Break­ing the Mold

World Se­ries of Pro Mod Event was Un­like any Other

Drag Racer - - The Best Day -

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.”

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