2019 WORLD SERIES OF PRO MODIFIED EVENT PAGE
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK - WORLD SERIES OF PRO MOD
OKSAS WINS $100,000 CHECK – This was the second year in a row Scott Oksas has competed in the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event, and he will not forget the 2019 event any time soon.
That’s because Oksas left with the $100,000 winner’s take all check by being crowned the event champion.
Oksas clocked a 5.882-second elapsed time at 247.38 mph to edge Doug Winters’ 6.027-second lap at 234.57 mph in the finals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., near Denver late Saturday night.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Oksas said. “All I can say is ‘Yes, finally!’ I’m so stoked. I can’t even tell you. Wes Buck, the whole crew here in Denver, these guys are awesome. I’m so stoked. I can’t even believe this. I’m on Cloud 9 right now.”
Oksas was driving a 1967 Ford Mustang. Winters was behind the wheel of 1969 Chevelle and it was a close race, especially to halftrack.
“Oh yeah, I saw him right next to me,” Oksas said. “We had identical reaction times and I saw him right next to me and I said ‘Come on Turbo power, let’s go baby.’ It did its job. It was a bracket car (Saturday night). I’m really happy.”
At the starting line in the finals, Winters double-bulbed Oksas, but he wasn’t fazed.
“I was so nervous today when I had to race Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the first round and I got all my nerves out at that point,” Oksas said. “I had to race the NHRA Pro Mod points leader and after that I was pretty mellow. I just stuck to my routine and the guys were doing everything on the car and I was just sitting in the trailer hanging out. I have been double-bulbed a lot on the West Coast, so I’m pretty used to, so it was no big deal.”
Jeff Pierce was serving as Oksas’ crew chief this weekend at the WSOPM event.
A year ago, Oksas competed at the WSOPM event, but he only had the car a week at that point.
Now, Oksas was planning what to do with the $100,000 check.
“I’m going to Vegas first and then the second thing I’m doing is putting it back in the bank account for all the parts I’ve been buying lately,” Oksas said. “I’m a winner (Saturday night). This is my biggest win ever. I have not won in four or five years and I’ve crashed a couple of cars and this is pretty good. I really like the 100 grand.”
Oksas made it to the finals Saturday by beating Stevie “Fast” Jackson, when Jackson had a red-light start. Then Oksas ran past Rick Snavely in round two with a blistering pass of 5.863-seconds elapsed time, the second quickest in the three-year history of the World Series of Pro Mod.
In the finals in 2018, Carl Stevens Jr. clocked a 5.856-second lap to out run Danny Rowe’s 5.946-second run. Stevens has the quickest time in the World Series of Pro Mod World Series event.
Oksas then knocked out Rick Hord, when Hord crossed the centerline, setting the stage for his dramatic win over Winters.
“This is incredible,” Oksas said.
Oksas races in NHRA’s Pro Mod Series and other high-dollar races. He will run the last four NHRA Pro Mod races this season, starting with the U.S. Nationals Aug. 28-Sept. 2 in Indianapolis.
WINTERS MAKES MEMORIES – Before this weekend, Doug Winters had never competed in the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event.
He made plenty of memories in his inaugural appearance at Bandimere Speedway – and had plenty of good fortune on race day Saturday.
In the first round, Winters defeated Terry Haddock when Haddock had a red-light start.
Winters was supposed to meet up against defending race champion Carl Stevens Jr. in round two, but Stevens Jr. couldn’t make the call because he couldn’t get his engine repaired in time.
The semis saw Winters get a byre run because there were only 11 cars in the field.
Winters drives a 1969 Chevelle.
“I could never have imagined this happening,” Winters said. “We happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
Winters' odds of winning the World Series of Pro Mod went from 1 in 11 to 50-50. In the semifinals, took the beam at the Christmas Tree to get the win and back it off the starting line.
Winters came up just short in the finals against Scott Oksas.
“This was a once in a lifetime experience,” Winters said
STEVENS JR. WAS BACK TO DEFEND HIS CROWN – A year ago at the second annual Drag Race Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event, Carl Stevens Jr. shocked the competition.
