Mopar has created the Tom Hoover Sportsman Challenge, named after the “father of the 426 Hemi.” The winner will be the Sportsman Class racer who earns the most points in a season during NHRA sanctioned races at the wheel of a Chrysler Group car, in either Stock or Super Stock. The purse will be $4,260, a nod to the 426 HEMI®, and a trophy and plaque. All National event winners will continue to be eligible for the “Mopar National Event Winner” decal.
Tom Hoover, a retired Chrysler engineer, was a founding member of the Ramchargers team, whose passion for high-performance engine design and racing helped launch and build Chrysler’s motorsport program in the 1960s. Amongst his many contributions are the 426 Hemi, numerous Pro Stock cars, and helping to develop the Funny Car (as detailed in Mike Buckel’s series).
Hoover also oversaw field development of the Hemi and other race parts, working with racers nationwide. He was an avid Super Stock racer, built motors and raced on weekends much like Sportsman racers currently competing in NHRA events nationwide.
Mopar will also be making some enhancements to its contingency program for the Sportsman classes in the 2013 NHRA Full Throttle and Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. The long-running Mopar Contingency Program provides financial awards to Mopar-powered grassroots racers competing with specified Mopar parts.
Mopar will continue sponsorship of the annual “HEMI Challenge” held at the U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis since 2001, and is hosting Sportsman barbecues for those competing in Chrysler Group vehicles at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver, and at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Next year, Mopar will mark the 50th anniversary of the 426 Race HEMI engine, first introduced in February 1964, with a number of celebrations.
In related news, tomorrow, March 15, at 8 PM Eastern Time, SPEED will air a documentary chronicling the rebirth of the 2013 SRT Viper and the SRT Motorsports Viper GTS-R racing program.
The 2015 Dodge Charger squad has been tested in police trim for the first time, but since it kept the five-speed automatic, it has turned in numbers similar to past years. While the eight-speed V6 Charger does 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, the five-speed was timed at 8.05 seconds by the Michigan State Police. The civilian 2015 Charger gained acceleration from the eight-speed, [...]
David Friedman, deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sent a two-page letter to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne expressing concerns about the Chrysler Group’s current efforts to repair 2002-2007 Jeep Libertys and 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees covered under a voluntary fuel-tank recall. In its most recent report to the agency Chrysler said it has remedied approximately [...]
Months after unconfirmed reports made it to Allpar’s pages, the power of Automotive News, in the person of reporter Larry Vellequette, pried a key fact from Chrysler executives — that they cast and build “Ferrari” engines for Maserati. As our sister site pentastars.com reported, the engines are actually cast in Kokomo, and machined in the Trenton Engine plant, using a mixture of [...]