On a VERY hot July afternoon, thirteen Pro Mod teams from all over braved the unbearable temperatures and invaded Texas Raceway in Kennedale, America. Around 4:00 the water trucks were brought in to cool the 155 degree track temperature down to hopefully make it more manageable on the tuners and drivers to navigate their way down the 1/8 mile. First round qualifying started about 7:30 and after two rounds of qualifying, here’s how everything unfolded.
#1 Jay Ligon – 4.089 at 185 mph
#2 Brandon Lewis – 4.138 at 157 mph
#3 Bob Alexander – 4.151 at 186 mph (Top MPH Blown)
#4 Eric Clark – 4.250 at 142 mph
#5 David Baldwin – 4.268 at 173 mph (Top MPH Nitrous)
#6 Gaylen Smith – 4.349 at 129 mph
#7 Jeff Naiser – 4.423 at 143 mph
#8 Steve Wiley – 4.453 at 122 mph
#9 Wayne Welch – 4.740 at 152 mph
#10 Chuck Poindexter – 4.853 at 156 mph (Best reaction time, Qualifying)
#11 Eddie Roach – 8.156 at 54 mph
#12 Marc McClaskey – 13.791 at ?? MPH
#13 Bobby Booth – NT
Unfortunately Marc McClaskey got in his own water and ended up impacted the wall ending his night (and maybe the rest of the season). Marc was okay (thankfully) but the “Angry Bird” looked pretty angry.
Welcome back Bobby Booth! I know you didn’t get to make a pass but we were glad to see you dusted off the beautiful ‘ole hot rod and brought her out again! Hopefully we’ll see more of you this season!
Eric Clark (W) 5.375 at 84 mph (.032 RT)
David Baldwin (RU) 4.288 at 172 mph (-.086 RT) Red Light
Not sure if Eric saw his win light on and lifted or if he didn’t make it down the track under power but either way, it was win for the Clark Bros. team.
Jay Ligon (W) 4.071 at 179 mph (.017 RT)
Steve Wiley (RU) 4.335 at 130 mph (.016 RT) Best reaction time, Eliminations)
Wiley’s numbers were better all the way down track until the blower popped but when it mattered most, Jay Ligon’s numbers were good enough for the win.
Gaylen Smith (W) 3.992 at 177 mph (.090 RT) (Low ET Blown)
Bob Alexander (RU) 4.149 at 185 mph (.078 RT)
This was a close race. Gaylen moved over towards the wall but was able to power through for the win. I’m not gonna lie, after the struggles we’ve experienced pretty much all year, this felt like a huge win for us. We were on a nice lap second round qualifying but then shortly after half track we spit the top pulley off.
Jeff Naiser (W) 5.442 at 89 mph (-.005 RT)
Brandon Lewis (RU) 6.503 at 76 mph (-.278 RT)
It looked like Naiser was going to get a competition bye run but then Brandon gets his Blown ’57 fired up in time to make the call only to end his night with a red light. Naiser would have been red as well, but the first or worst rule came into play.
Jay Ligon (W) 4.031 at 183 mph (.076 RT)
Eric Clark (RU) 4.125 at 174 mph (.051 RT)
Eric had a slight holeshot advantage but was unable to hold off the hard charging Army Truck. Another great side by side race.
Gaylen Smith (W) 4.060 at 178 mph (.094 RT)
Jeff Naiser (RU) 4.227 at 170 mph (.018 RT)
Another great side by side race with Smith getting to the stripe first.
Jay Ligon (W) 4.052 at 183 mph (.122 RT)
Gaylen Smith (RU) 13.530 at No mph (.065 RT)
Gaylen got the jump but as soon as he hit the loud peddle, the top pulley came off again and looked like a game of ping pong bouncing off the front end and inner wall. Ligon was on another consistent run and claims his first TOPMA victory!
Congratulations to Jay Ligon and the entire U.S. Army Truck team for their well deserved first victory and also to Gaylen Smith and the Texas Bounty Hunter team for their hard fought runner-up finish as well. See y’all at the track in a couple of weeks on August 13th. Let’s everyone put in an order for some cooler temps in August (I can dream, can’t I?)