After some racing frustration — the persistence of Canadian Kenny Lang’s Pro Modified team has paid a big dividend…..
Winnipeg’s Kenny Lang scored his second-ever national NHRA Pro Mod event win at the 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, on May 15-17, 2015.
Lang, driver of the beautiful blue Summit Racing Equipment supercharged 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, was on a mission to dominate the competition since the start of the event. During the first round of Friday’s Pro Mod qualifying, the Canadian-based racer came out strong with a 5.978 at 242.63 mph run – his quickest of the year up until that point – and was ranked seventh. Looking to move further up the list, Lang let loose with an even quicker and faster run of 5.966 at 242.67 mph in Q2 but slipped to eleventh within the large and extremely competitive field of cars. For Q3 on Saturday morning, Lang put down another solid run and went 5.971 at 243.55 mph and came to rest in the number twelve spot overall.
For the first elimination round on Saturday, Lang was paired against the 2014 series champion, Rickie Smith. Ever the professional, Lang cut a great 0.019-second light and got the advantage over Smith. He continued on out in front, went straight down the groove, and triggered the win light in his lane. Upon returning to his pit area, however, Lang realized that he had hurt his motor. As Lang’s own spare was not quite complete, friend and fellow racer Pete Farber offered his assistance. Farber loaned Lang a spare Al Billes supercharged engine combination, and the two teams got the new powerplant installed in time for the next day’s elimination rounds.
Running on borrowed power, and thanks to help from crew chief and tuner Al Billes, Lang was able to make the call to the start on Sunday. For E2, Lang was slated to run against Eric Latino. Lang cut yet another fantastic light, this time leaving the line merely 0.007-seconds after the green bulb lit, and held the lead the whole way down the track. Not only did Lang pick up another win, but he ran the quickest elapsed time of the round with his 5.913 at 246.44 blast and scored the Larry Jeffers Race Cars Reaction Time Award bonus.
In the semi-finals, Lang defeated Don Walsh, Jr and his turbocharged entry. Walsh got the lead initially, but Lang drove around him and his 5.919 at 245.54 mph run was once again the quickest ET of the round. For the last run of the weekend, Lang was scheduled to battle the 2013 series champion, Troy Coughlin. Although the track was a blistering 132°F, Lang’s team had his car’s tune on point. Coughlin got the starting line advantage, but Lang was able to make up the difference and crossed the finish well ahead of his opponent. Along the way, Lang picked up his second-ever national NHRA Pro Mod event win and first victory since 2010.
“I couldn’t be happier with how things worked out this weekend,” Lang said ecstatically. “I’m especially grateful for my awesome crew and Al Billes for their hard work all weekend, as well as the help from Pete Farber and his team. It was truly a group effort this weekend, and I wouldn’t be here without everyone’s support.”
Lang finished fourth in points for the NHRA Pro Mod series in 2011, and is currently ranked eighth overall for 2015. For the remainder of the season, Lang will work to further improve his standing. His next race will be the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, on June 5-7, 2015.
Event Essentials: NHRA Summit Racing Southern Nationals
|NHRA Pro Mod||Name||E.T.||MPH|
|Low ET:||Mike Janis||5.875|
|Top Speed:||Troy Coughlin||251.44|
Posted with files from Ainsley Jacobs & Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Dave DeAngelis, Bruce Biegler & Ainsley Jacobs