Carolina Heat–Be There April 3


A look back at Mopars at the Rock 2020 and a preview of the 2021 event coming this April 3.

Story and photos by ZOO

Tank and Ralph Crosswhite brought these 2 cars for 3 exhibition runs. With his Hemi Barracuda (right),
Tank found that his transmission became a real mechanical ‘slush box’ on this first and only run.
Malik White’s ’16 Charger is ready to avoid the governor’s pandemic
enforcement patrol, with camo for his summer driving and snow
white for wintertime. SXT package was well-executed.

THOUGH COVID CONCERNS cancelled the annual
Mopar Nationals this year, the one-weekend hoedown
in the foothills of Rockingham, North Carolina was a
great time for folks living a little further down in Dixie.
Oh, Rock track owner Steve Earwood was being careful, telling
people to personally distance and not greeting everyone with
his usual handshake. Luckily, this track is out in the country
and has enough physical land space that it could qualify for
attendance far above 20,000 using the current CDC distancing
standards. While not that many people were on hand for
this event, the serious Mopar guys and gals of the southland
showed up. Mopars at the Rock was also later than normal
because of the pandemic fears but hosting it in the heat of July
did not seem to hurt attendance. That said, being moved to
the same weekend as Carlisle’s big blast could not be avoided,
so some people normally here journeyed up north instead. Oh,
well, ya missed a barnburner!

Mopar Action will be covering this event on April 3. Give us a wave!

As always, Mopars At The Rock features a judged car show,
and though the overall count was probably lower than normal
due to the aforementioned opposing event, the quality of the
cars was great as always. The judges worked in the heat to
determine who would get honors as Saturday began to wind
down, and making those choices is never simple. We have a
selection of our own awards here. The balance this year was
weighted toward late models, though there were standout vintage
muscle Mopes, trucks, and miscellaneous machines also

COVID can’t keep them down. The show
cars on Saturday were a beautiful sight
to see after months of quarantine.

on hand. You must admit, driving your air-conditioned SRT Charger
or Challenger on a weekend like this has its benefits.

The Rock’s Mope show was scheduled for Saturday only, but
the track was hot all weekend as the Modern Street Hemi Shootout
crew brought their show into town as part of it. Not limited to only
late model bodies but any full-bodied car with G3 power, the group
features several brackets and racing categories. Friday was a paid
private test session that ended with an evening test and tune. We
bought a mere $15.00 test ticket and the Blu Zoo truck got its firstever
trips down the quarter. Tipping the scales at no less than 5896
pounds with Stunkard in the seat, the 3-tonner flew to a consistent
series of 14.9 with a 14.89 at 93.3 best. This is a bone-stock 5.7L
Sport model. Maybe swapping in a Hellcat engine would give it a
little bit more. Oh, wait, Stellantis is gonna do that soon.

Kevin Hemlick’s “Grumpycat” Challenger
was the car to beat in the heat
in the MSHS series. Hemlick ran deep
into the 8-second zone to score double
victories in Super Pro and Hemi Outlaw
categories, as well as Best 1/8 and 1.4
ET, Best 60-Foot and Best Hellcat ET. As
you can see, he’s serious…

On Saturday, the Rock played host to its normal group of brackets
and exhibitions, while Sunday was a quick turn-around for the
many MSHS classes, ending by mid-afternoon so people could start
home. We will have a feature on that series in our February issue and
will highlight a just a few things here. In the end, a great time was
had by all. So, stay healthy; we’ll see y’all here next year!

A family venue, Rockingham featured this large public wading
pool for the kiddies in the pits. A good time was had by all!
If you just bought a used 1970 Road Runner and are missing the entire front
end, here was a deal for you, and still in the original shrink-wrap!
Winning our award for “Truth In Advertising— NOT” loving cup for2020 was Matt Perry’s
2016 Shaker-equipped Scat Pak Challenger. What’s that under the hood? Oh, just a little
ProCharger strapped in off there to the right. The stoplight Shelby Mustang boi never saw it comin’.
Called “Biohazard,” owner Kane Beard put a lot of effort into his 2014 Jeep
Wrangler Sport, and it is actually off-road capable despite the numerous
dress-ups. Cleaned up as shown, he even brought his own rocks to Rockingham,
getting our “At the Rock in a Hard Place” honors for 2020.


OUR PICK for “Upcoming Attractions” is this 1969 Dart GTS convertible, oneof 34 383/4-speed combos built that
model year. Though not done yet, Pat Brozowski was displaying it in honor of his brother Bob, who was the car’s
third and long-time owner but who had succumbed to cancer some years ago. In Y2 Yellow now, the car was factory
painted in code 999 Bronze when new and formerly capable of 13.3 times with day-two changes. It was bought
by Bob in the late 1970s from a college friend in Michigan whose mother had bought it new in late 1968, and Pat
intends to bring it back to stock in the future. How rare is it? Well, did your mom ever own a GTS convertible with
no radio and a 383/4-speed?
Set up in the Footbrake bracket Saturday and dialed to a 7.95
1/8-mile, a favorite on-track machine was this ’64 Dodge 440 trim
convertible. We don’t know who the driver was.
Our buddy Mike Duarity was showing off his newest project, a
survivor 1970 Challenger complete with patina and factory paint
now sporting a scrapyard 6.4L crate engine conversion. We’ll
have another of Mike’s associated cars on these pages in the next
couple of issues. His “Build ’Em Real” award from us consisted of
a ball of baling wire and our slightly-used chewing gum.
Tom Lauber’s ’67 A100 pick-up/camper combo was a popular attraction
and won the Special class honors. His reward? Little kids wondering
who Scooby Doo was.
Yes, not every Demon is sitting in some rich guy’s garaged collection;
here is one of many that were on hand racing as part of
the MSHS series event.
Taking real show award honors among the old-school cars were these two 1968
Road Runners. The Hemi, owned by David Campbell, is a street sweeper born to
run and beautifully refinished to OEM specs. It was given runner-up honors.
The father-son who race together stay together. Our “Family in
Flight” certificate goes to Darien Murphy and Darien Murphy
Jr. (who is on his way to college this fall). They were on hand
Friday night for testing and tuning. From the little town of Iron
Mine, NC. they run a modified Magnum-powered Dakota and a
late-model 5.7L Charger, both capable of breaking the 15-second
barrier and both street legal.
Despite all the Bubba Wallace controversy going on with the modern
43, Richard Petty was all smiles on his trailer, looking down on this
modified Challenger package being offered from Petty’s Garage.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x