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Spotlight on Influential Sportsman Drag Racers

Straight Line Spotlight

Bruce Biegler Jun 11, 2018
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002 Chevy II Wheelie 2/4

Chevy Multitasking
Houston is home base to a very formidable and fun-loving husband and wife racing team. When not managing the operations for their Mexican eatery (Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurant), Stan and Sheila Mae Holt divert their attention to the dragstrip and a pretty darn impressive fleet of Chevrolet drag racing vehicles.

Both Stan and Sheila Mae are active drivers and their personal focus is on a pair of similar-looking ’66 Chevy II race cars. Both are four-speed manual machines: Sheila Mae drives a D/S version in Stock while Stan races an SS/G in Super Stock. Both cars feature excellent paint done in-house by George Cordera.

Sheila Mae’s car, which tips the scales at 2,850 pounds, was built by Kevin Helms. That machine, which has a 350ci engine assembled by J Sherman Allen and has carded a best time of 10.42 at 126+ mph. Stan’s Super Stocker, which is well-known for some towering starting line wheels-up antics, also features a 350ci J Sherman Allen engine program, but this car was built by Scooter Anderson. In SS/G trim, the car regularly clocks runs in the 9.4-second and 140-mph range.

An interesting niche to their racing program is the fact that both cars were originally ’67 model Chevy IIs, which have been converted to ’66 models. This was done because three years ago the race team discovered some old Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins engine technology but in order to utilize it legally within NHRA drag racing rules, the Chevy II model year had to be ’66. So they changed each of the Chevy II cosmetics (grille, headlights, etc.) to one year older.

But this Bowtie race team’s story doesn’t stop here. The highly active race team also includes yet another Super Stock Chevy II—this one is an SS/F raced by the team’s crew chief Jarrod “J-Rod” Granier. Sheila Mae’s son Chase Murray is also part of the operation, racing a pair of Chevy-powered dragsters, one in Top Dragster and the other in Super Comp. Overall, this race team is highly active within NHRA Division 4, and they call Royal Purple Raceway at Baytown, Texas, their home track.

003 S 10 Truck Burnout 3/4

Tantamount Truck Transition
We cannot help but admire the impressive re-emergence of what was formerly a Pro Stock Truck class entry. Mesa, Arizona’s Jeff and Cheryl Connelly have taken an ’06 edition Jerry Bickel S-10 to new heights after a spectacular rebuild to enter it within Top Sportsman. Now powered by a 540ci big-block Chevy that is equipped with a ProCharger supercharger, this S-10 makes in excess of 2,300 hp and runs in the 6.5-second zone at close to 220 mph. The S-10 was finished off with a spectacular paint scheme applied by reputed Todd Barton Design (Downey, California). Earlier this season, the Connellys collected a very deserving Best Appearing award during the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix. Jeff and Cheryl’s self-funded race team (from their company LandMark Iron) is a multicar program, which also includes two other similarly painted and prepped cars: another Top Sportsman entry (’63 Corvette) and a RaceTech chassis, Chevy-powered rear-engine dragster.

004 C7 Corvette Roadster Wheelie 4/4

Crown Jewel C7
The popularity, efficiency, and vision advantage of the C7 Corvette continues to grow exponentially within NHRA index class racing. The Bob Prose effort, from Terre Haute, Indiana, is most certainly one of the nicest we have seen so far. This C7 roadster, debuted in 2017, features a Suncoast body, runs a 598ci big-block that produces an estimated 1,150 hp, and runs 165 mph in the quarter-mile within NHRA Super Gas class racing. Bob applied the remarkable custom paint scheme, and that has earned a Best Appearing accolade (at an NHRA Division 3 Bowling Green Divisional event last year). Bob is a second-generation driver who oversees a great racing team that also includes his wife, Bobbi; daughter Alison, and son Nathan. Alison drives a similarly stunning-looking Chevy-powered Super Comp dragster and Nathan’s future is now being groomed in the Junior Dragster league. The race team’s sponsorship comes from Honey Creek Collision and G&B Machine Shop.

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