Bristol Experience = Learning Curve

As is the norm in Pro drag racing sometimes to step forward a step back is required and that was the case for Edmonton’s Jim Bell and the JB’s Power Centre Pro Mod race team at Bristol last week….

In what was easily the toughest conditions of the year in the NHRA Pro Mod series, a first round loss ended JB’s Power Centre Pro Mod chance to move up the standings, but did learn from the experience.

Jim ran an off the gas 6.43 after round one and was just outside the field in the #17 spot. Friday’s second session saw Jim run a solid 6.04, which netted him lucky #13 after round rounds. ‘5’s’ would be hard to come by on this weekend as only five cars were in that zone Friday.

Jim and the team knew they had their work cut out for them to improve their position in the final session, but conditions did not improve and he was forced off the gas just past half track and he coasted through with a 6.55. With a couple guys behind him improving he now sat precariously in the #16 spot. Luckily, no one after Jim was outside the field so he was in the field as the #16 qualifier.

No problem as Jim would get to race his turbo buddy Kevin Fiscus, who had qualified with a 5.95 but also had trouble in Q3.


” It was tough out there, the conditions were so different than two weeks ago at Englishtown. We have to find the sweet spot for hot humid air conditions and a greasy 125 degree track,” Jim said after qualifying. “But we qualified, and once eliminations start, anything can happen.”

Jim was off the mark first with a .061 light vs Kevin’s .086 reaction time. The track had developed a bald spots during elimination’s and Jim and Kevin were the last pair of Pro Mods to run. At the hit Jim’s car spun the tires a bit, and right after the 1-2 shift the car shook hard, Jim peddled the car, but the car made a move towards the centre line at about the 330 mark and Jim lifted and coasted on through. In the other lane Kevin was dealing with tire shake early in the run. Kevin was successful in pedaling his car and clicked the timers for a 6.198 first round win.

“We got a slight holeshot, got past 200 feet okay, but just passed that point the car got loose and rattled the tires. It started to drift toward the center line and would not respond to getting it back in the groove, so I had to get off the gas. We are still learning what the car wants with varied track conditions, and we are collecting data to help us in the long run. We lost one place in the standings (qualifying points to Don Walsh), and lost a bit of ground to the top ten, but also picked up some points on a few guys in front of us”.

The next NHRA Pro Mod event is at Norwalk, one of the premier tracks in North America July 3-6. In between, we will run the PDRA event in Martin Michigan, work on the first 330 feet of race track and collect more data.

Jim thanks his crew for their hard work this past weekend and the great companies like Pro Line, Jerry Bickel Race cars, Precision Turbo, Rossler Transmissions and JB’s Power Centre for their continued support.

Posted by: Dean Murdoch