Natural Selection for Yedgarian
When you really think about it — maybe no other racer candidate name in Canadian drag racing was more destined to race Pro Mod class cars then was — Mike Yedgarian…
For the long time Toronto-based Fast Street Car class affection-ado a graduation up to the to Pro Mod class racing seemed to be both the next logical natural step — and now in fact that has happened. Earlier this season Mike made the move when he climbed in behind the wheel of a truly impressive and nearly new ’68 Pontiac Firebird.
Yedgarian’s machine is yet another entry riding the wave of the latest in Pro Mod class technology — including a twin-turbocharged engine program by a Pro-Line Racing and a Vanishing Point chassis. Despite being still relatively early in the game, his machine has already shown incredible potential evidenced by elapsed times slips in the 5-secs zone.
“I loved all my time racing my 10.5 (tire) stuff,” said Mike who began that racing genre in 1992. “But that class is difficult to do within Canada now because there just aren’t that many races to attend.”
“I had always wanted a twin turbo – clutch car too,” he continued. “I tried perfecting that in my 10.5 car and near the end we were trying to take some driveshaft lengths into uncharted territory and that proved to be just too dangerous. Because of that car’s weight (over 3000 lbs) I had broken driveshafts nearly kill me a couple times (!). We got that car to run in the 6.4s – but we just had to give it up and I came to realize that the only way to do that properly (turbo/clutch) is within a Pro Mod car.”
Time progressed and after Mike received a great offer and sold his familiar Firebird the opportunity came to get this car (which was originally built for Joe Baker). Originally outfitted with an automatic and a supercharged motor, Mike and his crew then went to work converting it to a stick shift/turbo car.
“The new Firebird only had 30 runs on it,” Mike continued. “Pro-Line built me a twin-turbo Hemi – and I can’t say enough about that company — the power they make and the support they provide their customers are phenomenal. Originally I starting running the car with an automatic after I listened to some advice from Steve Petty who wanted me to get used to the car first — before converting it to a clutch. We went out a couple times at NMCA events and tested it at Valdosta Georgia earlier in the season. When we ran it at the IHRA race at Grand Bend last July – that was our first time ever out with a clutch.”
Mike’s venture is receiving some great backing too — from industry leader Speedwire who have signed on as his major sponsor. “Speedwire and my good friend Gil Zeneri has helped me out for years when I was racing 10.5 cars,” Mike added. “Their products speak for themselves – you see Speedwire everywhere in Pro Mod and Fast Street Car racing.”
Mike is now continuing forward with his objectives and goals for 2014 and beyond. He is taking a calculated approach with only select event appearances as he educates himself about racing in the Pro Mod class – including a scheduled appearance at this weekend’s International Pro Mod Challenge event in Maryland. His ultimate goal is to use races like that as a stepping stone for eventual NHRA level Pro Mod class racing.
Post and Photos by: Bruce Biegler