Barrier Bombing Pro Mods!

By:  Bruce Biegler

NHRA’s Get Screened America Pro Modified series continued its fast rising upward trend following a simply spectacular event during last weekend’s Super Nationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, (Englishtown NJ.)

The event featured probably the most ferocious competition the series has seen to date and produced some record fast elapsed times and speed.   The event was ultimately highlighted by transplanted Canadian Danny Rowe’s 1st series win of the season.  

Roger Burgess' new alien looking Firebird was the talk of the pits at E-Town

Driving his California-based Sterling Bridge-sponsored Chevy Camaro, Rowe beat formidable opponent Mike Janis to the finish line stripe in the final round.  Janis, who is from Western New York state, was out of the gate first with his Eaton/Aeroquip-sponsored Mustang but when some tire shake set it, Rowe quickly roared by to take a 5.878 secs 245.99 mph win light.

Danny Rowe scored his 1st GSA Pro Mod title of the season

Rowe, had driven past Canada’s Raymond Commisso in round one before defeating recent circuit winner Ed Hoover (@ NHRA Atlanta) and Oregon’s Dennis Radford in the next two frames.

While Rowe’s win was enormous, a lot of the thunder of the event was stolen away by some fantastic performances and rather scary incidents elsewhere.

From a performance perspective the Englishtown event will be most remembered by some numbing runs courtesy of Roger Burgess’ R2B2 Racing Team, based from the Atlanta Georgia area.

Roger’s event racing consortium included three turbocharged cars entered, all of which ran very impressive numbers.   In fact his team drivers Melanie Troxel and Brad Personett each recorded the quickest runs ever seen in Pro Mod history – both had 5.772 secs time slips to their credit.   Melanie, who was driving the team’s silver ’53 Corvette for the first time earned the official NHRA ET record when her top end speed of 258.71 mph was slightly faster then Personett’s 258.01 mph. 

Team owner and series founder Roger Burgess debuted a very alien looking and all new turbocharged Firebird at the event and hit a career best 5.850 secs at 255.04 during round one.

Mike Castellana ran the quickest nitrous run ever - 5.781 secs!

The event also featured the quickest run ever recorded in nitrous oxide Pro Mod racing with New York’s Mike Castellana driving the Shannon Jenkins tuned Al-Anabi sponsored Camaro to an unheard of 5.781 secs.  That came in round one while winning over 2X season event winner Khalid Balooshi.

All of that was very impressive given that the previous all time quickest Pro Mod run recognized on our planet was 5.815 secs!

The GSA Pro Mod Series also included a couple of wild rides.  California’s Leah Pruett-Leduc, a superb racer from the Nostalgia Funny Car circuit, made her class debut driving for the R2B2 Racing team and qualified strong —  7th.  But Leah had a parachute malfunction which sent her machine into the top end catch net at high speed following a round one victory.   Leah’s team rebounded nicely however and a lot of hard work overnight allowed the team to patch the car up and continue competition the next day.

Oregon’s Dennis Radford also had a parachute mishap.  His awesome nitrous-injected Plymouth Duster was sent into the top end left guard wall when the chutes unexpectedly tangled up with the wheelie bar during his round one win.  Radford showed truly expert driving technique while saving the car from what could have been a much nastier incident.  Like Leah Pruett-Leduc, his gritty team was able to complete repairs in order to continue on with competition on Sunday.

Melanie Troxel took the R2B2 Racing Corvette to the quickest Pro Mod run in history!


Winner: Danny Rowe 5.878 245.99 1st
R/UP: Mike Janis 5.981 244.78  
Low ET: Melanie Troxel 5.772   *NHRA Record
Top Speed: Melanie Troxel   258.71  
Bump Spot:   6.004    


Leah Preutt-Leduc’s Pro Mod debut was memorable!

 (Bruce Biegler Photos)