Smokies Garage presents Pro Mod and Top Door Slammer updates from both New England & Australia…

Mason Wright drove to his first career victory in the Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ on Sunday at New England Dragway, defeating Canada’s Jordan Lazic in the final round as part of this weekend’s 11th annual NHRA New England Nationals.

It was the fourth of 10 races during the 2024 season and this weekend’s event was powered by PGT Trucking, Inc.

Wright made the most of his first career final round, going 5.740-seconds at 249.72 mph in his Chevrolet Camaro to defeat Lazic on a holeshot. Lazic, who won in his first career NHRA Pro Mod start (last year in St. Louis), went a quicker 5.733 at 254.47, but Wright had a superior .047 RT on the starting line, which was enough to hold off Lazic.

Wright, who qualified #4, knocked off Mike Thielen, Kevin Rivenbark and former world champ Kris Thorne to reach his first career final round. This first career win in just his 12th overall NHRA Pro Mod start.

At New England — Mason Wright became the latest new event winner within NHRA’s very competitive Pro Mod class series.

“The fans are awesome here and I love it,” Wright said. “The team has been working on the program and it’s paid off. It’s tough out there, it really is. It’s a real team effort and I’m still in shock. This whole group is awesome and it’s a dream come true. The team has been doing a lot of testing and it’s paid off.”

Lazic (from Western Canada) advanced to his second career final round thanks to round wins against Lyle Barnett, former world champ and points leader Jose Gonzalez and Sidnei Frigo.

The Rutland BC-resident, who had qualified his Bahrain 1 Racing/JBS Motorsports supercharged Camaro #3 (@ 5.705 secs), was also credited with top speed of the event for the class — a booming 255.39 mph clocking.

Driving for Bahrain 1 Racing/JBS Motorsports, British Columbia’s Jordan Lazic came very close to winning his 2nd career NHRA national event title.

21 cars entered for the very competitive Pro Mod show at New England Dragway – producing that premises first ever winner.  Fans may recall that even though Pro Mod was contested last year at the 2023 event – poor weather then deferred eliminations to one week later at Bristol TN.

This weekend Connecticut’s Ken Quartuccio qualified #1 at 5.681 secs – which held for low ET of the event. The 16-car bump spot was a very demanding 5.787 secs.

Popular PM class racer Chip King endured this misfortune at the New England – which took him out of event contention.

The Congruity NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by LearnEV+ returns to action this coming weekend to the 23rd annual Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, TN.

Close Horse Race!

One of the most intense championship battles of Australia’s NDRC season to date has been the one unfolding for Top Doorslammer, with 11X champ John Zappia and breakthrough rookie Russell Taylor trading wins and the lead throughout.

Now, as the championship heads to its hotly anticipated finale (this coming weekend) during the Gulf Western Oil Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway.

Taylor leads the way on 659 points from Zappia’s 635, with another rookie, Ronnie Palumbo, in third (543 points).

Rooke Top Doorslammer driver Russell Taylor is the NDRC points leader heading into the final event for this season.

Bumping up the intensity even further is the fact that this event will run with the traditional knock-out eliminations format instead of the ‘all run’ format that has been employed at all other rounds (for everyone except Top Fuel and Nitro Funny Car) – meaning the Top Doorslammer racers must qualify for an eight car field, with the winner of each race pairing to proceed to the next round while the loser is left to pack up their trailer and go home.

As the countdown to the finale continues, both Taylor and Zappia were circumspect when it came to sharing how they were feeling.

“It is okay to be in the lead heading to the final round, but I am not bothered about the points – yes I am excited about it, but it is not the be all and end all focus for us, we concentrate more on going fast and going faster than we have been,” Taylor said.

“It is going to be do or die – if you go out, you are done,” Zappia countered.

“If you make a mistake, you will be out, and the other person continues on, so it certainly opens up the possibilities for our finale. There is absolutely no room for error in this system.”

Wiley John Zappia remains in pursuit for a potential 14th Australian Top Door Slammer class championship.

In addition to Top Doorslammer — with Top Fuel, XPRO Nitro Funny Car, Top Fuel Motorcycle, Pro Alcohol, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and FuelTech Pro Mod all in the one place for four huge days, plus the Eastern Conference final for the Aeroflow National Sportsman Championship at this event, there will be everything to play for at ‘The Winters’.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications – Amanda Cobb (Jigsaw Communications) & Bruce Biegler
Photos by Dave DeAngelis – Steve Embling – Bruce Biegler