|Monte Green claims championship|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Haxtun resident and racer Monte Green is the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Champion for 2011 in the Top Sportsman class in NHRA’s Division V.
Green has competed in the class, which is the quickest and fastest of the sportsman “door car” (non-dragster/non-funny car) categories in NHRA racing, for several years. In 2009, he scored a sixth-place finish, followed that up with a runner-up finish in 2010 (which actually came down to the final round in a race at Las Vegas, Nev.) and then hit the jackpot in 2011, dominating the class in Division V competition.
Division V includes racers and race tracks from Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Green led the category the entire year, claiming the title with 324 points, more than four rounds ahead of his nearest competitor.
Green scored points at a number of different race tracks in several states. In March, he won the event held at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas. He followed this with a quarterfinal finish at SCRA Motorplex in Great Bend, Kan. (home of the NHRA’s inaugural nationals in 1955), and then won the divisional event held at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.
Monte Green is pictured in his 1995 Ford Probe which helped him become the 2011 NHRA champion
An engine fire stalled a strong showing in an event at Topeka, Kan., resulting in another quarterfinal finish. After disassembling, cleaning, checking and reassembling his engine, he posted another quarterfinal finish at Cordova Dragway in Illinois and made strong finishes at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz., Tri-State Raceway at Earlville, Iowa and Bandimere Speedway in Denver before clinching the championship on the strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Green’s car is a 1995 Ford Probe, a purpose-built, tube-chassis race car built by famed chassis builder Jerry Haas of Menton, Mo. Haas’ St. Louis-area shop has won numerous Car Craft Magazine Chassis Builder of the Year awards and has been responsible for building cars for many well-known championship-winning drag racers like Bob Glidden, Warren Johnson, Reher-Morrison and scores of others.
All of Green’s race cars have been Ford-powered, with the current engine being a Green Racing Engines 648 cubic inch big block Ford, featuring aluminum heads, a fabricated sheet aluminum intake manifold and dual four-barrel carburetors.
The transmission is a two-speed powerglide, backed by a 4.11 geared nine inch Ford rear end. The engine produces 1500 horsepower, enough to propel the Probe to a best of 6.95 seconds at 202 mph in the quarter mile.
Green has been drag racing for 32 years. He made his debut in 1979 at Kearney Dragway in Kearney, Neb. (now Kearney Raceway Park), driving his street and strip 1967 Ford Fairlane. He has owned many cars over the years including a Big Block FE-powered Mustang in Super Comp, and several dozen rear engine dragsters in various classes from Super Comp to Top Dragster.
Green is quick to state that he could not do this alone. His wife Tonya serves as crew chief, performing many duties including computer and data entry, packing the parachute, checking tire pressures and lining the car up after the burnout.
Daughter Mallory, an accomplished drag racer in her own right, is capable of many other pre-race duties needed to field a competitive race car.
Green also credits his crew of guys at his shop in Haxtun, stating that without them keeping the business going, he wouldn’t be able to chase the title all over the country.
Green will open the 2012 season in February, beginning his title defense in Phoenix, Ariz.
Holyoke Enterprise February 9, 2012