CARPENTER SENDS ’55 CHEVY AFTER ROCK PRO MOD TITLE

September 22, 2016 by  
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CARPENTER SENDS ’55 CHEVY AFTER ROCK PRO MOD TITLE

Hall of Famer Among Favorites in Super Chevy Show Presented by Dieffenbach

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Outside of the late Lee Shepherd and Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, both of them multi-time NHRA race winners and Pro Stock world champions, there are few drag racers more closely associated with the Chevrolet bow tie than Charlotte’s Charles Carpenter.

For more than 35 years, Carpenter has been racing Chevrolets at tracks like Rockingham Dragway where this week he will compete for the Pro Mod championship at the annual Super Chevy Show presented by the Dieffenbach GM Superstore and Richmond County Tourism.

However, while Shepherd and Jenkins constantly traded up to whatever was the hot ticket Chevrolet of the next model year, Carpenter found a Chevy he liked – and stuck with it.

As a kid, he went to the races with his older brother who drove a 1955 Chevy.  At age 14, he got his chance to drive the same car in the Top Sportsman class where he remained competitive until the late 1970s when smaller, more aerodynamic models like the Vega and Monza began to dominate.

“It got to where my car was 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 later model vehicles).”

Carpenter’s success was the first step in the evolution of Pro Mod, a category that today is one of the most popular in country, regardless of sanctioning body, because it pits cars like Carpenter’s ’55 against late models like the 2015 Corvette of Pittsboro’s Jason Harris.

“The media loved that a ‘shoebox,’ a big, boxy car, was out there racing with these sleek little aerodynamic cars,” Carpenter said.

As the unofficial “Father of Pro Mod,” Carpenter in 2010 was inducted into the Carolina Motorsports Hall of Fame.

In addition to winning the overall Super Chevy Series title in 1988 and 1989, he was the United States Super Circuit champ in 1992 and today remains competitive in a safety-enhanced version of the same ’55 “shoebox” in which he also won on the old ADRL circuit.

Nevertheless, it hasn’t been all butterflies and bow ties for the Carolinian.  He has survived a pair of horrific crashes including one in Houston, Texas, in 2009 that left him with a fractured vertebrae, among other injuries.

“I think I am a lucky man,” Carpenter said of that accident.  “It’s a testimonial to what we do.  I have preached this for 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 90 percent of the time.”

In addition to Carpenter and Harris, the latter a second generation racer who was the 2015 Pro Nitrous champion in the Professional Drag Racers Association series, the Super Chevy field also will include 15-year-old Lizzy Musi, daughter of Mountain Motor Pro Stock legend Pat Musi, and Randy Weatherford of Danville, Va., among others.

Three rounds of Pro Mod qualifying Saturday (11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.) will set the field for three rounds of eliminations starting at 2:30 p.m.  In addition, there will be two days of bracket races for drivers in Top ET, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster preceded on Friday by a Chevy-centric test-and-tune session.

Off the track, two days of show car judging will identify the best appearing cars and trucks including Best Big Car, Best Camaro, Best Chevelle, Best Corvette, Best 55-56-57, Best Early Chevrolet, Best Conversion, Best Pro Street/Pro Engineered, Best El Camino, Best Nova, Best Monte Carlo, Best Truck and Best in Show.

Adult tickets are $20 Saturday and $20 Sunday although a $35 ticket purchased on Friday is good for all three days.  Tickets for kids 6-12 are $5 per day or $10 for the weekend.  Children under six are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and, as always, parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.

Like the other events in the Super Chevy Show Series, the Rockingham race will be televised as part of the Menards Chevy Series on Velocity TV.  Air date for the event is Saturday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. EST.

-www.rockinghamdragway.com-

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Lizzy Musi is coming to Rockingham, N.C

September 21, 2016 by  
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MUSI HOPES TO TAKE THE BOYS FOR A RIDE AT ‘THE ROCK’

Her Dodge will Battle a Bevy of Bow Ties for Super Chevy Show Pro Mod Title

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – If you like bow ties, Rockingham Dragway is the place to be this week.  The return of the iconic Super Chevy Show Series presented by Dieffenbach Chevrolet Superstore always brings out more bow ties than a Playboy bunny reunion, a high school prom or even a Pee Wee Herman lookalike contest.

 

Black bow ties and red bow ties, white bow ties and green, yellow, blue and orange bow ties, even bow ties in silver and champagne.  Whether your automotive interests gravitate to the fast, the fun or the fabulous, there’s certain to be a bow tie that will satisfy.

 

And yet, amid a rolling sea of Camaros and Corvettes, one lone Dodge hopes to play a spoiler role at the biggest Chevy block party in the Carolinas.

 

In a Pro Mod field that includes the 1955 Chevy Bel Air of Charlotte’s Charles Carpenter, the late model Corvette of Pittsboro’s Jason Harris and the 1969 Camaro of Randy Weatherford of Danville, Va., Lizzy Musi likely will stand out like a zebra at a horse auction.

 

Not only will she be the only female in the field, she’ll also drive the only Dodge in a Chevy-heavy Pro Mod lineup.

