Table of Contents DRO Store Classifieds Speed Connections Archives & Search Contact DRO

You used to work for Mike Ashley. Has this drama regarding the ADRL and NHRA Pro Mod series affected your relationship with Mike Ashley?

NOWLING: Not at all. I will admit though that when I was told that Mike went on some message boards told people that his Pro Mod program was going to be better and under improved leadership that my feelings were definitely hurt. I poured my heart and soul into that program and did as good of a job that I possibly could have. Unfortunately that information came second hand because I’ve quit reading message boards. It’s the negative and many times uninformed few people on those boards hiding behind false names that keep me from even looking at them, let alone participating. As long as Dave (Wood) and Tommy (Lipar) think I did a good job for them I’m satisfied.

How did the ADRL come about and why?

Nowling: AJ Ashe and I had wanted to put on a stand alone Pro Mod race for some time. A good friend of AJ’s, J. Lee Didier approached him and offered to back a quick 8-race we jumped at the opportunity. We called that race Dragstock! I decided it looked better if it was sanctioned. So I approached Flowmaster, Dave Wood and Tommy Lipar to back the race they agreed. Mike Ashley himself made a sizeable contribution to the first Dragstock event. After the success of Dragstock we formed the American Drag Racing League, LLC. A few weeks later we signed a title rights agreement with Flowmaster, and the rest as they say is history.

We noticed that even though NHRA as of today doesn’t have a Pro Mod program, you've taken pains to make sure the ADRL schedule doesn’t conflict with the IHRA or NHRA schedule. Why is that?

NOWLING: The ADRL isn’t in competition with either of those two sanctioning bodies. Our rules are nothing like theirs, but a lot of our racers race with those sanctioning bodies so we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to make a choice.

Are the rules going to change at ADRL events for next season? We hear there is a possibility of you adding an outlaw ten-wide class and perhaps a stand-alone turbo Pro Mod class?

NOWLING: The rules won’t change in our Pro Extreme class. Nitrous injected, turbocharged, supercharged or nitro, just about anything goes. Whatever combination you can think off is welcome as long as it passes our safety and chassis inspection, has working doors, left hand steer and meets our maximum wheelbase requirements. As for the ten-wide and turbo Pro Mod classes go, for now both we have changed the rules to allow both to compete in Pro Nitrous as long as they aren’t supercharged. If they are they will have to run Pro Extreme.

You’ve added some new tracks and changed the location of some races. You’re taking some steam on those message boards for moving Dragstock to Rockingham supposedly without telling the owners at Carolina Dragway. Care to comment on that?

NOWLING: Again, I now longer read message boards so I haven’t read any of that. I will tell you that I spoke with Jeff Miles, one of the owners of Carolina Dragway prior to our press conference at the PRI show and informed him of the change and why it was made. That conversation took place in the company of several people who I’m sure could attest to what was said. I expressed to Jeff that the decision was business related and involved a potential new sponsor. I also expressed a desire to possibly hold one of our proposed All-Star races, like the one we are planning for Sacramento in the summer there next year and that it was a possibility that Dragstock IV could be back their in 2007. If that is no longer possible that would be a real shame. Carolina Dragway was where the ADRL was born and I will always have fond memories from there. Again, it was a business decision, and one of the toughest I’ve ever had to make.

We hear that the ADRL races will be broadcast with a minimal delay on ESPN2’s Inside Drag Racing’s Sunday time slot. Will the program just be part of the Inside Drag Racing format or will the entire show be dedicated to race coverage of the ADRL event?

NOWLING: We are very excited to bring the ADRL to ESPN2. It will be covered on Inside Drag Racing, which is a huge plus, the entire IDR show less a little time for Butch McCall and the ARP quarter-mile quiz will be dedicated to the race. The 11 AM EST time slot on Sunday mornings is about as good as it gets for race fans.

Last Question. You’ve driven race cars in the past including a NHRA Comp Eliminator Car that was a DRO project car. Any chance we’ll see you between the tubes of a Pro Mod car or will you be content to just be the president of the ADRL and count your money?

NOWLING: I enjoy driving a great deal, so anything is possible. For now I am enjoying the challenge of growing the ADRL so much, I simply don’t have the time. As far as counting the money, I’ll let you know as soon as we make some. In all seriousness, it’s the challenge that motivates me not the money. I’ll take when it comes though.


Copyright 1999-2005, Drag Racing Online and Autographix