Chad Green made his debut in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service last season and advanced to his first final round in Topeka, a race he still believes he should have won. A year later, Green will get the chance to complete the job as part of this weekend’s Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties at Heartland Motorsports Park.
He’s put together another strong start, sitting seventh in points in his Bond-Coat, Inc. nitrous-powered Camaro. But a win manages to stay just out of Green’s reach, something he hopes to rectify in Topeka. After a solid test session following the race in Virginia, Green believes his team is finally ready to put it all together.
“Every team has to perform their job perfectly to win in this class,” Green said. “It’s tough competition and there’s no room for error. Everything has to be on kill. We had a really good season last year and that time in the car just makes you more comfortable. This year we’ve had a good car, but we’ve missed some opportunities. Your whole team has to be flawless to have success in this class, but I’m confident.”
The race, which is presented by the Real Pro Mod Association (RPM), is the sixth of 12 events during the 2019 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season and will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and Fox Sports 2 (FS2). Three-time world champion Rickie Smith is the defending winner of the event, while Green will look to become the sixth different winner in as many races to open another highly-competitive Pro Mod season.
That shows the parity Green referred to earlier, but he is up to the challenge. Green came close in Topeka a year ago before losing to Smith, but Green doesn’t want to leave anything to chance this weekend. He’s yet to get out of the second round through the first five races in 2019, but Green believes that could change at a facility that served him well last year.
“I feel like Topeka owes me one,” Green said. “I let the final round (against Smith) get away from me because of my inexperience. Our car had been running so well. But I’m really excited to get back there. I want to use these next three races before the break to try and get back in the top five. We’re at a critical point in the season where we really need to do well at the next three races, and it sure would be nice to come out of one of them with a win.”
The race at Heartland Motorsports Park kicks off a stretch of three straight races for the class, meaning it’s a perfect opportunity for Green to have an impact in the loaded class. He’ll have to deal with the likes of points leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson, Gainesville winner Todd Tutterow, defending world champion Mike Janis and Jose Gonzalez, but Green likes the way his car performs in the warmer months. Now he hopes it leads to his first career win in the class this weekend in Topeka.
“I feel like we’ve got the car back in shape,” Green said. “I’m excited about these next three races and hopefully we can go into the break with some good momentum. I think we do better in the warmer conditions, and after our test session, we’ve got our confidence back in the car.”
The Real Pro Mod Association (RPM) is the presenting sponsor for the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series race in Topeka, as the class hits the halfway point of the 2019 season. Featuring the world’s fastest doorslammer race cars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service 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.
The RPM Association was created by Pro Mod team owners and drivers to preserve and promote the future of the category, helping fuel strong participation and interest in the class.
The first of four E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service qualifying sessions takes place at 4:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Friday, and the final two rounds of qualifying take place on Saturday at 12:00 and 3:15 p.m. The first round of Pro Mod eliminations are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.
To purchase general admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate.