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
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!
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
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.
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!