In the semifinals of the NHRA Keystone Nationals, Jack Beckman powered the Don Schumacher Racing-owned Mopar ’15 Dodge Charger Funny Car to a new low E.T. record of 3.897 seconds while beating Ron Capps. Later that day Beckman got the holeshot on Chad Head to win the event and secure enough points to clinch the 2015 NHRA Funny Car national title.
Hemi Challenge Bigger Than Ever
The 15th anniversary edition of the Mopar Hemi Challenge at the 61st annual NHRA U.S. Nationals saw a new winner crowned from the 22 classic ’68 Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Darts competing in the fan-favorite vintage muscle car showcase on the quarter-mile Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis. Two first-time finalists, Lloyd Wofford of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and Gus Mantas of Toronto, Canada, staged their Mopar-powered Super Stock/Automatic-Hemi (SS/AH) class vehicles on the start-line Saturday afternoon in front of thousands of fervent drag racing fans A red-light start by his competitor gave Wofford’s ’68 Plymouth Barracuda an instant win and his first Mopar Hemi Challenge victory. On his drive to the winner’s circle, Wofford and his ’68 Barracuda defeated Fred Henson (Dart), Jim Pancake (Dart), pole sitter Gary Wolkwitz (Dart) and Mark Howes (Dart) before staging next to Mantas for the final elimination showdown. In the final elimination, Wofford posted a .015-second reaction time and ran a full elapsed time pass at 8.621 seconds and 152.62 mph to make it official.
Millionth Corvette Restored
After a sinkhole that swallowed a number of significant models inside the National Corvette Museum nearly a year ago, the second of the eight damaged vehicles has been restored and is returning to the facility. The ’92 convertible, the 1-millionth Corvette produced, is the latest to be fully revived. After recovery from the sinkhole, the milestone Corvette was moved from the museum to the Design Center on GM’s Technical Center campus in Warren, Michigan for restoration. Approximately 30 craftspeople and technicians from GM Design’s Mechanical Assembly group, along with GM Service Operations, took on the project. The 1-millionth Corvette is the second sinkhole-damaged Corvette to be restored. The first, an ’09 Corvette ZR1 prototype known as the Blue Devil, was only lightly damaged and was returned to its original condition last fall. The National Corvette Museum will oversee the restoration of a third car, a ’62 Corvette. The other five Corvettes swallowed by the sinkhole will remain in their as-recovered state to preserve the historical significance of the cars. They will become part of a future sinkhole-themed display at the museum.
A specially customized ’15 Ford Mustang GT prepared by Richard Petty’s garage sold twice at the Mecum Auction in Dallas, raising a total of $535,000 for the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Presented on the block by seven-time NASCAR champion “The King” Richard Petty, the Mustang first brought a $330,000 sale, with all proceeds benefiting PVA, a non-profit organization. The car was then generously donated back to the PVA by its purchaser and sold again an hour later for an additional $205,000, which also went directly to benefit the non-profit for a total of $535,000.