At the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Annie and Steven Whiteley became the first mother and son in NHRA history to double up at a national event, Annie scoring for the fourth time in her Top Alcohol Funny Car career and Steven for the first time ever in Pro Mod.

Team leader Jim Whiteley termed the landmark double-up for his wife and son nothing less than the highlight of his illustrious career. "This means more than any race I ever won," said Jim, who won 24 national events, 24 divisionals races, and two NHRA championships in Top Alcohol Dragster. "If none of us ever wins again, this weekend makes my whole drag racing career worthwhile."

Both started from the No. 5 spot – Annie with a 5.45 and Steven with a 5.80 that topped the early qualifying charts – and both made the fastest runs of their lives in the final. Annie hit 273.22 mph on a single when two-time Gatornationals winner Dan Pomponio was unable to appear. Steven hit 253.52 mph in a career-best 5.791 seconds to train-length runner-up Mike Castellana, whose Frank Manzo-tuned entry blew the tires off in low gear in the Pro Mod finale.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Steven, who ran the Pro Mod final in the very next pair after his mom scored in TAFC. "When she won, it really sent the pressure on me through the roof. I thought, 'Now, I have to win this thing.' "

Annie faced a different kind of pressure. "It's weird being on a single in the final," she said. "You think of the ignition quitting or some dumb little thing breaking. What happens then? Does nobody win? I didn't really know. I made sure the Tree was definitely on, left, and it was just a perfect run." Her 5.41 was the second-quickest run of her career, behind only the low e.t. 5.40 she ran in the semifinals against No. 1 qualifier and defending Gainesville champ John Lombardo, and her speed topped the 273.05 she ran in the semi's.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19) -- Two-time Pro Mod world champion Troy Coughlin was in the other lane when Eric Latino posted the quickest run in class history -- a stunning 5.727 at 256.36 mph -- but the driver of the JEGS.com turbocharged Corvette didn't get to witness the impressive pass because he was too far ahead of his opponent, winning Sunday's quarterfinal match-up on a massive .081-second holeshot.

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In fact, Coughlin's 5.758 at 255.10 mph, when combined with Latino's national-record pass, made the race the quickest side-by-side affair in Pro Mod drag racing history.

"It's pretty awesome to be a part of it," Coughlin said. "I bet NHRA was saying the same thing. To be a part of history here in drag racing, I mean this is the first time for me. We've had great success with two championships and three runner-up championships but to be a part of a noteworthy race like that, it's huge news. It's great for the class and certainly shows there's a lot of parity. For JEGS.com and everyone back at JEGS headquarters, we're thrilled to have this neat little piece of history.

"Everyone was saying that Latino's first-round run (of 5.779 at 256.45 mph Saturday night) was a fluke, but I knew it wasn't. He's a good driver and Al Billes is probably the best supercharger guy out there so they are a five-star team for sure.

"When I heard he went 5.72 at 256 mph against us the only thing I could imagine was the expression on all the NHRA official's faces when they saw another car go more than 256 mph. It was a super-charged car but still, I couldn't be more excited for them."

Unfortunately for Coughlin, his car got a little squirrelly in the semifinals and he couldn't...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 18) -- The 2017 J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series is off to a perfect start for Troy Coughlin. The two-time world champion already has an elimination-round win under his belt and is braced to put even more distance between himself and longtime friendly rival "Tricky Rickie" Smith, who lost in Saturday's opening round of eliminations.

"It's always nice to get that first elimination-round win of the season," Coughlin said. "We go a long time between the Las Vegas race at the start of November to the Gatornationals in mid-March without racing so it feels good to get back in the car and win the first match-up of the new season."

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Coughlin won the 2012 and 2015 championships and finished runner-up to Smith in 2013, 2014 and 2016. That's one of the reasons why Coughlin is anxious to turn on more win lights when eliminations resume at 12:30 p.m., Sunday.

"Any time you can gain ground on a driver of his caliber, you have to take it and run," Coughlin said. "But I'm sure Rickie would tell you there are lots of other very capable drivers out here. We may have won the last five championships between us but it was a pretty intense fight every time, and not just against each other. Pro Mod has gotten so hard, which makes every success so much sweeter."

