Sox & Martin Along With McCandless Collection To Sponsor The 2024 Hemi Challenge

Celebrating a Legacy: The 2024 Sox & Martin HEMI Challenge at the NHRA US Nationals

Sox & Martin®, in collaboration with the McCandless Collection, is proud to announce their sponsorship of the 2024 HEMI Challenge during the 70th annual NHRA US Nationals, held at Indianapolis Raceway Park. This iconic event, known for its exhilarating, heads-up, wheel-standing drag races, features the legendary 1968 Super Stock Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas, all powered by the legendary HEMI engine. As the longest continuously running specialty race in NHRA history, the HEMI Challenge remains a highlight for fans, showcasing the sheer power and historic significance of these HEMI-powered vehicles in the SS/AH class.

NHRA Hemi Challenge banner

A Historic Racing Tradition

The Sox & Martin HEMI Challenge, presented by the McCandless Collection, celebrates over two decades of high-speed competition and marks the 60th anniversary of the 426 HEMI engine—a milestone in automotive history. The event has deep roots in drag racing, featuring limited-production ‘HEMI Package Cars’ built specifically for Super Stock competition. These cars have made Sox & Martin a legendary name in the sport, feared by competitors and revered by fans.

Legendary Figures and Future Vision

Buddy Martin, a revered figure in the Mopar community, will be serving as the Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter for the 2024 Sox & Martin NHRA HEMI Challenge presented by the McCandless Collection. Buddy expressed his excitement about the event, noting his personal connection to the 426 HEMI engine and its legacy through iconic victories by Sox & Martin teams since 1965. 

I’m so excited and pleased to have the Sox & Martin brand sponsor the HEMI Challenge at the 2024 NHRA US Nationals, especially since this is the 60thanniversary of this tremendous engine. I’ve always been attached to the 426 HEMI engine and Ronnie (Sox) won many races and championships driving HEMI-powered Plymouth race cars starting in 1965. 

-Buddy Martin

Herb McCandless, another Mopar legend, will be in the tower announcing the round-by-round action and will spend time in the pits engaging with racers and fans alike, bringing his unique insights and historic anecdotes to the event. McCandless, whose career was significantly shaped by his time with Sox & Martin, shared his enthusiasm for the annual challenge, noting the impressive advancements in vehicle performance since his racing days.

1971 NHRA US Nationals Pro Stock Winner – Sox & Martin

The Event and How to Participate

The 2024 Sox & Martin NHRA HEMI Challenge is set for Friday, August 30, 2024, offering a platform for SS/AH racers to compete in what promises to be a memorable showdown. Participants are required to have one Grade Point from a Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event or National Open to qualify for entry. Racers planning to compete in this prestigious event should ensure their entries are submitted by August 23.

About Sox & Martin

1969 NHRA US Nationals Super Stock Winner – Sox & Martin

Sox & Martin is synonymous with drag racing excellence. Known for their precision in racing and innovation, the team set new standards in the sport. Led by the legendary Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin, their influence extended beyond the track, impacting automotive culture and performance technology.

About the McCandless Collection

Herb and Mike McCandless – the McCandless Collection, Burlington, NC.

Founded by Mike McCandless, the McCandless Collection honors the legacy of Herb McCandless and his contributions to motor racing. Located in Burlington, North Carolina, this museum not only preserves remarkable Mopar artifacts but also serves as a testament to the enduring appeal and historical importance of these vehicles.

As we look forward to the 2024 HEMI Challenge, the event is poised to further celebrate and elevate the legacy of the HEMI engine and the racers who continue to push the boundaries of speed and performance. Join us at Indianapolis Raceway Park to witness history in motion and celebrate a storied chapter in drag racing.

Jared Balfour

Jared founded MoparInsiders and is a 41-year-old automotive enthusiast from Vancouver, British Columbia. He took an interest in cars at a very young age and has been interested in them ever since. His hobbies include photography, videography, drag racing, and auto detailing. He currently owns and drives a 2023 Audi RS6, a 2024 GMC Sierra, and a 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

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Any word yet on who will sponsor the Hurricane Six Challenge? Might be a good thing for Dodge along with a NASCAR Charger team or two. Hope springs eternal.

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