ODESSA, Texas — Up-and-coming NHRA Pro Stock driver Chris McGaha has acquired the equipment previously campaigned by 2009 NHRA champion Mike Edwards and is planning to run the full NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series with his new Harlow Sammons/Southwest Performance & Machine Chevrolet Camaro.
McGaha, a former Competition Eliminator racer, graduated to the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category in 2011 and has been gunning for his first win in the class ever since. His best performance to date was reaching the semifinals at the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., in his rookie season, and he currently holds a career best time of 6.515 at 212.59 mph.
“Our plan for next season is the same as it was this year; we plan to race all 24 events, and if we can stay in the top 10, then we’ll keep going,” said McGaha, who will selectively race the circuit if he should fall out of NHRA’s prestigious top 10.
The machinist and vice president of Southwest Performance & Machine is certainly set up for success with his newly acquired equipment. McGaha says he was “in the right place at the right time” when Edwards made the decision to sell his highly competitive operation in its entirety.
“It started back at the Brainerd race last year, when we went over there with the intentions of asking Mike if we could rent a motor,” said McGaha. “He told us no, but then he came over to talk to us at the race in Las Vegas, and then again after Pomona, and now here we are.”
In the transaction, McGaha acquired the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro that Edwards piloted last season.
In addition to the exceptional Chevrolet Camaro, McGaha also purchased Edwards’ truck and trailer and the contents of his engine shop, including all of the engines, transmissions, rear ends and components.
The one thing McGaha had truly hoped to add to the package was Edwards as crew chief.
“Oh believe me, I asked Mike if he would be my crew chief,” said McGaha. “We tried our hardest, but he wouldn’t do it. He was really nice about it, and his exact words to me were, ‘If you want to go testing, just call me.’ But no, he isn’t going to be my crew chief.”
Meanwhile, it is unclear as to what Edwards’ plans for the future may be. He led the NHRA Pro Stock standings entering the Countdown to the Championship in 2013, but faded during the final six-race stretch.