Canada’s Pro Mod class racing subset gets a glimpse of the future…..

During last week’s NHRA Summit Racing Nationals in Ohio a very dedicated Western Canadian drag racer – Justin Bond – provided some percolating news.

Justin Bond

Justin, who is from Mission BC, and who is already a well honed drag racer and proponent in his own right (as well as being a VP for Mission Raceway itself) took some laps in one of the most top echelon Pro Mod cars out there. Justin was a designated driver for one of the highly formidable Bahrain 1 Racing team cars – doing a stint behind the wheel of Rickie Smith’s turbocharged Mustang at that E3 Spark Plugs Series race.

For Bond, this was somewhat of a followup to that highly impressive placing (a final round finish) during the NHRA AAA Texas Nationals last fall – which came in his very first start in the class (!!!) Bond was then driving the JBS Limited/RAD Torque Systems Pontiac Firebird which he co-owned with Shane Molinari.

“At the end of last year Shane and I decided to wrap things up and we sold off our racing operation,” Justin confirmed. “Originally I wanted to take all of 2019 off to work on my business and spend more time with my family.”

“But then I heard that Rickie Smith wanted me to drive this race car – so we did a deal and I came out (to Ohio) to do this. I did have some longer term plans about getting back into Pro Mod and also building my relationship with Pro-Line Racing – so it was a nice fit — and it also accelerated some of my goals.”

At Ohio Justin ran well in the car – getting it into the Sunday’s tough 16-cars eliminator with a 5.79 secs qualifying run. In round one he did get beat by Mike Castellana by a 5.738 secs to 5.803 secs count.

“Before racing at Norwalk I did make a few test runs in the Mustang at Galot,” Justin added. “This is a newer car and chassis than the Firebird so that does take a little bit getting used to. But when I push down on the gas and let the buttons go — it really roars — with a smooth feel.”

Justin Bond ran well during an initial driving experience stint in Rickie Smith’s turbocharged ’67 Mustang.

Bond confirmed that his appearance at Norwalk would be the first of four driving Rickie’s race car – for this season. Due to a conflict he (at this point) will not enter Indy — but will be back in the RSR Mustang for NHRA Charlotte, St. Louis and Las Vegas.

As to what this is setting up to be for 2020 – that is still somewhat of a TBA.

“Ideally — I’d like to keep it going and be at all 12 NHRA E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Series races next season,” he added. “In a perfect world it would be my own deal with my own sponsors — but in conjunction with Rickie’s race team probably. We (my current crew) would do some off-season development and be fully ready to go for Gainesville next year. My objective would not be just participation — I want a “top 3″ car and to be able to win at any race I enter.”

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler