One of the most consistently fast Pro Mod cars of the season has earned it’s first NHRA score….

Pacific Northwest based racer Shane Molinari (Battle Ground WA) who had set top speed of the meet in NHRA Pro Mod class racing 5X previously this season — has finally turned that wicked fast pace into victory.

Molinari raced to his first career NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series victory during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park – a victory which is seen my many as much overdue.

The weekend’s Pro Mod racing, presented by the Real Pro Mod Association, was the eighth of 12 events on the 2017 schedule.

Racing his Pacific Northwest based Firebird (which has deep Canadian connections) – Shane Molinari earned his first career NHRA J&A Services Pro Mod win – last weekend.

The finals were a re-match from the race in Bristol where Molinari faced off against Troy Coughlin who took that event win. In Norwalk, Molinari was able to reverse the outcome for the victory.

Coughlin had an early advantage off the line but lost traction past the 330 foot mark and Molinari posted a winning run of 5.779-seconds at 257.09 mph in his super cool and turbocharged ’68 Firebird (which receives important and primary backing from Abbotsford BC-headquartered and industry leading RAD Torque Systems) to Troy’s trailing run of 11.743 at 69.91.

Troy Coughlin crept closer to the NHRA Pro Mod points lead with his runner-up placing. He also set low ET and top speed of the event with his Jegs C7

“It’s unbelievable, it’s way cool,” said Molinari. “I mean, all my guys worked super hard and it’s just an awesome feeling.”

Racing his turbocharged machine which is tuned by industry expert Brad Personett, Molinari, after qualifying 3rd for the very swift field (5.906 secs bump) had beaten Canadian Eric Latino, Steve “Fast” Jackson and Rickie Smith in earlier rounds of competition.

While Shane Molinari did not have the success he had hoped for during the 2016 NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season (only qualifying for two events) he has certainly changed his course.

Through the first eight races in 2017 he has now qualified at seven of them. Molinari appeared to lock himself into the class after he made the final rounds at both Houston and Bristol and when he also qualified #1 at the star loaded 30-car field at the Thunder Valley event.  The win at Norwalk has pushed him to 3rd in season points as the NHRA J&A Services series now takes a summer break – not returning to action again until late August during the NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indy.

“I’m pretty happy and we’ve made a lot of headway,” Molinari said. “Honestly, it’s just been putting laps on the car and playing with a little at a time, making small changes. We’ve qualified in the top half of the ladder every race, so we’re making progress. All in all, it’s been exciting. We’ve got a great crew and everybody works together. That makes life easier.”

He is quick to note how much crew chief Brad Personett, a former NHRA Pro Mod standout, has helped, bringing a comfort level and consistency to the car that Molinari had never experienced before. It’s been a massive difference-maker for Molinari and the results have been obvious over the past six races.

“Obviously the tuner makes a big difference and Brad’s got his stuff together,” Molinari said. “He’s an amazing guy. He’s owned his own car, he’s tuned his own car. What else can you ask for? The guy has been astronomical for us. He knows what’s right and what needs fixed, and he makes sure you’re comfortable in the car. It’s just been a great thing.”

“It’s been way cool,” Molinari said. “Being able to go out and race with these guys, it’s pretty cool. When you think about the guys in the class, it’s just nuts. It’s a lot of fun just to go out there and try to do well. Anytime you can even qualify in this class it’s a great thing. It’s just a bad-ass class.”

NHRA’s wildly popular J&A Service Pro Mod series has now completed 3/4 of it’s 2017 season — it will take a scheduled break with action resuming later this summer at the NHRA U.S. Nationals.

Posted with files by Bruce Biegler & NHRA Communications
Photos by Brennan Shortall and Dave DeAngelis