“We ran really good (in qualifying Friday) until the rod came out of it on our second pass,” Stevens Jr. said. “We put in a new motor (Saturday). I have never run this motor before. That’s probably not good.”
Stevens was running the same 1969 Camaro that took him to the winner’s circle last year.
Stevens Jr., using a motor his team owner Jim Bell purchased from Rick Hord, beat Dave Walters in round one. Hord runs an Xtreme Racing Engines, built by Stevens Jr. in his shop in Newton, N.J.
Unfortunately, Stevens’ chance for a repeat vanished when he couldn’t make the call for round two against Doug Winters.
“We burned up like six intake push rods in the first (round),” Stevens Jr. said. “We didn’t have enough push rods. We had two spare push rods. We were trying different length push rods trying to make it work, but we couldn’t.”
Winters, in a show of true sportsmanship, offered what parts he had to Stevens Jr. so they could race each other.
“We hung out here hoping Carl would make the call,” Winters said. “We heard him try and fire up the car. They actually came over to see if we had any push rods they could use. We got ours out and they wouldn’t match up. We were willing to let him use the push rods if we had them, but we didn’t. We knew he was in trouble. We held it out as long as we could, and the officials told us to go to the line and that’s what we did.”
Stevens Jr. said the true source of his woes came when he hurt the motor in qualifying.
“If we didn’t have that blowup (Friday) we would have come out here and kicked everyone’s a**, straight up to be honest with you,” Stevens Jr. said. “The run where it chucked the rods out of it (Friday) we probably on an 83 run or so. That’s what made it even harder to swallow. We looked at all the incrementals down low and we were like “Oh my God, this thing was on a mission. We had too much time (Friday). We were running like 6 o’clock and the engine was really good and happy, and we were like let’s just take the pans out and look at the rods and check the rod bearings. The rod bearings looked good and we're like let’s put new rod bearings in it, so we did, and we ended up breaking like four rod bolts and that’s why the rods came out. If we probably would have left the pan on and sat around and did nothing we probably would have been in pretty good shape. It’s a bummer. It made it a little easier to swallow because I still had a dog in the fight.”
Despite the tough luck, Stevens was keeping things in perspective.
“It is disappointing, but I just moved my focus over to Rick (Hord’s) car, we are going to win it one way or another,” Stevens Jr. said. “If I can win last year as a driver and this year as a tuner, what else could you ask for? That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Hord faced Scott Oksas in the semifinals and came up on the losing end. Hord was disqualified shortly after he left the starting line and he crossed the center line.
STEVIE “FAST” JACKSON HAS EARLY EXIT AGAIN – For the second time in three years, Stevie “Fast” Jackson was eliminated in round one at the Drag Race Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event at Bandimere Speedway.
Jackson’s chance at a round one victory Saturday ended immediately as he had a red-light start against Scott Oksas.
The pain of defeat was even worse for Jackson as he ran the fastest elapsed time of round one at 5.932 seconds. Oksas also had a .106 reaction time and crossed the finish line in 6.071 seconds.
A year ago, at the World Series of Pro Mod, Jackson won the $5,000 burnout contest the first day and then won two rounds of racing, but he couldn’t advance past round three as he was beat by Danny Rowe.
In 2017, Jackson was upset in round one at the WSOPM event by Mike Janis.
Jackson, who is the leading the NHRA Pro Mod season points standings, will return to action at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 28-Sept. 2.
SNAVELY OUSTED IN ROUND TWO – Rick Snavely has won some big races in his Pro Mod career, like taking home the title at the 2015 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
However, he couldn’t add a World Series of Pro Mod victory to his resume. Snavely was beat in round two Saturday by Scott Oksas.
Oksas clocked a 5.863-second elapsed time at 247.57 mph to muscle past Snavely’s 6.039-second effort.
“We shook in the first and second round,” Snavely said. “I thought we had a pretty good set-up going there for a bit and we kind of just lost it. We had to give it our best and if you’re going to run somebody that may go an 84 you have to try your hardest. You can’t just give it up and go slow and get beat. I think we would have been in the neighborhood (with Oksas) if everything went right, but that run was pretty stout. I don’t know if we had that in our car.”
