NHRA’s creative Factory Stock Showdown and Stock Class Eliminator cars continue to gather interest and participation. Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak cars have played an intricate role in those categories, thanks to the innovative machines like those campaigned by Al Smyth and Jeff Hull.
Massachusetts-based Smyth, a long-time Mopar racer (he currently owns five Mopar cars), has had his high-flying 2010 Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak highly active since he first acquired it. With his son Stephan at the controls, and using a Tony Bischoff (BES Racing Engines) 370 CID Mopar HEMI® engine, the Smyth’s Drag Pak has evolved into arguably the most powerful 6.1L HEMI engine-powered car seen anywhere in Stock Eliminator.
“Can you believe that this third generation small block HEMI engine produces 705 hp on the dyno?” said team owner Smyth. “We run our car in the FS/D designation and it’s gone a best of 9.474 seconds to date. With the right conditions this car is fully capable of going into the 9.3 second zone, which is amazing.”
Smyth, who also runs a SS/AH 1968 HEMI-engine powered Barracuda, recalled a great moment shortly after the car’s construction was complete. For promotional reasons, he brought the car back to the dealership where he bought it, Imperial Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Mendon, Massachusetts.
“When we brought the car back, we took it off the trailer and first drove it right through the tech and service area. It was great watching the faces of all the service technicians, who quickly took to the car like bees on honey!”, said Al Smyth.
Smyth’s very impressive racing operation is a family affair that includes his wife Susan and daughter Allison (who also races in Stock Eliminator), along with valued crew member Jim Lee. The team funds their multi-car racing venture through their highly successful and creative Port A-Tree company, which specializes in producing timing systems, practice trees and weather stations — all exclusively designed for the sport of drag racing.
ONE HULL-UVA RIDE
The “Hull-N-HEMI” machine is raced by the husband-and-wife team of Jeff and Sandra Hull, based out of Benwood, West Virginia. The duo campaigns a 2009 Drag Pak which features the absolute epitome of engine building techniques, courtesy of Ray and David Barton.
Hull races his 426 HEMI® engine-powered car in FS/C trim and has produced some jaw-dropping math in the category, including a best elapsed time of 8.83 seconds and a terminal speed in excess of 154 mph.
“This car came brand new and direct from Mopar® and MPR back in 2009,” said Hull. “Over time we hooked up with Ray and David Barton because we wanted to go really fast. After they built us this third-generation 426 HEMI engine, we became hands down one of the fastest Drag Pak cars in the U.S. When I decided to get into this I wanted to race modern era stuff.” With Mopar in one hand and Barton in the other, “the hook is definitely sunk in.”
Both the Smyths and Hulls are encouraged with the direction of the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown.
“I think that the NHRA has got a really good thing going,” Hull said. “Racing this new style stuff is sure attractive to the younger generation out there, and we’re really proud to help represent the latest and greatest from Dodge and Mopar.”