Pro Mods Invade Rockingham For Dragstock

Frankie Taylor is one PDRA racer seeking success at The Rock. (PDRA photo)
Frankie Taylor is one PDRA racer seeking success at The Rock. (PDRA photo)
Frankie Taylor is one PDRA racer seeking success at The Rock. (PDRA photo)

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – A 1953 Studebaker replica capable of zero-to-200 mile-an-hour acceleration in 3.5 seconds is one of many cars to descend on Rockingham (N.C.) Dragway Sept. 4-7 for Dragstock XI.

It’ll be the seventh event in the eight-race Professional Drag Racers Ass’n Pro Mod drag racing series.

“There’s no doubt that Pro Modified is the most exciting thing that’s happened to drag racing since the Funny Car,” track owner Steve Earwood said. “I think a lot of the fans can relate to Pro Mods as cars. The Funny Cars have gotten so sophisticated that they all look alike.

“In Pro Mod, though, you have late model Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs racing alongside ’53 Studebakers, a ’41 Willy or two, ’57 Chevys and whole bunch of 1968 and 1969 Chevys and Pontiacs – and all of them are capable of running 200 miles an hour in just an eighth of a mile.”

Champions will be crowned at The Rock in three different Pro Mod classes. Pro Extreme features supercharged engines not unlike those in Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters; Pro Nitrous features cars with massive 900 cubic inch engines augmented by fuel injection and nitrous oxide; and Pro Boost is for primarily cars using turbocharged engines.

Put those vehicles on a high-traction surface like the one at Rockingham and the results can be record-setting. Eleven of the 14 PDRA performance records for eighth-mile time and speed were set at Rockingham in last April’s Spring Open.

In addition to the official records, which require a representative back-up run for certification, The Rock also yielded the quickest run in eighth mile Pro Mod history when Texas Frankie Taylor stopped the timers in 3.485 seconds in his late model Corvette.

While Taylor, the veteran from Dickinson, Texas, Jason Scruggs of Saltillo, Miss., Bubba Stanton of Potts Camp, Miss., and Eric Dillard of Ball Ground, Ga., are among the dominant racers in Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost have a decided Carolina flair, 34-year-old Jason Harris of Pittsboro having already sewn up the Nitrous championship while Todd Tutterow of Yadkinville and Kevin Rivenbark of Wallace battle out the Boost title.

In addition to the featured Pro Modified categories, champions also will be crowned in Extreme Pro Stock, Extreme Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, MAC-FAB 275/28 Drag Radial, Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster. The event also will include exhibition runs by a jet-powered dragster.