Chevrolet enthusiasts enjoyed a full slate of drag racing, show cars on display, and got to visit the swap meet and vendor midway areas during this year’s Super Chevy Show at Rockingham Dragway yesterday and guess what, the activities for the event continue Sunday the 21st, with great weather forecast for the day.
Ed Hoover was the provisional #1 qualifier in Pro Mod, while Chip Johnson of Fayetteville, NC won the Top Eliminator Class, and Kyle Oliver from Godwin, NC won the popular Footbrake class. Tom Johnson from Newport News, VA took home the special CNC cut trophy from CamaroGuys.com for the 5th Gen Challenge at Rockingham on Saturday, while Noah Johnson from Fayetteville won the Jr. Dragster class.
The Editor and Associate Editors of Super Chevy Magazine, Jim Campisano and Patrick Hill, were both on had to select the Editor’s Choice Awards which went to Michael Walters, Tom Ball, Lloyd Tisdale, Steve Geer, Tommy Lumley, Time Bailey, Haywood Carpenter, Randy Prince, Tom Johnson, and Dean Phillips for their drag race entries.
RFC Chaplain, Ken Owen, received one of ten Editor’s Choice Show Car awards, along with Morris Johnson Jr., McRoy Smith, Tim DeGrauwe, Jeff Smith, Kenny Tibbs, Gerald Copeland, John Williams, William Miller, and Wayne Frazier.
Car Show plaques were also handed out for the Specialty Award categories of Outstanding Engineered entry going to Delton Hubbard; Outstanding Paint – Tyler Marers; Outstanding Interior – Don Adams; Outstanding Stock entry – Jerry Dennis; Outstanding Street entry – Flip Bost; Outstanding Modified entry – Jerry Bass, Outstanding Workmanship – Billy Moore; ISCA Award winner – David Maxwell; and the Outstanding Engine award went to Herbert Wright.
Rockingham Dragway annually hosts the final event of the Super Chevy Show season, and is a part of the Manufacturers Series which also includes Fun Ford Weekend and Mega Mopar Action series events. Sunday activities at Rockingham include drag racing eliminator classes, full car show class awards, as well as swap meet and midway vendor areas.
Last month, we had a great time north of the border at the Super Chevy Show at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Canada. Lots of cool Bowites including the some unique Chevy nameplates you only see in the Great White North. Here are your show winners who proudly displayed their awesome rides.
EDITOR’S TOP TEN AWARD
Jess Destrosiers, Lethridge, AB, Canada, ’69 Nova
Neil Tomyn, Airdrie, AC, Canada, ’68 GMC
Steve Payne, Edmonton, AB, Canada ’89 IROC-2
Rick Pehrsson, Edmonton, AB, Canada, ’55 Del Ray
Kelly Bihun, Edmonton, AB, Canada, ’70 Impala
Andy Grzesiak, Edmonton, AB, Canada, ’66 Nova SS
Mark Howerton, Stony Plain, AB, Canada
Avenesh & Akash Chand, Edmonton, AB, Canada, ’86 Mote Carlo
Kelly and Trevor Ritchie, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada, ’69 Camaro
Tom Hollinshead, Edmonton, AB, Canada, ’66 Corvette
STOCK Outstanding: Eldon Wurban, Calmar, AB, Canada
STOCK Outstanding: Rudy Froese, Fort Sack, AB, Canada
STOCK Winner: Doug Hansen, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Kelly and Trevor Ritchie, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Outstanding: Rudy Froese, Fort Sack, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Outstanding: Paulette Hyshka, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Dwayne Klippert, Calgary, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Dean and Brenda Watts, Red Deer, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Phil Heindey, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIRD Winner: Steve Payne, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Kyle Dickson, Spruce Grove, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Dean and Brenda Watts, Red Deer, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Derek Cripps, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIRED Winner: Dave Cuthill, Sherwood, AB, Canada
FULL SIZE/MINI TRUCK 4WD
STREET Outstanding: Mark Howerton, Stony Plain, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Kim Gough, Monmouth, IL
MODIFIED Outstanding: Sandy McLaren, Ardrossan, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Neil Tomyn, Airdrie, AB, Canada
TRUCK: 1988 AND NEWER
STOCK Winner: Peter Seibel, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: John and Jeanne Koster, St. Albert, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Steve Payne, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Gord Satermon, Fallis, AB, Canada
