Following the rain-shortened NHRA Carolina Nationals two weeks ago in Charlotte, Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod drivers Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek are over-the-moon excited about the two-races-in-one format of this weekend’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals and the implications on the championship points standings.
“This is one of those weekends that could change everything,” says Rowe, checking in from downtown St. Louis, where his team is preparing to participate in Thursday evening’s NHRA Fanfest. “There’s no better example than Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel during last weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series race in Dallas. He went from seemingly out of championship contention to having a commanding lead by winning two races in one weekend.
“We’re not getting the cart ahead of the horse here, though,” continues Rowe, who is currently in a three-way tie for 5th place in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series points and has won twice at Gateway Motorsports Park (2001 and 2004). “We’re sticking to the script, taking it one round at a time – just like we always do – but we’re not ignoring what this weekend could mean for our team. We don’t want to get too excited; we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but the fact remains that the door is open and we’ve got to make the most of this opportunity. We’re planning on winning a race on Saturday and another on Sunday.”
Steve Matusek, who is enjoying a banner year in Pro Mod competition and sits third in the points standings, just 97 points out of the lead, shares his teammate’s sentiment.
“There’s a sense of urgency here,” admits Matusek, founder and president of Aeromotive, Inc. and driver of the second supercharged Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod Camaro. “There’s a big opportunity for our team this weekend and when you’re competing for a world championship you can’t ignore the magnitude of moments like this. Right now, we’re in a good position – we have two cars that are the class of the field, we’ve got a crew chief in Jimmy Rector that is unparalleled and a team that is 100-percent dedicated. We’re all-in. To be in the hunt at this point in the season and have competed at such a high level all year, personally, has been surreal, but I know we aren’t done.
“I’ve talked about the competitive spirit of this team all year,” Matusek concludes. “This is a group that isn’t satisfied; a team that knows what they’re capable of. The goal all year has been to put these two Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mods in the final round together and one of them in the winner’s circle. We’ve got two opportunities to do it this weekend in St. Louis and I believe we have everything we need to get the job done.”
Qualifying for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals begins on Friday, September 26th, 2014 at 2:15 PM CST with the second round of eliminations for the postponed NHRA Carolina Nationals and second round of qualifying for the St. Louis event at 4:45 PM CST. The third qualifying session and round three of eliminations for the NHRA Carolina Nationals will begin at 12:45 PM CST on Saturday, September 27th, 2014, with final round eliminations at 3:15 PM CST. The opening round of eliminations for the St. Louis event will start at 5:15 PM CST and conclude on Sunday, September 28th, 2014, starting at 11:00 AM CST.