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Pro Mods, Nitro Harleys Rock The Track At Indy
In the Pro Modified category earlier this month at Indianapolis, Jonathan Gray and Bo Butner squared off for the top prize; Gray reacted first and drove away to a 5.850 at 249.49 mph to 5.899 at 248.48 mph event win. Photo By Mike Burghardt

The Pro Modified Category is an exciting category of racing. Often known as “door slammers” because they are required to have functioning doors on the cars (as does the Pro Stock and other full bodied car categories) that traverse the quarter-mile in the mid 5-second zone. These are very sophisticated race cars that have the driver sitting in the “normal” left side configuration. The class features cars of nearly every body style produced from the 1940 to present. These bodies are highly aerodynamically modified to function at speeds exceeding 250 miles per hour. The engines can be “normally aspirated” assisted by nitrous-oxide injection, superchargers or turbo-chargers. Because these race cars are often “ill-handling”, they have become crowd favorites.

At the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals (the COVID make up event for the cancelled event in Denver, Colorado), there were 20 cars competing for 16 qualified positions. The top three qualifiers were Khalid alBalooshi (5.729, 251.67 mph), Jason Scruggs (5.749, 251.86 mph) and Steve Jackson (2019 Season Champion, 5.788, 247.47 mph). By the final round, it was the 9th and 10th qualifiers battling for the event title. Jonathan Gray and Bo Butner squared for the prize. Butner was competing in two classes, Pro Stock (fouled out in the 1st round) and Pro Mod (qualifying 10th). Gray reacted first (0.021 to 0.068) and drove away to a 5.850 at 249.49 mph to 5.899 at 248.48 mph event win.

When racing resumes at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA US Nationals over the Labor Day weekend, fans can expect close to 30 or more of these Pro Mods competing for one of the 16 qualifying spots.

The Top Fuel Harleys and Mountain Motored Pro Stocks also competed at the Dodge NHRA Indy Nationals.

The Top Fuel Nitro Harley category features specially built 1000 HP Harley Davidson motorcycles, utilizing nitromethane fuel to allow them to thunder down the track to low 6-second elapse times at around 220 mph. The fans enjoy their wheels up full track runs. Randal Andras, who qualified #2, collected the win as #1 qualifier, Tii Tharpe left too soon (red-lighted). Andras won with a 6.324 at 222.77 mph over Tharp’s (-0.046 red light) 6.320 at 226.43 mph effort.

The Mountain Motored Pro Stocks are unique versions of the Mello Yello Pro Stocks. The Mello Yello Pro Stocks utilize fuel injected 500 cubic inch engines and cover the quarter-mile race track in the 6.50-second zone at about 212 mph. The Mountain Motored cars feature engines that are 700 plus cubic inches and cover the quarter-mile distance in around 6.22 seconds at 220 plus miles per hour. Both these categories utilize high octane racing gasoline. In the final round, Johnny Pluchino in his Strutmasters Mustang defeated Elijah Morton Sr. in his Morton Brothers Racing Camaro with a hole-shot (0.037 to 0.052 reaction time advantage) 6.374 at 221.31 mph to 6.366 at 221.05 mph effort.

The upcoming US Nationals will feature several special events within the event. These will include the “Hemi Shootout” for Chrysler Hemi Super Stock cars and Pro Bike Bash for the Pro Stock Motorcycles. The final rounds for all the Mello Yello Pro categories (Top Fuel, Funny Car) from the rain shortened second make up event at Indy will also be run. Of course the final eliminations for Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Nitro Harley, Pro Mod, Mountain Motor Pro Stock and all the Lucas Oil Series sportsmen categories will be contested to determine the 2020 Denso Spark Plugs NHRA US Nationals event champions.

Action in the Top Fuel Nitro Harley category features specially built 1000 HP Harley Davidson motorcycles, and saw Randal Andras, who qualified second, collect the win as the top qualifier left too soon and was red-lighted. Photo By Mike Burghardt