The NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA is always a special event for us here at Pro Line as it is our home track. This year's race was extra special for us because it is the last national event at the venue before it is scheduled to be demolished. #TeamProLine racers and teams put forth a strong effort to secure the last Wally in Atlanta!
With only 2 qualifying attempts, teams needed to make fast, clean runs in order to make the field. Bahrain1 driver, Khalid Al-Balooshi, took the #1 qualifying spot early after running a 5.713 at 250.37 mph pass in Q1.
Balooshi's teammate under the Bahrain1 Racing team, Justin Bond, qualified #3 with a 5.742 at 248.02 mph. Both Balooshi and Bond share tuning services from renowned tuner, Brad Personett.
Jose Gonzalez and his El General Racing (EGR) team qualified #2 with a 5.723 at 249.39 mph. Tuner, Steve Petty, has really got the EGR ProCharged Camaro making flawless passes down the racetrack.
In the first round of eliminations we had our first upset when Balooshi's car drifted towards the centerline and clipped a timing block giving Justin Jones the win. Balooshi will be back in Charlotte ready to go rounds in 4 wide competition.
Gonzalez had a very close first round matchup against JR Gray. His EGR Camaro ran a 5.721 at 249.21 mph for the win.
Unfortunately his day was cut short on an uncharacteristic holeshot loss to Brandon Snider, 5.74 to Snider's 5.76. The EGR team will likely take the car out testing to prepare for Z-Max, where they will hope to bring home a second 4-wide Wally.
Bond was unstoppable throughout eliminations, the Bahrain1 driver ran some of the quickest passes and chopped down the tree when he needed to. First round was a great race between Bond and Alex Laughlin. Bond and Personett put together a package that could not be beat, .008 reaction time combined with a 5.721 elapsed time was enough to take out Laughlin's .027 and 5.752. Second round was a broke bye for Bond as Dewayne Wolfe couldn't make the call. Bond went 5.73 at 248 mph to secure lane choice over Brandon Snider in the semifinals.
In the semis, Snider had a slight advantage at the starting line and ran a 5.80 but Bond's 5.74 was enough to take the round win and lane choice for the final round. In the final Bond faced fellow Bahrain1 teammate and GA resident Steve Jackson. This race was over at the starting line when Bond had a .038 light to Jackson's .074. Jackson ran a quicker and faster 5.72 at 252 to Bond's 5.738 at 249 mph pass. Bond was able to hold on for the holeshot win and secure his second NHRA Wally!
Congratulations to Justin Bond and Bahrain1 Racing on their big win at the NHRA Southern Nationals! This is the first time a PLR-powered team has won NHRA Pro Mod at Atlanta Dragway, and the last national event at the venue. After many days of testing, Bond, Brad Personett, Chris Johnson, Chris Reynolds and the rest their hard working crew had an amazing hot rod on race day and brought another wally home.
Now they set their sights on The 4-wide race in Charlotte!