Eric Bell Wins Super Stock Crown
Massive fields participated in the Sportsman categories at the NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota, with Eric Bell taking the Super Stock victory for Mopar® in his GT/EA 1968 Plymouth Barracuda.
Bell, a former professional baseball player from Chandler, Arizona, won his first ever national event Wally in his Plymouth powered by a 440 cubic-inch engine when his opponent, Darrell Dietz, went red at the starting line in the final. Bell proceeded to make a lap of 9.301 seconds at 127.10 mph on a 9.22 dial-in. He left with a remarkable .007-second reaction time.
“This is definitely tough to do, I’ve been at it a long time,” said Bell, who also qualified No. 1. “I had a couple rounds where my lights weren’t that great, but luckily I got by those rounds and then my driving came along in the last few rounds and it all worked out.”
In Stock Eliminator, Steve Scherschligt of Tea, South Dakota, turned in the best performance for Mopar. Scherschligt made a series of consistent runs to advance to the third round in an H/SA 1973 Plymouth Satellite, where he finally bowed out after an 11.256-second pass on an 11.24 dial-in. Scherschligt reached a top speed of 115.36 mph and left the starting line with a .108-second reaction time in the round.
Bell and Scherschligt were each named the Dodge Top Finisher at Brainerd. The program, new for 2017, awards $500 to the Stock and Super Stock competitors who advance the farthest in a Dodge or Plymouth vehicle. The award is in place at all 24 NHRA national events and supplements Mopar’s long-running contingency program.
Super Stock and Stock Eliminator drivers also competed for class wins at Brainerd, with several Mopar-powered cars taking wins.
In Super Stock, Rick Johnson of Wayzata, Minnesota, claimed the GT/AA win in a ’68 Plymouth Barracuda; Bell won GT/EA in his ’68 ’Cuda; Brad Haugaard of Ham Lake, Minnesota, took the GT/IA victory in an ’06 Dodge Stratus; and Chuck Lofgren from Cedar, Minnesota, won FSS/H with his ’10 Dodge Challenger.
Meanwhile, three Mopar-powered machines claimed class wins in Stock. T.J. Diekema of Mason City, Iowa, drove his ’62 Plymouth Fury to the D/SA class victory; Corey Hopkins of North Branch, Minnesota, won G/SA in a ’69 Dodge Dart; and Scherschligt took home the H/SA win driving his ’73 Plymouth Satellite.