Wily Pro Mod racer Rickie Smith invades victory lane for the 3rd time this season….

North Carolina-based Rickie Smith secured yet another NHRA Wally during the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Norwalk Ohio.

Smith carded a winning 5.804-second pass at 249.30 mph in his “Bahain 1 Racing” ’18 Chevrolet Camaro to defeat the supercharged ’63 Corvette raced by Jeremy Ray in the finals. This was Smith’s 14th career win within the NHRA’s brand circuit of racing.

“This win just goes to show you the depth on our team,” Smith stated. “We’ve got a really good team if I can just keep on going and not screw up.”

Rickie Smith won his 3rd NHRA Pro Mod event of the season during the Summit Racing Equipment Nationals

Smith, qualified 4th and defeated Dan Stevenson, Mike Janis and Rick Hord while advancing to the final round while his opponent Ray defeated Eric Dillard, Mike Castellana and Pete Farber to reach his first NHRA event final round.

The E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod eliminator featured 29 machines vying for one of the 16 available slots. But due to persistent rain delays over the weekend, the field was in fact set based on two qualifying sessions only. Still class racers produced a very stout 5.866 secs bump spot.

The Corvettes raced by Jeremy Ray (far lane) and Rick Hord both had impactful events at Norwalk.

PM qualifying had been lead by Rick Hord’s turbocharged C7 Corvette (5.751 secs) however it was Mike Castellana that recorded low ET of the event at 5.699 secs. Eric Dillard made a guest appearance driving the JBS/RAD-sponsored Pontiac Firebird normally raced by Pacific Northwest based Shane Molinari. Dillard set top speed of the race in that car at 256.21 mph but was bounced out of competition in round #1 by Jeremy Ray.

Mike Castellana set low ET of the event at 5.751 secs during the first round of competition.

Highly skilled racer Eric Dillard was in cockpit of Shane Molinari’s Firebird this past weekend.

Pete Farber had a nice “final four” finish racing his fan favourite Dodge Daytona.

The event marked the 7th of 12 NHRA races for this season, however it was also the last one before the summer break for these machines who will not return to competition again until the NHRA Chevrolet Performance US Nationals at Indy next Labour Day weekend.

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis