Jim Pancake now has a partner for his first Hemi Challenge trophy, won earlier this year at the JEG's NHRA SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Ohio. Driving his new 1968 426 Hemi Dodge Dart, Pancake powered to his second Hemi Challenge win of the year at the 36th annual Pennsylvania Dutch Classic, held at Maple Grove Raceway over the weekend.
Pancake triumphed in a highly competitive field of 24 Super Stock/A-Hemi (SS/AH) 1968 Plymouth Barracudas and Dodge Darts, including past Hemi Challenge winners Bucky Hess and Charlie Westcott Jr. Pancake, an Ohio native and owner of the Carriage Towne Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep dealership, qualified third in his Dodge Dart, built by John Holt Race Cars and powered by a Mopar Performance Hemi built by Ray Barton. Jim defeated Mark Howes, Joe Teuton and David Barton to set up a final round match against Joey Wilkes and his 1968 Barracuda. Pancake posted a pass of 8.609 at 152.14 mph to Wilkes' 8.713 at 151.87 to claim the victory.
"It was wonderful to have the win," said Pancake. "We worked really hard for it. What really made it special was having the brand-new car. We had hardly any testing in it, and it had been missing [under performing] on us. We decided to take it and try it, and if it was still missing on us we would change to the Barracuda [Pancake's other SS/AH vehicle, which set the current class record for ET earlier in the year]. It was also my biggest win, the biggest prize cash prize I've ever won."
Pancake pocketed the $11,500 winner's payout, including $5,000 courtesy of Mopar. He claimed between $3,000 and $4,000 in contingency awards, including $1,000 from Ray Barton Racing Engines, and certificates for a new set of Holley Carburetors and a new Impact racing helmet. The total cash payout for the field was $21,200, with the total contingency payout at $22,350.