Snavely was driving a 1969 Camaro.
FIRE ONBOARD – Top Sportsman driver Roy L. Trees has been competing “forever” in drag racing and Saturday afternoon at the World Series of Pro Mod event at Bandimere Speedway he experienced an unfortunate first.
Trees’ problems occurred when he prepared to start his 1968 Camaro in the pits.
“I hit the ignition switch and it blew the top of the manifold off,” said Trees, who is based in Riverton, Wyo. “Don’t ask me. It’s not even a nitrous car. I hopped in the car and checked the carburetors and hit the ignition switch and it caught fire. It really wasn’t a whole lot of damage, just some little stuff, but I just don’t have the parts here to fix it.”
Trees said this is the first year he has been serious about racing the Camaro.
“We were having a pretty good weekend,” Trees said. “We were qualified 10th and down in the 6s a ways but it is what it is. It was bizarre. I was sitting there, and it just blew the top of the manifold. When I saw that fireball, I knew I had to get it together. Obviously, there was a bunch of fuel down in the cylinder somewhere. As soon as I hit the ignition switch on it set it off. I didn’t even start to turn it over. It was a freaky deal.”
Trees jumped out of his Camaro and grabbed a fire extinguisher out of his trailer and put the fire out.
“We will get this fixed,” Trees said. “This is just racing. It just wasn’t my day (Saturday).”
STOLEN BANNER GETS RETURNED – Wes Buck, the brainchild behind the Drag Race Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event, confirmed to Competition Plus the big banner in the winner’s circle on the wall of the return road near the starting line at Bandimere Speedway was stolen Friday night and then returned Saturday.
“Hey, listen, everybody is having fun and we had a whole bunch of people out here drinking and having a good time and priority numero uno at the World Series of Pro Mod is to have fun,” Buck said. “It sounds to me like some cats had a little too much fun (Friday night) and they borrowed my banner for a few hours. I put a post on Facebook and said please return this thing by 2 o’clock and we will drop it and that’s exactly what we did. They put it by the ET shack just where I asked them to put it within an hour and we’re moving on.
I hung the bad boy up. I have to give a shout out to Steve Johnson of Fineline Graphics. He was actually racing the divisional in Brainerd (Minn.) this weekend. He provides all our signage here and he called me as soon as he saw the (Facebook) post and he said he would send some guys in to get another one printed. It was cool to be able to call him and not only tell him thanks, but not to worry about it. We have her (the banner) back.”
DECIDING FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS – The list of Pro Mod drivers competing this weekend in the World Series of Pro Mod event for the $100,000 winner takes all check was as follows: Stevie Jackson; Carl Stevens Jr.; Rick Hord; Clint Satterfield; Rick Snavely; Ed Thornton; Dave Walters; Terry Haddock; Scott Oksas; Doug Winters and Mike Labbate.
There were 11 drivers in the field this year and there were 27 drivers vying for the 16-car field in the 2018 race.
During the three qualifying sessions Friday, no elapsed times or mph were shown on the scoreboard at the top end of the track. Saturday, drivers drew numbers to see who they would face in the first round and they had a coin flip to decided lane choice. The winner in the drawings for first-round opponents was Clint Satterfield, who received a bye by drawing the No. 1.
DRIVERS TALK ABOUT LOW CAR COUNT – A year ago, several cars couldn’t make the 16-car field to compete in the World Series of Pro Mod.
There were 27 cars trying to gain a spot in the 16-car ladder.
That wasn’t the case in 2019 as there were only 11 cars competing in the WSOPM event.
Low car count or not, veteran NHRA nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel driver Terry Haddock was thrilled to be competing in his first World Series of Pro Mod event.
“Wes (Buck) is doing an amazing job and if we don’t support all the classes, drag racing dies and it dies for all of us, not just one of us,” Haddock said. “We need to be here and put on a show, and it is amazing what he has put this together. I can’t believe there are not more cars. It makes no sense to me. I applaud what he’s doing and hopefully we will get asked back.”
Rick Snavely, who also was making his inaugural appearance at the World Series of Pro Mod, agreed with Haddock.
