Bristol: Burgess, Commisso preview

Burgess and Commisso channeling their inner brotherhood BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 14) -- R2B2 Racing teammates Roger Burgess and Raymond Commisso enter the second half of the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series with similar designs on a...

Burgess and Commisso channeling their inner brotherhood

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 14) -- R2B2 Racing teammates Roger Burgess and Raymond Commisso enter the second half of the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series with similar designs on a world championship. As the NHRA tour heads to picturesque Bristol Dragway for the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, it's obvious the two also share parallel views of Bruton Smith's eastern Tennessee palace.

"It's one of my favorite tracks," they said in unison.

It shouldn't be a surprise the two close friends are beginning to channel one another. Their '68 Camaros are set-up and tuned the same way and the crew chief braintrust of Al Billes and Bob Newberry pay just as much attention to one car as the other.

More importantly, both Burgess and Commisso have shared time on top of the Pro Mod mountain, running class-leading elapsed times and top speeds on multiple occasions during the first five races of the year.

"The cars have been there all year," Commisso said. "The guys have given both of us everything we could ask for and more. I'm living a dream right now. As a driver, you want to have a chance. We certainly have that here because this is the best team in the NHRA, without question."

With no one taking command of the Pro Mod class thus far, the R2B2 group knows a big weekend in Bristol would make a statement about their second-half intentions.

"It'll be challenging because Bristol's at a little bit of altitude so the blowers aren't as effective, and all of our current cars run the supercharger configuration," said Burgess, who also fields the Pro Mod entry of superstar Melanie Troxel. "The good news is we have three cars and we work together as a true team, so every session gives us a wealth of information to tune from. I'm definitely confident in our abilities.

"The track is awesome. There's nothing like running down Thunder Valley with a huge crowd in the stands and the noise just rumbling through the hills. We've come to expect the very best at Bruton Smith's racetracks and he never disappoints us."

Rebounding from the death of his father five weeks ago, Commisso is equally excited about returning to Bristol Dragway.

"I've raced to the final two times there but I haven't sealed the deal yet," he said. "Maybe this will be the year.

"I have my confidence back. My father was sick for awhile before he passed and I didn't realize until last week's event in New Jersey how much it had been weighing on my mind, even at the races. It was therapeutic to get back out there with my second family and just have fun again. I'm excited we won't have to wait long to get to Bristol."

-source: r2b2 racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Melanie Troxel , Al Billes , Roger Burgess