Gamble by Pro Mod Driver Mitch Stott beginning to pay off. CLERMONT, Ind. (August 29, 2003) - As the Pro Mods, an NHRA exhibition class, roar into Indianapolis Raceway Park for the seventh of 10 events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod ...
Gamble by Pro Mod Driver Mitch Stott beginning to pay off.
CLERMONT, Ind. (August 29, 2003) - As the Pro Mods, an NHRA exhibition class, roar into Indianapolis Raceway Park for the seventh of 10 events on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge schedule, two calculated gambles that Mitch Stott took several months ago looks like it might now be paying off.
Stott, from Mill Spring, N.C., sat out several races on the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge schedule to concentrate on the IHRA Pro Mod champion and now has a commanding lead on that circuit. So gamble number one is paying off.
Meanwhile, he certainly didn't lose too much ground on the NHRA side of things while he was tending to IHRA business. Just 14 points behind the leader Fred Hahn, he currently holds down the second position in the 2003 DRO/NMM Cup Pro Mod point standings entering tonight's opening round of Pro Mod qualifying at the NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
By finishing one round ahead of Hahn in this weekend's competition, Stott and his Radiac Abrasives '6 supercharged Corvette could reassume the DRO/NMM Cup Pro Mod point lead for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge. So gamble number two has a payday in sight.
"As far as for the points in IHRA, yes we have a good lead in that one," said Stott. "That one is not finished there yet, but the odds are definitely in our favor at this point. In NHRA we're 14 points behind. That can be made up with one round. I told Fred Hahn at the IHRA race last weekend in Norwalk, Ohio, that I was coming after him at Indy. I asked him if he could feel me breathing down his neck.
"Up until we had to miss two NHRA events, we had a good lead over there. By missing those two gave Fred the opportunity to pass us. We now have to gain that back.
"I feel confident that I can take the points championship for both series. I've been running well since about this time last year and our record shows the results of that."
Stott, the first Pro Mod driver in the 5s - a 5.985 second pass at 231.42 mph at the IHRA Radiac Abrasives WinterNationals at Darlington (S.C.) International Dragway in February - knows Indy will be a challenge.
"If you win any of them, Indy is obviously a race you want to win and we are certainly not backing up from that challenge," explained Stott. "That's one we are definitely going after and have all the intentions of winning and retaking that points lead.
"With no conflicts left on the IHRA and NHRA schedules, we will get to run all the events left. So, I feel very confident that we can win both championships and that's certainly an accomplishment in any terms. It all starts with Indy!
Active in drag racing for 26 years as a driver, tuner, builder and innovator, Stott indicated that there is a lot of fascination with Indy and the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
"I remember the first time we got to race at Indy three years ago," he said. "I walked out on the track and looked at it and I said to myself: it's 1320-feet of asphalt, a two-lane drag strip, a starting line and a finish line. Everything's the same as any other drag strip, but with one exception - it's Indy.
"It's full of prestige, pride and everybody, seemingly, for whatever reason, Iooks at Indy. I guess it's because of the long, storied history. It's made careers and it's broken careers. Indy's the one with all the hoopla and it's the one to win."
Stott has a refuse to lose attitude and a driving style to back it up. For that reason, he will be a favorite to take one of the eight qualifying spots available and when, and if, that's accomplished, he will be a favorite to take the Pro Mod title.
His love of drag racing is only surpassed by his love of family. Stott has been married for 18 years to his wife and high school sweetheart, Joyce. They have two children, Abby, age 14 and Donovan, age 10.