NHRA Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha announced today that he has acquired championship-winning equipment to expand his in-house engine and racing program in a strategic effort to contest the full 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour in 2014 with his Harlow Sammons/Southwest Performance & Machine Chevrolet Camaro. The Odessa, Texas native graduated from the Competition Eliminator category in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series to the factory hot rod division in 2011 and has contested a partial schedule in the two seasons since.
“Our plan for next season is the same as it was this year; we plan to race all 24 events, and if we can stay in the top 10, then we’ll keep going,” said McGaha. The machinist and Vice President of Southwest Performance & Machine indicated that he and his team will race the circuit selectively should they fall out of the top 10 in the standings.
I basically have the fastest Pro Stock car out there. Heck, I don’t know if anybody has ever had the chance to do something quite like this.
McGaha will be riding top notch equipment when the seasons dawns, as he purchased Mike Edwards’ entire racing operation, including the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro that Edwards piloted last season, along with Edwards’ truck and trailer and the contents of his engine shop in North Carolina, including all of the engines, transmissions, rear ends, and other components.
McGaha explains that he was “in the right place at the right time” when Edwards, who dominated much of the regular season in 2013, decided to sell his operation, lock, stock, and barrel.
Image courtesy NHRA/National Dragster
“It started back at the Brainerd race last year, when we went over there with the intentions of asking Mike if we could rent a motor,” said McGaha. “He told us no, but then he came over to talk to us at the race in Las Vegas, and then again after Pomona, and now here we are.”
In addition to acquiring Edwards’ operation, McGaha hoped to add the 42-time national went winner and 2009 NHRA Pro Stock champion to his team as crew chief, but the soft spoken veteran opted out of the full-time role.
“Oh believe me, I asked Mike if he would be my crew chief,” said McGaha. “We tried our hardest, but he wouldn’t do it. He was really nice about it, and his exact words to me were, ‘If you want to go testing, just call me.’ But no, he isn’t going to be my crew chief.”
McGaha continued, ”I can’t wait to get out there, but it’s a little nerve-wracking because now it’s all going to be up to me,” admitted McGaha. “I basically have the fastest Pro Stock car out there. Heck, I don’t know if anybody has ever had the chance to do something quite like this. But here I am, right where I’ve always wanted to be: driving a Chevrolet Camaro with a real chance of winning Pro Stock races.”