Rickie Smith May Be Out of the Championship but Arrived Ready to Win
Although long-time rival Rickie Smith was one of two racers flirting with Top Qualifier for E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Division pole in qualifying at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, point's leader Stevie "Fast" Jackson had a watchful eye on defending Pro Mod world champion Mike Janis and 2019 Pro Mod contender Todd Tutterow. For Jackson to have a chance at clinching the title at the St. Louis round, both racers needed to miss the cut. They didn't and Smith, a three-time world champion in the class, qualified on top in his nitrous-powered Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro posting a 5.768 second ET to set the stage at 252.19 mph.
"Fast" Jackson, who was the defending Pro Mod winner at the Midwest Nationals, qualified second for this year's event and advanced to his fifth final round appearance for the 2019 NHRA season. He defeated Carl Stevens Jr., defending world champ Mike Janis, and season-long rival Todd Tutterow to reach the 12th final round appearance of his career. On the other side of the bracket, Smith defeated Alex Laughlin and Michael Biehle before a rematch with Mike Castellana, who had crushed Smith's hopes of winning Indianapolis a few weeks ago by eliminating the Baharain 1 driver in the semi-final round of the E3 Pro Mod championship bracket.
Sunday's final was Rickie Smith's class-best 15th career Pro Mod victory in NHRA. The series at the World Wide Technology Raceway in St. Louis, MO was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association and marked the 10th of twelve E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Division events scheduled for 2019. Stevie "Fast" Jackson stretched his commanding points lead to 156 points heading into the final two events on the Pro Mod schedule. Teams have a weekend off before they head east for the NHRA Carolina Nationals in Charlotte NC on October 11-13.
Photo courtesy of RPM: Real Pro Mod
Featuring the world’s fastest and most exotic doorslammer 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.