Event Coverage: The 26th Annual World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic

The Haltech World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic Presented by Wiseco (WCF) has grown exponentially over the past 26 years. Racers and fans flock to Maryland International Raceway (MDIR) each November to be a part of the WCF experience.

Miller Brother Productions founders Jason and Chris Miller have created a magical formula that allows an amazing variety of cars from different classes and venues to compete at the WCF. There’s no other race in the world where you’ll see everything from screw-blown HEMIs to rotary-powered doorslammers competing. The WCF is truly a global event where racers show up to prove they’re the best in the world.

Outlaw vs Extreme is the WCF’s headlining class that features five-second, 250-plus mph cars. Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings racers John Odom, Jim Howe, and Jeff Lutz tossed their hats in the ring at the WCF this year. Howe was able to qualify number two with a 5.74 but ultimately fell in the second round. Odom made it all the way to the semifinals before he was defeated. But the biggest story of the Outlaw vs Extreme class was by far Jose Alejandro. Alejandro struggled in qualifying and didn’t make the show until the final session with a 5.96. When eliminations began, Alejandro hit his stride and ran the table to win the event.

Carlos Olivo’s record-setting 5.86 run was the quickest time ever recorded for a Honda-powered vehicle during Renegade vs Modified qualifying. Olivo had the field covered by over a tenth of a second with that amazing run. When eliminations began, Olivo never dipped back into the 5-second zone and began to struggle to get down the track. Carl Brunet, on the other hand, marched through eliminations from the number two qualifying spot, getting quicker and faster each round. Brunet went on to win the Renegade vs Modified by defeating Andy Manson in the final round.

You can always expect to see a few upsets during eliminations at the WCF, and the X275 vs Hot Rod class had a big one in round one. Gary White qualified number one in the Titan Motorsports Supra with a 6.44, but he fell to the number 16 qualifier when he spun at the hit. The final round saw Derek Mota behind the wheel of Manny Buginga’s familiar Mustang defeat Ron Rhodes, 6.57 to a small-block record-setting 6.67, to pick up the win.

The Warriors vs Tres Cuarto has the most diverse mix of vehicles out of all the classes at the WCF. Keith Rhea qualified number one, however, he fell victim to tire spin just like X275 vs Hot Rod top qualifier White did and was sent home early. After four rounds of brutal competition Garrett Mitchell, more famously known as Cleetus McFarland, came out on top in his six-second El Camino known as “Mullet,” storming to a new career best pass of 6.47 at 222 mph.

If you want to win at the WCF you don’t always have to be the quickest or fastest, sometimes you just need to survive. Street Fighter racer Tony Phillips found a way to win each round and caught a couple of lucky breaks along the way, and that was enough to secure the overall class victory in his Supra.

Martin Connelley has won series championships and doubled up at DuckX Production events, so he knows that big races are marathons. Connelley secured the number one qualifying spot in Wild Street behind the wheel of his Mustang and rode that momentum all the way to the finals where he defeated Jason Ostrem with a 7.27.

The Stick Shift class has become a crowd favorite at the WCF thanks to the wild mix of cars and trucks that show up to compete. Each vehicle must use an H-pattern transmission and be manually shifted by the driver. James Kempf wheeled his 6-second all-wheel drive Honda Civic to the winner’s circle in the class. Darren Barone went full John Force to pick up the win in Super Street. Barone grabbed an advantage on the starting line and held it through the finish line, even as his Mustang caught on fire going through the finish line.

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Mean Street was introduced as a new class for the WCF in 2022. Dan Ryntz battled his way from the number seven qualifying spot to win the class with a string of impressive low 8-second passes.

Teddy Weaver is an All Motor class veteran at the WCF that’s been to his fair share of final rounds. Weaver qualified number one in All Motor and then walked through the field to secure the victory.

The Pro Street Bike class is a staple in the XDA motorcycle racing series and its top 10 racers are invited to participate in a special shootout during the WCF. In the final round, Pro Street Bike titans Rodney Williford and Jason Dunigan met to see who would bring home the World Cup trophy. Dunigan picked up the victory with an impressive 6.50-second pass at 230 mph.

To help fill some time and put on a show for the fans, Jason and Chris Miller invited seven really fast Pro Mods to make exhibition runs during the WCF. Former NHRA Pro Mod world champion Jose Gonzalez lit the scoreboards up with an insane 5.498-second pass at 257 mph behind the wheel of his Pro Line-powered Camaro. That pass set the track record at MDIR for a door car, and was the quickest pass ever for a centrifugal-supercharged vehicle thanks to the ProCharger that sends boosted air into the big HEMI.

You can view full event results for the Haltech World Cup Finals: Import vs Domestic Presented by Wiseco right here.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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