While maybe not as common as they once were, there are still a significant number of Chevrolet drivers campaigning unique and rather large classics within the various sanctioning bodies’ Stock and Super Stock classes, so we figured it’s about time to give those who race these behemoths a little recognition for all the “extra” effort.
Captain McCarthy’s Boat
We can safely say that there are not a lot of 1960 Chevrolet Kingswood wagons out there these days, so when Kentucky’s John “The Captain” McCarthy brings his lumbering U/SA-classed machine to the line, drag racing fans take notice. McCarthy, with racing partner M.J. Quinn, first debuted this car back in 1980. It uses a 283ci, 215hp-rated engine with original head castings, carb, intake, bore, stroke, and cam lift. The car tips the scales at 4,470 pounds and over many years has set and reset the NHRA national record some nine times. Over its history John has collected a lot of hardware, too—including 24 class championships. The car’s original machine work was from the legendary Woodrow Josey before his retirement, and is now handled by Harrison Racing & Machine. The transmission is by Thomas Arnett, upholstery by M.J. Quinn, and paint by Adam McCarthy (Kentucky Customs). Tommy Mattingly and Rick Fuller did the chassis and rollbar. Its best time is a 13.49 at 98.95 mph (which is 0.136 under the index if you are keeping score), but John’s performance goal remains to coax the car past the so-far-illusive 100-mph barrier.
“Secret Agency” Man
Ohio-based life insurance agent Richard Feldman (The Feldman Agency) races a well-prepared 1966 Impala in SS/O trim. Originally built by Archie Gafnea and Rodney Abston (from Alabama), Richard has been racing this car since 1985. Over the years it’s seen a number of updates and enhancements, which Richard tasked to M&M Chassis and Kromer Kraft. Currently, the engine program is a 283ci small-block (rated at 230 hp by the NHRA) that was assembled by Ross Racing and includes heads from Heads Up Cylinder Heads. Richard uses a G-Force transmission and a Dana rearend assembly to transfer power to the surface. The quickest this manually shifted car has gone so far is 11.25 at 118 mph while scaling in at 3,875 pounds. The car has been credited with multiple NHRA class wins (73 and counting) and it’s also held the NHRA national record multiple times. Feldman, who first began drag racing Chevy cars back in 1962, funds his racing operation from his highly successful agency with associate help provided by Phantom Fireworks (Youngstown, Ohio).
Patrick Downing (from Adrian, Michigan) races a car that has certainly stood up to racing attrition. Since the car’s debut back in 1983 (a self-built car from three salvage vehicles), this 1983 Chevrolet Malibu wagon has reportedly been down the quarter-mile over 4,000 times! First raced by Patrick’s father, Bob, and then his brother Charley, Patrick assumed the wheel back in 2008. Originally run as a U/SA with a 287ci engine, the Malibu has since competed in various Stock Eliminator class configurations up to and including K/SA. It is currently campaigning in M/SA (at 3,700 pounds) with a 305ci flat top engine with Heads Up Cylinder Heads heads built by Parsons & Meyers and assembled by Keith Lynch. Patrick’s car remains highly competitive within both NHRA and IHRA circuits with over 50 class wins at NHRA national events, multiple national records, and Top Ten divisional points placings. Downing, who is currently a direct sales/marketing director for a small sporting equipment/powdercoating company receives support for his racing program from his family run farm (Downing Farms) that grows wheat, corn, and soy beans, and from M/T Drag Tires. His crewmembers include his fiancé Lisa Miller, mother and father, Bonnie and Bob, brother Charley, sister Lezlee, and close family friends Paul Wong, Jimmy Ronzello, and the Zaskowski family.
Steve Hutar certainly showcases his expert craftsmanship when he goes drag racing with his meticulously finished 1967 Impala. The Wright, Minnesota-based body shop owner (Steve’s Auto Body) is racing a car that he bought originally for the street and has now owned for over 30 years. After ET bracket racing it for 10 seasons, he converted the car for Stock Eliminator back in 1996. It is a rarity indeed—reportedly the one and only 1967 Impala legal for and racing within NHRA Stock Eliminator today. Steve races the car with his sons Ryan and Jared. Together during the spring of 2015 those three took on a complete refurbishing and restoration for the car, including its stunning new paint scheme. Weighing in at 3,950 pounds, the car has clicked off a best e.t. of 11.13 at 117.90 mph as an H/SA. Steve races his car within the Midwest and mostly around his home track: the scenic Brainerd International Raceway. Hutar receives behind-the-scenes support and advice from friends and associates Glen DeMenge, Lance, Jason, Ben, and Lawrence Line.