ENNIS, Texas (October 8, 2003) -- Pro Mod drivers bring their special brand of racing to Texas for a double dose of excitement when the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge and the First annual AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout take to the ...
ENNIS, Texas (October 8, 2003) -- Pro Mod drivers bring their special brand of racing to Texas for a double dose of excitement when the NHRA AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Challenge and the First annual AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout take to the Texas Motorplex quarter-mile track during the 18th annual NHRA O'Reilly Fall Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec this weekend.
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 based on how they qualified at the first eight of ten events at which the Pro Mods compete. The eight Pro Mod drivers accumulating the most points during the season-long qualifying earned a position in the Shootout.
No. 1 qualifier Tim McAmis leads the field to the starting line for the First annual AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout in his Sanders Motorsports '63 Corvette. McAmis, who has had four No. 1 qualifying efforts thus far this year, took the top position at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., the final race that drivers could qualify for this year's event.
"You've got eight drivers and cars that this year have been the cream of the crop," said McAmis regarding the Shootout. "There's no gimmies. It's going to be a dog fight to the end. We definitely don't have any advantage because we're number one. We're qualified number one because we did well during the season in qualifying but that doesn't necessarily carryover to the Shootout. We can definitely win it, but so can any of the other seven cars. We're that close. We have to go in there with our head screwed on right, have a little bit of luck and maybe some decent performance, then maybe we can collect the 10 grand.
"We're looking forward to the Shootout. We've got a new engine in the car that we're confident is going to do well. I believe I speak for all the drivers in saying that we appreciate Dave Wood and AMS Staff Leasing for putting up the money for this Shootout. I'm excited and really looking forward to this weekend. We like to have fun at the race track. I take it seriously, but it's not life or death when it comes to the end result. I want to do good but I also want to have a good time doing it. A win would really make it a good time."
Rounding out the top half of the eight car field is Fred Hahn, from West Seneca, N.Y., No 2, Mitch Stott, from Mill Spring, N.C., No. 3 and Mike Ashley, from Melville, N.Y., in fourth.
The bottom half of the field has undergone some changes. Thomas Patterson remains in fifth but No.6 Quain Stott, from Inman S.C., has withdrawn from all competition at Dallas due to damages his '63 Chevy Corvette incurred in a recent crash. As a result, No. 9 qualifier Shannon Jenkins, from Tuscaloosa, Ala., in his nitrous powered '68 Chevy Camaro will move into the field. Rickie Smith and Al Billes, who occupied the seventh and eighth position originally, move up to No. 6 and No. 7 respectively and Jenkins moves into the No. 8 slot.
There are six supercharged powered cars and two nitrous powered cars in the field. McAmis, Hahn, Stott, Ashley, Patterson and Billes will lead the supercharged brigade, while Smith and Jenkins will carry the banner for the nitrous group.
"Right now the nitrous cars have the opportunity to hurt the supercharged guys real bad on the starting line. It's nothing for a nitrous car to take three- to five-hundredths away from the blower cars on the tree (starting lights) and that is so hard to make up," said Mitch Stott, who drives the Radiac Abrasives '63 Chevrolet Corvette.
"The advantage is because of weight. The nitrous car only weighs 2375 pounds, while the blown car weighs 2700 pounds. The blown car being bigger, just won't move. The nitrous car is light and nimble. It's just that simple.
"Additionally, the temperature will be a factor. The cars, nitrous versus blown, are so close that temperature is critical. If we get in the 80-plus degree range, advantage nitrous. If it's under 80-degrees, it (the advantage) should belong to the supercharged cars."
McAmis agreed, "The nitrous cars will have a starting line advantage that the blower cars can't quite seem to get back just because of the mechanical way the cars are run. You know, the game is you have to leave the starting line first and you have to run faster. If you don't do that you're not going to win. Regardless, we made the choice to run the blower combination and we'll make it work to our best advantage."
McAmis, the chassis builder, from Hawk Point, Mo., will face the No. 8 qualifier, Jenkins. Fred Hahn, starting from the No.2 position, will bring the Jim Oddy-owned Summit Racing '03 Corvette to the starting line against No. 7, Canadian Al Billes and his '53 Studebaker.
The No. 3 versus No. 6 match up was to be a battle of the Stott brothers, Mitch and Quain, but now Mitch will now be matched against veteran Rickie Smith, from King, N.C., who will be behind the wheel of a '63 Corvette.
The final pair will find mortgage banker Mike Ashley, from Melville, N.Y., in his '41 Willys, going head-to-head with Houston's Thomas Patterson, also in a '41 Willys. Ashley qualified No. 4, while Patterson was fifth.
When the sun sets in Texas on Saturday, one of these eight drivers will have a $10,000 payday in the winner take all AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Shootout.