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.
Above, Mike Ashley's PM. Below, Korecki's, note the head lights in the centre of the grill, that's all I see as the difference. One is a 500GT and one is a 350GT I believe. (Dean Murdoch photos)
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
March 18, 2004
Team "Gotham City" debuts this weekend at the 35th Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida.
Pro Modified racer Danny Rowe opens new chapter in storied drag racing career with Gotham City Racing team
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Last season, a wearied Danny Rowe couldnt help but feel that hed been through three years in the span of one. The West Coast-based Pro Modified driver from Laguna Hills, Ca., experienced about as many misfortunes as a driver could, yet his never-quit spirit kept him coming back for more. New car bugs combined with various electrical gremlins proved to be the source of frustration for a driver that had more than proved his worth by winning two NHRA Pro Modified national events and a West Coast Pro Modified Association Championship.
Content to put the memories of 2003 behind him and concentrate on 2004, Rowes foremost objective was to regain the same momentum that drove him to the final round at the 2001 NHRA U.S. Nationals. Pro Modified team owner Mike Ashley and his Gotham City Racing team always considered Rowe a formidable opponent despite any gremlin that may have hampered his efforts. It became clear that Rowe was the perfect driver to complete the expanding Gotham City team.
Rowe is extremely excited headed into qualifying tomorrow for the NHRA Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
I have high hopes for this year, added Rowe. Mike Ashley and his team represent a first class operation and I am proud to be involved. I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to be a part of the InfiNet Insurance & Financial Network as well as Gotham City Racing.
When the union of East and West Coast was announced last October, the initial plan was for Rowe to drive the teams award-winning 1941 Willys. That has since changed and Rowe will do battle in a 1963 Corvette. This classic Chevrolet features another rendition of the trademark Gotham City mural that has become a common feature for the Long Island, NY-based operation.
Rowes reputation is strong in NHRA AMS Pro Modified Challenge competition. In 2001, Rowe attended his first NHRA AMS Pro Modified Challenge event during the Sears Craftsman Nationals and emerged victorious. He earned a prestigious berth to the NHRA U.S. Nationals and likewise reached the final round.
Despite being based thousands of miles from Ashley, Rowe feels at home as part of the east coast group which extends to a Pro Stock Bike piloted by Lloyd Straus and six-time World Champion Scotty Cannon.
Rowe admits that he counts his good fortunes headed into 2004. He merely smiles and points out, This is nothing short of a win-win situation.
The official website for Gotham City Racing is at www.gothamcityracing.com. Rowes personal website is www.dannyrowe.com.
About our sponsors
Based in Irving, Texas, InfiNet is the nation's most successful provider of insurance and staffing specializing in the construction industry. InfiNet provides workers compensation insurance, health benefits, loss and claims management, OSHA and Safety programs. InfiNet has offices nationwide and is the contractor's choice for Insurance and Administrative savings.
For more information on InfiNet, visit their website at www.infinetinsurance.com.
To learn more about Slur, their website can be accessed at www.slur.com.
Layne Wooley was outing running without the nitrous wanted to get on the track instead of the dyno
Frank Nelson is another one of the early birds
He went 8.16 on the one lap I saw.
March 12, 2004
Frank Gugliotta records quickest and fastest run in IHRA Sunoco Pro Stock history at VMP
PETERSBURG, Va. On his last run of the day, Frank Gugliotta of Mt. Airy, Md., made unofficial Pro Stock history. The hired gun for Steve Thodos put the teams brand new Ford Escort into uncharted territory with a 6.407, 215.51. The atmospheric conditions were incredible as the air was at 275-below sea level.
A stunned Gugliotta was at a loss for words as he was handed the time slip for confirmation. How can you put this into words, added Gugliotta, voted the most improved driver in IHRA. When I stuck this car into third and went high, I know this thing was on a pass Gugliotta smiled as he kissed his brand new Rick Jones-built Escort. That old Jon Kaase horsepower threw me back in the seat and those Hoosier Tires just held on to the track.
Thodos was confident that his team can repeat in tomorrows Chicago Style eliminations. It feels absolutely great and Im happy for Frank and my guys, added Thodos. Its times like this that confirmed that I made the best choice for the driver.
