Connolly Takes Stock Eliminator at Atlanta Dragway
Though the competition was fierce at the NHRA Lucas Oil Series at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, Dave Connolly methodically marched, round by round, to the Stock Eliminator title in the www.GMPartsNow.com Chevrolet COPO Camaro.
All in all, a very exciting event and a great win for Chevrolet Performance, Cagnazzi Racing, www.GMPartsNow.com, Berger Chevrolet, and, of course, Dave Connolly.
After all the excitement, Matt Berger, owner of Berger Chevrolet stated: "We're very excited to be part of this team. The COPO is a really exceptional piece of engineering, and we are proud to be part of its history. It's won its class in NHRA drag racing, and we feel confident it can win the Stock Eliminator title, especially with Dave behind the wheel. Really, this is about championing the COPO as an icon of Chevrolet and performance car history. The fact that we can bring some new eyes to www.GMPartsNow.com is just a bonus and being part of the first event win for the new generation COPO makes this extra sweet for all of us at Berger Chevrolet."
A very happy Dave Connolly spoke about his win: "I'm ecstatic to get the first COPO event win, it was a goal of mine from the first time I sat in this car. This is a great race car, and I really can't thank all of the guys at Chevy enough for building this Camaro. I know how hard they worked and how dedicated they are to making this COPO Camaro a winner from the onset. It's an awesome car and today is a testament to that! I really want to thank Matt from Berger Chevrolet for having the confidence in me to step up and sponsor our run for the title.
Racing Industry Pioneer Harvey Crane Passes Away
Harvey J. Crane, Jr., founder of Crane Cams, Inc., and a pioneer figure in the racing and performance automotive industry, passed away Friday, May 31, 2013, following a brief illness.
Harvey was born in Hallandale, Florida, August 17, 1931. At the age of 13 he discovered hot rods, a discovery that led him to a lifetime fascination with modifying engines to increase their power output. In his teen years Harvey gained a reputation for building fast, powerful, and reliable flathead Ford V-8 engines for Florida racers. At the age of 18 he left home and went on tour, building, tuning and maintaining a pair of flathead-powered "jalopy" racers on the rough and tumble dirt tracks of the Midwest.
When he returned home he opened a part-time business, building race engines while working in his dad's machine shop. On January 1, 1953, Harvey opened Crane Engineering in a rented corner of his dad's shop. By the mid-'60s Crane Cams had caught and surpassed its competitors, becoming the largest racing cam company in the industry.
Harvey was one of SEMA's first members and exhibitors at the first SEMA Show. He was later inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame and also inducted into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame, in Henderson, North Carolina.
In 1980 Crane Cams built a new facility in Daytona Beach, Florida, and in 1985 Harvey closed his Hallandale plant, moving all operations north, to Daytona.
Following a disagreement with his board of directors, Harvey was ousted as Chairman of the Board of Crane Cams and in late 1989 he was dismissed.
Harvey refused to remain quietly "retired" and began offering classes in designing camshaft lobe profiles. Harvey's "Cam School" eventually attracted more than 100 students from every element of the automotive industry including racing, industrial, and marine.
As he approached his 80th birthday, Harvey scaled back his daily schedule yet continued to work several hours, seven days per week on customer and personal cam projects.
"I always want to keep my mind busy and stay curious of the amazing new developments we are seeing every day in this industry," he observed shortly after.
Harvey James Crane, Jr. is survived by four children: David Crane, Mona Crane, Steven Crane, and Susan Farris; and his beloved companion dog Stormy. He was preceded by his first wife, Mildred, and by his second wife, Maxine Solis.
Snake and Mongoo$e
Based on a true story of the greatest rivalry in the world of drag racing, Snake and Mongoo$e debuts in August 2013 in select cities, with a wide release set for September 6. Set in the late-'60s and early-'70s during the heyday of drag racing, the film tells the tale of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "Mongoo$e" McEwen, who were fierce rivals on the track but the best of friends in life. The movie takes viewers far beyond the thrill of the track. It is a compelling action drama that depicts Prudhomme and McEwen's personal triumphs and tragedies, as well as their deal with Mattel—a deal which revolutionized automotive sports marketing. In 1969, the men pitched Mattel's Hot Wheels division on a sponsorship and cross-promotion whereby Mattel would fund the creation of their new Funny Cars in exchange for Don and Tom putting the Mattel logo on their cars and doing match races around the country.
The movie stars Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy) as Don Prodhomme and Richard Blake (Dragonball: Evolution) as Tom McEwen. The movie also stars Noah Wyle (Falling Skies), Tim Blake Nelson (Lincoln), Ashley Hinshaw, Ian Ziering and Fred Dryer, among others.
View the trailer at www.snakeandmongoosemovie.com.