Barker Wins E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod at The Big Go
Racing traditions run deep in Indianapolis. For fans of the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod drag racing series, Labor Day weekends are historically spent at Lucas Oil Raceway outside Indianapolis. Commonly known as The Big Go, the NHRA-sanctioned events at the U.S. Nationals are considered to be the most prestigious weekend for drag racing in the world. In part, due to the event’s NHRA record as the longest-running Labor Day motorsports event in the United States.
The Big Go got its permanent home at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1961 after a deal was made between NHRA founder and Board Chairman Wallace Gordon Parks and the existing track owners. As one of the most influential people in establishing the National Hot Rod Association amateur and professional divisions, Parks is the sculptured image seen on the prestigious “Wally”, the trophy presented to winners at all NHRA National Events.
Pro Mod Showdown at the Dodge//SRT U.S. Nationals
Performing at a high level on drag racing’s biggest stage can be a career-defining moment, especially for a red hot driver like Jose Gonzalez. The Dominican businessman has four victories on the E3 Spark Plugs 2021 Pro Mod drag racing tour and an unbeaten streak that includes the last three races in a row. Gonzalez and his ProCharger-powered Q80 Camaro team entered the weekend looking for a first win at Indy that would move them one step closer to winning his first world championship title in Pro Mod. Nonetheless, back-to-back Pro Mod world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson entered the Labor Day weekend after winning two of the past three U.S. Nationals. The race is sponsored by the industry-leading aftermarket manufacturer of ProCharger advanced centrifugal superchargers that add power for Gonzalez, Justin Bond, Khalid alBalooshi, Lyle Barnett, and Mike Salinas (Top Fuel) making his second career appearance in E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod this weekend at The Big Go.
Jeffrey Barker Wins Pro Mod on NHRA’s Biggest Stage
Without doubt, claiming your first career victory in E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals is any drag racer’s dream. That’s exactly what Jeffrey Baker spent his Labor Day weekend doing. But… it wasn’t an easy task. Steve Jackson who had won at The Big Go twice in the past three years, had eliminated J.R. Gray, Jim Whiteley, and Jerico Balduf enroute to the Pro Mod final round. In a thrilling shootout for the win, Jackson was fastest off the tree (.011 RT) to Barker’s (.030 RT) but Barker ran him down with a 5.742 ET at 251.67 mph.
After the race, Barker had nothing but praise for Jackson and Khalid alBalooshi who help make his ride in the nitrous-powered Bahrain 1 Racing/Lowe Toyota Camry possible. Barker had reached his first Pro Mod career final round by beating Doug Winters, Brandon Snider, and Number One qualifier Rickie Smith. The Pro Mod race, which was presented by ProCharger, was the seventh of 11 events during the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season.
DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals
The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service returns to action Sept. 17-19 as part of the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, NC.