Matt Repp of Keymar has been drag racing for five years, but he's not competing on a weekly basis this year.
He is devoting his time and finances to building a new car.
Naturally, he would prefer being out on the track each week, but it would only delay getting his new car ready.
"The car is getting painted now," said Repp. "It should be done in another month."
Repp is building a 1966 Dodge Charger. He found the car in Allentown, Pa., and has rebuilt the car from the ground up. It should be ready to race a month or so.
"I always wanted a nice drag car," said the 22-year-old, who has saved every penny to complete the project. "This is my first real all-out competition car. My other cars were more like street cars."
Repp has gone first class all the way in building the car. He has many top Carroll countians working with him. A lot of the work is being done by Donnie Hess. Chuck Taylor has also been helpful.
"Chuck has been a big help even though he is a Ford man," said Repp. "We all help one another in drag racing. They don't cut any slack if you race against them, but they help you out when you need them."
Repp is using all new top-of-the-line parts. A machinist during the week at Worthington Pump in Taneytown, he makes many of the parts for the car himself, making the car even more special to him.
Repp didn't take shortcuts when it came to the engine, either. He decided to go with the best. He purchased a new 440-cubic-inch motor from MacCanless, a performance parts company in North Carolina that specializes in MOPAR products. Repp had the engine before he had the car.
It has been sitting in his garage for eight months and he can't wait to fire it up for the first time. The motor will produce between 600 and 610 horsepower. He expects it to power his Charger down the quarter-mile in 10.90-second bracket.
"I am anxious to get the car going," said Repp. "I'm anxious and I'm not anxious. I have a little fear since I have never gone as fast as the new car will go. I just have to keep my head and I won't have any problem."
He is looking forward to learning the car and dialing it in (estimating how long it will take to trave the quarter-mile track before each race) to be a consistent runner. In bracket drag racing, where racing as close to the estimated dial-in time is most important, with consistency comes winning.
Repp is a die-hard Chrysler man. He has always raced MOPAR cars.
Repp is a young, mature man. He also appreciates the help that he receives from the area competitors who have helped him.
"I couldn't do it without Bill [Dayhoff], Donnie [Hess] and Charlie [Spielman]. They help everybody," said Repp. "It's not that I don't know drag racing, it's just their help always helps."
Dayhoff, the area's MOPAR expert, has influenced Repp's racing career. Dayhoff raced Dodge "hemis" and Repp has always seeked his advice.
"I look up to him," Repp said. "You take his advice because he knows what he is talking about."
Mike Devilbliss also has been a big help. Devilbliss works with Repp and also helps him at the races.
Repp raced his older Charger in Class II competition. He plans on racing the new Charger in Class I.
It's taken almost a year for Repp's project to come together. He is looking forward to taking the car for its first run. Once he gets the bugs out, he is anxious to get back to racing at 75-80 Drag Way in Monrovia, Frederick County, every week.
6* He plans on taking one step at a time.