Goforth the favorite at Mountain Motor Pro Stock race

ROCKINGHAM — Even if he wasn’t the current point leader, even if he hadn’t won two of the three IHRA Nitro Jam races contested thus far this season and even if his new Dean’s Casing Service Camaro wasn’t one of the fastest Pro Stock cars ever to negotiate the quarter mile, Cary Goforth probably still would be the favorite in this week’s IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.

Photo courtesy Rockingham Dragway Cary Goforth and his Dean’s Casing Service Camaro is the favorite in this week’s IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.

Photo courtesy Rockingham Dragway
Cary Goforth and his Dean’s Casing Service Camaro is the favorite in this week’s IHRA Spring Nationals at Rockingham Dragway.

After all, Carolina has become almost a second home to the Holdenville, Okla., driver who owns the distinction of having won four Pro Stock races at The Rock in the last six years.

If that isn’t sufficiently impressive, consider that he won each time for a different sanctioning organization — the IHRA in 2009, the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association in 2010, the ADRL in 2013 and, most recently, the PDRA (in April, this year).

Now, he is poised to add a Nitro Jam victory in a Spring Nationals event that also features Nitro Funny Cars, Nitro Altereds, Nitro Harley Davidsons and four jet-powered, 290 mile per hour dragsters.  Racing begins with qualifying and fireworks at 7 p.m. Saturday and ends Sunday afternoon with single elimination finals.

Goforth leads a Chevy-heavy lineup of Pro Stock cars powered by the massive 800 inch mountain motors born and bred in the 1980s at tracks like Rockingham, Darlington, S.C., and Bristol, Tenn.  In fact, it was in Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing that Rockingham owner Steve Earwood got his start as a promoter.

Earwood, whose brother, Terry, is a former U.S. Nationals Super Stock winner, promoted the original Southern Pro Stock Circuit before being hired as public relations director at the NHRA.  Earwood still loves the big motors.

“That was a great time,” he recalled.  “The mountain motors, that’s Southern drag racing.  Roy Hill, Rickie Smith, Lee Edwards, Pat Musi, Johnny Brumley, Lamar Walden and, of course, Sox and Martin and Hubert Platt.  It was a different breed then and it’s still a different breed.”

Despite all his success at The Rock, Goforth won’t have a walkover this week.  Among his rivals for the Sunday championship is two-time former IHRA Champion Pete Berner of Crete, Ill., in another Camaro, Canadian John Konigshofer in his Ford Mustang and veteran John DeFlorian of Arnold, Pa., in yet another Camaro.

The two-day event also will include “Hollywood Cars of the Stars” featuring some of the most incredible vehicles in the world including those from such hit shows and movies as “Dukes of Hazzard,” “Beverly Hillbillies,” “Grease,” “Ghostbusters,” “Harry Potter,” “The Munsters,” and the James Bond franchise.

Adult admission is $25, each day, at the gate.  Tickets purchased in advance are $20 for Saturday; $15 for Sunday.  Children’s tickets are $10 each day.  Parking is free in Rockingham’s main lots.

Filed in: Front Sports News, Latest Headlines, Sports

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