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Fast Focus is a new department for MoparMax magazine centered on drag racing. Each edition will showcase snapshots of cutting edge, top achieving or just plain high on the cool meter Mopar-branded machinery.
Top Sportsman Trendsetter – Arizona’s Phil Dion is helping to carry the Mopar torch within Western Top Sportsman circuit racing with a simply spectacular new Dodge Avenger that debuted this season. For Dion, a long time brand proponent who also races a ’69 Hemi Cuda and a ’64 Plymouth, his new Jerry Bickel-built car was two years in the planning. Mike Zimmerman is responsible for the race car’s 645 CID Mopar engine program, which includes state-of-the-art Predator cylinder heads. Dion’s stunning car is all throttle (no nitrous) and expectations are to ultimately be a consistent 7.20 runner at 190+ mph. The car, which is the first ever TS 2012 Avenger, is already an award winner, garnering the “Best Engineered” Award at its debut at NHRA’s Arizona Nationals last February.
Memorable Mopar Moment – Tennessee’s Charlie Fitzsimmons scored a big title for the Mopar brand during NHRA’s Tire Kingdom Gatornationals at Gainesville in March, when he won Stock eliminator driving his A/SA 2010 Dodge Challenger. The victory was long overdue for Fitzsimmons, coming almost four decades after he first began his career. Charlie was driving a machine owned by veteran Mopar campaigner Larry Griffith and his partner Larry Pontnack, which features a 370 CID motor program by Arrington Performance. The win marked the 2nd NHRA national event win in DragPak's short history. Charlie’s trek to victory lane did include an important semi-final win over Jeff Teuton’s ’09 Challenger, the inaugural DragPak winner which came during Indy’s U.S. Nationals last season.
Chipping Away! -- North Carolina’s Chip King continues to think outside the box in Pro Mod class racing. King, who has over many seasons run a wide variety of Mopar-brand cars within the category, has since 2011 been trying to tame an ultra-powerful turbocharged 526 CID Hemi engine within the frame rails of his fan favorite and totally outrageous 1969 Dodge Daytona Superbird. While that engine program migration has not necessarily been an easy one, for Chip and his right hand man and crew chief Mike Bell, the dedication is highly appreciated by Mopar drag racing fans out there. King continues to make headway with the Precision Turbo-boosted, and Strutmasters-sponsored car with the target being low 5.8 secs elapsed times and 250+ mph speeds.
Victory is Sweet for Volkman – Pennsylvania’s Mike Volkman who is a Technical Adviser for Chrysler’s Mid-Atlantic Business Center (Pittsburgh) broke through to win his first NHRA national event during April’s 4-Wide Nationals at Concord, NC. Volkman, drove his GT/HA classed 2000 Sebring to that event’s Super Stock eliminator title. Mike’s machine which features a 318 CID ('87 Police Interceptor Engine Package) built by Harry Sheehan, scored over a stout field of 66 Super Stock class entries. The win was particularly gratifying for the 26-year Chrysler employee, who had never won in NHRA competition. Previously his best finish had been the 5th round (six different times!) all during NHRA’s U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.