“I’m definitely glad I came,” said Snavely, who lives in Los Angeles. “It was a big learning curve for us, but there were good cars and good racing and we are always up for that and this is a great place to race. I am surprised that more cars didn’t show up. I have a hard time thinking that all those guys wouldn’t come. I know there was a big NHRA rule change that somehow drove some people away to say that they needed to test their new NHRA combo. NHRA changed the boost limit on the turbo cars, so they are all scrambling to get a good handle on that before they go back to their race.
They didn’t think they could do it here (at Bandimere Speedway). They are not going to learn what they need to learn here they said. But I still think they should have come up here. I will take the better odds. One in 11 odds to win 100 grand is a lot better than Vegas. I definitely will come back. A prize like this you have to get out here and go for it. There’s no reason to not come.”
Carl Stevens Jr., who won the 2018 World Series Pro Mod $100,000 check, thought there would be more competitors vying for the high-dollar prize this weekend.
“I’m really surprised there are not more people here,” Stevens Jr. said. “I can’t make sense of it.”
Clint Satterfield, who has competed in all three of World Series of Pro Mod events, had this to say about the 11-car Pro Mod field for eliminations.
“As difficult as NHRA Pro Mod is, this makes it twice as hard,” Satterfield said. “Coming up here into the air where you have the blower cars and the nitrous cars that can dominate at sea level and lower elevations, they really have a hard time competing at this elevation here (which is 5,813 feet). They have to make a lot of changes as we have to make changes to our car. Because of our combination and its inherent capabilities, we do have an advantage on the hill. They took a bunch of boost away from us and gave the blower cars some benefits and we will just have to see how those play out (Saturday).
It is very difficult, and I can’t say that blower cars are whining butts, but well, they are not here, and we are. Turbo cars baby. We will take 1 in 11 odds anytime. First-place to win an NHRA (Pro Mod event) is $10,000. This (World Series of Pro Mod) pays a lot better.”
Satterfield received a bye in first round and then was upended in round two by Rick Hord.
Hord clocked a 5.925-second elapsed time, while Satterfield slowed to 7.212 seconds.
HADDOCK ENJOYS WHIRLWIND EXPERIENCE IN WSOPM DEBUT - Terry Haddock has a passion for racing.
That’s why the veteran nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel driver came to compete in the World Series of Pro Mod event this weekend at Bandimere Speedway.
Haddock, who resides in Temple, Texas, brought his 1937 Ford Coupe to compete and it was a hectic weekend for him.
“It’s not a crash course,” said Haddock about his Pro Mod racing. “I concentrate all my efforts on those fuel cars, and we run this (Pro Mod) car a bunch at home. We’ve never run up on the mountain (Bandimere Speedway) with it. It was a monumental task to get home and get the car and get here. We missed the first (qualifying) session (Friday) because of a delayed flight and (Friday night we had a problem with a starter, and we missed a session. We’re going to go out and give it our best. The idea is to come here and have fun and support the sport all we can do is give it our best. If it doesn’t run as good as we want it to, we will be down about it, but we will fix it and come back and do it again.”
Haddock and the other Pro Mod drivers on the property this weekend had 1 in 11 odds to win the $100,000.
“That’s pretty amazing,” Haddock said. “I’m still overwhelmed and amazed that he (Wes Buck) invited us to come hang out for this thing. It’s amazing that he’s willing to put up that kind of money. We gave it our best (Saturday).”
Haddock had his race end early when he recorded a red-light start and handed the win to Doug Winters in first round.
Haddock is 12th in NHRA’s Mello Yello Series nitro Funny Car season points standings. The next national event on the NHRA schedule is the Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 15-18 in Brainerd, Minn.
SATTERFIELD LOVES TO RACE – Clint Satterfield is a successful businessman. Now, Satterfield’s son, Lucas Satterfield, manages Clint’s business companies.
“Lucas does an awesome job, which allows me to be out here to live my dream of racing,” Clint said. “Two years in a row (at the World Series of Pro Mod) we burned pistons on the first pass. We knew by talking with everybody that we had one of the fastest cars here and two years in row we got bit. She (Erica Enders) beat me in a very close race and I was on six cylinders because we had two pistons that were completely torched and they torched early, but I wasn’t about to give up $100,000 for two pistons.”
