Al Billes wins first ever NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 21, 2004) - Canadian Al Billes, in a supercharged 526 cu. in. Hemi '53 Corvette, took top honors at the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an...
Al Billes wins first ever NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 21, 2004) - Canadian Al Billes, in a supercharged 526 cu. in. Hemi '53 Corvette, took top honors at the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an NHRA exhibition class, which opened its season at the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway. It was the first win for Billes at a NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge event.
En route to the win, Billes defeated three of Pro Mod's heavyweights: Von Smith in the opening round, Mike Ashley in the semifinals and Ed Hoover in the final round. Billes ran quicker each round.
Against Von Smith, Billes ran a pass of 6.246 seconds, followed by a 6.216 second run in defeating Mike Ashley and he tripped the win light in 6.206 seconds to take the victory over Hoover.
"Today was our day," said Billes. "We went from struggling three days ago. We were testing in Bradenton (Fla.) with this car and couldn't even get it off the starting line down the racetrack. To go from not being able to make a full run, to going consistently quicker each round on race day, to winning Gainesville. It means the world right now. It's unbelievable!"
In addition to Von Smith, other drivers who exited in the first round were Zach Barklage, Rickie Smith and Mitch Stott. The semifinals found Hoover besting No.1 qualifier Mike Janis, who took a wild ride at the top end of the track, and Billes over Ashley. That set up the Billes-Hoover final round.
The NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge takes the next race off before heading to Houston for the O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 15-18, at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas, just outside Houston.
Final round-by-round results from the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, at the 35th annual MAC Tools NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, the first of 10 events in the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge.
ROUND ONE -- Al Billes, Chevy Corvette, 6.246, 230.29 def. Von Smith, Ford Mustang, 17.256, 44.00; Ed Hoover, Corvette, 6.246, 226.87 def. Zach Barklage, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.325, 226.70; Mike Janis, Corvette, 6.206, 232.25 def. Rickie Smith, Corvette, 6.277, 210.23; Mike Ashley, Mustang, 6.194, 229.88 def. Mitch Stott, Corvette, 6.246, 230.35;
SEMIFINALS -- Hoover, 6.216, 228.71 def. Janis, 6.726, 163.36; Billes, 6.215, 230.00 def. Ashley, 15.306, 52.91;
FINAL -- Billes, 6.206, 229.88 def. Hoover, 15.744, 56.22.