New “Turbo Terror” Wins Indy

NHRA’s Get Screened America Pro Mod Series produced some amazing results at Indianapolis – not the least of which was its unexpected victor…..

Eric Dillard, from Georgia, who was racing in his first career start in the class – was the last man standing in the category on Monday evening.  

Dillard had a simply stunning class debut driving an all new turbocharged R2B2 Race Cars built ’12 Mustang, which was unveiled for this event. 

The stealth like R2B2 Racing Mustang tore through the GSA Pro Mod program during the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals

In the championship final he charged past the nitrous-injected Camaro driven by Mike Castellana to a 5.830-second run at 253.99 mph to earn the victory.  

Dillard, who qualified fifth rolled past Canada’s Kenny Lang, Rickie Smith’s awesome all new ’12 Camaro and also his teammate (and low qualifier) Melanie Troxel while enroute to the final round. 

His times were consistent and impressive driving the Steve Petty-tuned car during all those winning rounds.   He had consecutive laps of 5.863 – 5.845 and 5.847 secs.

He did however save his best effort of the weekend for last.  His final round time of 5.830 secs and 253.99 mph was in fact low ET and top speed of the entire event.  That fast run easily overcame opponent Mike Castellana who had gained a slight starting line advantage driving the feared nitrous injected Al-Anabi ’69 Camaro.

“He’s raced in exactly one NHRA event in his life, this weekend right here at the U.S. Nationals, and he wins the thing,” said Roger Burgess, the R2B2 Racing team owner. “He should walk up on the stage, grab that trophy and announce his retirement.  He’d be the only driver in history to retire with a perfect record and a U.S. Nationals Wally.”

Dillard, the owner of ProLine Racing, has worked with R2B2 Racing throughout the season helping the team make the transition from superchargers to turbo power-adders. As a reward for his hard work, Burgess allowed Dillard one race in a brand-new Mustang that had just rolled out of R2B2’s in-house chassis department. 

“Roger told me earlier this year that at some point I was going to get to race,” Dillard said. “He picked the U.S. Nationals, which you can’t do any better than that. It’s a big stage to come into for your first race, and to turn around and win it is too much.”

Turbo tuning guru - Steve Petty

“I have a lot of (non-NHRA) experience, so I had a lot of confidence coming in,” Dillard added. “I thought that if I was only going to get one race, I was going to try to win it.  I just tried to prepare myself the best I could and once we got going and a made a few passes in qualifying I felt pretty good. I realized I could do this.  I cut a .020 light against Kenny (Lang) in round one and the car went straight down the track. That gave me a lot of confidence.”

Although Dillard is new to NHRA competition, he’s raced turbo cars extensively in Outlaw Limited Street and 10.5 events.

Expectations are now very high that with his win at Indy,  Dillard will be afforded yet another event driving opportunity.

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler & Rob Geiger  —  Bruce Biegler Photos

Winner: James Eric Dillard 5.830 253.99 1st
R/UP: Mike Castellana 6.004 239.65  
Low ET: James Eric Dillard 5.830    
Top Speed: James Eric Dillard   253.99  
Bump Spot:   6.078    


The other R2B2 Racing car driven by Melanie Troxel - qualified #1 at Indy at 5.907 secs


The return of Rickie Smith and his new 2011 Camaro was also big news in GSA Pro Mod racing
Eric Dillard made the very best of his first opportunity to drive for R2B2 team owner Roger Burgess

To view additional GSA Pro Mod Challenge images from Indy visit our event photo gallery:  HERE