BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bob Rahaim powered to the No. 1 qualifying position and a first round victory Saturday in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
This weekend’s Pro Mod racing at Bristol Dragway is presented by the Real Pro Mod Association. This is the fifth of 10 Pro Mod events on the 2016 season.
Rahaim pushed his late model TLC Waste Disposal Services Chevy Corvette to a 5.796-second pass at 246.48 mph to earn the second No. 1 qualifier of his career and first of the season. He went on to defeat Steven Whiteley in his late model Y-Not Racing / J&A Service Cadillac CTS in first round. Rahaim, who has one victory and one runner-up finish in his career, will meet local favorite Von Smith in the quarterfinals on Sunday.
“I’m just thankful for the help that I get and the people surrounding me,” said Rahaim. “The track got super hot out there, which was real tricky, but we were second low in the round. The guys made the right call again and we’re going into Sunday’s second round, so we’re really excited. We’re just going to take them one at a time and not look too far down the line.”
Reigning world champ and recent Englishtown, N.J., winner Troy Coughlin qualified second and raced past Gary Capano in the first round. Coughlin will meet Steve Matusek in the second round. Matusek defeated Danny Rowe in round one.
Mike Castellana qualified No. 3 and outlasted Doug Winters in the first round of eliminations. Castellana will face Chip King, who beat Daniel Stevenson in the opener.
Two-time world champ and points leader Rickie Smith qualified fifth and outlasted Jim Whiteley in the first round. In round two Smith will meet Michael Biehle, who defeated Mike Knowles in the first round.