In addition to the prize money for winning the first Pro Mod exhibition event during 1989 in Atco, NJ, Bill Kuhlmann was rewarded the No. 1 designation for 1990. He later had to change the number to 1000 after the sanctioning body folded under pressure from critics protesting the decision.
There isn’t a mention in the IHRA’s media guide. And in the leading drag racing publications, there were only small blurbs in the news sections.
However, to the most diehard of drag racing fans, October 28 and 29, 1989, represents more than just another IHRA World Championship Series points event in Atco, NJ. This event represented an introduction to Pro Modified with a 16-car exhibition event. There were no points at stake, just the honor of earning the No. 1 designation on the winner’s car for the inaugural season and the $4,000 winner’s purse.
Just days earlier, the IHRA had officially announced the name of the class in an issue of Drag Review as well as the rules for the class and was en route to the printer when the race was being conducted.