In the midst of one of the greatest eras of high-performance passenger cars, the American Drag Racing League on Friday unveiled a completely new category of drag racing which will feature the worldâ€™s most powerful production automobiles in head-to-head competition.
The new division, named the SuperCar Showdown, will present an arena for the latest factory-produced, dealership-available models to meet in a true drag racing contest. With no handicap starts or performance restrictions, the quickest and fastest current offerings from every major auto manufacturer will be free to show their true potential. The SuperCar Showdown Series will unite the automakers, the public market and the ADRL to present drag racing at its most meaningful level.
The SuperCar Showdown will debut at the season-opening ADRL Dragpalooza VIII at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston on March 30-31, and will be a part of all 10 2012 ADRL Tour stops, which feature many of the nationâ€™s most prestigious tracks.
The series concept, conceived by ADRL broadcast personality Bret Kepner, ADRL President Tim McAmis and drag racing veteran Jeff Teuton, was finalized in early January after months of exhaustive research. While ADRL fans will be the first to experience the thrill of spectacular competition between the SuperCars, the basis of the program reaches far beyond entertainment for spectators at ADRL events.
â€œThe SuperCar Showdown was designed to benefit everybody involved with our sport,â€ said Kepner just prior to the announcement of the series. â€œThe manufacturers are currently producing the most powerful cars ever made available to the public because thatâ€™s what the market wants. The fans dream of seeing these cars race head-to-head and the winner of the event will earn the respect of potential buyers.
â€œThe automakers build these cars to sell them through their dealerships. The SuperCar Showdown will once again bring those ingredients together at the dragstrip. The manufacturers will now be able to present their best product, the fans will now be able to see the competition among those models and the dealerships will now be able to sell those cars to an audience which truly cares about high-performance machines.â€
For ADRL President McAmis, the program marks a major achievement by the racing association.
â€œThe ADRL has always been unique in its ability to operate without politics,â€ McAmis explained. â€œWe have grasped the opportunity to present what is truly twenty-first century drag racing on a National Championship level. The ADRL has always maintained close relationships with the major automobile manufacturers and we have worked hard to be able to help them achieve their goals with the SuperCar Showdown while creating an entirely new era in drag racing.â€
McAmis was quick to add the benefits to the ADRL Championship series, noting the SuperCar program will be a tremendous addition to the classes already offered at ADRL events.
â€œFrom our Extreme Pro Stock division to our supercharged Pro Extreme category, we already offer an incredible array of machinery. However, the SuperCars will be totally different than anything else on our menu and it will be an exciting feature to which the fans can honestly relate,â€ McAmis said.
With the anticipated involvement of the Ford Motor Companyâ€™s new Mustang, the Dodge Challenger of the Chrysler Corporation and Chevroletâ€™s new concept COPO Camaro, it was imperative Kepner and McAmis seek the advice of one familiar with the new SuperCars being produced and the goals of their manufacturers.
Jeff Teuton, a veteran of 50 years of drag racing competition who earned the 2011 NHRA U.S. Nationals Stock Eliminator championship at the wheel of a 2009 Dodge Challenger, also owns and operates the Southland Dodge dealership in Houma, Louisiana. Teuton understood the benefits of the SuperCar Showdown from every angle.
â€œItâ€™s what we racers have always wanted,â€ Teuton said. â€œIt will be the first real â€˜heads-upâ€™ racing weâ€™ve been able to do with these cars and weâ€™ll give the fans a heck of a show. This kind of racing will be the perfect sales opportunity to reach the market audience who want to buy these amazing cars.â€
While the ADRL will soon release complete details surrounding the new category, the SuperCar Showdown will be presented during the prime audience hours at ADRL events. Racing will be conducted with late-model production machines in factory stock trim, using a â€œProfessionalâ€ starting system without handicaps over the ADRLâ€™s standard one eighth-mile distance. Parity will be achieved by weight restrictions rather than horsepower ratings. There will be no performance parameters or â€œbreakoutâ€ restrictions enforced.
Visit www.ADRL.us for more information to be released soon about drag racingâ€˜s most exciting new division.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)