JB’s Power Centre PM – Gainesville Post Race Report
Race one is complete in the 10 race NHRA RPM Pro Mod series and Jim Bell and the JB’s Power Centre Pro Mod team has passed the first major season hurdle….
Jim ran a 5.958 to end up #15 in the 27 car field. Jim first qualifying run started off decent with a 1.03 60 foot and made the 1-2 shift ;then the car died when a ring terminal coil connection broke. Round two was where he got it all together running his career best 5.959 / 246.89 After that second round he was in the # 14 spot. Round three, the final qualifier; the tuning changes made gave Jim an improved 1:01 60 foot time but the car was chattering the tires and drove towards the centre line and then once it got out of the racing groove the car went into big time tire shake and Jim aborted the run.. He could only sit and wait to see if the handful of guys behind him in the field would run quicker than his early career best. One driver overtook his time, dropping Jim down to # 15 in the field. One other driver bumped into the field but did not run better than Jim’s ET so he wound up in the #15 spot and would face heavy hitter Mike Janis in the Jan-Cen blown Camaro Sunday morning.
“We knew it would be tough just to make the field this weekend against 27 of the best Pro Mods in all of North America”, stated Jim Saturday night after qualifying. We also felt that we could run with Mike with some minor tuning changes and getting 3 numbers off our 60 ft time which on the 5:95 was a mediocre 1:035. But E 1 did not go as planned.”
Both drivers got good starts in the opening round in the final Pro Mod pairing Sunday morning. Both had 1.01 60 foots. From there, Jim’s Mustang again drove towards the centre line and started to get loose and he and to work hard to keep the car in his lane. He got it straightened away and pedaled the car and started to chase Mike down who was having problems of his own in the left lane but Jim ran out of real estate before he could catch up to Janis who would advance into round two.
“We had some minor tuning changes to run with Janis, but the car made the same move as it did in the final qualifier and all I could do was keep it in my lane. We had tested extensively prior to the Gators and the car was tracking straight at the launch and then out of nowhere we ended up with a race car that wanted to drive to the left just after the launch in the right lane at the Gators. We will work on problem and if required make the necessary rear steer adjustments. Once we get that we should be able to run very close to the top NHRA turbo cars Kevin Fiscus and Troy Coughlin’s“. Both Troy and Kevin’s cars ran 5:89s in elimination’s
The JB’s Pro Mod team would like to congratulate Mike Castellana for his victory in the Pro Mod final over Ricky Smith.
He leaves the race tied for 13th place in the standings with 31 points.
Jim would like to thank his team Rob Nascimento ( crew chief) Jamie Miller ( tuner) and Tyler Coots (crew) for their hard work in the opening weekend and his wife Barb for taking care of the crew while at the track.
The next NHRA Pro Mod race the Spring Nationals is six weeks away, April 25-27th at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown Texas.
Posted by: Dean Murdoch – Photos by: Bruce Biegler