Muenks Wins 'Inspiring' MWPMS Event at Dallas
ENNIS, TX (June 1, 2020) -- Early last month at Tulsa
Raceway Park, the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod
Series (MWPMS) became the first major touring drag racing
series in the country to return to action after the
loosening of nationwide pandemic lockdown restrictions.
The MWPMS wasted no time in getting back at it, too, with
the Keurig Dr. Pepper Lonestar Nationals May 22-23, at the
Texas Motorplex, near Dallas, where veteran driver Ron
Muenks emerged as victor in the marquee Pro Mod class.
"With all that's going on in the world right now it was
inspiring to see our Mid-West Series racers back on the
race track so quickly, right where they belong," MWPMS
founder, owner and competitor Keith Haney declared.
"Getting back to racing is just one more step in the
bigger picture of getting back to business and putting our
country back on its feet again.
"And I couldn't be prouder of our Mid-West Pro Mod Series
team led by Jimmy Boles with help from Lonnie Grim who
handles all of our rules now. And we also have Randy and
Cale Hancock, who are key to just getting anything done
that needs to be done, along with Ellen Eschenbacher, our
events marketing director who keeps things organized and
stays on top of getting our social media posts out there.
It's a real team effort.
"And we had Chad Reynolds from Bangshift.com out there
doing the live feed online for us and it also went live
over NHRA.tv," Haney continued. "A lot of people didn't
know because we didn't announce it, but we had over 10,000
viewers watch the Mid-West Pro Mod Series streamed live
along with the NHRA Lucas Oil series on NHRA.tv, the whole
event. So NHRA fans that maybe knew nothing about us or
about our series know about us now and it was history for
Chad and Bangshift, too."
Out on the track, Muenks qualified his Dave's Claremore RV
'68 Camaro second behind only last year's MWPMS champion
and this year's Tulsa winner, Aaron Wells. In eliminations
he beat Chad Green, Jeffrey Cummins and Clint Satterfield
on his way to meeting fourth-place starter Jim Sackuvich
in an all-nitrous Pro Mod final.
When the lights turned green, Muenks got away first with a
.022 holeshot and led stripe to stripe, finishing an
eighth-mile later in 3.71 seconds at a career-best 204.29
mph in a close match over Sackuvich and his '69 Camaro at
3.72 and 204.17 mph.
"All I had to do was do my job on the tree and drive it
out the back door," Muenks said. "So Jeff Pierce, he put
the tune up in it and I was staring at the moon to the 400
mark, 'cause the front end was in the air and off and gone
we went, straight as an arrow."
Muenks' victory marked the first MWPMS win for a nitrous
entry since Haney earned the series' 2017 World Finals
title at Tulsa Raceway Park. With his own nitrous-assisted
Camaro currently nearing repair after an early season
crash in Florida this year, Haney said he got to enjoy the
MWPMS event in Texas from a different perspective.
"At Tulsa a couple of weeks earlier I was too busy because
I co-own that track with Todd Martin, but once we got to
the Motorplex what I enjoyed the most was getting to know
all the Mid-West Series racers a little better," Haney
said. "I got to watch every round of qualifying, every
round of racing for all classes, and from being at my
trailer handing out contingency stickers and walking the
lanes between rounds with Randy and Ellen I think I spoke
with nearly every racer there."
Teams from as far away as California and Pennsylvania have
made the trek to race with MWPMS this year, Eschenbacher
pointed out, adding that several even opted to leave their
race rigs behind in the Midwest to become part of the
series for the entire 2020 season.
"It's also great to have NHRA stars like Scott Palmer and
Terry Haddock coming out to compete with the 40 Pro Mod
racers we've seen between the first two MWPMS events this
year," she added.
Joining Muenks and his "Purple Gorilla" teammates in the
MWPMS winner's circle was 2019 series champion Wells, who
suffered an uncharacteristic first-round loss to
California's Justin Wake. That relegated him to the unique
MWPMS Slammers class for non-qualifiers and those who
don't make it out of round one, where he went on to beat
newcomer Mike Labbate in the Slammers final.
Shannon Smith, who posted a perfect triple-zero reaction
time in the Top Sportsman final against Lance Abbott, also
visited victory lane, as did 16th-place qualifier William
Swan over number-one starter Jim Thorp in Race Star Wheels
Top Dragster, Megan Meyer with the NHRA Top Alcohol
Dragster win over Dean Dubbin, and Sean Bellemeur after a
stripe-to-stripe lead over Annie Whiteley in the NHRA Top
Alcohol Funny Car final.
Also part of the MWPMS Lone Star Nationals were two Jr.
Dragster categories for 8-17 year olds, featuring two
separate points races held during the event on Friday and
Saturday night, with the cumulative winner from both days
being awarded an official NHRA "Wally" trophy.
Friday's Pro Jr. Dragster race was highlighted by an
all-girl final in which Jordan Eperjesi prevailed over
Emma Heidkamp, while Tyler Janousek took the Sportsman Jr.
Dragster final over Brody Teague.
On Saturday night, second-generation driver Scottie
Taylor, son of Pro Mod star Frankie "Mad Man" Taylor, beat
Brad Bettis in the Pro Jr. Dragster final to win in his
final Jr. Dragster appearance and also capture the first
NHRA "Wally" trophy for the Taylor family. Meanwhile, in
Sportsman Jr. Dragster, Tyler Wells ran dead on his 8.92
dial in to beat Teague, who broke out in his
second-straight final, but also picked up the Wally for
The next scheduled stop on the Covid 19-delayed 2020 MWPMS
tour is June 19-20 at World Wide Technology Raceway at
Gateway, near St. Louis.
Pro Mod driver Ron Muenks (far right) celebrates with his
Dave's Claremore RV teammates after winning the MWPMS
Keurig Dr. Pepper Lonestar Nationals late last month at
the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX.
Photo courtesy MWPMS/Gary Rowe
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 (typically about $10,000). 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
commercials during all events. Complete class rules are
posted on the MWPMS website.