MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCK GROUP PARTS WITH IHRA

Written by Bobby Bennett.

New Group Aligns With ADRL; Will Stage Five Independent Events …

The Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association [MMPSA] intends to move forward in 2010 without involvement of the IHRA. The series will stage a series of independent events.

Pete Berner, spokesman for the MMPSA, confirmed that the October announcement of an alignment with the IHRA will not transpire as announced by the sanctioning body. The group has instead forged an alliance with the American Drag Racing League, the only sanctioning body to stage a full-time mountain motor Pro Stock division.

In the end, the MMPSA made the decision to walk away from the tentative agreement with the IHRA due to a combination of principle and marketing feasibility.

“They asked for us to provide our own funding for this year and they would provide the venues,” Berner explained. “We couldn’t find the funding to race with the IHRA but had plenty of support to run independently.”

The MMPSA will stage five events hosted by four different tracks and will not conflict with any of the ADRL’s Extreme Pro Stock races. These events will be staged in the spring and fall of 2010, providing the most optimum conditions for the events to produce record numbers.

The preliminary schedule opens March 19 – 20 in Rockingham, NC, and then May 7 – 8 in Martin, Mi. The final spring event will be May 21 – 22 in Budds Creek, Md.

The tour resumes with a second event September 25 – 26 in Budds Creek. The final event will be contested in Englishtown, NJ, as part of the Shakedown at E’town event October 1 – 3.

The MMPSA will race under ADRL Extreme Pro Stock rules and guidelines including the VP Race Fuels spec racing gas. The independent races will be staged on a quarter-mile race course.

“The ADRL has even offered their tech support,” Berner added.

The IHRA has not officially commented on the MMPSA’s decision but likely this decision will end the sanctioning body’s involvement with their longest running professional category. Pro Stock has been a part of the sanctioning body’s program on a full-time basis since 1971. The IHRA was the first to introduce the mountain motor format in 1976.

The IHRA first informed the mountain motor Pro Stock drivers in September that the class would be discontinued at the end of the 2010 season. The formation of the MMPSA and a potential program next season offered a temporary reprieve.

“They came back to us at Rockingham and pointed out that they had several track operators who requested us as part of their program but said that we’d have to find our own funding,” Berner confirmed. “That’s what we attempted to do but couldn’t find the funding.”

Berner considered himself to be one of the IHRA’s staunchest supporters during their recent lean times. The fact, he believed, the IHRA had made the mountain motor Pro Stockers expendable left him disappointed.

“We had been at the IHRA for a long time and I personally had invested millions into a program to race there, and for them to come and tell us that we had no place to race during the Budds Creek event was sickening,” Berner said. “Even though the MMPSA was willing to put up their own money up to do it, I didn’t see it as fair that in addition to our huge investment for our race cars that we also have to fund our own class.”

Berner, who would be justified feeling bitter towards the IHRA, focuses his efforts on the positives of the new MMPSA program. The MMPSA is comprised of 20 members and will do business as a limited liability corporation.

“Our goal was to give our class the opportunity to race in a quarter mile format at facilities that can produce record breaking side by side performances, while giving fans the ability to witness all the action,” said Berner. “We designed the format so that the founding series of the MMPSA would have the best conditions possible to achieve our goals. We’re excited for the venues that are on board for 2010 as well as the interest from racers and manufacturers. We have been overwhelmed with support from all of the manufacturers that make the equipment utilized on our race cars. We will have some exciting announcements in the very near future.

“We have also received great interest from other race facilities who wish to have our brand of racing. We appreciate everyone’s support of Mountain Motor Pro Stock and are very excited about future possibilities.”

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