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I suspect that Roger Burgess's ability to purchase the title rights to the series with his Get Screened America program didn't hurt. Interestingly, Pro Mod is the first NHRA professional class to bring its own sponsor. I'm betting it won't be the last.
I’ve been critical at times of Tom Compton as the NHRA president for not being pro-active, but in my mind when he made this decision about the Pro Mod class, despite opposition (I believe) from some of his own staff, he finally and completely stepped out of Wally Parks’ shadow.
The current NHRA surely is the Tom Compton NHRA. Like it or not, on Tom's watch we have seen the NHRA shorten the track for fuel cars, install the "Chase" points system, and now add a new professional class.
As I sat there in the ballroom of the Monte Carlo watching Compton at the Pro Mod banquet, I was struck by how at ease he was with himself and with the racers. I have seen him at times in the past appear nervous speaking to a crowd and referring to notes. Not this time, though; he was composed, in control, and genuinely having a good time.
Now I can hear you out there groaning that I’m drinking the industrial strength Full Throttle, but cut me -- and Tom -- a little slack. I've been waiting a long time for the NHRA to make Pro Mod a professional class. I was there for the first NHRA exhibition race and I was there for the last.