STOCK Outstanding: John Pearson, St. Albert, AB, Canada
STOCK Winner: Abe and Janice Wieler, Woyeminster, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Darren Dahlseide, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Gary Pinkham, Androssan, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Andy Grzesiak, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Rod McKay, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Bob Riley, Clunny, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Grant Reierson, Edmonton, AB, Canada
NOVA: 1968 & Newer
STOCK Winner: Jess Desrosiers, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Eric Firty , St. Albert, AB, Canada
EARLY CHEVY: 1936-1938
Winner: Richard Sjolie, Haylakes, AB, CANADA
EARLY CHEVY: PRE 1935
Outstanding: Ron Stennes, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
Winner: Al and Rhonda Beggs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
EARLY CHEVY TRUCK
WINNER: Henery Lipka, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Guy Hanak, Camrose, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Rick Pehrsson, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Phil Heindeh, Edmonton, AB, Canada
BIG CAR: 1949-54
MODIFIED Winner: Gary Flood, Fort Saskatchewan, SK, Canada
BIG CAR 1958-89
STREET Winner: Don Riley, Sherwood Parks, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Outstanding: Tony Dielanex, Sherwood Parks, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Kelly Bihun, Edmonton, AB, Canada
CHEVELLE: 1964- 67
STREET Outstanding: Mark Stubbinson, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
STREET Outstanding: Tom Padgem, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: David Cathill, Sherwood, AB, Canada
CHEVELLE: 1968 & Newer
STOCK Winner: Mike Hobbs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: George Ziwani, Chestermere, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Brad Telford, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Avenesh & Skash Champ, Edmonton, AB, Canada
CORVETTE: 1953 – 67
STREET Winner: Tom Hollinshead, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: Bruce Eastwood, Edmonton, AB, Canada
STREET Winner: BJ Rivald, Edmonton, AB, Canada
CONVERSION: PRE 1948
MODIFIED Outstanding: Dale Cripps, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Outstanding: Gary Richardson, Edmonton, AB, Canada
MODIFIED Winner: Rhonda & Al Beggs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
CONVERSION: 1949 & NEWER
MODIFIED Winner: Lorne Solovien, Edmonton, AB, Canada
BEST OF SHOW AWARDS
Best Big Car: Kelly Bihun, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Camaro: Rudy Froese, Fort Sack, AB, Canada
Best Chevelle: Fe and Mike Hobbs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Corvette: Tom Hollinshead, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Conversion: Rhonda and Al Beggs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Open: BK Rivals, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Early Chevy: Al and Rhonda Beggs, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best El Camino: Brad Telford, Sherwood Parks, AB, Canada
Best 55, 56, 57: Phil Heindel, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Monte Carlo: Avenesh-Akash Champ, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best Nova: Jess Desrosiers, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
Best Pro Street/Engineered: Dave Cuthill, Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
Best Truck: Neil Tomyn, Aidie, AB, Canada
Award of Excellence: Lorne Solovien, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Best of Show: Dwayne Klippert, Albany, AB, Canada
John Force has driven more than 30 drag racing Funny Cars in a career spanning four decades, everything from Chevrolets to Pontiacs to Oldsmobiles to Fords. In largely the same time frame, Charles Carpenter has driven only one – an iconic 1955 Chevy Bel Air in which he will try to win this week’s Extreme Outlaw Pro Modified title during the annual Super Chevy Show at Steve Earwood’s Rockingham Dragway.
The three-day extravaganza celebrating all things Chevrolet is presented by Chevrolet Performance and Richmond County Tourism and will include a car show, swap meet and vendor midway as well as a full complement of racing events including GM-only ET bracket races on both Saturday and Sunday.
