Pro Mod Class Back-Breaker!

Reigning NHRA Pro Mod world champion Rickie Smith was truly dominating when he raced to victory during the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the rain-delayed Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals……


Smith, the No. 1 qualifier, drove his IDG 13’ Chevy Camaro to a winning performance of 5.828 seconds at 249.21 mph to defeat the No. 15 seed entering eliminations, Von Smith. It was the first win of the year for Rickie Smith, who secured his fifth career NHRA victory and his first at the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series race in Atlanta, which was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association.

Sly veteran driver Rickie Smith was quick and fast while dominating Pro Mod at NHRA Atlanta

Sly veteran driver Rickie Smith was quick and fast while dominating Pro Mod at NHRA Atlanta

“Trickie Rickie” was the event’s performance star throughout. He paced the super swift all 5-secs field (5.985 secs bump) with a stellar 5.795 secs qualifier – the only sub 5.8 secs run during time trials. Then during eliminations he was super quick and consistent while beating back Troy Coughlin and Danny Rowe with consecutive runs of 5.814 secs and 5.838 secs in rounds two and three.

That was however preceded by a phenomenal 5.778 secs at 250.04 mph (low ET and top speed) while winning over Chip King in round #1 – both PM track records.

Von Smith’s runner-up effort was highlighted by an upset of No. 2 qualifier Jim Laurita in the first round. Von Smith, the 2010 NHRA Pro Mod world champion, was looking for his first win since the second Charlotte race last season.   Mike Castellana won the season-opening event in Gainesville and raced to a second round appearance at Atlanta Dragway, while Mike Janis was eliminated in the first round following his victory in Houston.

The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continues May 29-June 1 with the Toyota NHRA SummerNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Englishtown, N.J.

Event Essentials:  Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Presented by RPM – Commerce GA (May 16-19th)

Winner:Rickie Smith5.828 249.51
R/UP:Von Smith15.2254.74
Low ET:Rickie Smith5.778
Top Speed:Rickie Smith250.13
Bump Spot:5.985
Event Entries:23


Pro Mod racing at NHRA Atlanta included terrific Canadian participation including Kenny Lang & Jim Bell (top) and Eric Latino

Pro Mod racing at NHRA Atlanta included terrific Canadian participation including Kenny Lang & Jim Bell (top) and Eric Latino

RPM Association Awards – 2014 Atlanta NHRA Pro Mod Series

The Real Pro Mod Association was presenting sponsor of the NHRA Pro Mod Series at the Southern Nationals this past weekend in Commerce, GA. Final eliminations moved in to Monday afternoon for racers due heavy rain storms. Once again, drivers were able to walk away with prizes and bonus money from several companies who support the RPM.

Eric Latino won a set of $3,000 Mickey Thompson Performance Wheels. JE Pistons awarded $250 product certificates to Steven Whitely, Harold Martin, Von Smith and Mike Castellana. Powerocks gave away two of their popular phone chargers to Don Walsh Jr and Jim Laurita. CRC Industries gave Danny Rowe a case of Brakeleen.

As with each NHRA Pro Mod Series race, Larry Jeffers Race Cars awards $500 to the driver with the best reaction time during eliminations. Last week that award went to Von Smith, who cut a .016 in the Semi-Final round.

RedHorse Performance hands out bonuses to RPM drivers as they move up the elimination ladder. First round bonuses of $300 went to Chip King, Mike Knowles, Mike Janis, Dan Stevenson, Jim Laurita, Don Walsh Jr., Eric Latino and Pete Farber. Round two bonuses were awarded to Troy Coughlin, Steven Whitely, Mike Castellana and Steve Matusek. Making it to the semi-final rounds and taking home $750 were Danny Rowe and Kevin Fiscus.

RPM Association wants to thank all of its sponsors who helped them present the Southern Nationals: JEGS, Powerocks, Aeromotive, J&A Service, Precision Turbo, RedHorse Performance, Protect The Harvest, Mickey Thompson Performance and Larry Jeffers Race Cars.

The next race for the Real Pro Mod association is the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown, NJ with Powerocks as the presenting sponsor of the Pro Mod Series.

Posted with files from Bruce Biegler, Nicole Erickson & NHRA Communications

Bruce Biegler Photos