Camaro-bodied cars of all shapes and sizes truly enjoyed a successful 2012 drag racing season that included Championship runs. Here are four of the best…
Rising to the Summit
Arizona ET bracket racer David Muller collected big time during 2012 – and then some! The Mesa-based driver prevailed to become the National ET Champion for Sportsman class racers when he placed First during the highly prestigious Summit Racing-sponsored National ET Championships event held in conjunction with NHRA's season-ending Auto Club Finals at Pomona, California. Driving his super consistent '74 Camaro, Muller collected close to 10 grand with that victory, which was an elite tournament that featured only champions from each of NHRA's seven geographical divisions. Muller was the representative from NHRA's Southwest Division, and his home track is Speedworld Dragstrip.
Successful Title Defense
In the highly competitive world of Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car racing, Jason Rupert is standing tall after 2012. The versatile California-based racer, who also competes within NHRA's TAFC class, managed a successful repeat as national champion for NHRA's ultra-popular Hot Rod Heritage racing series. Driving a '69 Camaro-bodied car that features the motif of bygone category great Mert Littlefield, Jason enjoyed a very solid season campaign that included four final round placings in the series. Rupert had a 71-point cushion going into the final race of the year at Bakersfield, and when his closest points competitor, John Hale, was a DNQ – his title was assured.
Ohio's Marco Abruzzi, who is regarded as one of the premier Top Sportsman racers in the nation, earned himself a little bit of history in 2012. Driving a Tim McAmis-built '68 Camaro powered by a 706ci nitrous-injected Chevrolet engine, the racing annals will show his name as the ADRL's first ever Top Sportsman World Champion. The ADRL introduced that particular class and title chase last season with Summit Racing Equipment as its presenting sponsor. Abruzzi had a strong season start when he won the opening round at Houston and then scored a huge win at Memphis in September. But the ferocious chase did come down to the final event of the year (at Dallas). When Abruzzi advanced to the semi-final round he clinched the title.
Canada's thriving Pro Modified Racing Association (PMRA) produced another championship-winning Camaro, this one driven by Eric Latino from the greater Toronto area. Latino's Team Green, which includes co-car owners Rob and Anne Sporring, were able to wrestle away the title from perennial and multi-time series champion Bruce Boland. It all came down during the circuit's very dramatic season-ending double header event held in September, where Latino placed runner-up on Saturday and winner on Sunday to take the season championship by a single point. Then in October, Latino, who is the president of GESI Inc. (a global leader in the emission control technology field) added to his season laurels by towing down to Englishtown, New Jersey, and winning the "Outlaw" Speedtech Shakedown Nationals. That marked the first Pro Mod class win by a Canadian at that event.