Smith Claims Third Win in E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series at Summit Nationals
E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series kicked off the second half of 2018 with great performances at the 12th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals outside Norwalk OH. In Friday's second qualifying session, Rick Hord posted a 5.754-second pass at 254.76 mph to lead the pack as the Number One qualifier in his 2016 Corvette. Hord fell to Troy Coughlin Sr. in the first round on Sunday. Number Two qualifier Mike Castellana eliminated Danny Rowe before being eliminated by Jeremy Ray.
In addition to Castellana, the Carolina Kingpin took care of Eric Dillard and Pete Farber on the way to his first ever NHRA Pro Mod final. When the smoked cleared following Sunday's final run, three-time world champion Rickie Smith had earned his third Pro Mod Wally for 2018 season and fourteenth career NHRA Pro Mod victory at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Ray got the jump off the tree but mid-track woes allowed Smith to rocket by in his nitrous-powered Bahrain 1 Chevrolet Camaro. Smith is this year's only multi-time winner in the E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod series presented by J&A Service.
Tanner Gray in Pro Stock, Matt Hagan in Funny Car and Blake Alexander in Top Fuel were winners in their respective classes on the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with twelve of the twenty-four races completed. Alexander made history on Sunday when he became the 105th different NHRA Top Fuel winner. He posted a 4.011-second pass at 297.81 mph to secure his first ever class win in his Pronto Auto Service dragster. Alexander defeated a Who's Who list of drivers that included Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher and Leah Pritchett before beating Terry McMillen for the win.
Matt Hagan recorded a 4.094 ET in his Mopar Express Lane Dodge Charger R/T to eliminate Funny Car points leader Courtney Force. It was Hagan's second win of the season after winning the season opener in Pomona. Continuing with this season's hottest grudge match, two-time world champion Erica Enders fell victim to the Gray Motorsports Valvoline Chevy Camaro. After struggling at the beginning of the season, Tanner Gray is now the only three-time Pro Stock winner for 2018.
With a week off, the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H. on July 6-8. With a couple of months off, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Series does not return to action until August 29 through September 3 at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN.
Photo courtesy of RPM: Real Pro Mod
Featuring the world’s fastest and most exotic door-slammer racecars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service offers something for every kind of drag racing fan. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the "suspended door" Pro Mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph. Visit Real Pro Mod online to learn more.