After a record-breaking weekend at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, fans of fast doorslammers like the machines of the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Modified Series are already turning their eyes towards lightning-quick Houston Raceway Park and the upcoming Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals Presented By Pennzoil, April 12-14.
The event will also feature the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley class and the mega-cubic-inch Mountain Motor Pro Stockers in their first of four appearances this season.
At the Gatornationals, Pro Mod fan favorite Stevie “Fast” Jackson reset the Pro Mod national record three times, eventually lowering to a jaw-dropping 5.643, putting the class on the cusp of its first 5.5-second pass. Given the traditionally quick and fast conditions at the Houston event, anything is possible.
The field at the Gatornationals also featured a record 16-car field with all cars qualified at 5.753 seconds or quicker. In addition to Jackson’s quick runs in the supercharged Bahrain 1 Camaro, Jose Gonzalez made the quickest pass in a turbocharged Pro Mod car, 5.672, and Khalid alBalooshi the quickest nitrous-assisted pass at 5.710.
The nitrous oxide cars are poised to strike back in Houston after a recent NHRA rule adjustment dropped 25 pounds from the minimum weight of nitrous cars running a lock-up converter.
Houston fans will get to see their hometown hero, two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, who will be competing in the Pro Mod class with her Elite Performance Camaro. She’ll be joined by Pro Stock teammate Alex Laughlin. NHRA’s 500-cid fuel-injected Pro Stockers are not competing at this event as part of their new 18-race schedule and will return to the tour in Virginia.
The Houston event will also feature the crowd-pleasing, wheelstanding two-wheeled rockets of the Mickey Thompson Tires Top Fuel Harley Series. Like the Pro Mods, the Harleys went on a performance tear at the Gatornationals where both ends of the national record were reset. Japanese rider Tak Shigematsu made the quickest pass in class history, a 6.101-second shocker, while Doug Vancil set the speed record at 237.00 mph. Is a five-second Top Fuel Harley pass in the making?
With dynamic paint schemes, throwback hood scoops and wheelstands that go on for the first 100 feet of a launch, Mountain Motor Pro Stock cars bring maximum entertainment value when they hit the track. With massive engines of up to 800 cubic inches beneath the hood and performances in the 6.30s at 220 mph, Houston fans are sure to enjoy the variety of action.
Drivers expected to participate in the exhibition include John Montecalvo, JR Carr, Chris Powers, Todd Hoerner, Brad Waddle, John Konigshofer, John Deflorian, Elijah Morton, Dillon Voss, Dwayne Rice, Rick Cowger, Scott Benham, and more.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.
To purchase reserved seats, call (281) 383-RACE (7223) or visit www.houstonraceway.com. Kids 13 and under are free on the spectator side with a paid adult. To honor NHRA’s Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on reserved tickets in advance or at the gate.