With the NHRA changing the rules to make it slightly easier for supercharged and nitrous-assisted Pro Mod cars, Coughlin wasn't entirely sure how his turbo-charged JEGS.com Corvette would stack up against the competition. Through qualifying, he was ninth-best overall with a top pass of 5.828 at 253.33 mph.

That placed Coughlin at a slight disadvantage for Round 1 when he lined up against...
Penske and PRS Provide Winning Suspension Solutions

PITTSBORO, N.C. (February 27, 2017): Penske Racing Shocks and Precision Racing Suspension (PRS) work closely together to deliver winning suspension solutions to drag race teams across all applications. Adam Lambert, founder of PRS, was a lead technician and manager of the drag racing market at Penske for years before stepping out into consulting. Penske and PRS have become the largest and winningest suspension combination chosen by PDRA Teams.

“Last year we won three out of the five pro championships - Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Pro Stock,” told Lambert. “We have a suspension package for all the different classes. We offer four-link and weight balance setup on cars to complement the shocks and vice versa. On any given weekend, we work with over 75% of the field. PDRA has been great to work with. It’s by far our biggest market. The best quality teams in the country come together all in one spot. It’s crazy not to want to be a part of it.”

“We want to be involved with the PDRA because of the way the organization has been representing itself and the way the racers are flocking to the PDRA events,” added Aaron Lambert, Director of Competition at Penske. “They have really good car counts. It’s a good, competitive series, and for us as Penske, that’s what we look for - a series that has a good, competitive balance where they allow ingenuity and let the racers be creative and use what’s best to go fast. We’re constantly developing here at Penske. If we can find something new that makes the car go faster we’re going to do everything we can to get it out there so our racers are hopefully in the winner’s circle at the end of the weekend.”

Adam has traveled worldwide helping set up suspension on Pro Mods, Pro Stocks and more, and will be at all PDRA events this season, providing suspension consultation for racers. Shane Sweigert, Drag Market Manager at Penske will also follow the complete...
Eastside Auto Transport Outlaw 632 Teams and Partners Gear Up for Inaugural Season with PDRA
Chassis Engineering Sponsors Low Qualifier Award

PITTSBORO, N.C. (February 24, 2017): Originating in Florida, the Outlaw 632 class steadily gained support and exposure. After a one-race appearance with the PDRA in 2016, the class was added to the series for four races this year and promises to be a great addition. Eastside Auto Transport joined as class sponsor and now Chassis Engineering has come on board to present the Low Qualifier Award for the class. Clayton Murphy, owner of Chassis Engineering is very excited about the possibilities the class will see running with the PDRA.

“The class has really grown in Florida and I hope to see it grow more throughout the country,” said Murphy. “It’s a really good class. It offers a lot of different variety of cars. It gives some of the older Top Sportsman combinations another place to race. There’s not that many rules, which is really cool. It’s fairly affordable. Any class can get out of hand, but this class is designed to limit the amount it takes to run. You gotta work on your race car harder than anybody else if you want to win and that’s where we come in. We help a lot of customers do that. I’m really excited about that.”

Chassis Engineering, founded in 1980, manufacturers high-end suspension components for race cars, as well as complete chassis. “We build our own rear end housings here,” Murphy continued. “We have a lot of in-house tools, laser machines, plasma cutters, our own CNC benders. We try to manufacturer as much as we can in-house. That gives us a lot more control. If a customer calls up with a special order, that’s not a big deal. We also repair cars, install roll bars, back halves, front clips. Building complete cars is what I’m excited about more than anything. We’re trying to move that forward building really high quality, custom cars.”

Murphy says that three of the last four...
Switzer Dynamics and MoTeC Continue Pro Nitrous Support
JESEL to Sponsor Low Qualifier Award

PITTSBORO, N.C. (February 12, 2017): The strength of the PDRA Pro Nitrous program can largely be attributed to the support the class receives from sponsors, manufacturers, fans, and racers. Switzer Dynamics has been the cornerstone sponsor of the class since the series’ inception. The committed nitrous innovator will be back as the title Pro Nitrous sponsor in 2017.

