O’Brien’s Dodge Goes Mountain Motor Climbing 

By: Lisa Collier

 The Ford versus Chevrolet rivalry in Mountain Motor Pro Stock has been ongoing for decades.  But Canadian Larry O’Brien would like to remind everyone that Ford and Chevy aren’t the only players in the Pro Stock arena. As a die-hard Dodge man, O’Brien is proving that the heralds of the hemi have what it takes to shake things up in the world of Mountain Motor Pro Stock.

Larry and his brother and crew chief Wayne have been racing and winning for nearly four decades. Chasing the Outlaw Pro Stock scene, they won the points championship at Toronto Motorsport Park in 1989 by winning five of the eight events. The duo from Windsor, Ontario moved into sanctioned Pro Stock trim in 1992, representing Dodge and Canada in the IHRA, often setting and resetting Canadian and Mopar standards. In 1994, at Maryland International Raceway, the O’Briens put down an astonishing 6.936 second pass at 200.35 mph, making them the first Dodge Pro Stock team to run under the seven second mark and over 200 mph. This also placed them in the prestigious Holley 200 MPH Club.

As innovations increased with Ford and Chevrolet motors developing a hemi-style engine it became apparent that the O’Brien brothers were going to have to do something new to be competitive with a Dodge entry. There was little help for Mopar contestants from engine builders, so Larry decided that it was time for him to take the lead. And that’s exactly what he did. He took a two year hiatus from racing to work on R&D for his new in-house engine program. Working endless hours, Larry soon debuted their new design in 2002 with an 814 CID Hemi engine. Since then, the O’Briens have continued to develop their program, becoming a strong force for Dodge in Mountain Motor Pro Stock. At the recent MMPSA event at Maryland International Raceway, they showed the potential of their Mopar engines, qualifying third with a notable 6.320 at 223.02.

Although Larry has an impressive resume strictly from the racing standpoint as a pioneer in Dodge Pro Stock technology that is not all he has accomplished. In 1980 Larry started Bear’s Performance, which manufactures chassis, suspension and driveline components. Over the years Bear’s has serviced drag racers, chassis builders, hot rodders and car fanatics. Now in 2010 the company has grown to include hundreds of dealers in the United States and Canada. With everything one would need for state-of-the-art chassis, suspension and driveline needs, as well as online ordering, a manufacturing facility of 15,000 square feet, and proven performance, Bear’s stands out as one of the premier manufactures of racing components in Canada and the U.S.

Although not geared specifically to the racing industry, Wayne also owns his own company, Dual Electric, which focuses on refrigeration, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. With backing from Bear’s Performance, Dual Electric and associate sponsorship from Strange Engineering, the O’Brien brothers are taking their 2010 Dodge Avenger to new heights. Not only this, but their innovation in Mopar engine technology is shaking up the Pro Stock world.  We are sure to be seeing more of them on the MMPSA scene.

Photo by:  Dave Ostaszewski