NHRA’s most recent round of E3 Pro Mod Sparks Plugs racing proved a point….

Jose Gonzalez

Within sports in general, sometimes if you can just get yourself onto the dance floor — you can come away a star.

During last weekend’s Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol, despite just slipping into the field as the No. 16 qualifier — it was Caribbean-based driver Jose Gonzalez who did exactly that, and emerged victorious.

The skilled driver earned his first win of the year during the popular class series, which was presented by the Real Pro Mod Association (RPM) and which reached it’s seventh of 12 races for the 2019 season.

In the championship round, Gonzalez went 5.848-seconds at 256.06 mph in his turbocharged Q80 Racing Camaro to knock off Michigan’s Bob Rahaim, who ran 5.914 at 238.72 in his nitrous-powered Camaro.

This was the second career win for Gonzalez, which also included round wins against No. 1 qualifier Todd Tutterow (5.774 secs), Brandon Snider and Erica Enders.

“I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it into the field and here we are in the winner’s circle from the No. 16 spot,” said Gonzalez, who moved to fourth in points. “This Q80 Racing team really works their butts off and they have given me this car I have complete trust in every time I go down the track. I knew if I could just get into the field I could make it happen and here we are.”

Gonzalez drove his Q80 to it’s second career NHRA national event win.

Rahaim, who qualified 14th, reached his sixth career final round in the class with wins against defending world champion Mike Janis, Khalid AlBalooshi and Sidnei Frigo.

Stevie “Fast” Jackson (who was upset in round #2) maintains the points lead as the class started it’s ’19 season second half at Bristol.

Todd Tutterow – who crashed a car the week before – drove this AAP Chevy Camaro at Bristol and set low ET of the event.

Skilled lady racer Erica Enders set top speed of the meet (257.92 mph) and went to the semi final round.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service continues this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, June 20-23 at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.  After that it does take a bit of a hiatus — with round #8 not scheduled much later this summer, during the NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indy over the Labour Day weekend.

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
Photos by Luke Nieuwhof