“JB” Pumped after Consecutive Strong Showings
Edmonton’s JB Power Centre Pro Mod team continues it’s strides forward after accomplishing a number of goals during the recent NHRA “Big Go” and then Rockingham’s PDRA events….
A couple busy weekends for Jim Bell’s JB Power Centre Pro Mod team the last two weeks and it is just part way through the tough September/October schedule.
A solid first outing for Jim at the US Nationals ended pre-maturely (literally) in round one of elimination’s. After battling weather all weekend long Jim started off in round one of qualifying by running a 6.059 to sit # 14. After the first half of the field had made their runs Jim was sitting #2 in the field, but then all the hitters took their turns and he dropped down to #4. Jim improved a bunch in the second session and ran a 5.964 that put him # 11 out of the 33 cars entered. The hope was to improve by another 1/2 a tenth, and end up in the top half of the field unfortunately the track surface was not the same as it was the day before and he spun the tires hard and got sideways forcing Jim to abort the run. The JB’s Power Centre team ended up #14 in the field, and would face the #3 qualifier Jeff Naiser in round one.
In round one, run at 9:00 am Pro Mod followed both Top Alcohol classes. Jim, crew chief Rob Nascimento and tuner Brandon Stroud had the car tuned up to run a low 5.9 or high 5.8, trying to match Naiser’s qualifying effort. Unfortunately Jim pulled the trigger too quick and going way red. Naiser streaked to a second 5.89, and advanced to round two. We had the car hopped up to run a low 5.9 or high 5.8 but unfortunately I released the button way to soon, The car moved to the center line as well so I was off the gas. While I am disappointed we went out early we were happy to make the field in what was the largest field in NHRA pro Mod history.
Rockingham – PDRA:
After Indy the team put the car back to 1/8 mile trim for the Rockingham PDRA event. Lousy weather greeted us there, but by the time racing got underway on Friday the moisture had subsided. In round one of qualifying we ran a strong 3.902/204 to qualify #2. Round two saw no improvement, but in round three we got our first 3.8 pass, a 3.897/204.63 and stayed in the #2 spot. It felt great to be in the top half and right near the top of the field. We would face Jeremy Ray in round one. He was driving a Blown Hemi. Jim got a slight .02 holeshot and came within .02 of repeating his qualifying effort, crossing the finish line with a 3.914 @ our top speed so far in 1/8 mile racing 205.19 mph. In round two our opponent is Tommy D’Aprile. He won round one with a 3.92. The rains came back to the ‘Rock’ and the event was postponed until the season finale in October at Virginia. We are looking forward to continuing that race and racing in the World finals.
Charlotte – Preview:
The NHRA 2014 ten race series already has seven races in the books and with only three races remaining in the NHRA Pro Mod the championship and no doubt there could be lots of changes in the current points standings. This weekend the teams are in Charlotte for the Pep Boys Carolina Nationals. Jim is sitting in 16th place and is only a couple rounds out of the top 12. With the car and team gelling at this point in the season we find the JB’s Power Centre Pro Team qualifying for just about every race we attend which is a feat in itself considering the high level of competition in NHRA Pro Mod class. “We just need a couple more round wins than the guys in front of us and if we can go further trust me; we will be making every effort to do so”.
At the beginning of the season the original team goal was to finish in the top ten but the early season setback of the horrendous crash with Jim’s Mustang at the season opening PDRA event made that goal very difficult to achieve. We have maintained our position in the standings and would love nothing more than to move up a few places. In order to do that qualifying in the top half and getting lane choice would be advantageous. A strong qualifying effort at Indy plus our best results ever performance in Pro Boost class at the PDRA 1/8 mile event last week at Rockingham has built up momentum for the JB’s team’s push to the season ending race in Las Vegas.
Unsettled weather this weekend means getting a solid run in the first session. “Friday is critical, as there is always a chance the Pro Mod Class will lose one of their allowed three rounds of qualifying round due to weather delays.
The goal will be to lay down a solid pass in Q1 and qualify and from the data in Q1 and data from Indy; we will a should have a good baseline for the weekend. You never want delays, and we have to be prepared to make every run count”, Jim stated while setting up for the weekend. “This is my first time at Charlotte and to say it’s probably the best drag racing facility I have had the pleasure of running at is an understatement. Bruton Smith knows how to build an outstanding facility for both the racers and the race fans”. Qualifying starts on Friday with Q 1 and Q 2. Q3 and first round of eliminations is scheduled for the top 16 qualifiers on Saturday. Then final elimination’s for the remaining 8 finalists is Sunday.
Jim wants to thank his team including Crew Chief Rob Nascimento, Brandon Stroud ( who will be responsible for tuning this weekend) and Barb Bell. He also thanks Pro Line Racing and Jerry Bickel Race cars, Rossler Transmissions, Lat Oil, NGK Spark plugs, Race Pak and Precision Turbo. Special thanks go out to Jim’s staff at JB’s Power Centre and Dix Performance North in Edmonton and Calgary Alberta Canada for taking care of business while he is out “living the dream”.
Posted by: Dean Murdoch (Speedzone Magazine)
Photos by: Bruce Biegler