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 Ram 1500 faced down the aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 and new Chevrolet Silverado in Motor Trend’s half-ton truck shootout. The three contenders were put through a broad array of testing, including a 260-mile drive through California and Arizona. Measurements included: Testing without load: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip (Ram was Limits-handling without load: closed-course cornering, braking, [...]
We may have the first clear 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan spy shots, adding to a small “phone pic” shot posted some time ago. The vehicle, parked with the Chrysler Technical Center in sight, has camouflage and padding, but you can clearly see the openings for the side and front door handles. The photo gives some idea of the relatively length [...]
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has long expressed his desire to slash the number of Fiat and Chrysler platforms, emulating Volkswagen’s “back to the future” move of putting just about everything onto a single platform. Mr. Marchionne has allowed major exceptions; the combination of an over-ambitious plan and a grip on reality delayed the Jeep Renegade and some other cars, because the [...]
Some time ago, Sergio Marchionne, head of Fiat Chrysler, said that the only way to reboot Alfa Romeo would be by amortizing engineering costs with Dodge. That’s gone down the memory hole, now. It had to. The Alfisti will have fitsies if they overtly share with Chrysler. The D-RWD platform is now Giorgio, an Italian name for something developed largely in Auburn [...]
This year’s winners of the prestigious Ward’s Top Ten were (in alphabetical order) the BMW 5-series electric motor, the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat V8, the Ford Fiesta three-cylinder, one-liter turbo, Hyundai Tuscon fuel cell vehicle, Mini Cooper 1.5 turbo three cylinder, the Ram 3-liter VM diesel, Subaru WRX four-cylinder turbo, VW Golf 1.8 liter [...]