E3 Spark Plugs Highlights the Players in Pro Mod: Doug Winters
Nashville, TN, (May 15, 2018)…One of today’s most exciting classes in NHRA drag racing has become the Pro Mod series that is now in its first season, sponsored by E3 Spark Plugs. The 2018 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service is the only one that allows multiple makes of cars, builders and engines to compete on a level playing field. This combination is now drawing ever increasing throngs of fans to each city that Pro Mod races at NHRA. The 2018 season is shaping up again as one packed with thrills as barely hundredths-of-a-second divides the number 1 with the 16th qualifier, from entries topping 30 cars per event.
One of the competing racers is Doug Winters, from Kernersville, NC. Doug started racing when he was 15 years of age, nearly 40 years ago. Winters claims, “I grew up in the sport. My dad raced stock class, and my brother and I tagged along at the IHRA Bristol races. Then we just took it from there.” Winters started out bracket racing in his high school car, a ’56 Chevy. He continued his growth into elevated classes and on up the ranks: Top Sportsman, then into Super Chevy Nitro Coupes, then straight into Pro Mod. He says, “I’ve been in Pro Mod for about 20 years now.”
Winters now commands the speed of his ‘69 Chevelle, stating that “it’s a little different in the class. It’s a supercharged Chevy but it’s not like everyone else’s ’68 or ‘69 Camaro, or their 2015-2017 Camaro. We sometimes think we should have changed over to turbo back when everybody else did, but we got in to supercharged cars with Jim Oddy (one of the classic pioneer’s of supercharged) back in Top Sportsman. We’ve been super charged ever since; Always have, always will. We all like the noise too.”
Winters has achieved some success over the years. He claims, “we did quite well when we were in top sportsman, back when IHRA was big, running some quick 8’s, finished well in the points and won some races. With Super Chevy, we did well for seven (7) or eight (8) years in the nitro coupes, we finished top 5 a few years and we won a bunch of races. We qualified in this year’s NHRA season opener at Gainesville, went a couple rounds and started the season 8th in points. We’ve had some things going good for us.” Winters claims his top speed in the ¼ = 5.81 @ 247 MPH, and a 3.80 @ 196 MPH 1/8 mile hit.
Winters has signed up to compete in the full 12-race NHRA series in 2018. “We are going to continue on and try to do all of them, and shoot for as high in the Championship points as we can get.” They also plan to run Super Chevy at Bristol again this year. “We grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, about 30 minutes from Bristol, and it’s always our annual home-away-from-home track.”
Of all the time spent at the track, Winters recalls his favorite personal memory, as his “coming out party for NHRA a couple years ago at the Indy US Nationals. We qualified with a hole shot win against Ricky Smith, reigning Champion at the time. We went to the semi finals in NHRA Pro Mod and it was pretty cool. One of our bright spots.”
Ask Winters his favorite motorsports hero and he’ll tell you like he assumes many others would say, John Force. “He started out with nothing,” says Winters. “A lot of guys have built empires outside of racing and then get in to the sport. But (Force) has built an empire within racing, from the ground up. We look up to him and what he has done, and we try to mimic that from where we come from.”
Winters calls out his primary sponsor, Minimizer. He praises their marketing model and the partnership in racing. “It’s going well for them and it’s going well for us,” sites Winters. “If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t be out there doing it with everybody else.”
Winters’ day job he says, is a data network engineer for AT&T. “When I have the time off,” he says, ”we ride lot’s of long trips on our Harley Davidsons; the mountains and the coast are just a few hours from us in centralized North Carolina. We ride down to Florida quite a bit too, two (2) or three (3) rides a year down to Panama City and Daytona. We are in to long motorcycle rides, working for a living, and drag racing, it’s a full time job.”
Doug Winters has built a formidable career over the years and he says that Winters Racing pride themselves on being an independent team, family operation. “We do it all ourselves,” says Winters. “We are all family; no big name tuners, no foreign teams or affiliations. I drive the car, do the marketing, and do the tuning for my brother who is my crew chief. My nephew Tyler is part of the crew as well. It’s a family deal and Tyler in fact, still races the ’56 that my dad bought; a car that has been in the family ever since.”
Just like Doug Winters, E3 appreciates the support from the racers/teams/participants competing in the E3 Spark Plug Pro Mod class of the NHRA and we are excited for the 2018 season. ?Rob Fisher, E3 Director of Motorsports says, “We are very thankful for everyone in the sport and everyone in the stands!”
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E3 is a true high-performance aftermarket manufacturer providing high-performance spark plugs and ignitions systems for drag racing, off-road, late model, street rod and muscle car, tuner, sports car, marine, lawn and garden and powersports. E3 Spark Plugs are the product of years of fundamental research in the combustion field. The unique patented electrode configuration of the new E3 spark plugs increases the amount of combustion pressure created during each power stroke of an engine, which results in a marked increase in power output, fuel economy, and reduced emissions in gasoline engines.