Don’t be late. Those three words were the only words being muttered by Top Sportsman racer Mike Koontz as he pulled into the staging lanes for the finals of the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Tournament of Champions presented by AMSOIL.
Last year, Koontz lost in the finals of the IHRA’s championship tournament with a sleepy .092 reaction time in a loss to Graham Foster. This year, Koontz was determined not to let that happen again.
The road to a championship is often paved with unexpected turns and tricky matchups.
Sometimes you find yourself matched up against a new racer you know little about, other times it is a former champion standing in your way. But what happens when you have to face someone a little closer in your life? Someone, say, you like to share your personal time with away from the racetrack? And what happens when that matchup comes in the semifinals of a race that determines a championship?
Scotty Stillings is a five-time IHRA World Champion.
He won his first championships as a kid in the late 90s. His third and fourth titles came in the mid-2000s as he grew into a regular in the ranks of Super Stock. But it is his fifth title, won earlier this year at the IHRA Summit Racing Equipment World Finals at Memphis International Raceway, that stands as the most unique of his championship collection.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little motivation.
For more than a year, Jimmie Hutto’s beautiful AA/SA 1967 Camaro sat hidden away in a corner, waiting for just the right moment to be resurrected and returned to the dragstrip. But with each passing race weekend, that time seem to come and go until one day, Hutto found the drive to restore his ride and return to the racetrack. And the motivation? None other than his son, Justin Hutto.
Jeremy Mason has dreamt of being a champion ever since he was a little kid.
From the very first time he made a pass down a racetrack in Junior Dragster, to his move up through the ranks to a much faster dragster in Quick Rod, Mason knew he wanted to be an IHRA World Champion and put his name alongside the all-time greats that have raced before him.