'Dreams Come True'
for MWPMS with NHRA Appearance at Dallas
TULSA, Okla. (Sep. 6,
2019) -- Next month, during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at
the Texas Motorplex, the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod
Series (MWPMS) will stage an unprecedented 16-car, eighth-mile
exhibition race presented by Atomizer Racing Injectors as part of
a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) national event.
"This is a dream come true for me. Everyone in drag racing knows
the NHRA is the big show--period," MWPMS owner and competitor
Keith Haney states. "I want to personally thank NHRA, (Motorplex
owner) Billy Meyer and (track general manager) Andy Carter for
creating this tremendous opportunity for our racers.
"They can't believe they get to be a part of the first-ever NHRA
eighth-mile race, the first 16-car exhibition class field, the
first-ever race featuring all Pro Mod engine combos running side
by side, and most of all the chance to win the first-ever trophy
for eighth-mile racing in NHRA history. Each of these Mid-West
Series guys will go down in NHRA history--which alone is
amazing--but whoever wins that trophy will really have lifelong
bragging rights," he continues.
In entering three NHRA national events with a nitrous-fed, Summit
Racing-backed Camaro last year, Haney qualified for the official
RPM Pro Mod field during the 2018 NHRA FallNationals, placing him
among the few MWPMS racers with NHRA quarter-mile Pro Mod
experience. Each of 20 invited MWPMS entrants will be familiar
with the all-concrete Motorplex eighth mile, though, as the
Tulsa-based series opened its 2019 schedule at the Motorplex in
March and visited twice last year.
Knowing, however, that the RPM Pro Mod group would not be part of
the 2019 mix at the FallNationals, Carter said he approached NHRA
officials early this year with the suggestion of adding a local
Pro Mod exhibition instead.
"Between the Mid-West Pro Mods, the NHRA Pro Mods last year, and a
few local races we've held, we've really built up a strong Pro Mod
fan base here. I was just thinking of something on a smaller
scale, something with our local guys," Carter says. "For us, it
was really all about the opportunity to do something a little bit
different than everybody else.
"Then a couple of months back I got to talking with Keith and NHRA
asked me to put a plan together and we were all able to work out a
deal. Honestly, I asked for way more than I thought I would get
with the number of qualifying rounds and running the finals on
Sunday and stuff like that, but they came back and said okay,
let's do it."
Carter explains the planned schedule calls for completing two
rounds of MWPMS qualifying on Thursday (Oct. 17), with an
additional round of qualifying on each of the next two days,
followed by two elimination rounds also on Saturday. The MWPMS
semi-finals and final round will be contested on Sunday (Oct. 20),
in front of the NHRA race day crowd, with the standard MWPMS purse
and a coveted NHRA trophy on the line.
"This is big, really big," Haney stresses. "Everyone I've talked
to about racing in this event is so excited. I mean, to race in
front of what's going to be a huge crowd and get that first
eighth-mile trophy ever in the history of NHRA, how special would
that be? You can bet I want to win it and me and my crew chief
Brandon Switzer will be doing all we can to make that happen.
"But seriously, this is a dream event for most of our guys.
There's a good chance most of them will never see this stage
again--unless we have it again--so right now it could easily be a
"I have to mention, too, that it's a dream come true for our
announcer, Al Tucci, to work an NHRA national event. Al and his
unique style are known all around the world and I know he's every
bit as excited as I am to be a part of this amazing event."
Speaking from his home near Chicago, Tucci confirms his eager
"I can go down the list for 33 years and I've done every type of
racing or night fire show, even announced some division racing
many years ago, but not directly for NHRA. They just came to the
track where I worked and I was on the mic with Bob Frey," Tucci
recalls. "So for this I'm just totally excited and ready to let it
fly. It's going to be so cool."
Tucci also praises the Mid-West Pro Mod Series rules package that
will put a variety of powerplants in front of NHRA fans. Nitrous
cars such as Haney's nitrous-breathing "Black Mamba" 2019 Camaro
fresh out of Jerry Bickel's chassis shop will be going up against
cars outfitted with screw blowers, roots-type superchargers or
turbo set-ups under the hood.
"I remember back in the late-'90s when IHRA was racing blowers
versus nitrous and everyone was complaining, but I was saying,
'Either separate them or figure out the rules so nobody's walking
away with it.' It's a race. It's two guys in their cars, maybe a
10th of a second apart or whatever, but it's got to be a race,"
"Other sanctioning bodies have separated the classes while the
Mid-West Series has put everyone together, structured the rules so
that if you love turbos, or blowers, or nitrous, or whatever, you
get a chance to watch your favorite guys go at it."
Support is strong from the sponsorship and marketing side, too,
Haney says. "In addition to Atomizer Racing Injectors we also have
Summit Racing on board and Stroud Safety and Jerry Bickel Race
Cars so far."
As a longtime MWPMS marketing partner, Atomizer Racing Injectors
owner Jack French says it didn't take much to convince him to also
step up and support the series' NHRA outing.
"The NHRA is a big deal. I mean, they started the whole drag
racing thing, so for them to have this outlaw Pro Mod deal with
the Mid-West Series for the first time ever is a big deal, too,"
he insists. "Plus it's at the Texas Motorplex, which is a great
race track, so I think it's important for us to step up and show
the whole world we're supportive because the exposure is good
within NHRA and through the online and TV coverage and so forth. I
just think it's important to let everybody know that we're behind
any new growth that we can possibly be a part of.
"And I think the NHRA fans in Texas are going to just absolutely
go crazy over the Mid-West Pro Mod Series," French adds. "I'm also
really impressed that Keith was even able to get NHRA on board
with an eighth-mile race when they already have their own Pro Mod
quarter-mile class going. That's the most impressive
accomplishment of this whole deal, in my opinion. That's a tough
sell, a tough venue to break into."
For Haney, it confirms the last three years of building up the
MWPMS has been a worthwhile pursuit on many fronts--with still
more to come.
"This is the dream," he repeats. "I mean it. It's a dream for me
and I hope it's just a dream come true for all these great guys
that I race for, with and against at every Mid-West Series event.
"And you know, if they don't think I love them by now, they've got
another thing coming. I want them to know I do this because I love
racing and I love providing a place for all these great racers to
race. They may not like my rules sometimes, or they may not like
the series' rules; heck, they may not even like me, but they've
still got a great place to race for a good purse and safe
racetracks. And at the end of the day, living the dream is what
it's all about for all of us."
Fans interested in attending the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals can
save $10 on adult tickets Friday-Sunday by purchasing online at
TexasMotorplex.com and using promo code: MWPMS.
Photos courtesy NHRA/MWPMS/Damon Steinke
ABOUT THE SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT MID-WEST PRO MOD SERIES:
The Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series is an
all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization funded entirely through
marketing partnerships and passed along to benefit MWPMS host
tracks. The Mid-West Pro Mod Series also provides trackside
sponsor banners to be displayed at each event, on-site PA sponsor
announcements, and links to each company on the MWPMS website (www.MidWestProModSeries.com),
plus an extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts,
and live-streaming commercials during all events. Complete class
rules are posted on the MWPMS website.