classes.

Let me make this crystal clear: I am not saying Mopars don’t show up and win delay box races. As a matter of fact there were four Mopars in the Top 10 in the Box class at Cedar Falls (IA) Raceway in 2006.

Do I think Mopars will continue to be a power in local bracket racing and yet still be some of the most sought-after collector car and street machines on the planet? Hell yes, I believe that. If I didn’t I would throw my column out of MoparMax.

Hopefully you got a bit of a feel for where I stand on things and next month we can get it in high gear and start covering some cool Mopars and tackle some tech issues as well.

See you next month. 

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