“The PDRA is a very professional organization. We like how it’s owned by the racers. The way it’s ran and the professionalism is top notch. Judy and Tommy Franklin and the Scruggs family are some of the best people you could ever meet. We are happy to support them for the fourth year now,” stated Dan Carver of Switzer Dynamics.

“Nitrous is what our business is based around, so involvement with the Pro Nitrous class is an obvious choice for us, but we do a lot of work for people in the other classes as well,” Carver added, referring to the intake manifolds the company manufacturers for blown and turbocharged applications. Carver says that these latest Switzer Dynamic endeavors have taken off well and will continue to grow. “The one piece billet nitrous manifold starts out at 420lbs, but after the Switzer Dynamics makeover weighs 15.8lbs. We have quite a few engine builders that are looking to start using our one piece billet manifolds.
“We’ve started working with a lot of new engine builders in the last couple of years. We have started making different engine kits, and that doesn’t mean that it has to be nitrous related, to meet the needs of different engine builders. We’re a manufacturing company and we can make nearly any part there is a demand for. We’ve definitely started doing a lot of things other than nitrous. We’re always developing new products. There’s always something to improve. We’re continuously working on the flow bench, trying to improve.”

Switzer Dynamics...
PITTSBORO, N.C. (February 8, 2017): The PDRA is proud to announce that Lee Sebring will join PDRA staff as the series’ Promotions Director. The first order of business for Sebring, who has been the Quarter-Max Top End Zone reporter since late 2015, is to host PDRA’s “Live with Lee” a new Facebook Live program that will be held every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm eastern. The first show will be Thursday, February 9th.

“I’m excited to expand my involvement with the PDRA through this position,” stated Sebring. “PDRA’s ‘Live with Lee’ will be an exciting inside look at current happenings with the series, our racers and our sponsors. We’ll go over rumors, points, race recaps and everything that’s happening in the PDRA. We’ll have call-in guests and hopefully visit some of our partner locations to highlight their companies.”

Sebring will continue his role of top end reporter, but as the new Promotions Director will support Director of Marketing, Will Smith, while also being heavily involved in fan interaction, social media, and guerilla marketing. On top of PDRA’s ‘Live with Lee’ fans and supporters can expect to see an overall increased social media presence from the series.

“We welcome Lee on board and look forward to what he’s going to bring to this series and our fans,” stated PDRA Race Director, Bob Harris. “We’ve enjoyed his announcing and know that he will be a great asset to this organization.

“We encourage everyone to tune in on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm to watch PDRA’s ‘Live with Lee’ and let us know how much you like it!”

ABOUT THE PDRA
Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, the Professional Drag Racers Association is the top sanctioning body in the United States for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The PDRA’s professional categories include Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Pro Boost, Extreme Pro Stock and Pro Extreme Motorcycle along with several sportsman and various exhibition categories. The 2017 PDRA schedule consists of eight national...
Andy McCoy Race Cars Sponsors Pro Boost in 2017
Rossler Transmissions Provides Low Qualifier Award

PITTSBORO, N.C. (February 3, 2017): Andy McCoy Race Cars has been a staunch PDRA supporter since the series’ inception. Now the premier chassis builder is increasing involvement by stepping up to sponsor PDRA’s Pro Boost category for the 2017 season. As well as backing the incredible Pro Boost action this season, Andy McCoy Race Cars is sponsoring the ‘Ask the Pros’ segment on the PDRA/Speed Video Live Feed for the second consecutive year.

Andy McCoy Race Cars Pro Boost has been a wildly popular category, both in terms of racer participation and fan response. Pitting different power adders against one another, Pro Boost is reminiscent of Pro Mod’s beginnings and provides similar excitement as turbocharged and import entries continue to increase, battling the more traditional blown, domestic machines. Andy McCoy Race Cars’ customer Tylor Miller of the Pee Dee Fleet team runs in the category and hopes to overtake the domination of GALOT Motorsports team members exhibited last season. He will debut a new AMRC-special body, a 1979 Corvette, later this year. AMRC is also building a new Pro Boost ride for Chris Russo, among others.

