DRO: What exactly are your duties relating to the AMS Pro Mod series?
KN: I do just about everything related to insuring that the Pro Mod program runs smoothly. I am responsible for the marketing and the promotions for the AMS Pro Mod series and the AMS race team. I also function as a liaison between the racers, the series, and the NHRA on the race weekends. I get to the track on Wednesday and I don't leave until the following Monday. I work very closely with the NHRA folks to make sure the Pro Mod show goes off as we have it planned, from parking to the winners circle. I just want to say here how helpful and accommodating the NHRA is with their relationship with AMS Staff Leasing and Dave Wood.
DRO: Speaking of NHRA, do you have any feelings about what NHRA has in store for Pro Mods next season. Have you talked with NHRA representatives about what's planned?
KN: Yes, I have. I've talked with John Siragusa of the NHRA, who is their director of new business development, and he tells me that they are in negotiations with Dave Wood for AMS to sponsor the Pro Mods for the 2003 season. He says they hope to make an announcement very soon.
DRO: Is it true that the Pro Mod program is structured so that Pro Mod will be separated from the traditional NHRA Pro classes such as Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike?
KN: That is the way I understand it. Pro Mod coverage would not be included with the Saturday/Sunday television coverage. NHRA tells me that their current contract with POWERade restricts the television coverage to the current Pro classes. However, I'm told that when Pro Mod becomes an official Professional class, the current half-hour Pro Mod show on ESPN2 will be extended to a one-hour show dedicated exclusively to NHRA Pro Modified.
DRO: Can you give us any information about the purse structure, rules, and number of races that Pro Mod might have?
KN: Let me say this, I believe that if Pro Mod becomes a full-fledged NHRA professional class next season the participants will get the same treatment as the current Pro Classes. The only difference would be in the television coverage. As far as the payout is concerned, I can only tell you that if I have anything to do with it the payout for Pro Mod will equal or exceed that of NHRA Pro Stock. My opinion is that it will end up being either the same as the IHRA Pro Mod payout except there will be no entry fees or it will the NHRA Pro Stock payout. As far as the number of cars and races, the current proposals are for 12-14 races with 16-car fields.
DRO: What can you tell us about the rules situation for NHRA and 2003?
KN: NHRA has told me that they will be writing their own rules for next season. I don't know any specifics but I do know that NHRA is absolutely clear that the class needs both blown cars and nitrous cars and they will be trying to write rules that will try and bring the performance of the nitrous cars up to the blower car levels. Also, in my opinion--and I want to stress this is my opinion only--they should look into the turbocharger program. I'd like to see turbocharging allowed if we could come up with some rules that would keep the turbocharged cars from running away with the program.
DRO: If AMS decides not to become the Pro Mod series sponsor for the 2003 season do you feel that some other company will step up and sponsor the class?
KN: Even if AMS doesn't sign on for 2003 season, I'm 99.9 percent sure that someone will sponsor the class because I know that there are other companies that have expressed interest in the class. I also want to say that I hope that whoever does agree to sponsor the class has the affection for the class that Dave Wood does.
DRO: Last question Kenny. We've heard that IHRA may have approached you about working for them. Is that true?
KN: No comment.
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