Drag Racing Story of the Day!
Baker Dominates 24th Annual
Mountain Motor Nationals at MIR
By Bill Pratt
Carl Baker had the field covered in the Summit Racing Cougar.
Photo by Stephen Hawes
Budds Creek, MD (June 19, 2002) - Carl Baker won the 24th Annual
Mountain Motor Nationals Pro Stock race last night at Maryland
International Raceway in a dominating performance. Driving the Summit
Racing 2002 Cougar, Baker set Low ET and Top Speed and won the eight car
qualified event with consistent 6.50s. In a repeat of the IHRA Shreveport
final this year, Baker defeated John Montecalvo and the Citgo Chevrolet
Cavalier. Larry Plummer won an associated Frantic 7 Doorslammer show in
his nitrous assisted '63 Corvette.
After two rounds of qualifying, the Pro Stock field was set as follows:
- Carl Baker, 2002 Mercury Cougar, 6.559, 211.36
- Doug Kirk, 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, 6.618, 210.87
- John Montecalvo, 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, 6.620, 209.79
- Tim Nabors, 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier, 6.634, 209.04
- Wally Stroupe, 2001 Pontiac Grand Am, 6.677, 208.52
- Frank Gugliotta, 1997 Ford Probe, 6.692, 209.59
- Frank Snellings, Jr., 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, 6.728, 207.43
- Terry Walters, 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 6.806, 203.37
- Harold Robinson, 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 7.000, 195.17
- Jason Collins, 2002 Mercury Cougar, 7.643, 128.02
- Steve Williford, 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier, 7.941, 202.48
John Montecalvo's Cavalier was impressive, but finished just a few ticks behind Baker.
Photo by Stephen Hawes
Round one began with Wally Stroupe upsetting Tim Nabors, who shut off
with problems. Wally went 6.780 at 207.37 to advance to round two with a
unique Jon Kaase GM powerplant. Pro Stock rookie Frank Snellings Jr., then
won his first ever round of Pro Stock racing in a huge upset of Doug Kirk.
As the two time IHRA World Champion shook the tires to a 10.90 shut off,
Snellings sped to a personal best time of 6.705 at 207.82 mph. Snellings
is a local racer who won the first two Frantic Four season championships
at MIR. He went to Jerry Haas's shop in late 2001 and dropped $82,000 on
a brand new Cavalier, then spent more money on best motor Sonny's
Automotive had to offer. NHRA Ford Pro Stock star Robert Patrick Jr. was
on hand to help Snellings.
John Montecalvo found the 6.50s with a 6.596, 210.37 defeat of Frank
Gugliotta, now driving the Jon Yoak Ford Probe. Gugliotta nearly pulled
off the win when he coupled his 6.684 at 209.85 to a .463 to .537
holeshot. Montecalvo held off the Ford by only .014 seconds! Carl Baker
then backed up his qualifying run with a booming 6.562, 213.40-mph defeat
of Terry Walters, whose psychedelic Monte Carlo ran a career best, but
inadequate, 6.788 at 202.82. Walters said he would return for the IHRA Mid
Atlantic Nationals in September only if he could find additional
The Pro Stock semifinals began with Frank Snellings dream evening
ending in tire spin and a 14-second shutoff. John Montecalvo stayed close
to Baker with a 6.585 at 208.78. Carl Baker then earned lane choice in the
final with a 6.553, 206.54 defeat of Wally Stroupe, who ran a good 6.665
at 209.36. Wally made it close with a .449 to .487 holeshot, but 6.50s
were the order of the day.
The Ford versus Chevy final was a Pro Stock lover's dream. Montecalvo's
Citgo Cavalier had been a few hundredths behind Baker's Summit Cougar
all day so he needed to get a jump at the start. John did get a holeshot,
but it was a minor one, .471 to .479. By half-track, Baker's iridescent
Mercury was clearly ahead and he finished off the Citgo Chevy with an
amazing 6.537 at 213.50 to John's 6.602 at 210.64. The win was Baker's
second Mountain Motor Nationals title in the past three years.
