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									       Division 5 News

                                    From The Director’s Chair                                 Sponsor Spotlight:
                            with Rob Park, West Central Division director
                                                                                             Jerry Haas Race Cars
                            E      very year at this time, I find myself not sure if
                                   I’m coming, going, or already there, but I can
                              assure you one thing: I haven’t stopped for a second.
                                 Things were pretty eventful in the off-season, which
                                                                                          W     ith an unprecedented 12 Car Craft Magazine All-star Drag Racing Team
                                                                                                Pro Stock Chassis Builder Awards that trace back to 1986, no other chassis
                                                                                          builder in the sport has received more recognition than Jerry Haas. His clients
                              began with the banquet. I knew it                           read like a who’s who list of quarter-mile racing, including Bob Glidden and Roy
                              was going to be a special                                   Hill, whose entire fleet of doorslammers at his school, ranging from Pro Stock to
                              evening when Darrell and                                    Super Gas entry, are Haas-built Fords. Hill also uses a Haas chassis, sans body
                              Polly Zimmerman confirmed                                   parts, for his chassis class.
                              their attendance, but even                                     Not only is Haas known for unsurpassed craftsmanship, safety, and detailing,
                              my expectations were blown                                  but he has also built a reputation for delivering his products on time. “We can
away with what I feel was the best West Central Division                                  usually put a car together in six weeks,” said Haas. “The only hang-ups that
banquet ever. Perhaps it was the combination of all the                                   we’ve incurred have been from delays caused by outside vendors, but we’ve
deserving champions and High & Mighty Hall of Fame                                        usually gotten around that by working extra hours.”
inductees being honored, the celebration of Bandimere’s 50th                                 A key element in Haas’ success has been keeping in touch with the latest
anniversary, and the fitting end with Polly Zimmerman being                               racing innovations by campaigning his cars. He built and drove his Pro Stockers
named Person of the Year after her retirement just two months prior. Or maybe it          from 1973 to 1995, then switched to Comp with Bob Phelps’ revolutionary A/A
was the new audio/visual format that Sara Walker and Matt Levonas worked so               ’63 Corvette Stingray, which was always among the top qualifiers.
hard on to make it a first-class presentation. For a second, I thought it might be the       In 1997, Haas was handpicked by Chevrolet to run a pair of Pro Stock Trucks along
fact I had several Full Throttles to make it through the evening; my wife gave birth      with engine builder John Lingenfelter during the category’s debut year. While awaiting
to our fourth child just two days prior, and I literally had a couple of hours of sleep   NHRA’s formal announcement that Pro Stock Truck would be an official Pro class for
that week. (Thanks to all of you who have explained so clearly what causes that.)         1998, Haas received orders from anxious customers all over the country.
Regardless, it was a night to remember, and I thank everyone in attendance,                  “Being involved on a ground-floor basis with this eliminator was a very great
especially Aeromotive, for making it so special.                                          honor for us,” said Haas. “I hope that the extra effort we put into the construction
   After the banquet, I tried to take a little time off to enjoy my new son, Noah,        and extra detailing of those trucks helped sell the program to NHRA.”
and spend some much-needed time with the family after being gone so much                     Haas, who began his racing career by campaigning a ’65 Chevelle and a ’67
during the racing season. After two weeks — maybe less — cooped up with four              Nova, first became involved with Pro Stock when he drove a Vega that he built
kids and a cheerful wife, I knew it was time to go back to work. I’m not sure             for Butch Hutcheson while working out of his garage. As his reputation grew, he
how my wife does it, but I am thankful she does.                                          decided to quit his regular job as a tool-and-die maker and built a 30-by-66-foot
   Shortly after my return, my father was diagnosed with a large brain tumor,             shop behind his house and hired an employee.
and I found myself at Mayo Clinic for the next month. What an incredible place.              By the time he built a tube-chassis Pontiac Trans Am for John Hipple,
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of the calls, cards, and e-mails many of       business began to pick up, and in 1987, Haas expanded to a 7,000-square-foot
you sent for a man very few of you 
								
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