April 30, 2004
The IHRA announces new Over Drive rules effective immediately. The rule drops the OD limit to 20.0%. Let's start the debate boys.
April 26, 2004
Vern Mills out testing his new 67 Camaro. He went in the 6.60's at around 210.
April 22, 2004 Pro Mod is covered here
............... points leader, Canadian Glen Kerunsky. Other Canadian's to challenge this weekend are Rick Distefano, last year's Winternationa's champ Carl Spiering and the past four year's top Canadian Pro Mod standout, Al Billes. Any one of these four could win the event. Canada has alot to be proud of in the Pro Mod ranks in 2004. Stay tuned here for all the action
April 18 ,2004 (photos courtesy Guy Van Syckle)
Mike Ashley continued his fast pace at Houston in the AMS Pro Mod series. At Gainesville, Ashley went to the semi finals and was one of the quickest cars all weekend long. At Houston, Mike ran at the top again and qualified #1 with a 6.165. In elimination's, he took on Scotty Cannon in round one and advanced easily when Cannon slowed. In the semi finals, he ran low et of the weekend with a 6.155 and took out Mitch Stott. In the final round Ashley was up against Zach Barklage who defeated Von Smith and Ed Hoover in the first two rounds. The final was like a burndown contest at the starting line when both drivers had horrible .1+ lights (Ashley's was better. Mike was first off in the snail like start, and outran Barklage 6.180 to 6.193. The win gives Ashley the point lead after two races in the 10 race series.
Final round numbers.
Mike Ashley, Left lane, (0.110) 6.180 229.98 def. Zach Barklage, (0.168) 6.193 232.59
April 17, 2004
Final qualifying in AMS Pro Modified was like Pro Stock the field, it is so tight. Only 3/100ths separate the 8 car field. It is led by Mike Ashley in "Eleanor" with a great 6.165. The entire field is filled with blown cars including three Corvettes, two Mustangs, one Avenger, one Grand Am and the Studebaker of Scotty Cannon. First round pairings are: Ashley VS Cannon, Hoover VS King, Barklage VS Smith and Stott VS Billes.
Here is final qualifying:
1 1211 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, 67 Mustang 6.165 229.74
------------ Not Qualified ------------
9 Troy Critchley 00...6.236 229.16
Dennis Radford ran an off the trailer 6.252 but could not improve
Danny Rowe made only one good lap (6.255) but it fell short of the all teen bump.
The rendering is below of Rick's new car but go here for pictures ofthe body just out of the paint shop.
Rick Distefanos new ride due out in a month or so. Rendering courtesy Stu Wotypka
March 26, 2004
Two rounds of qualifying at the Texas Nationals on Friday sees a couple of the hitters from last week out on top and two Canadians in the field so far. Go here for all the results.
Woodland Washington's Steve Cartier is out making laps in his new Tim McAmis built Pro Mod. He has been in the low 6.50's at close to 220mph already. He will be a player in the class. George and Karen Adams photography.
Below, Kirk Kuhns and his new Pro Mod was out testing and match racing against Dennis Radford. Go here for a few more pictures of him and Dennis. (Carlson photos)
March 21, 2004 Canadian Al Billes wins the first AMS event of the year.
Al Billes in the far lane. Note Ed Hoover starting to haze the tires early, and he was five feet back 15 feet off the line.
All the hype was on other drivers in the AMS Pro Mod series at the Gatornationals this past weekend. Mike Ashley and the "Stang", Scotty Cannon, Mitch Stott, Von Smith, Mike Janis and others. Well, the media and the other teams forgot about that Canuck from "up were it snows all year round", didn't they? Even Al probably went into the event with a few unknowns, especially since he was driving the car that he crashed last season, and the reason for the crash was not really discovered. Billes qualified in the field with a 6.223/229 to sit # 7, things improved from there starting in first round Sunday. Al was killer on the tree Sunday in his first round matchup against one of the series favorite's Von Smith. The high dollar Smith team with Howard Moon turning is expected to be one of the dominating cars in the class for the 2004 season. Billes was up for this race and cut a physic .001 light and ran a strong 6.24 to easily beat a tire shaking Smith. In round two, he took on the other Mustang, this one driven by Ashley, Ashley had low et of round two and had lane choice. He took the left lane but rattled the tires and Billes' ran low et of the round, a solid 6.215, go give him lane choice against Ed Hoover who ran a 6.216. In the final, Billes dominated from start to finish, as Hoover snoozed on the tree and then smoked the tires. Billes went right on down "Don Garlits Way" and ran his best et of the weekend , a 6.206 @ 229.88 giving him the Wally and sending notice to all the big dollar teams, to "look north boyz". A very cool deal!!
