Smith's Swan Song Season
North Carolina's "Trickie" Rickie Smith, one of drag racing's all-time prolific door-slammer racers, has announced that the 2013 season would be his last as a driver. Smith closed out a driving career that spanned 40 years with a truly rewarding season, taking his IDG Supply-sponsored 2013 Camaro to NHRA's Pro Modified Drag Racing Series World Championship. It was the first NHRA world crown for Smith, who had previously amassed numerous World Championship titles in both ADRL and IHRA circuits racing Pro Mod and Pro Stock. Smith's Jerry Bickel-built Camaro, which features a monstrous 903ci nitrous-injected motor program by Pat Musi, was super consistent and super fast all season, propelling him to wins at Bristol, TN, and Norwalk, OH. That, combined with numerous other late-round finishes—including a championship-capping runner-up finish at the penultimate event at St. Louis—earned him the 2013 title. Smith's long claim to fame list includes the first ever victory in NHRA's Pro Mod class, held at Gainesville, FL, in 2001.
Only 10 Months Later!
Nevada's Justin Lamb, who is only 26-years old, claimed the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing World Championship title for Stock Eliminator.
Driving a 1970 Camaro he and his father, Chris, acquired at the very beginning of 2013, Lamb used an impressive late-season surge within his home NHRA Pacific Division to eke out the closest NHRA Stock Eliminator World Championship title in history—by a single point. Lamb secured the title in late October on a fifth-round single during the final NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing event of the season, held at his home track in Las Vegas. Justin's Camaro, which he runs as a D/SA, was originally raced by Phil Unruh before being acquired from previous owner Tommy Gaynor. Justin utilizes a super reliable 350ci engine program by Gary Stinnett in Kansas. During his 2013 championship run, Justin received valued primary sponsorship from Redback Boots, Moser Engineering, and Sunstate Companies.
Sweden's Jimmy Alund gave the Chevrolet Camaro an international championship in 2013 by winning the FIA European Pro Stock title. Racing his 2012 Jerry Haas-built Camaro in only its second season, Alund continued his domination of the European class by winning the Pro Stock title for the second time in three years, and the eighth time in his great career. Jimmy's season driving the KW Parts/J&J Performance Racing Camaro was one of complete domination. Of the six FIA events contended, he qualified Number One each time and was in all six final rounds, winning five times. Alund set and reset the FIA Pro Stock record three different times during the campaign, ending the season holding both ends with a run of 6.534 sec. at 213.31 mph (or to be European correct, 343.29 kph). Alund uses a 500ci engine direct from Jason Line and Greg Anderson at KB Racing and is quick to credit his success to support from that racing team.
The PRO E.T. Pinnacle
Oklahoma's Coy "Alvie" Merrill earned one of the most difficult and competitive world titles for the Camaro brand during 2013, taking one of the highly prestigious NHRA Summit Racing Series E.T. bracket racing championships. Merrill, whose crew consists of his father, Cody; wife, April; and brother Chris, wheeled his impressive 14994 Camaro to a Pro E.T. championship when he prevailed at Summit's Championship Showdown tournament held in conjunction with NHRA's season-ending AAA Auto Club Finals at Pomona. Alvie's car, which is a former Super Stocker, was acquired back in 2010 and has had a very impressive winning record within his home NHRA Division Four (winning twice), as well as taking the "King of the Track" title at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Oklahoma City. Powered by a 421ci small-block prepared by Advanced Engine Machine (Salina, Kansas), Merrill regularly targets and achieves consistent performance e.t.'s of 9.8 seconds at 135+ mph from his combination. Merrill credits terrific and continued support from Sunoco Race Fuels, Pro Tire (M/T), Coan Transmissions, and Mike Duffy Race Cars as being keys to his season's success.