Satterfield said after troubleshooting his team eventually found what their engine problem was. Satterfield is running a 1969 Turbo Pig Camaro, the same car he ran the last two years at the World Series of Pro Mod.
This time at the World Series of Pro Mod, Satterfield got a bye in round one and then met up with Rick Hord in second round.
“There were some manufacturer defects in some of the parts that have been since worked out,” Satterfield said. “Hopefully they are going to continue to work well and will not give us that problem any longer. This car was new last year and that’s when we were having so many problems with this one certain part and it gave us fits all year.
We didn’t find the problem until four races into this year. Once it was fixed the car has been doing really well. We’re basically a year behind the competition because we had to fight that problem more than a year.”
The car Satterfield ran at the inaugural World Series of Pro Mod event in 2017, a 1969 Firebird, was next door to him in the pits. It was being driven Mike Labbate, who was making his WSOPM debut in 2019.
“They bought it turn-key and they are doing a great job of tuning it and we are trying to give them a little assistance because it was new to them,” Satterfield said.
Labbate lost in round one to Rick Hord. Satterfield drew a first-round bye and then Satterfield had his shot at Hord in round two and came up short.
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK – IT’S SHAKEDOWN DAY AT THE BIG MONEY SHOWDOWN
STEVENS JR. BACK TO DEFEND HIS CROWN – A year ago at the second annual Drag Race Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event, Carl Stevens Jr. shocked the competition.
In a star-studded field, Stevens Jr. was the last man standing – winning the $100,000 check and a championship belt.
Stevens Jr. is back to try and double his winnings in 2019. He’s running the same 1969 Camaro that took him to the winner’s circle last year. The car is owned by Jim Bell of Alberta, Canada and driven and tuned by Stevens Jr.
“Last year things worked out nicely in our favor,” Stevens Jr. said. “When we got here (to Bandimere Speedway) a year ago, we took the car out of the trailer and it wouldn’t even start. I had never seen anything like that before. People had told me about it (the altitude and what it would do), but I couldn’t believe it. The car wouldn’t even run. I didn’t even want to be here right now, and I had Jim’s car to deal with and Rich Hord’s car to deal with because I tune both cars. I had two cars that wouldn’t run. I would have never anticipated holding that big check. But we put it all together and it was a H*ll of a weekend.”
In the finals in 2018, against Danny Rowe, Stevens Jr. clocked a 5.886-second lap to out run Rowe’s 5.946-second run.
“The whole experience of being able to win it was second none,” Stevens Jr. said. “It was a big deal for us.”
Stevens said the last NHRA Pro Mod race he ran in the Camaro was at Gainesville, Fla., in 2018.
“The team owner just wanted to do something different and not race NHRA, so we have been racing some Northeast Pro Mod stuff, which is basically like NHRA rules, legal quarter-mile stuff,” Stevens Jr. said. “We have been doing that and some PDRA stuff.”
Coming back to Bandimere Speedway as the champ isn’t lost on Stevens Jr.
“There’s a lot more pressure this year than last year,” he said. “We made two test hits (Thursday) and we ran really well on both. We picked up from the first to the second and we are feeling pretty confident in what we have. The notes from last year are very helpful. When we first got here last year, we spent a day just getting it to run and this year we showed up and that was out of the way.”
Making Stevens Jr.’s 2018 WSOP win more remarkable was that he had never competed at the track before that event.
“I had never been anywhere with any type of altitude,” Stevens Jr. said. “Everywhere we had raced was low altitude. It was completely different. We brought a slew of parts with us. Luckily, Jim, the team owner, asked me what I think we would need, and I gave him a list of parts and he said to get all of them. We probably ran through all of them figuring out the combination, but we put it together.”
Stevens Jr. runs a speed shop Xtreme Racing Engines – in Newton, N.J.