The highlight, though, will be Carpenter’s pursuit of a title in competition with some of the top cars and drivers in the Extreme Outlaw Pro Modified series including former IHRA Pro Modified champion Tommy Mauney of Shelby, S.C., and Kernersville’s Doug Winters, whose supercharged 1957 Bel Air has a Carolina following of its own.
While Carpenter and Force both are icons of the sport – Force in an NHRA Funny Car division over which he has reigned 15 times and Carpenter in a Pro Mod category he actually had a hand in creating, they share much more than just their longevity. In fact, both survived crashes that would have chased lesser men out of the sport. Ironically, Force suffered his most serious injuries in a 2007 crash in Dallas, Texas; Carpenter in Houston, Texas.
The man who’s been called “the Father of Pro Mod” racing suffered a fractured vertebrae, among other injuries, when his car veered out of control and climbed the guardwall, sliding down it on two wheels in March, 2009. Like Force, he never thought about not coming back.
Instead, he focused on making the latest incarnation of this popular ‘55 safer. The fact that it also was quicker and faster is beside the point. Using carbon fiber and titanium and an 864 cubic inch Chevy engine with a four-stage nitrous oxide system, Carpenter recently covered the eighth mile course, from a standing start, in career best 3.92 seconds. That’s the kind of performance that produceed a pair of Pro Nitrous victories in the American Drag Racing League, one at Norwalk, Ohio, and the other, ironically, at Houston.
A Chevy purist, Carpenter never has driven anything other than an ‘55 – at least not on the racetrack. At age 14, he started racing in a ‘55 model he bought from his brother and was a top sportsman racer until the late ‘70s when smaller, more aerodynamic models like the Vega and Monza began to dominate.
“It got to where my car was almost not competitive,” Carpenter recalled, “and then they allowed us to use nitrous oxide. That was in the early ‘80s and when we started using the nitrous, it suddenly caught me up with the smaller, more aerodynamic cars. Then the media picked up on it. They loved that a ‘shoebox,’ a big, boxy car, was out there racing with these sleek little aerodynamic cars.”
Carpenter’s success was the first step in the creation of a Pro Mod class that featured quick, fast cars in packages that were unexpected – 1955 and 1957 Bel Airs, 1968 and 1969 Camaros and 1963 Corvettes.
In addition to winning the overall Super Chevy Series title in 1988 and 1989 (and earning runner-up honors the next two years). Carpenter was the United States Super Circuit champ in 1992 and he remains viable today in a joint effort with son Mike, the art director for Drag Illustrated Magazine, who doubles as crew chief and PR director on his dad’s nostalgic “shoebox.”
“I think I am a lucky man,” Carpenter said of the accident. “The part that bothered me the most was my son standing there watching it. He and I have had this conversation, if he was in that car, I can’t image what I would be thinking. “By the same token, it’s a testimonial to what we do,” said the North Carolinian. “I have preached this for 30-plus years: if you wear your safety equipment and you stay in the car and the car stays within the confines of the race track, you walk away (more than 90) percent of the time.”
A special 12 noon-to-7 p.m. test-and-tune for Super Chevy Show contestants will begin the program on Friday. Saturday’s pro qualifying at 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. will share center stage with GM-only Pro ET and Footbrake races and the first of two Junior Drag Racing events.
On Sunday, Pro ET drivers will compete for a $3,000 top prize in a DriveDuracell.com event starting at 10:30 a.m. Champions also will be crowned in Footbrake, Junior Dragster, DOT Street and Real Street. For the Pro Mods, “last chance” qualifying will be conducted at 11 a.m. Sunday with single elimination finals beginning at 12:30 p.m.
General admission tickets for the Super Chevy Show are $20 daily or $35 for a weekend pass which includes Friday. Tickets for those 6-12 are $5 daily or $10 for the weekend, including Friday. For more information, go to www.rockinghamdragway.com