The ninth edition of the Mopar® HEMI® Challenge Race Series at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals pits nearly two dozen of the famous SS/AH 1968 HEMI Darts and Barracudas against each other to see if Charlie Westcott Jr., will win his fourth Indy HEMI Challenge event in the last five years and collect the $10,000 payout.
Westcott Jr., the usual favorite in these events, has a brand-new ’68 HEMI Barracuda named War Fish running for the first time, so all eyes will be on him to see whether he will again be a threat. “The new car is ready and it’s running well,” said Westcott.
Westcott Jr.’s old War Fish may be the winningest Super Stock HEMI in history, surpassing even the ’68 HEMI Barracudas of Ronnie Sox (1969 U.S. Nationals winner) and Arlen Vanke (1968 U.S. Nationals winner).
No matter what happens to Charlie this year, chances are that the name Westcott will still be listed as one of the favorites. Charlie’s father, Charlie Westcott Sr., is also a fast runner. He holds the top speed record in the SS/AH class at just a tick below 160 mph.
The field also includes Melvin Daniels, a Yardley, Pa., dentist who won the most recent Mopar HEMI Challenge. Ohio Chrysler dealer and recent winner Jim Pancake will compete in his ’68 HEMI Dart, as will Dodge dealer Darrell Marvel of Big Rapids, Mich. Randy Warford of Nashville, Ind., will compete in his ’68 HEMI Barracuda and is also bringing a new Dodge Challenger Drag Pak by Mopar to run in A/Stock Automatic during the weekend.
The Mopar HEMI Challenge Race Series will visit the Jegs Northern SPORTSnationals, Sept. 25–27, at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio, and the Dutch Classic, Oct. 22–25, at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. Each event offers $5,000 prize money to the winner.
The Mopar Brand: Authentic Motor Parts and Accessories for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.
Mopar-a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts-was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC.
The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960s-the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.
In addition to its proud muscle-car heritage, Mopar established a solid reputation as a one-stop shop for proven, quality-tested, reliable and original parts. Just this year, in 2009, Mopar has introduced more than 200 new parts and accessories.
“Mopar parts are unique in that they are engineered by the same team that creates all of our factory-authorized vehicle specifications for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles,” said Pietro Gorlier, President & CEO, Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care, Chrysler Group LLC. “At Mopar, we offer more than 280,000 parts and accessories for customers who want to customize and refresh their rides.”
Today, Mopar is responsible for the distribution of authentic Mopar replacement parts, components and accessories for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles sold in more than 90 countries. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.
Tags: Chrysler, Classics, Dodge, Racing