Jim Halsey Wins NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge CLERMONT, Ind. (September 6, 2004) -- Jim Halsey won today's NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, being contested as part of the 50th anniversary NHRA Mac Tools...
Jim Halsey Wins NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge
CLERMONT, Ind. (September 6, 2004) -- Jim Halsey won today's NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge, an exhibition class, being contested as part of the 50th anniversary NHRA Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
The opening round of eliminations saw No. 1 qualifier Harold Martin defeat Memphis winner Mike Castellana; Fred Hahn, last year's DRO/NMM Cup Champion, turned back Mike Janis: Jim Halsey turned on the win light over Danny Rowe; and Richie Stevens, Jr. was victorious over Rowe's teammate Mike Ashley.
The semifinals saw Martin send Hahn packing. While the other side of the ladder found Halsey defeating Richie Stevens, Jr.
It was an all nitrous final with Martin, from New Hudson, Mich., in the ACDelco Pontiac Grand Am with lane choice over No. 2 qualifier Jim Halsey, from Street, Md., in a '63 Corvette. Martin, who qualified for his first time in three attempts at an NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge event, is in first final, as is Halsey.
It was all Halsey from half-track on taking the win light in 6.271 seconds at 223.76 mph. Martin, who has engine problems around the 660-foot mark, followed in 6.898 seconds at 157.43 mph.
"My sister's been sick for about a month now, she's getting better, we've dedicated this win to her," said Halsey. "I think it might have been harder getting into the field but there is nothing like the win. The competition was tough. How tough? Tougher than anything I've been against. This is Indy. This is the 50th anniversary. What can you say! It's the biggest race of all time!"
Runner-up Martin said the following, "We leave here with a lot of positives we can build on. We sat on the pole, ran our career-best elapsed time and speed, but in racing you still need a little luck to go with it, and unfortunately on that last run, our luck expired on us. Even so, it was a great weekend for the ACDelco Racing team."
The next race for the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge is at the NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas. The event will unfold September 23-26.
Missing in action on Monday: Rickie Smith, the AMA Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge champion at the 2003 Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, did not make the eight-car field for this year's 50th anniversary Big Go. The Tommy Lipar Racing Ford Mustang, with Tommy Grey, Jr. currently subbing for Von Smith, missed the show for the first time this year in the eight events contested. Other notables not making this year's show at Indy are Zach Barklage, Al Billes, Shannon Jenkins, Jay Payne (who ran his quickest Pro Mod run ever) and Mitch Stott.
Nitrous versus Supercharged: Of the 29 Pro Mod cars that attempted to qualify seven had nitrous and three made the eight-car field. Two were in the final round.
Cancelled: Two of the five Pro Mod qualifying sessions were cancelled by NHRA for schedule adjustments. Needless to say, this met with considerable disfavor with the Pro Mod field.