The NHRA Pro Mod series made a stop in Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals and Team Pro Line showed up ready for battle. Rain was forecasted all weekend and the NHRA crew did an amazing job keeping the racing surface safe and dry.
After a frightening accident in Charlotte zMax Dragway, involving a broken oil line, Jose Gonzalez and the El General Racing (EGR) team had to get a car ready in time for Norwalk.
Fortunately, Q80 Racing Team out of Kuwait called to offer their twin-turbo 69 Camaro up for the job if Gonzalez wanted to drive it. It was a beehive of activity from there and a lot of people involved to get this car from Kuwait, remodeled and ready for competition!
Within about a week, the Camaro was shipped to RK Racecraft, who converted the car to a ProCharger setup and installed all necessary NHRA safety updates. The crew at RK Racecraft worked for 6 straight days and nights and had the racecar ready for testing on Wednesday before the race!
Top Fuel racer (and now Pro Mod), Mike Salinas, made some great runs in his Scrappers Racing 1969 Camaro. The Steve Petty tuned hot rod went 5.811 at 246.8mph in the 3rd round of qualifying, which landed the team in the number 6 spot! In just his 2nd Pro Mod race, Salinas qualified in the top half of the field.
The Bahrain1 Racing teammate, Khalid Al-Balooshi and Justin Bond, with tuner, Brad Personette excelled in qualifying. Balooshi's qualifying effort was strong enough to secure the number 2 position with a 5.767 at 249.81mph. After struggling to get his car down the track in the first two rounds, the NHRA Pro Mod points leader, Justin Bond, laid down a nice 5.804 at 248.34mph pass to take the 3 spot!
In the newly converted Q80 Racing Team 69 Camaro, Jose Gonzalez had a sensational weekend of highlights. In qualifying, he ran 5.782, 5.782, and 5.732 at 249.63 mph to lead the field!
One thing is true about NHRA Pro Mod; no round is an easy round of racing. E1 was an example of that when Balooshi and Salinas suffered similar fates, struggling at the startline vs their opponents, and losing first round. Balooshi had trouble staging the car and shook the tires, while Salinas' 5.90 wasn't enough to reel in Jerico Balduf's 5.88. They had great performances leading up to this and we know both of these drivers will be back with a vengeance at the next event!
During E1, Justin Bond pulled a .000 reaction time, something that’s not often seen. Against Eric Latino, Bond unleashed a .000 reaction time on top of a 5.836 at 247.88mph to defeat Latino's 5.913! Unfortunately, Bond was in turn defeated by Balduf in E2 on a holeshot with a 5.812 to Balduf's 5.862. It just wasn't their weekend, fortunately he still holds the points lead going into Denver and they will be ready to defend the lead!
The EGR / Q80 team had their new car in a perfect window. On their way to the finals, they eliminated Alex Laughlin in E1, Mike Castellana in E2, and Doug Winters in the semifinals. In the finals Gonzalez faced the roots blown entry of Brandon Snider. He had the starting line advantage over Snider .033 to a .126 and never trailed going 5.723 at 250.09mph to a 5.777 at 248.84 for the win! Gonzalez recorded low E.T. of all 7 rounds from Q1 to the finals. This victory is the 4th NHRA win for the EGR team.
This is the 3rd Wally trophy brought home by a Pro Line powered teams this year and we are proud to play a part in their success. Congrats to Jose, Steve Petty, Tim, Pedro, Josh, and everyone who was involved in in getting this car race ready and in the winners circle! What a ride!