A former NHRA T/S World Champion prevails at drag racing’s “Big Go”….

On drag racing’s biggest stage, Jeffery Barker picked up his first career victory in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service, racing past back-to-back world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the final round at the prestigious Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.

The Pro Mod race, which was presented by ProCharger, was the seventh of 11 events during the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season.

In a thrilling final round, Jackson left first but Barker tracked him down in his nitrous-powered Bahrain 1 Racing/Lowe Toyota Camry, going 5.742-seconds at 251.67 mph (low ET and top speed) to beat Jackson’s 5.785 at 248.29. 

Jeffery Barker picked the perfect stage to earn his first Pro Modified title — winning Indy in the Bahrain 1 Racing Toyota.

“This is absolutely perfect,” Barker said. “There’s so many people to thank, including Khalid alBalooshi and Stevie Jackson. I would not be here if it wasn’t for Stevie Jackson. This is the best weekend ever.”

Barker reached his first career final round in the class by racing past Doug Winters, Brandon Snider and No. 1 qualifier Rickie Smith.

Barker, who is from Georgia had won the NHRA’s Top Sportsman World Championship title back in 2017 – and only turned to Pro Modified racing – last year.

Jackson, who had won at the U.S. Nationals in two of the previous three years, reached the final round for the fourth time this season and 21st time in his career by knocking off J.R. Gray, Jim Whiteley and Jerico Balduf.

Jose Gonzalez maintains the points lead in the class, with Jackson moving to second. He trails Gonzalez by 66 points heading into the final four races of the year.

Defending NHRA World Champ Steve Jackson kept his title defence hopes alive for 2021 – with a strong runner-up finish.

Scheduled PM racing at Indy was abbreviated — when untimely rain storms limited the schedule to a single qualifying run to set the field. Rickie Smith earned the pole with a 5.750 secs racing his nitrous-injected Camaro.

Wily veteran driver Rickie Smith qualified on the pole for the U.S. Nationals PM event.
Pro Mod class racing did include the debut of driver Lyle Barrett with this impressive new Chevy Camaro.
Jerico Baldof had a strong “final four” placing in the Artivinco-backed ’69 Chevelle.

The E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service returns to action Sept. 17-19 as part of the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte. 

Posted with files by NHRA Communications and Bruce Biegler
All Photos by Steve Embling

To view additional Pro Mod class photos from Indy visit our LMLCMedia Gallery: HERE