Drag Illustrated Issue 169, June/July 2021 - Page 83

JOHNNY PLUCHINO , WHO TOOK OVER THE SEAT OF HIS FATHER ’ S CHAMPIONSHIP- WINNING MUSTANG IN 2019 , BELIEVES MMPS RACERS NEED TO STICK TOGETHER AND MAKE DECISIONS THAT BENEFIT THE LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE CLASS .
Kirk , and his father , two-time IHRA Pro Stock world champion Doug Kirk , Justin won his first Mountain Motor Pro Stock race at the PDRA Doorslammer Derby earlier this year . The West Virginian drives for car owner Eddie Buck , an auto repair shop owner in Missouri .
JOHN MONTECALVO is one of Mountain Motor Pro Stock ’ s biggest advocates , as well as one of its most accomplished drivers . He ’ s won world championships in IHRA Pro Stock ( 2009 ), ADRL Extreme Pro Stock ( 2010 ) and PDRA Extreme Pro Stock ( 2019 ), with event victories and records to go along with those titles .
While a relative newcomer to the class , CHRIS POWERS has made a major impact on PDRA Extreme Pro Stock since joining the class in 2017 . He ’ s won multiple races in his Chuck Samuel-tuned Camaro , most recently winning the 2021 PDRA season opener as a tribute to engine builder and Mountain Motor Pro Stock supporter Sonny Leonard . He ’ s the current PDRA Extreme Pro Stock elapsed time record holder with a 4.007-second blast recorded in October 2019 .
There are now three series offering a Mountain Motor Pro Stock class . Do you think that helps or hurts the class ?
Johnny Pluchino : It hurts , mostly , in my opinion . If we had 100 MMPS cars spread throughout the country , I ’ d probably say it helps the class because you ’ re showing the class to different areas . But when we have a limited number of cars available , you ’ re cutting the pie into too many pieces .
JR Carr : It hurts in one way and helps in another . Geographically , there ’ s guys that won ’ t travel some distances , so it does get them out and gets them and the Mountain Motor car some exposure . It hurts us because then the car count is down at other places . It ’ s kind of a 50 percent good , 50 percent bad thing .
Justin Kirk : I think it hurts as far as I guess a financial standpoint . Everybody kind of feels like they have to support them all . As a whole I think it hurts it .
John Montecalvo : It ’ s kind of a double-edged sword . It helps the class in some ways because we have a lot of cars located out West that can ’ t make the PDRA series , so they ’ re going to lean towards the ADRL . There ’ s a select group that just wants to run quarter mile with the NHRA , then you have a select group that ’ s 100 percent loyal to the PDRA . I think in some ways it ’ s good , but in other ways it ’ s a detriment . Right now , we don ’ t have enough cars to run three series . What I see it doing is growing interest in the class and I see some new cars coming out over the next six months or so . That ’ s the positive to it .
Chris Powers : I think it hurts the class , to be honest . You ’ re spinning the class out . They ’ re each going to pull from whichever area those sanctioning bodies are in . The other guys aren ’ t going to travel to run the other circuits , they ’ re just going to stay in their own backyard .
Is it a challenge for you to decide which races to attend or which series to support ?
Pluchino : You want to support anybody who gives your class an opportunity , but it ’ s hard to go race every race out there , especially for a team like us . Our goal is championships . We also want
June / July 2021 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 83