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The first annual Mopar Max Nationals was held at Cedar Falls (Iowa) Raceway September 24-25. More than 200 Mopar race cars and show cars passed through the gate as well as a couple of dozen swap meet participants. Even though the race was held late in the year almost 1,000 spectators showed up to watch the racing, peruse the swap stalls and aftermarket dealers, and stroll through the car show corral.
In racing action 19 Mopar-powered cars entered the Super Pro class with all of the cars coming from either Iowa or Minnesota. The quickest car in the class was Greg Collins’s Mopar-powered dragster that was dialed at 7.33. The Minnesotan had the “bad beat” for the event. In the first round he had a .009 light against opponent Cory Squier in a 1971 Dodge, who had a .027. Collins went .054 under and Squier .018 under. As it turned out Squier got the win light by .018 of a second.
The quickest door car in the class was the ’70 Dodge belonging to another Minnesota racer, John Bastyer. He dialed a first-round 8.42, won the round and went to the finals before losing to Joe Scholla’s Cuda in an all 1970 model year final. Scholla dialed in at 10.09, had a .005 bulb to Bastyr’s .014, and rolled to a 10.247/107.88 win over Bastyr’s off-pace 9.076/156.10.
There were 34 Mopar door cars from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois entered in the Pro Eliminator class. The lowest dial in Pro belonged to Vince Russo from Whitewater, WI. He dialed his 1970 Duster in at 9.57. His was also the fastest with a speed of 139.67 mph. He lost in the second round to Mason City, Iowa’s Logan Wernot on a red light.
Another entry in the class was Super Pro winner Joe Scholla, who dialed a 10.13 and went to the quarter-finals before losing a double breakout affair to Logan Wernot, who got the win by breaking out by just .002.
Wernot went on the finals driving his 383ci wedge-powered ‘62 Plymouth where he lost to the ’74 340-powered Dodge driven by Joe Kerner from Coon Rapids MN. The race was decided by reaction times when Wernot unbelievably had his worst light of the race with a .102 bulb to Kerner’s .018. All Kerner had to do was run close to, without going under his dial, which he did recording an 11.373 on his 11.32 dial. Wernot wasted a fine 10.835 effort on a 10.81 dial in losing.