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Words by Richard Kratz photos by Tim Marshall and Richard Kratz
One of our absolute favorite Mopar events every year is Mopars at the Strip in Las Vegas. Planned and presented by Phil and Jill Painter, this is the springtime event that has it ALL. A huge Mopar car show, tons of drag racing and a huge party every night. Cars, racing, parties and all happening in Las Vegas in the spring, what else could you ask for?
As usual, thousands and thousands of Mopar fans from all over North America descended on Los Vegas for the 11th annual MATS event. It is always fun to interact with people from the large Canadian contingent that shows up each year, as well as people from all over the country and even Europe and South America. As a midway vendor our weekend starts on Thursday with setup of our vendor/pit area. This year we registered the Magnum in two classes, Modern Muscle (New HEMI class) and Mopars vs. the World.
'We were eager to get on the track because we had never run the Magnum with its new Arrington Performance engine. Not only did we have 150 more horsepower and 200 lb ft more torque then before, but we also had a new Paramount Performance torque convertor, a new 2-step launch system, a new Arrington high flow fuel system; in essence practically a new car.
We knew we were in for a busy weekend. In addition to racing the Maulin’ Magnum in two classes we were to be joined by teammates Greg Scilley Racing with a beautifully setup 2011 V10 Drag Pak Challenger driven by Contributing Writer Lyle Larson (Greg is working on his license currently and did get to make a pass) and with Editor Richard Kratz acting as co-crew chief on both cars, and GTP-Racing.org’s amazing compound turbo-supercharged Challenger HEMI. Both our car and GTP-Racing’s car feature engines built by Arrington Performance and were set up by Arrington and both cars were making their debuts at Mopars at the Strip after each car drove across the country from Martinsville, VA to attend. So given all of that, Arrington’s President and CEO, Eric Hruza was flying in to attend as well as important executives from GTP International (more on GTP in a moment).Whew, we were as busy as we expected to be. Las Vegas Motor Speedway decided to offer a $20/lap test and tune to racers on Thursday afternoon and we hurried with our booth/pit setup to try and get some track time. Neither of the other cars had arrived yet so we could focus on the Magnum.