Breaking the Mold
World Series of Pro Mod Event was Unlike any Other
WHEN FIRST announced, Drag
Illustrated’s Wes Buck said it was going to be a historic event, and it turned out to be just that. Inspired by no-prep racing, TV’s “Street Outlaws” and other nontraditional events mixed with a promoter’s flair, the World Series of Pro Mod might have changed the shape and feel of drag racing for the near future.
“Pro Mod is the universal language of drag racing, and it has a cult following in nearly every country in the world,” Buck says with excitement. “I wanted to get away from a race that just had numbers on a scoreboard. This sport is about stories, not stats. We wanted to throw some curveballs in to make it all the more interesting.”
Curve balls abounded, none of the racers had experienced what went on at this event. No clocks, no qualifying, and pairings done a month in advance, 14 of the sport’s best Pro Mod racers were invited, with the remainder of the field determined by a fan vote and a wildcard shootout beforehand. Throw in a winner-takeall $100,000 jackpot on a track 5,800 feet above sea level and there was little doubt that this was going to be a race like no other.
With online trash talk starting well before the event, social media greatly added to the hype. The world of drag racing was watching to see if this would be a success, and it didn’t take long for a response. Bristol Dragway had its own $100,000 top prize at a taping of “Street Outlaws” at the track on a Tuesday—and sold out. The demand to get in was so overwhelming, the track even issued a public apology to the fans who were turned away.
“By all accounts, the World Series of Pro Mod was a tremendous success,” Buck continues. “We achieved by doing something different and felt afterwards that we had planted a seed. Now, we’re looking forward to seeing it grow. If the racers’ were steering me, we’d have another half dozen of these soon. I’m a proponent of sustainable growth, but we’ll most assuredly have another event like this again in 2018.”