“Winning last year was very good advertisement for us,” Stevens Jr. said. “I got to hang the big ($100,000 check) in the shop. We have an engine here in Rick Hord’s car and Rick last year was probably the quickest here by two or three hundredths every round, but he ended up going out. I thought we were going to have to race each other in the quarterfinals and it was kind of good he took himself out, so I didn’t have to beat my customer. Tuning Rick’s car last year ended up working out well because I gave him the same list, I gave Jim for parts we needed, and he also bought all the parts. So, we were able to try something here with my car and put something completely different on his car and that worked better. It really helped us both get to raceable combination quicker.”
When Stevens Jr. returned to the 2019 WSOP, he couldn’t return with the same winning combination he had last year.
“We came with a rule change, we had 34 pounds of boost that we were able to use last year and this year they took us back to 32,” he said. “From testing the cars (Thursday) we are happy with the runs we made, but it is noticeably down from last year in ET and speed. So, we are working the tune-up trying to find other ways to get it quicker and faster without having that extra power.”
During the three qualifying sessions Friday, Stevens Jr. wasn’t holding anything back.
“I have to be honest, I try to hit a home run every time I’m up there,” Steven said. “I want to run as fast as I can every time, I roll up there, so that’s our plan with Rick’s car (Rick Hord) and my car. We are going to go up there and swing as hard as we can. If either car wins (this race) it is a win-win for me and the company (Xtreme Racing Engines).”
HORD EYES $100,000 WIN – Rick Hord is running an Xtreme Racing Engine at the WSOP event again this year and he wants a different ending to the 2019 event.
“The next goal is run Carl (Stevens Jr., who provides Hord his engine) in the final and beat him by an inch and a half,” Hord said. “I come to compete in this event because it is a lot of fun and it is challenging. I like to support the sport. Wes (Buck) went to a lot of trouble to make this happen. We’re here to support him and have a good time. This (Bandimere Speedway) is a very nice facility. The guys do a good job.”
Hord, who is based out of Orlando, Fla., is piloting a 2016 Corvette, the same car he ran last year.
“We run NHRA stuff,” Hord said. “We won in Charlotte and we were runner-up at Houston, and we finished seventh in the points. We started the (NHRA) season off and went to the first four events and we kind of got a little lost on the combination and we took a couple of races off. We’re going to pick the tour back up at Indy (Aug. 28-Sept. 2). The big factor here (at Bandimere Speedway) is just the altitude). In the NHRA tour we will maybe see 3,500 foot of corrected altitude, probably at Bristol (Tenn.). Here, it could be 8,000 corrected altitude. Everything is different. That’s why we come here, we make plenty of practice runs because if you don’t, you’re at a disadvantage. We made three runs (Wednesday) and three runs (Thursday). We were pretty satisfied with those runs.”
NO Q TIMES, FIRST-ROUND PAIRINGS – The list of Pro Mod drivers competing this weekend in the World Series of Pro Mod event is as follows: Stevie Jackson; Carl Stevens Jr.; Rick Hord; Clint Satterfield; Rick Snavely; Ed Thornton; Dave Walters; Terry Haddock; Scott Oksas; Doug Winters and Mike Labbate.
There are 11 drivers in the field this year.
During the three qualifying sessions Friday, no elapsed times or mph were shown on the scoreboard at the top end of the track.
The first-round pairings will be drawn Saturday and the racing action starts at 6 p.m. (MT).
FAST JACKSON BACK AGAIN TO TRY TO WIN WSOPM – Stevie “Fast” Jackson competed in the Drag Race Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., near Denver since its inception in 2017.
Jackson is back for the third annual event Friday and Saturday at Bandimere Speedway. An event which pays $100,000 to the winner.
“The fans (bring back),” Jackson said. “I also love the venue and love the people (the Bandimere family) who run this race track. They do an awesome job. Wes Buck also puts his heart and his soul into this, and we have a responsibility in motorsports to do what’s best for the sport. The outpouring of fans who wanted to see us come back pulled at my heart strings and we decided to come get that money.”
Ago at the World Series of Pro Mod, Jackson won the $5,000 burnout contest the first day and then won two rounds of racing Saturday, but he couldn’t advance past round three as he was beat by Danny Rowe.
In 2017, Jackson was upset in round one at the WSOP by Mike Janis.