Just two years ago, former IHRA Pro Stock World Champion Gene Wilson ran a 6.51.
Chicago Style eliminations for the 4th annual CompetitionPlus.com Spring Open presented by Torco Racing Fuels begin at Noon on Saturday.
March 11, 2004 The new West Coast Doorslammer series for Woodburn Pacific and Bremerton debuts April. The rules are here. Can we see a shootout between winners of this deal and the winners the Canada west Door Slammers? That would be cool.
DATE LOCATION (WCDSR) WEST COAST DOOR SLAMMER
March 11, 2004 EATON Automotive Joins Mike Janis for 2004
Elma, NY EATON Automotive, a leader in automotive engine air management and fuel economy, has partnered with former IHRA Pro Modified Champion Mike Janis for the 2004 NHRA and IHRA seasons. Under the partnership, EATON Automotive will be the primary sponsor of Mike Janis Pro Modified Corvette.
All of us at Eaton Automotive are excited to be partnered with Mike Janis for the 2004 season. We have designed and manufactured automotive powertrain components for over 90 years and are proud to be part of the automotive industry. We see partnering with Mike Janis and presenting our name on "WidowMaker" as a great opportunity to highlight our commitment, said Glenn Gouldey, Vice President Strategic Technology and Planning for EATON Automotive.
This year, Janis and his EATON Automotive team plan on running 7 NHRA events and 11 IHRA events. Janis will start the season with his now trademark WidowMaker theme with EATON Automotives logo prominently displayed on both sides of the car. My entire team is very excited to be involved with EATON Automotive, said Janis. We are looking to improve on last seasons finish and hopefully bring a championship to EATON Automotive.
Eaton Automotive creates solutions and partners with OEMs to respond to the market demands for improved fuel economy, vehicle emission and safety systems, via their engine air management, powertrain controls, safety and security systems. Eaton Automotive produces mono- and multi-cylinder heads in aluminum or cast iron, diesel and gasoline fuel filters, oil filters, fuel vapor valves, and common rail diesel pressure/flow regulators. Eaton manufactures valvetrain products, superchargers and cylinder heads for engines used in commercial, light vehicle, marine and motorcycle applications. For passenger cars and light trucks, Eaton also manufactures locking and limited slip differentials, sensors, actuators, transmission control modules, mirror glass actuators, suspension controls, tire valves, decorative body moldings and automotive fluid connectors including hoses, hose assemblies, fittings and adapters.
Janis Racing Crew:
Crew Chief: Mike Janis Jr.
Crew: Sean Janis - Data Acquisition, Jeff Brown - Lead Mechanic, Joe Janis - Cylinder Head Specialist/Parachutes, Steve Herman - Engine/Clutch Assistant, Kevin Peters Aerodynamics/Chassis and Short Block Prep, Mike Rasnick Marketing, and Rob Kozak - Team Manager.
Feb. 19, 2004
31st Darlington Winternationals.
Elijah Morton Makes five 6.40 passes at the Darlington Winternational on his way to a dominating victory in Pro Stock. His laps included 6.470, 6.482, 6.491 6.497, 6.498. In the final his 6.498 was too much for Robert Patrick (6.52 best) in the Purvis Mustang Patrick. Patrick made numerous 6.50 laps but could not content with the quicker Morton. Other Pro Stocks at Darlington included, Brian Gahm (6.57 best), Frank Gugliotta (6.578 best), Doug Kirk (6.59 best) and Bert Jackson (6.511 best).
The Pro Mod coverage from Darlington is here
31st Darlington Winternationals.
Friday Feb. 20, 2004 One of the premier Doorcar test event before all the NHRA/AMS, IHRA, Pro Street, and Outlaw events start their season's. The highlight will be Cannon vs Stott in a match race challenge. Mitch Stott the first and only to ever to ever run a "five" in a Doorcar has been challenged by Scotty Cannon in his return to the class he loves. We will try and have al the action from this weekend stay tuned!!
Your favorite West Coast and Canadian Pro Mod and Doorslammers web sites: