Sorokin Snags Heritage Title for Champion Speed Shop
By piloting the Champion Speed Shop Special AA/Fuel Dragster to a runner-up finish at Auto Club Famoso Raceway’s 21st annual California Hot Rod Reunion, Adam Sorokin snagged the 2012 NHRA Heritage Series Championship. Sorokin clinched the Title during the Reunion’s quarter-final round of eliminations, when his Tony Bernardini-tuned small-block Chevrolet-powered machine ran its quickest and fastest quarter-mile time ever at 5.69 seconds with a top speed of 244.35 mph. Despite posting these previously-unprecedented numbers, the victory wasn’t settled until the finish line as opponent Rick White ran a slightly quicker 5.690 to Adam’s 5.697. However, Adam’s superior reaction time enabled the Champion dragster to score a hole-shot win and, by extension, the 2012 Championship.
Later that evening, and for the third race in a row, the Heritage Series AA/Fuel Dragster final round pitted Sorokin and the Champion entry against Rick Williamson in the Team Craig effort. Initially, and like their previous encounters, Adam left first. He seemed to have the race won until a valve failure caused a massive blower explosion that allowed Williamson to go on for the win.
Despite their spectacular runner-up finish, for Champion the Heritage Series Points Title was the greater victory.“It was a great year for us,” said team owner Bob McLennan. “Having the small block win it is so special for our family — this one wasfor (team founder) Jim McLennan. I know he was watching over us. The entire team knows he is our foundation to running this car. He provided us with the never say die confidence in the small-block Chevrolet.”
“The Champion cars of the past have been blessed with incredible drivers,” McLennan continued, “but this year’s Championship was due to Adam Sorokin’s uncanny driving ability race after race. He had two critical hole-shot victories that ultimately earned us the Championship.” McLennan also said that the Champion team provided Adam with “a consistent power plant that really came alive the second half of the year. We made a few more believers in the Chevrolet power.”
Champion Speed Shop is led by Tony Bernardini, along with Mike Perry and Jeff Stich, who specialize in cylinder-head maintenance; Dave Carkhuff works the bottom end; Tom McLennan dials in the clutch; Tom Homer manages the fuel; Dennis Barranza and Nick Sharp serve as the anything-goes utility-men , Bob Gavron keeps everyone well fed and Sparky keeps everybody honest as the team statistician.