The 2015 IHRA drag racing season included the return of Pro Mod class car racing and produced a unexpected overall champion…
Former Ice Capades figure skater-turned-professional drag racer Dina Parise, from Pennsylvania, driver of her unique Cadillac CTSV, has claimed the overall points championship title. That confirmation came following the conclusion of the rain-delayed IHRA Summit Racing Equipment Finals held in Memphis TN last weekend.
The petite Parise, who lead the Pro Mod points standings most of the season and also going into the last event, clinched the title when she advanced to the semi-final round while her closest points opponent, Bill Lutz did not.
Racing her 250-mph Cadillac that is nicknamed “Stella”, Parise scored the title despite not winning any of the 8 IHRA events that included the Pro Mod class this season. Parise credited her title to an important strategic decision that her team made about mid season.
“Midway into the season we began working with Quain Stott,” Parise said. “Quain was IHRA Pro Mod champion in 2006 and he had quite an illustrious career. This season has been challenging and rewarding all in one. With debuting Stella we did run into a few obstacles – but in the end we worked it out.”
The IHRA’s attempt to bring back it’s Pro Mod class, which they in fact first originated, was not without it’s hiccups. The series did suffer from some very poor racer attendance at some stops. However it is hoped that the Crower-sponsored class has now set a new cornerstone and that the momentum shift seen towards the end of the season will continue that direction for 2016.
At the season-closing event, it was Kentucky’s Billy Harper that did emerge victorious. Harper, who has been a long time supporter of both the IHRA and Pro Mod class racing, wheeled his nitrous-injected Dodge Viper to the win. In a final that featured the #1 and #2 qualifiers, Harper defeated Billy Glidden’s Indiana-based Ford Mustang.
Harper ran a winning 5.923 at 241.76 mph in his 2000 model Viper versus Glidden’s 6.079 at 234.98 mph. With that win, Harper was the only driver to have multiple wins in the IHRA class this season – he had also won the President’s Cup Nationals at MIR earlier this year.
Harper’s final round time was low ET of the event. Bill Lutz’s turbocharged Camaro set top speed at 254.58 mph. A total of seven cars were entered for the season ending Pro Mod feature.
Posted with files from Bruce Biegler, John Bisci and Shayna Keller
Photos by Chris Simmons (BME Photography)