“It’s hard man,” said Jackson about winning the event. “You have top-notch equipment, good drivers, good crew chiefs out here and you’re going to need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of skill.”
Jackson is driving a Rick Jones 2018 Camaro at this year’s WSOP event.
“One of the things I like most about racing up here (at Bandimere Speedway) is the lack of power that you have from the density altitude teaches you how to be more efficient with what you have. Every time we have left here, we’ve left here with a car that was ready to win back at sea level.”
Jackson is leading the NHRA Pro Mod Series points standings.
HADDOCK COMPETING AT WSOPM – It’s an off week for the NHRA Mello Yello Series – but not for Terry Haddock.
The veteran nitro Funny Car and Top Fuel driver is piloting a 1937 Ford Coupe at the World Series of Pro Mod event Aug. 9-10 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colo., near Denver.
“I have been driving this car for six or eight months,” Haddock said. “I haven’t taken it out at any NHRA stuff. I’ve been running it at No Prep stuff and just a bunch of local stuff, Outlaw stuff here in Texas.”
The WSOP event pays $100,000 to the winner, which has Haddock’s attention.
“That’s a start,” said Haddock about the big purse which enticed him. “It’s pretty cool to even be invited against those guys. They are the best in the country and it also a neat deal of how they are putting it on. Anybody has a chance.”
Haddock didn’t run in the first qualifying session Friday and had engine trouble in the second qualifying session.
Competing in the high-altitude at Bandimere Speedway doesn’t overly concern Haddock.
“It’s going to be weird, but it is going to be just as weird for everybody else because they have only run Pro Mods there two other times,” Haddock said. “It’s not like everybody has a ton of experience.”
Against a stacked field of Pro Mod racers, Haddock is taking a simple approach.
“I just want to go out and have some fun, and do the best we can do,” he said.
Haddock is driving and tuning his Pro Mod machine this weekend.
“We can’t stop from racing,” said Haddock when asked why he chose to race during an idle weekend in NHRA’s Mello Yello Series. “It is just a neat opportunity. Not everybody gets invited to come to this deal and it is an honor to even be invited. We’re just going to go out and have some fun and see how we can do. We’re going to try our best to be competitive against those guys. There some pretty fast people who are going to be at this event. It also evens up the playing field, man. I will be ready to go.”
Haddock is 12th in NHRA’s Mello Yello Series nitro Funny Car season points standings. The next national event on the NHRA schedule is the Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 15-18 in Brainerd, Minn.
WINTERS MAKING HIS INAUGURAL APPEARANCE AT WSOPM – A new face was in the pits at the 2019 World Series of Pro Mod Event.
Doug Winters, who is based in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area of North Carolina, is competing in the $100,000 winner’s takes all World Series of Pro Mod event for the first time this weekend.
“I came here because of the challenge of running up here on the mountain, seeing how fast we can go associated with all the changes that we’ve made to the car to do this. It’s a challenge. We have changed a lot of things except for the driver. From fuel curves to ratios to you name it, we have changed it. Our expectation is to win $100,000 or not try and we are here to try.”
Winters competes in the NHRA Pro Mod Series and is making progress.
“We made it to the semifinals in Atlanta and qualified four out of the last five races, so we’re getting a pretty good handle on it,” Winters said. “I raced here at Bandimere in the early 2000s. We ran Super Chevy Nitro Coupe’s here, back in the day when they ran nitro and we ran 30 percent nitro up here. It’s cool to be back. It was about a 25-hour drive for us to get here, but it was worth it so far. We brought the motorcycles to do some touring around and we’ve enjoyed the scenery.”
During the three qualifying Friday, Winters had a game plan for his 1969 Chevelle.
“The approach for us was to make sure we get it down the track and keep improving,” Winters said. “We had some test runs (Thursday) and we had a good baseline on an eighth-mile run and (Friday) we were trying to set a good baseline for a quarter-mile run and just go from there. We’re trying to creep up on it, instead of trying to swing and hit a home run first.”
The $100,000 prize the World Series of Pro Mod event offers to drivers is something Winters has his eye on.
