Volume X, Issue 11, Page 78

: He's the father of nitrous Pro Mods, isn't he?

JH: When I raced back in the early 90s, we ran (Scott) Shafiroff engines back then. Gene and Shafiroff was the big competition then. Shafiroff kind of dropped out of the Pro Mod scene for awhile and Gene stuck with it. Then you had Eagle, and now you've got Reher-Morrison. But Gene's been there since pretty much Day 1. I think you'd have to consider him the godfather of nitrous engines.

: Does all this anticipation of the first sub-6-second run and your record-setting performance kind of rekindle interest in the nitrous Pro Mods or ensure the future of nitrous Pro Mods?  They were starting to become a vanishing, or at least a minority, breed.

JH: I hope it does. With us running in the 5s and Mike running in the 5s at Richmond (in the NHRA's Oct. 10-12 Virginia Nationals), I would hope that some of the guys who have switched over to blowers may decide, "You know what? I'd like to go back to a nitrous car." Most of your blower cars used to be nitrous cars -- guys like Quain (Stott), (Ed) Hoover, guys like that. I'm not saying they will switch, but I'm hoping at least to get some new guys in.

:  Is it more expensive, less expensive, or about the same to run nitrous?

JH:  I don't know what it costs to run a blown car. I hear they're harder on parts -- as far as rods, bearings, and stuff like that, valve springs -- but I don't know what the cost would be. I'd say they're probably similar.

: At the beginning of the IHRA season, you just jumped out there, and you nitrous guys were really sticking it to the supercharged contingent.

JH: Back then (at the IHRA season-opener at San Antonio), the eighth-mile helped us some. In the summertime, the weather helped us some. Just all the stuff we've learned over this year, I mean, showed that we can run in good weather, too, now. Hopefully at Rockingham (in the World Finals at Rockingham Dragway), we'll be able to put about eight more five-second runs on the scoreboard for everybody to see.

: Does this performance at The Shakedown at E-Town sort of salve your disappointment of being third in the IHRA standings but not being in the thick of the championship hunt?

JH: Nah, not really. I mean, when I went I decided not to go to Edmonton, we actually stayed home and tested that weekend. And I really feel that if I had gone to Edmonton, I probably wouldn't be running like I am today.

: So it was choice you made and you knew the consequences when you did it?

JH: We were second or third in the points when we decided not to go. There was an ADRL race the same weekend in Virginia. And we decided just to stay home and test, to get our act together. It paid off. We stayed home and tested for three days straight. We ran pretty good numbers, and we figured out a new combination, and it works pretty good.

: Did you test at Cecil County Dragway, the racetrack you own at Rising Sun, Maryland? Or did you dash over to Budds Creek?

JH: We tested at our own place.

: That's quite an advantage, isn't it?

JH: Well, I'd like to think I have a little bit of an advantage as far as maybe reading the track, not as much as having a place to go. It's kind of hard to go and test by yourself. You need other cars there. I see the track four days a week. I'm on it Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. I've learned a lot about it, the characteristics of what the sun does, what the cool air does. I think it helps a little bit.

: Kenny Lang is the IHRA Pro Modified points leader and one of your big rivals as you prepare for the season finale at Rockingham. Did you and he speak since The Shakedown at E-Town about your feat there?

JH: I don't think I even have Kenny's phone number.

: I'm sure he's more concerned about holding you off at the World Finals.

JH: I'm glad I'm in the back of his mind. If he's worried about me, then I'm doing my job.

: You're in the right position. When someone is on your heels that closely, maybe it’s better to be the guy doing the chasing.

JH: I agree with that. I don't know if it's even a shot at me getting the championship. I think everything would have to be like a perfect weekend for me and Kenny not qualify. I'm not sure if that would get it. I haven't sat down and figured it out. It would have to be a perfect weekend for me to be close to finishing in the top of the deal. It's possible. Anything's possible.