“It’s a very exciting class, a very healthy class,” McCoy said of PB. “Throughout the year we maintained at least a 16 car field. When the class first started they were running 3.90s. Low 3.70s is the number now. It’s exciting to see it grow. In the PDRA you get to see a variety of really cool cars.”

McCoy hints that Miller’s new Corvette will likely debut around the time the PDRA stops at the Miller family-owned Darlington Dragway. Other ‘79 Corvette bodies have already gone overseas to Australia, Sweden and Germany.

AMRC debuted an industry-leading website last fall. Clients can build a custom AMRC car right on the site and receive an immediate quote of cost. Parts and accessories are also available for...
Drag Illustrated Media announced yesterday it will venture into the world of race promotion this summer. The Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, August 4-5, 2017, will feature the best drivers and teams that legal Pro Modified racing has to offer. The first-of-its-kind, $100,000-to-win, winner-take-all event will be held at Bandimere Speedway near Denver, Colorado.

“Putting on races has been a part of the Drag Illustrated plan since the very beginning,” said Drag Illustrated Editor-in-Chief Wes Buck. “We’ve spent the last 11 years building the Drag Illustrated brand, telling the stories of racers from all walks of life as they progress through their respective racing careers, and now it’s time to be part of some of those stories.

“We feel the time is right to disrupt the industry; to try something fresh and new,” continued Buck. “Thankfully, Sporty Bandimere and the whole crew at Bandimere Speedway share our vision and belief in Pro Modified drag racing, and are equally excited to be a part of what is sure to be the biggest, richest and most talked about doorslammer race in history.”

While the full line-up of drivers has yet to be determined, a host of Real Pro Mod Association (RPM) frontrunners have already signed on to converge on Bandimere Speedway’s picturesque mountainside facility for the one-of-a-kind Pro Mod tournament. Fourteen drivers will be cordially invited to participate in the WSOPM main event. A 15th driver will be voted in via fan vote online. A 16th “wild card” entrant will race their way into the main event during an open 16-car, $10,000-to-win Pro Mod shootout on Friday night.

“It is my belief that Pro Mod is home to some of the most interesting, exciting and outspoken people in drag racing,” said Buck. “Not only do they run these cars on the absolute ragged edge, but they’re largely self-made men who have the autonomy to speak their minds and inject a little color and energy into the storyline – and that’s what drag racing needs...
InsideProMod.com got a chance to talk with Jamie Noonan of Noonan Ultimate Race Engineering about their new 4.900 Bore space hemi engine they debuted at the PRI Show. We chose this as our 'first' tech article, because we believe that the 4.9 hemi will sure to be a game changer in legal and outlaw Pro Mod.

InsideProMod (IPM): Tell us the basics of this new motor. What are the major differences in the 4.9 Hemi and the 4.8 Hemi (Fathead style that most run), and why did you go in that direction?

IMG_9459.jpg Jamie Noonan (JN): "Obviously the bore center was a big factor. We went from 4.8 to 4.9 bore centers. So we can actually take up to 4.600 bore now where we were limited to 4.500 bore before. Which allows us for the PDRA Pro Mod cars to run a much bigger intake and exhaust valve than we could with the 4.500 bore. Not only did we go bigger with the valves, we stood the valve angles up three degrees so it flattens the chamber out, and raised the port up half an inch on intake and exhaust.

"So the bigger bore allowed us to go bigger with the valve and stand the valve angles up three degrees on both valves. That allows us to run a shallower chamber. Effectively we can get a lot better flowing cylinder head on both intake and exhaust than we could have with our normal 4.8 bore center. Now one of the other biggest factors was we spread the lifter spacing from 2" to 3.250". Not only does it make the valve train geometry absolutely perfect as far as push rod angles to rocker locations, it allows us to not have any push rod bulges in the intake port. It frees us up with a lot more intake port development than we could have done with the 2" lifter spread in our current 4.8 Hemi. The biggest factor is we have a lot better cylinder head than we could have with our 4.8.

"You can run up to a 5/8" diameter push rod if you want on both the intake and exhaust. There's also...