Hemi Challenge at The Dutch at Reading, PA

Teuton is king of Hemi Challenge as multiple records fall at The Dutch

Joe Teuton and his 1968 Barracuda was the last one standing at the end of the day, winning the Hemi Challenge at The Dutch presented by Penske Truck Leasing Saturday, Oct. 13, at Maple Grove Raceway.

Teuton, who came up for the big event from Schriever, La., beat Tyler Hard in the final with a pass of 8.479 seconds at 156.84 mph. Hard, a local favorite who resides in Harrisburg, Pa., went 9.331 at 104.15 mph in his ’68 Cuda.

Joe Teuton and his “King Cuda” crew receive a special 50th anniversary Maple Leaf trophy from Maple Grove vice president-general manager Lex Dudas.

It was a good thing Teuton came out on top. The NHRA South Central Division was having a Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event this weekend at Houston, but Teuton came North instead for this race.

“Simply, it’s y’all,” Teuton said of his decision to race at Maple Grove. “I missed my points race to come up here.”

A “race within a race,” the Hemi Challenge is part of the Pennsylvania Dutch Classic weekend at The Grove. This year’s edition drew racers from as far away as the West Coast and Canada.

The payout was: Winner: $4,500; Runner-up: $2,500; Semifinalists: $500; and Quarterfinalists: $250. Jesel Valvetrain Innovation was an associate sponsor.

In morning qualifying, it looked like it was going to be a good day for the fleet of Darts in the nine-car field. With the exception of Hard, five of the six spots had those cars, led by regional favorite Jim Daniels (Bristol, Pa.).

Teuton qualified seventh with a pass of 8.767 seconds, while Hard had the pole at 8.265 and earned a bye in the first round.