With many NHRA teams unsure of their 2021 plans because of the COVID-19 pandemic, veteran Pro Stock owner/driver Dave River is on the opposite end of the spectrum.

River confirmed to CompetitionPlus.com his team will once again compete on a limited schedule in 2021 in NHRA’s Camping World Drag Racing Series. Robert River, Dave’s son, will be driving the family-owned, orange-painted Chevy Cobalt.

“We plan on doing Norwalk (Ohio) (June 24-27), Topeka (Kan.) (Aug. 13-15), Indy (Sept. 1-5), and St. Louis (Sept. 24-26),” Dave said. “We are certainly going to try and support the class and represent ourselves and have some fun again this year and make some good laps. My wife and I decided I drove that car for nine or 10 years and we wanted to give Robert the opportunity (to drive). He’s a good kid and he’s earned the right to get to drive and he’s very, very gifted.” 

In 2020, Robert qualified for his first NHRA national event in the Pro Stock class. 

Robert qualified No. 16 for the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals presented by Pennzoil and lost to three-time world champion Jason Line in the first round at Lucas Oil Raceway, Aug. 9.

Line clocked a 6.607-second pass to defeat Robert’s 6.907-second lap. Robert became the 454th driver to make an NHRA Pro Stock field. 

Dave said there is a possibility his team might compete at the Drag Race Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals, March 5-7 in Orlando.

“We might go there if they need cars,” Dave said about the Orlando race. “I will support the class if they are short cars. We would be ready to go, but logistically it is hard for us to do.”

In addition to the NHRA national events, the Iowa-based team will compete at numerous races on the local level.

“We run our (1989) Firebird some with the nostalgia Pro Stock group and I will race in the Ozark Mountain Super Shifters with my 1968 Camaro that I have back,” Dave said. “That Camaro is a wheel stander clutch car that is a ball to drive. We have a full slate of races for the year. I am a glass half full guy; I always have been. Everybody said they could not wait to get rid of 2020, but I had a great 2020. Robert qualified for his first (Pro Stock) race, which was super neat.  Business was great and still is good. We are really blessed here.”

Dave runs Dave River Construction Inc. based in Maquoketa, Iowa.

“We have been fortunate,” Dave said. “My wife is working every day, my son is working every day, I’m working every day and my daughters are working every day. We are blessed. We have work. We are excited for the (2021) race season. We are thankful for whatever race we get to do, and we always try and support and do what is best for the class or the group we are racing with.”