Words/Photos Phil Hutchison
With the recently completed Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas and the following weekend’s Lucas Oil Divisional, nearly all of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series World Championships have been decided. Joining this elite group of winners is Harpers Ferry, WV racer Ronnie Proctor in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs.
Just the title of Top Sportsman World Champ characterizes Ronnie Proctor as he is the epitome of what a sportsman racer is. Proctor races hard, is loved and respected by his fellow racers and is willing to go the extra mile. And his desire to win showed no bounds in 2018 as he was on the road all season logging in over two dozen events.
“In 2018 Karen and I went to 26 events in total,” Proctor said. “Not all of them were NHRA events as we hit PDRA races, Yellow Bullet, the Shakedown, and a few others during the season. I normally concentrate on PDRA and NHRA and at the beginning of the season the two don’t conflict with their schedules and then see how we’re doing and take it from there. But after my win at the Gators and then a few weeks later the win at the Richmond divisional along with a semifinal at the Maple Grove divisional, we decided to go all out for the championship and run eight divisionals and five national events.
“So now we already had all our NHRA events scheduled. We went to Gainesville, the Charlotte 4-Wide, Bristol and Norwalk along with the second Charlotte race,” Proctor adds. “Out of the five we won Gainesville, semifinal at Bristol, second or third round at Charlotte and Norwalk and then won the fall Charlotte race. Even with my early success and being in third place before the Charlotte fall race I didn’t really have an idea that I would be in the championship chase. Those guys out west have those six round races at the end of the year and they gather up a lot of points. After Charlotte, I was in first place with plans on going to the Rockingham divisional but then I talked to Sandy Wilkins and Marco Abruzzi and they suggested I go elsewhere other than Rockingham as It would probably be a four-round race where out west, it was going to be two more rounds. Karen and I kicked it around a bit and decided if I was going to be world champ, we would have to go to Vegas.”
Going into the Vegas divisional there were three racers within 18 points of the Top Sportsman title with Kansas racer JR Lobner second and Division 7’s Doug Crumlich right behind. Proctor went to round three, with Lobner falling in round one and Crumlich in round two. Obviously decision paid off with a Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series championship.
Proctor’s winning 2009 Cobra Mustang began as a Jerry Haas-built Mountain Motor Pro Stocker owned by Curt and Scott Hintz out of Texas. Proctor bought the car in 2012 and installed a 706 cubic inch C&C Motorsports SVO between the rails that served as the main powerplant until Proctor hurt the motor late in the season and was forced to put in a smaller 632 for the remainder of the year. Philip Oakley Motorsports did the heads with two Holley carbs on top supplied by Don Garbinski on top of a Hogan intake with the required nitrous system putting the Ford in the six-second range. Abruzzi trans and converters put the power to the ground by way of a set of Hoosier tires.
“I have a long list of people who got me to this point but first I have to thank God for getting me to where I am today,” he says. “I also need to thank my crew chief and right hand, my wife Karen for all she does. Thanks also goes out to Skippy Lyles, Rick and Briana Proctor, Sofie Cooper, Pam and Mike, Jimmie Gloyd, Meade Jr from Reliable Contacting. In addition to those folks, Robert Jones, Glenn and Valerie Teets, LJ Wood, and Mark Decker. And finally, I need to recognize Cheweys Performance Auto in Mt Airy, MD along with Roy at Hoosier Tires.”