(Words and photos by David Whealon) – The 2017 sophomore season of the Galot Motorsports Park kicked off to an astounding start at the spectacular cutting edge facility in Benson, NC with the first installment of the three-race miniseries of the “Mad Mule Pro Mod Shootout” that was run on March the 4th. With temps here in the south hovering between the 70’s and 80’s for the weeks prior to the season opener, mother nature decided that enough is enough and let’s get back to winter like it supposed to be just in time for race day and man did those cool temps make for perfect racing. With the cool weather and the excellent track prep, we were in for a record setting day of awesome racing. Eighteen of the most badass Pro Mods in the area entered the gates to attempt to qualify for the 16 car field and a shot of taking home a colossal 10k at the end of the night. Not too shabby of a payday for the one day event. Along with the headliners, a host of 4.70 Outlaw racers braved the cold to put on tremendous side card show of their own. And the future stars of the sport, the Jr. Dragsters, had a time to shine with the big boys as well. Throngs of fans packed the immense grandstands to enjoy the long winter racing hiatus.
With only 2 scheduled rounds of qualifying the pace was frantic to try to get into the upper half. No time for any test passes. After it was all said and done, Lizzy Musi dominated the field through qualifying with a record setting 3.661 blast at 205.04 mph with her Pat Musi powered Frank Brandao 2015 Dodge Dart fresh off the boat from off season racing in Bahrain. The competition was not far behind with the second through twelfth qualifiers running in the 3.7’s with Galot’s own John Strickland taking the number 2 spot with a 3.708 at 201.91 mph. As it was in qualifying the racing was just as intense. Lizzy again dominated her rounds to make it to the semi-finals to face Tommy Franklin’s Musi powered 69’ Camaro to a barnburner round of epic proportions. With the pairing, both ran to the first ever Pro Nitrous side by side 3.67 passes in history with Lizzy taking the holeshot win to the finals. It was there that she would make her way to the winners circle with a victory over yet another Musi powered 69’ Camaro of Jason Harris who made his way to the finals with a semi win over 2016 Mad Mule Champion Jay Cox. Needless to say it was a nitrous power Musi Racing Engines kind of day.
With this incredible first race of GMP’s 2017 season one can only wonder what will be in store for the remainder of the year. Awarded with two PDRA races and numerous other big events such as the big buck K&N Spring Fling, NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional and Summit ET Series bracket races and throw in some N/T and Man Cup motorcycle races, the future looks nothing but electrifying for the drag racing masses. Not without mentioning the biggest NTPA Grand National tractor pull in the south with the running of the Mule City 300 in June.