Final round results:
(W) Al Billes
(*'53 Corvette) 0.081 6.206 229.88
Pit Notes: The car count was huge (24) for this event and the only way for it to grow is to make it a 16 car field. In order for that to happen, a series sponsor wanting to double the amount Dave Wood and the AMS Staff Leasing company is already shelling out is necessary. Is that going to happen. Let's hope so! Mike Ashley's Shelby "Eleanor" got alot of the hype this weekend and Mike and team a proud of the new car and all the exposure it is getting.........But did you know the first Shelby Mustang Pro Mod actually debuted up here in Canada eight years ago. Keith Korecki from Kelowna BC, has run the Shelby in real original color and with a big bad Boss Motor under the hood. It is a nitrous combination and he brings the car out once or twice a year, mostly because of the costs involved. While it is not a 630 or quicker performer, for a guy that has done all his own R&D, and does not had the budget to spent a kazillion dollars he has run a bunch of 6.80's at 200. I talked to Keith this morning and he said a couple years ago he made a front end (the only time he has build a component for the car for anyone other than for his own personal use) for a guy in Florida. He also sent him door skins as well, and low and behold, here is Ashley's ride looking very similar to Keith's. Is the front end and the body modeled after the Korecki car? Hard to say but here are the two cars. You take a look. If it is from the same mold or design, put a feather in your cap Keith. Korecki runs a high Performance shop called K & S Machine in Kelowna. He is one of the best Ford experts in the North West and builds quality engines and machining work.
(Dean Murdoch photos)
Kieth Korecki's Shelby Pro Mod
Below, here is the only nitrous qualifier at Gainesville, Rickie Smith. He went out in round one.
March 20, 2004 A very fast field is ready to rumble Sunday after the field battled through the final two rounds of qualifying at the opening AMS Pro Mod event of 2004. 63 Corvette's and Blown combinations dominated the field, as four of the swoopy 63's sit on the ladder and 7 various blown combinations swarm the lone nitrous entry driven by Rickie Smith. The BAE, Veney, and AJ 481x blown combinations are showing their presence as the NHRA Pro Mods look to be a non-naturally aspirated battle ground. I wonder if the NHRA will look at a parity issue that does not model itself after the IHRA. Mike Janis made his new sponsor Eaton Automotive happy with a 6.157 best. A couple Mustang's from different era's are #2 and 3, with Von Smith and the Shelby driven by Mike Ashley sitting right behind Janis. Ed Hoover who has made the permanent switch to a blower rounds out the to half. Sunday's pairings are Janis vs Rickie Smith, Von Smith Vs Canadian Al Billes, Mike Ashley Vs Mitch Stott, and Ed Hoover vs surprise qualifier Zach Barklage. Calgary transplant Danny Rowe made his best lap in a couple years, when he ran a 6.246@229.
1. Mike Janis *'63 Corvette 6.157 230.94
Two of the more prominent Pro Mods making their debut in the AMS deal are Jay Payne, (below) and Scotty Cannon (bottom). Both failed to qualify for the field.
Jay ran a 6.32 best
Cannon's best was a 6.28
March 19, 2004 Danny Rowe finds right combination during Fridays qualifying
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Danny Rowe found plenty of positives to build on in his debut as driver under Mike Ashleys InfiNet/Gotham City Racing banner during the season-opening MAC Tools NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. The Laguna Hills, Ca-based driver rebounded from a miscue in the first qualifying session to blast out a 6.291, 226.30. Rowe ended the first day of qualifications ranked 12th out of 23 cars vying for a spot in the field. We are on the fast track for even more improvement tomorrow, Rowe explained. Mikes program did great today and that will only help us to step up even more tomorrow. We have two more sessions to improve and I intend to take full advantage of them tomorrow.
The field is already very stout at the Gators' this weekend after two rounds of qualifying. 23 cars made qualifying attempts Frauday and there are 6 blown cars and two nitrous cars in the field so far. Mike Ashley is #1 with a great 6.19 he ran is the morning session. His team mates Scotty Cannon and Danny are#11 and 12 respectively. The weather reached the mid 80's and a track temperature of over 125 degrees kept the cars from running quicker. Here is the field after two rounds of qualifying. (Numbers courtesy Drag Race Central) (Friday photo courtesy Paul Songas)
1 Mike Ashley, Melville NY, 67 Mustang 6.197/229mph
Rickie Smith, 6.259 225.22
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