 

A unique mix of pedigree, performance and personality has made the 25-year-old with the Hollywood good looks one of the fastest-rising stars of the PDRA Pro Mod series in which she was the 2014 Rookie-of-the-Year as well as the most recent winner in the Pro Nitrous class.

 

The daughter of outlaw racing legend Pat Musi, Lizzy earned her racing stripes driving first in the Jr. Dragster division and then in the Top Sportsman class.  Now she drives a 200 mile-an-hour hot rod powered by a massive 963 cubic inch, nitrous oxide-boosted racing motor built by her dad.

 

She is to Pro Mod what Danica Patrick is to NASCAR with one major exception – she wins.  The first woman to break the 200 mile-an-hour barrier at the eighth mile distance, she has survived a pair of spectacular crashes (the most recent last year in Dallas, Texas) to emerge as a legitimate title contender – and her dad who, as a driver, won races in NHRA Pro Stock, IHRA Pro Stock, NMCA and NSCA Pro Street, is the least surprised of anyone.

 

“I expected her to have success,” he said.  ”She grew up around this stuff and just soaked it up.  She’s a natural. I try to help her all I can; we talk racing all day at the shop and then all night at home. I try to share my experiences with her. She’s going to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time.”

 

Nevertheless, the New Jersey native has interests outside of racing.  She loves yoga, dabbles in fashion design and also indulges action sports like surfing and motocross.  At heart, though, she is a professional racer, an adrenaline junkie who gets no greater rush than beatin’ the boys, especially if they’re wearing bow ties.

 

Three rounds of Pro Mod qualifying Saturday (11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.) will set the field for three rounds of eliminations starting at 2:30 p.m.

 

In addition, there will be two days of bracket races for drivers in Top ET, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster preceded on Friday by a Chevy-centric test-and-tune session.

 

Off the track, two days of show car judging will identify the best appearing cars and trucks including Best Big Car, Best Camaro, Best Chevelle, Best Corvette, Best 55-56-57, Best Early Chevrolet, Best Conversion, Best Pro Street/Pro Engineered, Best El Camino, Best Nova, Best Monte Carlo, Best Truck and Best in Show.

 

Adult tickets are $20 Saturday and $20 Sunday although a $35 ticket purchased on Friday is good for all three days.  Tickets for kids 6-12 are $5 per day or $10 for the weekend.  Children under six are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and, as always, parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.

 

Like the other events in the Super Chevy Show Series, the Rockingham race will be televised as part of the Menards Chevy Series on Velocity TV at 9:30 a.m. EST on consecutive Saturday mornings in October, November and December this year.

 

-www.rockinghamdragway.com-

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Upcoming Super Chevy Show at Rockingham Dragway

September 14, 2016 by  
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SUPER CHEVY SHOW SERIES RETURNS TO ‘THE ROCK’

Three Days of Racing, Car Show Judging Presented by Dieffenbach Superstore

 

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — It’s a splash of vibrant color on a concrete canvas, a Chevy smorgasbord that extends from the track to the show car arena to a swap meet and an expansive vendor midway.

 

It’s the Super Chevy Show Series and it returns to Rockingham Dragway Sept. 23-25 courtesy of the Dieffenbach Superstore and Richmond County Tourism.

 

If it wears a bow tie, it likely will be represented in either “show” or “go” form: everything from Camaros, Cavaliers and Corvettes, to Biscaynes, Berettas and Bel Airs plus Nomads, El Caminos, Monte Carlos, Silverados, Volts, Cruzes, Chevelles and Impalas, Malibus, Novas, Corvairs, Luminas, Tahoes and Suburbans.

 

So, whether you prefer your bow tie on a beauty or a beast, Super Chevy delivers at every level including Pro Modified, a Saturday-only bonus featuring second generation outlaw Lizzy Musi, one of the most popular and successful drivers in the PDRA national series.

 

Three rounds of Pro Mod qualifying (11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.) will set the field for three rounds of eliminations starting at 2:30 p.m.

 

There also will be two days of bracket racing for cash, trophies and Super Chevy Show jackets. Champions will be crowned in Top ET, Footbrake and Jr. Dragster on Saturday; in Footbrake, Jr. Dragster and DriveDuracell.com Top ET on Sunday and the track will open for a special Chevy-centric test-and-tune on Friday night.

 

Off the track, two days of show car judging will identify the best appearing cars and trucks including Best Big Car, Best Camaro, Best Chevelle, Best Corvette, Best 55-56-57, Best Early Chevrolet, Best Conversion, Best Pro Street/Pro Engineered, Best El Camino, Best Nova, Best Monte Carlo, Best Truck and, ultimately, Best in Show.

 

Adult tickets are $20 Saturday and $20 Sunday although a $35 ticket purchased on Friday is good for all three days. Tickets for kids 6-12 are $5 per day or $10 for the weekend. Children under six are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult and, as always, parking is free in Rockingham’s main lot.

 

Like the other events in the series, Rockingham’s Super Chevy Show presented by the Dieffenbach Superstore will be televised as part of the Menards Chevy Series on Velocity TV at 9:30 a.m. EST on consecutive Saturday mornings in October, November and December this year.

 

-www.rockinghamdragway.com-

 

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