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Whoa! There she goes! Cruising into Vegas on I-15 just a mile from ZZYZX road a red dot behind us was now passing at a high rate of speed. It was a 2015 Dodge Hellcat also heading for MOPARS AT THE STRIP; but this “brand new, shiny red, Super Stock Dodge” was piloted by “the little old lady from Pasadena” herself.
As we reached the front gate on Thursday, we could tell this was going to be a record-setting Mopar At The Strip (MATS) performance and indeed it turned out to be. Promoter Phil Painter and his organization kept some of the original format intact, but they added several attractions this year, which really made a difference. Four Funny Cars, 16 Fuel Altereds and several wheelstanders will do that.
Bob Hunter went rounds in the beautiful ‘Back in Black’ wedge powered coup. The smoky burnouts and wild ‘nostalgic’ look made this car a premier attraction as he climbed the ladder to runner-up in Mopars vs The World. (Photo by Brad Baker)
Ohio runner Ron Steyer, Jr. had a spectacular weekend in Las Vegas. Ron’s fuel injected Hemi-powered dragster not only won the $5,000 Quick 16 title, he took advantage of MATS’ multi entry rule to also claim the Mopars vs. The World Championship.
The Painters provided an appearance of ‘The Golden Commandos’, a team of MOPAR factory engineers from 1962 in Detroit. They were bolstered by TV celebrity Brett Wagner, best known by former Speed Channel watchers as the star of ‘Pass Time’
After Friday’s three sessions of Quick 16 qualifying, Bob Cormine of Kiowa, Colorado, driving a ’64 Dodge Stratus was on top at 6.89 and 201.76 mph. Ron Steyer, Jr. of North Lawrence, Ohio, held the sixteenth spot at a quick 8.45 and 153.86 mph. The 2013 Quick 16 winner, Judy Radford, was number 11 at 8.15 and 165. The list also included Darren Williams all the way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as well as Kevin Van Der Kooy from Medicine Hat, Wyoming.