“That $100,000 would mean a lot to us,” Winters said. “We have a great sponsor with the Bandit Big Rig Series, but $100,000 is a big amount of money for us. Wes (Buck) wanted us to come to this event last year and we had stuff going on and we couldn’t make it. This year we had it open on the calendar and we are here.”
THORNTON ANOTHER NEWBY THIS WEEKEND – One theme this weekend, is there are plenty of drivers competing at the World Series of Pro Mod for the first this year.
Drivers like Ed Thornton.
“The $100 grand is what brought me here, it is unbelievable that we can run for that kind of money,” said Thornton, who is running a Camaro. “The altitude and the boost control are pretty bad.”
Thornton’s primary series he competes in is the Xtreme Pro Mods West. He’s based out of Southern California in Chino.
“They are racing in Boise (Idaho) this weekend, so I missed my series to come here and run for the money,” said Thornton, who won the Xtreme Pro Mods West series in 2017 and was second last year. “Boise is $5,000 to win it.”
RICK SNAVELY FLYING UNDER RADAR AT WSOPM – Rick Snavely has won some big races in his Pro Mod career, like taking home the title at the 2015 U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Now, Snavely is trying his hand for the first time at the World Series of Pro Mod event at Bandimere Speedway and he’s flying under the radar in 1969 Camaro.
“I’m really excited to be here,” Snavely said. “I love Pro Mod racing, and everybody wants the $100,000. We’re definitely here to win. I think this is a great race and a great idea and I hope more people take advantage of it and pump it up even bigger.”
Snavely had never made laps at Bandimere Speedway before Thursday’s test session.
“It was a learning curve for sure,” said Snavely, who is based in Los Angeles. “We’re making progress. This year we have run a mix of different series. Everybody here has a good time and I believe we are in the underdog role this weekend and that doesn’t bother me one bit.”
OKSOS ARRIVES AT BANDIMERE FULL OF OPTIMISM – This the second year in a row Scott Oksos has competed in the World Series of Pro Mod event, and he arrived brimming with optimism.
“Last year when we competed here, we only had the car a week,” said Oksas, who is driving 1967 Mustang.
“The car went 6.0s up here last year and I was the tuner back then and I got Jeff Pierce tuning it now. We’re seeing really good things right now. We’re really happy. We learned a ton from racing here last year. That has really helped and carried into this year and we are already seeing success this year. I would tell you what we ran (in testing), but I would have to kill you because they are not putting times up yet. We’re very content. We made four runs Wednesday and two Thursday.”
Oksos races in NHRA’s Pro Mod Series and other high-dollar races. He will run the last four NHRA Pro Mod races this season, starting with the U.S. Nationals Aug. 28-Sept. 2.
“Win $100,000, buddy,” Oksos said when asked his expectations for this weekend.
“Hopefully I will be in the winner’s circle at the end holding a check and smiling right next to Wes (Buck). I have to let everybody know that this is the coolest race track to come to. I know it is in the (thin) air, but it is the best facility out there and the people are so nice. Having this race for Pro Mod competitors is huge. It cost a fortune to run these things and that if win that $100,000, you’re going to take home some money. It’s a huge to have this $100,000 payday. I think if somebody could figure out how to put three or four of these a year together, and just make it really cool, I wouldn’t race anything else. I would just worry about those four races.”
WALTERS MAKING WSOP DEBUT – This is the third World Series of Pro Mod event, but 2019 is Dave Walters debut at the high-dollar race.
Walters, who lives in Denver, is running a 1968 Camaro with a Brad Anderson blown Hemi.
“This motor we have runs pretty good,” Walters said. “The $100,000 (to win the winner) entices you. I want to go get that money.”
Competing in the World Series of Pro Mod event means Walters Camaro has to undergo a makeover.
“We usually run this car in the Outlaw 10.5 stuff,” Walters said. “We usually have small tires on it. This is our first time with big tires this year. We’ve never put big tires on this car since I had this car for three years. They wanted me to run this event the last couple of years, but this is finally the time. We changed the whole car around for this race. I had to go to the three-speed, no lockup converter and a different blower. We are keeping up on things, it just took us a minute.”
Walters has lofty goals for this weekend.
“Win it,” he said. “We are not here to lose.”