NHRA AMS Pro Mod Challenge invades Englishtown NY's Fred Hahn among early favorites ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 13, 2003) -- The fourth of ten events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge unfolds May 16-18 at Old Bridge Township Raceway...
NHRA AMS Pro Mod Challenge invades Englishtown
NY's Fred Hahn among early favorites
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 13, 2003) -- The fourth of ten events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge unfolds May 16-18 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. Fred Hahn, 50, from West Seneca, N.Y., winner of the last Pro Mod event in Bristol, Tenn., is among the early odds-on favorites to take his second victory of the season.
On Saturday (April 28) at Bristol, Hahn, who has been driving for team owner and engine builder Jim Oddy, from Elma, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, since August of 1989, was low qualifier for the third consecutive Pro Mod event of the 2003 season. Then on Sunday (April 29), he drove his Summit Racing Equipment-backed Corvette, with an Oddy-built supercharged Hemi motor, to the Pro Mod win at the Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
"We had an excellent weekend at Bristol," stated Hahn. "We qualified number one and ran pretty solid 20s (6.20 second range) all through eliminations. The thing about it is that's what you got to do to win one of these NHRA races. Being only an eight car field makes it very difficult and competitive because there are 16 or so cars that are capable of making the field. There are eight really good cars that don't qualify and go home each race.
"Qualifying is almost a race in itself. You have to qualify well to have a good shot at this. We've qualified number one at the three NHRA races we've gone to, so we're looking to keep that up. We'd like to take over the number one spot in points this weekend.
"Overall our success is due to the people and companies that allow us to go racing -- Summit Racing Equipment, Red Line Oil, Isky Racing Cams, Blower Drive Service (BDS Superchargers) and Hoosier Tires. Those are the guys that keep us going. Jim Oddy and I couldn't do what we do with them."
If weather conditions are right during this weekend's race, the duo of Hahn and Oddy could duplicate the record setting times and speeds generated at last year's NHRA event in Englishtown. It was just one year ago that the New York-based team set the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park track speed record and, at the time, a national speed record for Pro Modifieds at 230.80 mph and then went on to win the event.
"Englishtown is one of the best track on the east coast, especially as far as traction goes," added Hahn. Weather conditions are generally pretty favorable there. Coming up this weekend, Englishtown should be quite fast and the temperatures moderate -- in the 70s, not 90s. Over the last 10 to 12 years we've raced there three to four times a year and that should give us some help, but not necessarily an advantage. Everybody is probably on a pretty level playing field. There are not many secrets in this game."
Team owner Jim Oddy, who won the NHRA U.S. Nationals in 1965 in B Gas and again in 1972 in BB Gas Supercharged, a forerunner of today's Pro Modified supercharged doorslammers, echoed Hahn's remarks: "Englishtown is an absolute special place for us to race on the east coast. We used to go race for the late Vinny Napp two to four times a year. Vinny had a lot to do with promoting Pro Mod right from the beginning of the United States Super Circuit (USSC) before there was even Pro Mod.
"Last year we qualified number one in Englishtown, won the race and set the speed record. It's always a place where we always try to do our best. It's like an U.S. Nationals on the east coast for us."
Currently running as an exhibition class on the NHRA circuit, the Pro Mod class finds Hahn holding the E.T. record at 6.139 seconds, which he set at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. in March of this year. Quain Stott, in the LeeBoy Corvette, set the speed record with a pass of 232.51 mph at the NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston in mid-April.
In the run for the (DragRacingOnline.com/Nowling Motorsports Management) DRO/NMM Cup, Hahn is currently second in points, less than a 100 points behind leader Mitch Stott.
Qualifying times for the Pro Mod class is scheduled for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, May 16 and 2:35 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. The eight quickest Pro Mod cars will then square off in Sunday's eliminations which begin at 11 a.m.