Ed Hoover has returned to his roots.
The Pro Modified pioneer from Columbia, SC., made a name for himself running the smaller venues as a Quick Eight racer long before the volatile doorslammer division became a professional category. On any given Sunday afternoon, Hoover and his pick-up truck towing an enclosed trailer would roll through the gates of venues such as Shuffletown Dragway located outside of Charlotte and Orangeburg.
Then he became a professional drag racer and the series grew to the point where Shuffletown gave way to Rockingham and Orangeburg was replaced with Darlington.
The duallie and enclosed trailer gave way to an 18-wheeler. His independent operation was purchased by successful construction magnate Paul Trussell.
Hoover, with the blessings of Trussell, has stepped away from the major series’ and found a home in Big Dog competition hosted by Piedmont Dragway, located outside of Greensboro, NC. He’ll also partake in some Extreme Outlaw Pro Modified events contested on an eighth-mile course.
“It’s a lot easier for us to run up to 20 of these races than to follow the tour on a ten-race series,” admitted Hoover, a 19-time national event winner. “To be honest, I enjoy it a lot. I get to race every weekend and it allows me to get back to my roots.”
Hoover is planning stops in the near future to venues such as Farmington Dragway [outside of Winston-Salem, NC] and Shadyside.
“Those will no doubt take me back in time,” said Hoover. “We were just kids chasing a dream back in those early days. I’ve enjoyed making my name on the big show, but this is fun and challenging. I am working hard to get the car back into eighth-mile form.”
Hoover is winless after his first few events at Piedmont.
“I’m still trying to get the combination together and have broken the transmission in the first couple of races,” explained Hoover. “I finally found the problem and feel that we are going to be competitive from this point on.”
More races for Hoover means more opportunities to hone his driving skills against a group of opponents he says is getting much younger.
“It’s a faster pace,” Hoover said. “We made our name over on the big show with lesser resources than the other teams. I used to pull up alongside of the older drivers who were my mentors and now the drivers I face are younger. I’ve gotten to know them and become pretty good friends. I’m having fun doing this.”
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