Reigning Champ – Reigns!

Defending NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series world champion Rickie Smith raced to the NHRA Pro Mod Series title during the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the world’s most prestigious race…..

At Indianapolis, the Pro Mod racing portion was presented by JEGS and it was a record setting entry affair as no less then 33 cars ventured down track during qualifying rounds in pursuit of one of the 16 available qualifying slots.

Wily veteran Rickie Smith scored over a record sized NHRA Pro Mod field

Wily veteran Rickie Smith scored over a record sized NHRA Pro Mod field

Smith, who is from North Carolina, ran his ’68 IDG Camaro to a 5.901-second pass at 245.72 mph, defeating New England’s Pete Farber in the final. It was Smith’s second win of the season and sixth of his career. Smith, the runner-up at Indianapolis last season, defeated Danny Rowe, Jeff Naiser and Troy Coughlin on the way to the final.

Farber drove his CRC Brakeleen Dodge Daytona to the final round with victories over Steven Whiteley, Steve Matusek and Billy Glidden. It was his second final round appearance of the season, following a victory in Bristol. Farber was appearing in his first Indianapolis final.

Pete Farber was runner-up in his uber cool supercharged Dodge Daytona

Pete Farber was runner-up in his uber cool supercharged Dodge Daytona

Event Essentials:  NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals

NHRA Pro ModNameE.T.MPH
Winner:Rickie Smith5.901245.72
R/UP:Pete Farber6.924171.10
Low ET:Don Walsh5.862
Top Speed:Don Walsh252.61
Bump Spot:5.995
Event Entries:33

RPM (Real Pro Mod) Event Notebook:

Two new Real Pro Mod (RPM) association cars making their NHRA debut in Indianapolis led the pack of 34 entries at the NHRA Pro Mod Series during the U.S. Nationals Presented by JEGS. Don Walsh Jr. scored the #1 qualifying position his Larry Jeffers Race Cars, 2014 twin turbo powered Chevrolet Camaro. Rickie Smith took his brand new 1969 nitrous powered Camaro from Jerry Bickel to the winner’s circle on Monday.

Precision Turbo & Engine car owner, Harry Hruska, was very confident in his new car and Walsh’s driving. “Larry Jeffers and the guys did an excellent job putting it together,” stated Hruska. “Our revolutionary GEN2 Pro Mod CEA turbos feature the most innovative and advanced turbo technology currently on the market.” The car also won the “Best Engineered Car” of the race.

Don Walsh's new turbo-charged Camaro set both top speed and low ET and won the event's "Best Engineered" award

Don Walsh’s new turbo-charged Camaro set both top speed and low ET and won the event’s “Best Engineered” award

Up until a few days before Indy, Smith did not know if he was even going to bring the new Camaro to the race. After several test sessions, he decided to drive the 69 Camaro and Harold Martin took the wheel of Smith’s 2013 Camaro. This win at Indy also increased Smith’s points lead in the run for the 2014 NHRA Pro Mod Championship.

During the drivers meeting on Friday, products and merchandise certificates from RPM sponsors were raffled off. JE Pistons gave away four certificates worth $250 each in merchandise to Don Walsh Jr., Gerry Capano, Steve Matusek and Eric Latino. Jim Laurita took home 2 cases of Brakleen from CRC Industries. Peter Farber and Jim Bell both received Powerocks portable chargers. And one of the biggest items of the day went to Jason Hamstra: $3,000 worth of Mickey Thompson Performance Wheels.

RPM sponsor RedHorse Performance, awarded bonuses to drivers who qualified and made the field on race day. $300 First round bonuses were given to Don Walsh Jr., Kevin Fiscus, Steven Whiteley, Von Smith, Mike Janis, Mike Castellana, Jim Bell and Danny Rowe. $500 Second round bonuses were awarded to Dan Stevenson, Steve Matusek, Mike Knowles and Jeff Naiser. By making it to the semi-finals Bill Glidden and Troy Coughlin were given $700 bonuses. Steve Matusek earned the $500 Larry Jeffers Race Cars bonus for best reaction time with his first round win over Von Smith.

The Pro Mod event featured record attendance  - including a first time appearance by Canadian ex Pro Stock racer - Mark Martino

The Pro Mod event featured record attendance – including a first time appearance by Canadian ex Pro Stock racer – Mark Martino

As drivers get ready for the 2014 Carolina Nationals presented by Powerocks, here are the current point totals: Rickie Smith – 528, Mike Janis – 434, Pete Farber – 410, Steve Matusek – 410, Von Smith – 396, Mike Castellana – 392, Troy Coughlin – 390, Danny Rowe – 385, Kevin Fiscus – 365 and Steven Whiteley – 273.

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

Photos by: Bruce Biegler