SWEDEN'S GULLQVIST RACES TO HISTORIC PRO MOD WIN AT ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. -- Sweden's Michael Gullqvist made some history by racing to the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Series victory Sunday during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern...
SWEDEN'S GULLQVIST RACES TO HISTORIC PRO MOD WIN AT ATLANTA
COMMERCE, Ga. -- Sweden's Michael Gullqvist made some history by racing to the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Series victory Sunday during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Gullqvist became the first European driver to win an NHRA event when he powered his ProCareRX '68 Camaro to the victory with a final round run of 6.006 seconds at 244.03 mph to defeat the event's top qualifier, Mike Janis, who posted a 6.081 at 237.00 in his Eaton '69 Firebird.
It was Gullqvist's second final round of the season, as he posted a runner-up finish at the season-opening Gatornationals in Florida.
"I'm at a loss for words," said Gullqvist, who was filling in for Raymond Commisso, whose father passed away earlier in the week. "This was my third final in a row dating back to the European FIA championship last fall. I lost that final because I made a mistake and then I had another final here in Gainesville in March and lost that one as well with a red-light, so I was really anxious to get this win, especially under the circumstances of Ramond's father passing away."
In earlier rounds, Gullqvist defeated Ed Hoover, Scott Ray and St. Louis winner Von Smith. He said adjusting to an unfamiliar car was no problem at all.
"Frank Hawley (team consultant) talked to me and we found a way to adjust some things in Raymond's car to make me more comfortable," Gullqvist said. "After that it was just a matter of driving to my best ability."
Gullqvist says he is proud to be the first European driver to win an NHRA event.
"I know lots of people in Sweden and all of Europe were pulling for us this weekend," he said. "I see the notes on Facebook and I get many messages on my mobile phone. It's been very exciting and I'm sure I will have a great reception when I return home."
With a semifinal finish, Smith moved into the series lead, while Houston winner Danny Rowe moved up to second from fourth.
The NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series continues June 10-13 at the NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J.