The rapid rise in growth and popularity of the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will take another big step at this weekend’s NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway, as the class will compete in the four-wide setup for the first time in class history.
While throwing in a number of new challenges into the equation for the first time, the extreme thrill and spectacle of four-wide racing presented a huge opportunity for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, one the talented drivers were quick to accept.
“It’s a steppingstone for everyone in the class,” Jim Whiteley said. “The fans really enjoy the Pro Mods, and it’s going to be neat for us to participate. The class has certainly grown, and I’m very proud and excited to be involved in the first one.”
Said points leader and veteran Pro Mod racer Mike Castellana, “It’s going to be fun for the fans and good for the drivers. I think it’s great. I like being a part of history, and it’s great to be a part of.”
The race, which is presented by JEGS.com and Plugfones, is the third of 12 events during the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season and will be shown on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and FOX Sports 2 (FS2). Competing at the Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte is something the talented drivers in the class had anticipated since it was announced.
But for standouts like Danny Rowe, who called the inclusion of racing in a four-wide setup “special,” there will be a case of tackling the unexpected. Finding a rhythm will be crucial for success, especially when it will come against a loaded 30-car lineup that includes two-time world champ Troy Coughlin; Gainesville winner Steven Whiteley; Steve Matusek, who won last weekend in Houston; Mike Janis; Michael Biehle; Eric Latino; and former world champ Khalid alBalooshi.
"It’s a little bit nerve-racking,” said Rowe, who is currently fourth in points. “It’s going to be a different deal up there, especially with the three different power adders we have in Pro Mod — supercharged cars, turbo cars, and nitrous cars, some with clutches and some with automatics. More so than anything else, it’s going to be exciting, and that’s the whole idea, right?”
The sometimes wild and unpredictable nature of the powerful Pro Mod cars add another thrilling layer to the weekend, but seizing momentum early in qualifying will be important.
“You’ll see who’s paying attention pretty quickly,” Whiteley said. “It will be wild, no doubt, but it will be fun. But you’re going to have to concentrate and not get lost in the other bulbs. I’m sure it will be awkward initially, but if you start out well it takes a little pressure off.”
Castellana will look to build on a fantastic weekend in Houston that included a semifinal finish and also the quickest pass in Pro Mod history with his run of 5.685 seconds. But to be ready for the uniqueness of the race, Castellana said he’s been preparing all week for the challenges that will be immediately apparent at zMAX Dragway.
“I’ve spoken to some people who have run this event before and gotten their insight,” Castellana said. “I did my homework on it and I’m just hoping to pass the test this weekend.”
Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, like ’67 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds and ’69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended-door Pro Mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, April 28, with qualifying sessions at 3:45 and 6:15 p.m., continuing with the final two qualifying sessions on Saturday, April 29, at 2:45 and 5:15 p.m. Round one of eliminations takes place on Sunday, April 30, at 12:55 p.m.
Be a part of the action all weekend with a Three-Day Pass to the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals starting at $107. Tickets for children 13 and under are free with any paid adult ticket; to purchase general admission or reserved seats please visit zMAXDragway.com or call the box office at (800) 455-FANS (3267).