race reports

Mountain Motor Pro Stocks at Houston

DeFlorian Leads the Way

Words by Chris Haverly

Photos by Ron Lewis

For the first time since the Winternationals in 1970, the NHRA ran a national event without their normal field of Pro Stock cars. From high 9-second cars in fields dominated by Mopars in the early years, to mid 6-second cars at over 210 mph today, the class has survived many changes over its nearly 50 years of existence. From 32-car fields at Indy to barely getting 16 cars much of 2018, the class has had a New York City phone book set of rule changes over the years, from weight breaks to cubic inch limits. The class has won most battles until recently.

Here’s a good look at the hood scoop on Chris Powers’ Camaro.


The one thing that has stayed pretty solid over the years, rules wise, is Mountain Motor Pro Stock cars. The IHRA made them popular and eighth-mile drag racing has kept them alive. On the outside, they are the Pro Stock car we have known and grown to love or hate (depending on who you are). They still carry the hood scoop that was born with the class, but under the skin it’s a different story. Powered by over 800 cubic inches, at 2400 pounds, these monsters make around 1900 HP. With shift points around 8200 RPM the engines don't spend these beasts like the 500-inch models that are now limited to 10,500 by NHRA.

DeFlorian’s Jon Kaase engine.

Brad Waddle’s engine.

Not every team was willing to share a look under the hood.


With enough torque to move your house, they leave hard and pull the entire quarter mile, resulting in ET's in the 6.20 range at over 225 mph. As of now they will be running three additional national events this year under the NHRA banner due to the reduction of the 500-inch cars’ schedule from 24 to 18 races.


Ten cars showed up in Houston to battle for the eight-car field, and weather didn't help the teams any as some rain got things off to a late start Friday. With cool conditions, John DeFlorian Jr. of Arnold, MO, put his ’15 Camaro No. 1 with the quickest pass in the short history of Mountain Motor Pro Stock with a 6.255. The bump was 6.404 by Rick Cowger in his Chevy from Montgomery, TX. DeFlorian was joined the 6.20 zone by Chris Powers from Carlisle, PA, in his Chevy and Elijah Morton, Jacksonville, NC, in his Mustang. (Not sure that seven Chevys and one Ford was what the NHRA was hoping for, but the field will be different when they head to the Eastern events I'm sure.)

Elijah Morton drove the only Mustang to make the MMPS field.

The Camaro of Dwayne Rice, Grove City, OH, (shown) and the Mustang of Brad Waddle, Solomon, KS, did not make the field.

Dillon Voss


In the first round it was John Montecalvo, Speonk, NY, in the right lane vs Dillon Voss, Royal Palm Beach, FL, in the left. Voss left first in his 2004 Cavalier and Montecalvo’s ’17 Camaro had tire shake making a move toward the wall. Morton and his ’18 Mustang were up next against Scott Benham, Conroe, TX, in his 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Morton was out first .033 to 105 on the tree until his Mustang overpowered the track and almost got into the wall in the right lane.


J.R. Carr from Richland, WA, was up next against Powers. Powers was away first with a .010 light but went into immediate tire shake, while Carr, who left with a .165 light, laid down the run of the event with a 6.23 at 227 mph to take the easy win.


Rick Cowger, Montgomery, TX, in the right lane took on the No. 1 qualifier in DeFlorian; Cowger had a slight holeshot but it went away by 60 feet as his 2008 Cobalt carried the front wheels and shook. DeFlorian had his hands full as the car made a couple moves down low before straightening out and laying down a 6.25 at 225 mph to end the round. Both lanes had good numbers with Carr running his .23 in the right and DeFlorian his .25 in the left.


Second round had DeFlorian with lane choice over Voss and Carr with lane choice over Benham.


After running a .25 in the left lane, DeFlorian rolled into the right lane and left first, .034 to Voss with a solid .039, and never looked back with a 6.23 for the win.

Carr also took the right lane and left first with a .061 to Benham's .66 and drove away with another 6.23 with a 5 for the win! Carr has an 840 cubic inch bracket car with great back-to-back 6.23 passes.


The final was the two quickest cars in the class, both with 6.23's in the semis. After both cars did their long smoky burnouts, Carr had the right lane with DeFlorian in the left. The race was over at the hit as Carr was .011 red while DeFlorian was perfect with a .000 light before going into shake and clicking it off as Carr threw away an outstanding 6.24. So Carr went 6.23, 6.23 and 6.24 red for the runner up!


John DeFlorian pulled off the top end thinking he had lost the race and was shocked to see the television crew come to his car; he didn't know Carr had red-lighted until the interview started.


John DeFlorian


"I am speechless, anyone who knows me, knows that never happens!” he said. “I shook on the launch and thought it was over. I had no idea I had won! This is a dream come true -- you don’t even know how big a deal this is!”


So, for the first time out, with some great numbers and everyone seeming to come away happy, you would have to consider this a success. From last year’s Indy with the hope of combining the two classes to having four events of their own on the NHRA tour for 2019, we hope the Mountain Motor Pro Stock guys have found a home that can lead to bigger and better things. Here is hoping both group of cars get back the glory of years gone by -- they both deserve to be here!  



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