Commisso Aligned With Tuning Giant

In one of the bigger news developments from within the grueling ranks of Pro Modified racing, Toronto’s Raymond Commisso is now aligned with a tuning giant…

Commisso has been inked for another contract year as one of the team drivers for Roger Burgess’s highly impressive R2B2 Racing multi-car stable (based from Duluth GA).  That renewal did come with a rather unexpected development however.  Commisso’s long time association with fellow Canadian Al Billes has been dissolved and Commisso is now partnered with legendary drag racing tuner Bob Newberry going forward.

For Commisso, who had just a so-so year driving for the team during 2010, he is personally excited about the new alignment.

Ray Commisso & Bob Newberry


“Bob Newberry has been racing longer then I have been watching the sport,” he admitted.  “It will be great to work with someone with that much experience.  Bob knows pretty much everything about race cars that there is to know.”

While Newberry’s vast experience has included unreal success racing in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car, it is a fact that he hands on experience with Pro Mod cars is currently in a developmental phase. 

“It’s true that for Bob, Pro Mod car racing is somewhat a work in progress thing,” Ray continued.  “He is getting a good handle on things quickly and doing a great job – I’m very optimistic about the future.”

So far the Commisso and Newberry combination has looked pretty steady with Raymond qualifying well at both the NHRA Get Screened America Series events so far this season at Gainesville and Las Vegas.

Raymond is scheduled to drive for the immediate future the 1968 Camaro bodied car which Roger Burgess himself drove most of last season. 

“This is all Roger’s equipment,” Ray explained.  “He put me in this car because we felt it was a proven car.  However, at R2B2 Race Cars there is now a new in-house chassis shop.  So it is possible that I could be in a different car as the season progresses.”

Raymond Commisso will drive this proven R2B2 Racing Camaro in NHRA's GSA Pro Mod circuit

Regarding the end of his long time association with fellow Canadian Billes, Raymond did confide;

“Business is business and friendship is friendship,” he added.  “We remain good friends – actually more like brothers.  Al and I were together for a long time and it is unfortunate that I won’t see him out my window this year guiding me when I am rolling into the beams.  But I am optimistic with Bob and this team that I can do just as well.  Al is one of the top tuning guys out there anywhere – and I know he will do well elsewhere.”

For Commisso, who has now been wheeling Pro Mod cars for 11 seasons, the 2011 season may be — more then any season before — a telling one and an important crossroad for his racing career.  

By: Bruce Biegler  (Photos by: Bruce Biegler)