Justin Bond picked up his first win in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon during the 2022 season on Sunday, capping off a memorable weekend as part of the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor at Heartland Motorsports Park.
The event, which was powered by M&M Transmission, was the fifth of 10 races during the 2022 FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon season.
Bond drove to his third career victory in the class on Sunday, knocking off multi-time world champ Rickie Smith in the final round with a run of 5.862-seconds at 243.90 mph in his ProCharger-powered Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro.
Bond reached his sixth career final round and first this year by taking down Sidnei Frigo and J.R. Gray, leaving on Smith en route to an impressive performance during the championship round. With the victory, Bond now stands at third in the points standings after the strong showing this weekend.
“We got the monkey off our back (for this year) and we're going home with some hardware," said Bond, who also enjoyed the victory on his birthday on Sunday. "We don't quit and the challenge is accepted. We're halfway through the season, but (the championship) isn't over and we're going to keep working."
Smith advanced to his fourth straight final round this season and the 28th in his incredible career by defeating Mike Thielen, defending world champ Jose Gonzalez and Kris Thorne, and remains in search of his first victory this season. But by knocking off points leader Thorne, who has three wins this season, Smith also closed to within 99 points of him heading to the final five races of the 2022 campaign.
The FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon returns to action Aug. 12-14 as part of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn. The D-Wagon NHRA Pro Mod Shootout specialty shootout race will also take place during the weekend, with the winner earning a $10,000 prize.