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VIDEO: Bob Rahaim pulls off upset in Pro Mod E1 at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals 

A wild first round of Pro Mod featured upsets from Bob Rahaim and Jose Gonzalez in Bristol.
16 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
Bob Rahaim

Bob Rahaim took down defending E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series presented by J&A Services champion Mike Janis in the first round at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. That was one of a pair of big upsets, and Rahaim did it the hard way. He edged Janis both down the track by .007-second and on the starting line by fewer than two-hundredths of a second.

Related: Pro Mod Ladder

Jose Gonzalez also scored an upset by taking down No. 1 qualifier Todd Tutterow. Tutterow turned on the red light by leaving .005-second early. Gonzalez may have applied some pressure by being one of the best leavers in the Pro Mod category, but Tutterow ended his race day with a mistake and will not have a chance to chase down Pro Mod leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson against until the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. 

Jackson, who was not bullish on his chances with a nitrous car in Thunder Valley, advanced to the second round with a victory over Steve Matusek. Jackson cut a .028-second light and then ran a 5.861. That was far from a record-breaking lap, but it at least helped the category leader keep pace with everyone else for another round. 

Defending event winner Khalid AlBalooshi continued his great stretch with a 5.828-second pass against Michael Biehle II. That will get him lane choice against Rahaim. AlBalooshi qualified No. 6 but is looking very racy after cutting a .053-second light and running low e.t. of the round and running 254.62-mph. 

Sidnei Frigo was not far behind with a 5.834-second hit to take down Eric Latino, who was a day late at the starting line. That will get Frigo lane choice over Jackson; it was also the second-quickest pass in the session. 

The second round is set for 2:30 p.m. Eastern. You can catch all the action live on NHRA.tv.