HOUSTON PRO MOD WINNER ROWE READY FOR MORE NHRA SUCCESS AT GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY MADISON, Ill. -- Danny Rowe made a fast turnaround to his race program following an uncharacteristic DNQ at the season-opening NHRA Get Screened America Pro...
HOUSTON PRO MOD WINNER ROWE READY FOR MORE NHRA SUCCESS AT GATEWAY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
MADISON, Ill. -- Danny Rowe made a fast turnaround to his race program following an uncharacteristic DNQ at the season-opening NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series event at Florida's Gainesville Raceway in mid-March.
What a difference a few weeks can make.
In early April, he raced to victory at Houston Raceway Park and with his NHRA Wally in hand, served notice that he intends to be a player in the world championship title chase in NHRA's newest touring series.
The veteran Laguna Hills, Calif. driver qualified third at Houston in his Sterling Bridge '68 Camaro and defeated versatile multi-category competitor Melanie Troxel in the final round, which vaulted him from the very bottom of the point standings into the top five.
"I couldn't be more impressed with this Sterling Bridge team," Rowe said following the race. "As always, it takes a team effort to win out here with this level of competition ... we had a little luck on our side, that's for sure, but I think you have to when you're racing against the caliber of cars and teams that we have out here."
Featuring the world's fastest and most unique doorslammer cars with an extremely diverse collection of vehicles, including '63 Corvettes, '68 Camaros, '67 Mustangs, '68 Firebirds as well as late model cars, the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast.
Mix in an incredible amount of driving talent that in addition to Rowe and Troxel includes Burton Auxier, Joe Baker, Gainesville winner Kenny Lang, Jay Payne, Mike Knowles, Troy Coughlin, Tim Tindle, Ed Hoover, Ray Commisso and Roger Burgess, just to name a few, and you have the set up for what promises to be an incredible shootout for the series crown.
"You look at the qualifying sheets and it's mind-blowing," Rowe said. "The cars out here are the best in the world and the competition is insane. Every Pro Mod car that rolls through the gates is capable of winning -- they're all championship contenders."
Sitting fourth in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series point standings following his Houston victory, Rowe is looking forward to continuing his advance toward the top spot during the Pro Mod portion of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, April 30-May 2. The race will be televised on ESPN2 HD on May 9 at 10 a.m. (ET).
Rowe has won twice in NHRA Pro Mod exhibition racing at the southern Illinois multi-motorsports complex near the Mississippi River and within view of the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch. In 2001 he was the No. 1 qualifier and beat Ed Hoover in the final round. In 2004, he outran Von Smith for the victory.
In order to win this time he'll have to face current series points leader Troxel, who pilots the In-N-Out '68 Corvette, as well as '09 GIR Pro Mod exhibition winner Burgess, who now drives a 2005 Corvette.
Given the Houston performance, Rowe feels confident in his team's chances this season.
"I was talking to Jimmy (Rector, crew chief) and I told him that I really think we have a great program this year," Rowe said. "The car is running great, everyone is working hard and you never know -- this might be our year."
But, given the level of talent in this new series, he remains very modest at the same time.
"You can go from a hero to a zero real fast in this deal," Rowe said. "So we've got to stick to our game plan of taking each race one round at a time."
* SCHEDULE: Get Screened America Pro Mod Series qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:45 p.m. and 5 p.m. on April 30 and the final qualifying session is at 1:30 p.m. on May 1. The first round of eliminations begins May 1 at 4 p.m. Pro Mod eliminations will continue on Sunday, May 2, starting at approximately 2 p.m.
* TICKETS: Tickets are available for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. Please call Gateway International Raceway at (866) 35-SPEED or visit www.gatewayraceway.com to purchase tickets online.
* ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise 30-minutes of racing highlights from the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series portion of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals on Sunday, May 9 at 10 a.m. (ET).