Wily veteran racer Von Smith prevailed to win over what was arguably the most ferocious Pro Modified class field in NHRA history….
Smith, who is from Tennessee, raced to victory during the concluding round for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Last weekend’s Pro Mod racing at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis was presented by JEGS and was the seventh of 10 Pro Mod events on the NHRA 2016 season calendar.
Smith collected over the quickest and largest assembly of Pro Mod cars ever seen at a NHRA national event race. He prevailed over 32 other machines who had collectively lowed the NHRA’s all time record quick bump spot (for the 16-car field) to an amazing 5.892 secs!
In the all C7 final round Smith raced his supercharged Al-Anabi Racing Chevy Corvette (which is turned by Frank Manzo) to shut off final round pass of 11.726-second pass at 73.67 mph to defeat Troy Coughlin, who had a -.0001 red light in his turbocharged JEGS.com Chevy Corvette.
Smith tallied his first victory of 2016 and seventh of his career Pro Mod career. He outlasted Danny Rowe, 2011 champ Khalid alBalooshi and Doug Winters in the earlier rounds.
“My hat’s off to the whole crew because this car has been up and down for us all season,” said Smith, won the Pro Mod championship in 2010. “The best thing about everything is I didn’t know that I had won. I’m coasting down through there and not liking it, going ‘We almost did it, we’ll get another shot in a couple weeks.’ I come around the corner and the guy’s pointing me to the left and I’m like ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ I threw my hands up like ‘Did I win?’ He threw up the number one and I was like, ‘How about that.”
Coughlin, who qualified #1, beat Steven Whiteley, Bob Rahaim and Billy Glidden in the earlier rounds before leaving the starting line early in the final. Coughlin, the reigning and two-time world champion, won earlier this year in Englishtown, N.J and with his runner-up finish maintained his overall championship points lead.
Next up for the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series is at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 16-18, at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Brennan Shortall