Still proud to be straight out of Detroit

With Chamber of Commerce weather Aug. 18-19 at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio, the Mopar Nationals of 2011 would have to be considered one of the best ever. There were great crowds and great car counts -- guess somebody forgot to tell the Mopar Nation the recession isn't over yet.

The Nationals has suffered over some years with the lack of anything coming out of Detroit with a Dodge or Plymouth logo on it. For years they had to depend on the late 1960s and early ’70s muscle cars that made the Mopar name famous and built arguably the most loyal, hard core fan base of anything on four wheels. No group -- GM, Ford, even Harley riders -- have the passion for their brand that Mopar fans do. Of course I am prejudiced since I am Mopar all the way.

The saving grace for the Pentastar fan was the Viper, out of most people’s price range but something to hang our hat on. Then there was the 2008 return of the Challenger, add to that with a HEMI and the MOPAR name and fan base had something to be proud of! And proud they are, with the older muscle cars being bought up by collectors, the new Challenger shows up in numbers and with horsepower. The supercharger systems that work so well with the 5.7 and 6.1 HEMI have made 10-, 11- and 12-second quarter-mile runs out of a car you can drive to the track with the A/C on and get 15 to 20 miles per gallon!

The grandstands were full and then some for the drag racing.