Pro Mod Challenge Dallas preview

ENNIS, Texas (October 9, 2003) -- It's going to be a triple scoop of AMS Staff Leasing at this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, just outside Dallas Ft. Worth. Qualifying...

ENNIS, Texas (October 9, 2003) -- It's going to be a triple scoop of AMS Staff Leasing at this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, just outside Dallas Ft. Worth.

Qualifying for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, will be held on Friday, October 10, with two sessions and conclude on Saturday, October 11, with two additional runs. The top eight qualifiers will advance to the final eliminations which get underway on Sunday, October 12.

With only two events remaining on this year's NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge schedule in which Pro Mod drivers can earn points toward the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup, one can expect Pro Mod drivers to be vying for every point available at this weekend's NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals.

Fred Hahn, with 1642 points, leads all drivers on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge in the battle for the No. 1 spot and the DRO/NMM Pro Mod Cup. Hahn is followed very closely by Mitch Stott, who trails by only 15 points. Rounding out the top five is: 3.) Tim McAmis (1242 points), Thomas Patterson (1125 points) and Mike Ashley (1024 points). These five drivers, along with Rickie Smith and Shannon Jenkins, will be vying for $10,000 in the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout.

On Saturday, October 11, Pro Mod's best will compete for the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout title, a special race-within-a-race. All drivers who compete in the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, earned points this season based on how they qualified at the first eight of ten events at which the Pro Mods compete. First round match ups for the top eight qualifiers are as follows: No. 1 Tim McAmis vs. No. 8 Shannon, No. 2 Fred Hahn vs. No. 7 Al Billes, No. 3 Mitch Stott vs. No. 6 Rickie Smith and No. 4 Mike Ashley vs. No. 5 Thomas Patterson.

Although he is not running in the Shootout, Troy Critchley, who now calls Dallas home, will be aiming for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge winner's circle in his AMS Staff Leasing-backed '94 Chevy Corvette.

If one were to talk to Critchley the first thing they will notice is that he is not from Texas. The Australian, born in Brisbane, followed his heart and a girl to the United States in 1998 in search of love and a place to race Pro Mods. The girl and him have long parted but he continues to race Pro Mods.

Critchley started in the racing business building engines in a place called Mickey's Racing Engines in Brisbane. Through the engine shop he met Victor Bray. In short order he moved from sweeping down the shop, to running the crew, to being Victor's crew chief, to driving the car -- a '56 Ford, with a Brad Anderson supercharged engine.

He drove in Australia for two years. Running Top Doorslammer (Pro Mod in the U.S.) he was runner-up to the champion his first year out, winning the Winter Nationals. The following year he was third behind Victor Bray and Scotty Cannon. The next stop was the United States.

Moving to Leesburg, Va., Critchley joined forces with Pro Mod legend Johnny Rocca. Initially doing clutches and the engine heads. It was not too long before he was in the driver's seat of Rocca's Iron Horse, winning the Pro Mod Shootout in Shreveport, La. and taking ninth place in the '99 IHRA championship. Critchley and the Iron Horse jumped to fourth place in IHRA championship points in 2000, also tying for the Canadian Pro Mod championship.

Moving to Michigan, he opened Thundercraft Race Engines, building engines for a number of leading Pro Mod drivers. He returned to driving part-time during 2001 season.

Getting a good look at the United States, 2002 found him in Houston with Richard Patterson and his son Thomas. With Thomas behind the wheel of the '63 Corvette and Critchley piloting the '53 Corvette, the pair ran both IHRA and NHRA that year producing very satisfactory results. Late in 2002 he made the move to Dallas joining Dave Wood.

Flying the banner of AMS, the series sponsor of the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, Critchley started the season in a '57 Chevy Bel Air, moving to a '94 'Vette later in the season. The "94 Corvette immediately produced greater success than the Bel Air giving Critchley optimism for the 2004 season.

"I hope and personally feel that next season will be a lot better because of things we've been experimenting with this year," said Critchley, who has opened a new engine shop called Thunderworx in Wylie, Texas. "This year we had to use the national events as our test. You can't go to the national event and experiment like we have been. You need to go there knowing your stuff so you can have a shot at the championship.

"But first things first. I would like to finish out this season with a bang and what better place than Dallas to start. A win here would mean everything for our program."

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Fred Hahn , Johnny Rocca , Thomas Patterson , Scotty Cannon , Pat Richard , Rickie Smith , Al Billes , Mike Ashley , Tim McAmis , Troy Critchley