(Photos by David Whealon) – It was the hottest weekend of the 2018 NHRA Mello Yello drag racing season and it was also the hottest weekend of action for the NHRA E3 Spark Plugs pro mod series as well. The 90-degree ambient air temperatures combined with a 140-degree track temperatures made for an interesting situation for crew chiefs but the brilliant minds behind these cars figured it out. The spread between number one and number 16 was seven one-hundredths of a second. The low qualifier was Jeremy Ray at 5.80 and the number sixteen qualifier was Steve Matusek at 5.87. You had to go all the way back to the 22 spot to even get to the 5.90s!
Tommy and Judy Franklin did an amazing thing when they bought VMP last October. They plowed a massive amount of money into the facility to make it better and bring the bones of a former national event track back. The racing surface is the best in the world. Seriously. It is insane. We walked it ourselves before the race and it is jaw droopingly good. The huge track temps were not as big a problem because of the quality of the surface.
Mike Janis picked up his first pro mod win in years and proved that the hard work he and his son Mike Jr. along with their crew had put in was worth it. The race was epic and an all blower final was the result with Mike Castellana coming up just a little short against Janis.
Pro Mod is the best show NHRA has right now in our opinion. Nearly 30 cars at every race trying to qualify and the fans stick in the stands to see it. So much fun and Bristol was the first of a three in a row for the series!
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