With the start of the 2016 J&A Services NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season just days away, Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek, veteran drivers of the Agave Underground Tequila and Aeromotive Fuel Systems-sponsored supercharged Chevrolets are prepared for what promises to be a hyper-competitive season.
During a Real Pro Mod Association warm-up event at Palm Beach International Raceway in late February, multiple drivers posted career-best elapsed times and speeds – including Danny Rowe – demonstrating that the trend of ever-increasing performance will continue in 2016.
“Every year we talk about how last season was the most competitive, impressive season of Pro Mod racing we’ve ever seen, and here we are heading into the 2016 well-knowing that it’s only going to intensify,” said Rowe, who made his NHRA Pro Mod debut in 2001. “The teams involved right now are unbelievable; it’s the best of the best and everyone is working year-round to improve their program.
“That’s what makes NHRA Pro Mod so exciting, though, and that’s why we’re so amped up to get the season started,” he continued. “There’s nothing we want more than to compete against the best cars, drivers, tuners and crews in the world. That’s what we’re here to do. Jimmy [Rector, crew chief] has been busting his tail all winter on the dyno, putting in the time at the shop, trying new things, and we’re ready to get after it. You can’t leave anything on the table at this point, and we know that in order to be competing for a championship come October, we’ve got to get off to a fast start. If we can get a little bit of sunshine in Gainesville, we’re looking to put one of these hot rods in the winner’s circle on Sunday.”
Rowe and Matusek, who qualified fourth and fifth in 2015 amongst the 16-car Pro Mod field with 5.882- and 5.893-second passes, respectively, know that it will likely take similar or better performances to remain in the top-half of the field at this year’s running of the NHRA’s legendary East Coast opener.
“Gainesville, historically, is always fast,” said Steve Matusek. “If the weather cooperates, and considering what we saw at the Real Pro Mod event last month in Palm Beach, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the quickest field in NHRA Pro Mod history. With the forecast, though, you’re under pressure to make every run count, so you have to go out and make a clean run right out of the box on Friday and then look to get more aggressive from there.
“I have a lot of faith in this team,” continued Matusek. “This is a group of people that get it. We live it. We’re all-in. Jimmy, Danny, myself, this whole team – we’re going to come out swinging in Gainesville.”
The J&A Services NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season kicks off this weekend at the 47th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. Two rounds of Pro Mod qualifying are scheduled for Friday, with a third and final round of qualifying slated for Saturday, as well as the opening round of eliminations. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday.
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