Coyle Thunders to World Series Pro Mod Win
Words by Jeff Burk
Photos by Jeff Burk, Mike Garland, Michelle Simmons and Matt Schramel
The Pro Mod race at the 59th annual World Serie of Drag Racing was perhaps the best in the short history of the series sponsored by Chris Duncan Race Cars. There were 12 teams entered, representing six states, making it one of the largest fields in the short history of the series.
The cars were of such high quality that on practically every eighth-mile qualifying lap a track or series record was equalled or re-set. Terry Coyle in his ADRL championship winning ‘70 Duster powered by a supercharged Hemi, and second-generation driver Rickie Jones driving his 2012 Camaro powered by an nitrous oxide-injected Reher-Morrison Chevy wedge both set series and track records for their classes on almost every lap.
In the end supercharger racer Coyle and his Mopar held off Smith’s nitrous Camaro by the narrowest of margins to win a race that neither driver knew they won until they were told by the top end crew.
In the final round it was Joe Haas driving Frank and Debra Ousley’s “Crop Duster” versus Del Worsham in the Worsham Family Plymouth Arrow.
Haas had a slight starting line advantage hauling on down the Cordova quarter mile stopping the clocks with a 5.931/231.00 mph to Worsham’s 6.106/229.98 mph. Haas takes home the DRO AA/FC Challenge points and Frank Ousley does it with an old school “392″ D & E billet Dale Emery Block!
Cordova Raceway Park – Cordova, Illinois
Saturday Noon – August 26, 2012
Jeff Burk Reporting
In front of what track owner Scott Gardner says is the largest Friday Night crowd in the storied race’s history, the fans saw two of the best night qualifying sessions in the Mickey Thompson Tire/DRO AA/FC Challenge Series history. Half of the qualified field ran career best ET’s just to qualify including Marc White’s stellar 5.700 lap that got him the number one spot. Chad Head lived up to his pre-race favorite status by re-setting the track speed record for AA/FC at with a 251.34 second round blast.
Perhaps the most stunning turn of events was the failure to qualify by Series defending champ and current points leader John Hale who twice just blew the tires off and failed to qualify. With Hale not qualifying and this race awarding 1.5 points per every point gained – the points race has changed drastically.
1) Mark White 5.700/244.21 The Fred Mandoline tuned Pontiac Firebird ran a near perfect pass. He had a .977 sixty foot time and ran 3.748/201.61 to the eighth mile. Unfortunately the puff of smoke and sparks we saw when he lifted at the stripe was a rod exiting the block and the team will have to install a new engine for Saturday’s Eliminations
2) Shawn Bowen 5.823/249.44 The Michigan racers made it one-two for the Pontiac fans with their career best first round pass. They are still hurting some parts and “blacking” the crank every pass but they will be ready this evening and will face Del Worsham in the first round.
3) Joe Hass 5.857/235.51 Best ever pass for the “Crop Duster” crew. Didn’t hurt a part on the first round and decided to set out the second round.
4) Chad Head 5.875/251.34 Head had a relatively soft 1.06 60ft time but his eighth-mile times were 3.924/200.44 and he picked up 51mph+ on the back half.
5) Mike Lewis 5.921/238.51 Paul Smith tuned Texas Mustang had almost the same eighth-mile ET as Head with a 3.927 on his second lap but slowed down the back half of the track to a 6.00/216
6) Del Worsham 6.074/244.38 Worsham’s car is one of few AA/FC’s with a pedal clutch. The first lap was his best and had a troubled second lap with a coasting 6.737/141.62
7) Bazz Young 6.110/229.16 First lap was best and he qualifies for his second straight race, slowing to a 6.555 on the second lap. Tuner Jerry Newman will have to step the deal up to get Bazz his first round win.
8) Anthony Bronge 6.145/233.92 Bronge made his best pass of the event to get into the eighth and final slot. Bronge is currently second in DRO AA/FC Challenge Series points and it was do or die for him. Bronge has a five-second car and has run 5.80′s in the past. He’ll need that kind of performance to advance.
First round of eliminations begins at 6:30 CST We’ll bring you more coverage before the first round including photos and coverage of the Victory Performance N/SS race