Larry Plummer's leap from Dragster to Doorslammer continued to pay off with a win.
Photo by Stephen Hawes
MIR's popular Frantic 7 category was on hand to round out the evening
for the doorslammer crazy Southern Maryland fans. Former nitrous Top
Dragster star Larry Plummer took his new '63 Corvette to a win over two
time 2002 winner Kent Ferrell.
After two rounds, the Frantic 7 field was set. (Frantic 7 qualifies
seven cars, and offers the low qualifier a first round bye as incentive.)
The field lined up as follows:
- Kent Ferrell, nitrous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 6.518, 214.76
- Larry Plummer, nitrous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 6.528, 213.77
- Mark McHugh, nitrous 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, 6.551, 215.79
- Ed Burnley, nitrous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 6.610, 212.90
- Tommy Howes, supercharged 1991 Chevrolet Camaro, 6.612, 214.45
- Marc Hemling, nitrous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 6.706, 211.36
- Allan Juhasz, nitrous 1996 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 6.731, 207.50
- Billy Farmer, nitrous 1992 Pontiac Trans Am, 6.735, 209.23
- Milt Decker, nitrous 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 6.851, 201.64
- Al Boyd, nitrous 1969 Chevrolet Nova, 7.241, 179.11
- Robert Tyree, nitrous 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 7.265, 190.59
- Dale Brady, nitrous 1995 Dodge Avenger, 7.629, 178.07
- Barney Squires, nitrous 1998 Chevrolet Corvette, 9.726, 93.84
- Marc Hayes, nitrous 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 10.551, 87.06
Kent Ferrell was going for his third straight Frantic 7 win, but redlighted in the final.
Photo by Stephen Hawes
Round one kicked off with the lone supercharged entry of Tommy Howes
facing chassis builder Ed Burnley's Sorcerer Corvette. Howes stayed side
by side with Burnley until half-track, then slowed at the top end. Burnley
went 6.673, 212.59 to defeat Tommy's 7.519 at 137. Up next, 2002 points
leader Allan Juhasz blatantly redlighted away a good 6.695 at 208.17.
Larry Plummer shut off to a 7.079 at only 148 mph for the win.
Up next, Marc Hemling wheelstood his Corvette, headed for the right
retaining wall, and shut off. Three time series champ Billy Farmer
(filling in for a broken Mark McHugh), took the win with an exact
duplicate of his qualifying run, 6.735 at 209.69 mph. Kent Ferrell only
needed to break the beams under power on his first round bye and that's
exactly what he did. Barney Squires then came out for a 6.890, 201.55 time
run, a huge improvement for the Shooting Star Corvette.
The semifinals began with Kent Ferrell meeting Ed Burnley. The two left
the line like Super Comp racers, with Burnley barely leading Ferrell with
awesome reaction times of .418 to .421! Ferrell's patriotically painted
Corvette again found the low 6.50s and won with a 6.528, 214.42 over
Burnley's 6.681. Larry Plummer kept pace with Ferrell by defeating Billy
Farmer, 6.575, 212.69 to a loose 6.878, 186.87. Farmer has sold his
dominating '63 Corvette and was shoeing John Coles' IKES Racing 1992
Trans Am. Marc Hemling then came out for a time run and hit an amazing
6.464 at 215.31.
The final had Larry Plummer and Kent Ferrell meeting with Ferrell going
for his third straight win. Ferrell redlighted away his chances, however,
handing an automatic win to Plummer. Pity, as the numbers were superb and
close: 6.562 at 214.01 for Ferrell and a winning 6.583 at 211.89 for
The next special event at MIR is the War on Wednesday on August 17. The
mid-week event will feature Pro Street Doorslammers, Frantic 7
Doorslammers, and Frantic 7 Dragsters/Altereds. War on Wednesday is also a
"Fox Hunt" event, as MIR promoters rekindle a 1970s drag racing
phenomena. All females will receive free admission to the event.