Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 | Page 109

final battle with $ 25,000 on the line .
“ Elijah and I like to play games , and I knew up on the starting line to be ready for anything ,” Montecalvo said . “ Actually , I think I played more of a game than he did . Elijah kind of went in and staged the car , but we ’ ve got into situations where neither one of us want to put the first bulb on . We ’ ve got into situations where nobody wants to start the car first .”
Morton was first to pre-stage and first to stage , then Montecalvo was first off the line with an . 082 reaction time to Morton ’ s . 093 . Morton had to pedal to a 4.85 at 164.07 , while Montecalvo made his best run of eliminations – a 4.092 at 175.43 – to secure the victory .
“ Of course , Elijah , he ’ s fast ,” Montecalvo said of his opponent . “ I think he qualified No . 1 six times last year . He ’ s got a good combination over there . They ’ re doing a really good job with that car and they have good power .”
When Montecalvo made it back through the staging lanes and into the winner ’ s circle , he was met with a raucous celebration that drove home the fact that he just made Mountain Motor Pro Stock history .
“ I have won shootouts before . I ’ ve won the Sunoco Shootout , which was a pretty big deal at Norwalk , but I think this one here is top of the
ladder ,” Montecalvo said . “ I think Wes [ Buck ] said he had like 91 media badges that he gave out . I know in the winner ’ s circle I was blind from all the cameras going off . There was definitely people there . A lot of people from back home that follow us flew in for the race . I just can ’ t say enough for the promotion that [ Drag Illustrated ] did , and that ’ s what made the race so important to win .”
The celebration continued in the days following the race , as Montecalvo got congratulatory calls and messages from friends and industry icons like Pat Musi and Tommy Mauney .
“ Just to get those calls from people that I really respect in the industry , that was really humbling for me , to be recognized by all my peers ,” Montecalvo said . “ Elijah and I , we hugged up on the top end . If he would ’ ve won , I would ’ ve been happy for him too .”
On top of his own success , Montecalvo pointed out that it was a feelgood weekend for the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class as a whole . He credited Tommy and Judy Franklin of PDRA , as well as the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association and its deal with NHRA , for giving the class places to race . He also thanked Real Pro Stock ’ s Scott Soucy , who was instrumental in adding the class to the WSOPM along with sponsors $ hameless Racing and Seminole Paving .
“ We have a really close-knit group over here in Pro Stock ,” Montecalvo said . “ Even the new guys coming in , we adopted them already , Jordan [ Ensslin ] and everybody . It ’ s a family . Extreme Pro Stock , Mountain Motor Pro Stock , is a family more than anything else . My trailer is always open to whoever needs parts or help . You have the Drinkwaters coming in , then the Vosses , they ’ re going to be a force , no doubt . I ’ m just excited for the future of the class .” DI
May / June 2023 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 109