Baytown: Roger Burgess preview

Burgess the odds-on fav in Houston; teammate Commisso looking for redemption HOUSTON (April 7) -- Roger Burgess began the 2010 Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series in grand style last month, racing to a stunning 5.856-seond pass at...

Burgess the odds-on fav in Houston; teammate Commisso looking for redemption

HOUSTON (April 7) -- Roger Burgess began the 2010 Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series in grand style last month, racing to a stunning 5.856-seond pass at 248.39 mph at Gainesville Raceway to lead his class into eliminations.0

The jaw dropping run places Burgess atop the "favorites" list for this weekend's 23rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, and provides plenty of motivation for his ProCare Rx/R2B2 Racing teammate Ray Commisso, who is intent on rebounding from his unlikely struggles in the Sunshine State.

"We knew our car was capable of running a big number and we knew the Gainesville track could hold it, but it was pretty nerve-wracking before we made that run," Burgess said. "We'd lost one round of qualifying to rain and we weren't in the field heading into the last session. It was an all-or-nothing deal, and my guys managed to pull it off.

"The first race of the year is always a bit of a question mark. Everyone works hard in the off season and we all think we've found something to make us quicker, but until you get to a national event and see how you measure up with your peers, you never really know. We were pleased to be on top."

One year ago at Houston, it was Burgess' teammate Commisso who was the No. 1 qualifier. After missing the cut in Gainesville, the Canadian restaurateur is hoping to secure the top perch once again when he unleashes his '68 Camaro on the track.

"After Gainesville we went to Atlanta to test the car for three days and I think we sorted some things out," Commisso said. "What we tried worked, and the car went down the track every time, which is key. We tested on a hot greasy racetrack so we got some good information on those conditions

"Last year in Houston we qualified No. 1 and went a couple of rounds. This year I hope we can qualify in the top half of the field again, go some more rounds, and win the race."

For the first time in its existence, Pro Mod is racing as an official NHRA class. Prior to 2010, it was run as an exhibition category. The main architect of the revamped series is Burgess, who also fields the In-N-Out Burger Funny Car and Pro Mod entries of Melanie Troxel.

"Our expectations for the Pro Mod series were certainly met in Florida," Burgess said. "The response from the fans was tremendous and I expect a repeat of that in Texas because the people in Houston really love Pro Mod racing.

"We have three different types of engine combinations in this class -- supercharged, turbo-charged, and nitrous -- and it's always a balancing act to keep everyone happy. We all need to work with NHRA on leveling the playing field while keeping the drivers as safe as humanly possible. The main thing is we need to have as much fun as the fans do when they're watching us. That's a big element we should never lose sight of."

-source: burgess motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Roger Burgess