CLERMONT, Ind. (September 7, 2003) -- Eliminations began today for the 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Tim McAmis, the No. 1 qualifier for the eight-car field competing in the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA...
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 7, 2003) -- Eliminations began today for the 49th annual NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Tim McAmis, the No. 1 qualifier for the eight-car field competing in the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, led the tightly bunched field to the Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) starting line for the opening round. For McAmis, it was his third No. 1 of the 2003 season.
First round pairings were: No. 1 Tim McAmis vs. No. 8 Thomas Patterson, No. 2 Fred Hahn vs. No. 7 Chip King, No. 3 Rickie Smith vs. No. 6 Mike Ashley, and No. 4 Von Smith vs. No. 5 Mike Stawicki. Patterson, Hahn and both Smiths moved to the semifinals. Von Smith got a free ride to the second round when his opponent Mike Stawicki was shut off at the staring line with an oil leak and Smith got a bye run.
In the semifinals there was a small staging battle between Hahn and Rickie Smith. After the pair finally staged, Smith took the win light. On the other side of the ladder, Von Smith pounded down the IRP quarter-mile and broke a wheelie bar and did an excellent job of driving to keep his Ford Mustang in his lane. His 6.240 second pass easily turned back Patterson's 6.296.
In the final, it was Rickie Smith's nitrous Chevy Corvette against Von Smith's supercharged Mustang. It was Rickie Smith's second final round at Indy, having finished runner-up in Pro Stock previously. For Von Smith it was his first professional final round at the U.S. Nationals. Von Smith had lane choice.
Von Smith, from Oak Ridge, Tenn., was away first at the green light but tire shake on his Ford Mustang allowed Rickie Smith's Corvette to make up the difference and the veteran driver from King, N.C., never looked back and took the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge title at the 2003 NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
Von Smith had the quickest elapsed time of the weekend for the Pro Mods at 6.216 seconds and the fastest speed of 228.81 mph.
Fred Hahn, from West Seneca, N.Y., maintained the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup point standings lead and now has a 207 point advantage over Mitch Stott, from Mill Spring, N.C. Hahn's advantage over Stott, entering this event, was just 14 points. Stott was originally entered for this event, but when three of five qualifying sessions were postponed due to weather from the weekend of August 29-31 to this weekend, Stott withdrew due to prior racing commitments.
In the battle for the top eight spots in the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout, a special race-within-a-race, which will be held during the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals (Sat., October 11) at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, just outside Dallas, Fred Hahn leads there, too. Hahn has 42 points, followed by 2.) Tim McAmis -- 36, 3.) Mike Ashley -- 24, 4.) Thomas Patterson -- 21*, 5.) Mitch Stott -- 21*, 6.) Quain Stott -- 16, 7.) Al Billes -- 15, 8.) Rickie Smith -- 14, 9.) Roy Hill -- 11, and 10.) Shannon Jenkins -- 9. * Patterson awarded fourth by competing in more NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge events than Mitch Stott.
The next event, the eighth of 10 events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, will be held at the NHRA O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, September 18-21.