The laughing, smiling, jokester known as Chip King is all about having a good time, on and off the racetrack. So, as King heads in to the 20th Annual NMCA World Street Finals Presented by Chevrolet Performance at the famed Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana as the points leader for the NMCA VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod class, he isn’t stressing over whether or not he’ll walk away from the event as the 2021 season championship.
King purchased his stunning 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 a little over a year ago. Originally built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars for Terry Leggett to run in PDRA Pro Extreme, King quickly made the iconic car his own and christened it “The Motengator” which the driver claims to be “a rare breed of racehorse that dominates the field with the fury of 10,000 MFers.”
The lightweight and absolutely immaculate Motengator was fitted with a Joe Hornick Enterprises-built Hemi engine and was made even more monstrous thanks to the addition of a Chuck Ford CFH supercharger, Turbo 400 from M&M Transmission, and Greg Slack torque converter. Out back, a Carmack Engineering rearend plays nicely with the Kinetic Engineering shocks to make good use of the “10,000 MFers” on tap, which, in real-world horsepower, is more than a third of that number.
With Dreamworks Motorsports’ support, the North Carolina native kicked off his 2021 NMCA tour at the season opener in Florida. There, King qualified sixth in a strong VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod field with a 3.680 at 202.45mph blast and enjoyed a broke bye in round one. Racing against Todd “King Tut” Tutterow, King improved to a 3.665 at 202.88 mph—a new personal best which still stands even at the end of his season—but wasn’t able to advance.
At the next race in Georgia, a 3.805 at 197.39mph pass put King third in qualifying and he went on to finish out the weekend as the overall runner up. King followed the impressive performance with a second runner-up finish in St. Louis, this time improving to number two in qualifying with a 3.677 at 203.92 mph.
King continued in Michigan where he qualified third with a 3.738 at 198.85mph hit and made it to round two of eliminations before Craig Sullivan, his friend and teammate, ultimately took him out on his way to securing the win himself.
Ohio, however, saw King’s name inked in the number-one spot for VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod qualifying as his 3.750 at 199.11mph rip was the quickest of all.
“We’ve had a few downfalls, but the biggest issue in Ohio was driver error, I saw the tree wrong,” he laughed casually. “We could have won, but that’s part of the game. We knew what we needed to do to stay ahead in points, so we were playing it more conservatively than usual—which is rare for me.”
Justin Carmack of Carmack Engineering has been working with King as a car chief/team manager and has been a huge part of King’s success so far.
“I give him free rein to structure and organize the operation as he sees fit,” affirmed the car owner/driver/instigator who knows it’s more than just a car and its parts that get the job done—it’s the crew and everyone at home. “I’ve got a great team behind me, including Justin Carmack, Terry Coyle, Travis Eubanks, Robbie Matthews, Eli Moore, and my wife, Lori. We work really well together, as do we with our sponsors and suppliers.”
Consistency has been the key to King’s crawl to the front of the pack, and his mission at the moment is to protect his lead and conclude the year with the championship secured. Only one race, the 20th Annual NMCA World Street Finals Presented by Chevrolet Performance on September 23-26 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in Indiana, stands between him and his goal, but he isn’t letting the pressure get to him.
After having spent roughly six months getting The Motengator’s chassis, engine, converter, and suspension sorted out, King is considering throwing a wrench into the mix as his new supercharged NHRA Pro Mod car—a 2019 Chevy Camaro—has recently been completed and is making its initial laps at the Shakedown Nationals XIX race at Virginia Motorsports Park on September 17-19. He’s toying with the idea of running that in Indy for the NMCA’s final stop of 2021, or, maybe even both cars.
King knows his primary job is to focus on driving and not to let his team down; he wants to capture the championship title for them just as much as he wants it for himself… and he especially likes the idea of returning to VP Racing Lubricants Xtreme Pro Mod for his 2022 NMCA drag racing season with a big ol’ number one on his car.