We are officially 3 races in to the J&A Services NHRA/RPM Real Pro Mod Series and already there have been some shake ups. As first announced on Thursday by Drag Illustrated lead man in charge Wes Buck, Jonathan Gray, former NHRA Pro Stock standout and the driver of the Precision Turbo backed Camaro will no longer be piloting the car.
At the opening race of the year, Jonathan had laid down amazing numbers 5.751 at 258.02 while making it to the semi finals and shocked the world when it was done on a Mickey Thompson tire which before this season was not commonly used. Things were really looking like the PTE Camaro was going to be the one to beat.
Coming in to the second race of the season which was held at Houston, the PTE car was a strong contender to go all the way. That was until a catastrophic rear driver side tire issue that took half of the back of the car with it. Luckily Jonathan was not injured, but the Camaro had sustained heavy damages.
The car was sent to Larry Jeffers Race Cars (LLRC) in House Springs, MO to address the chassis damages, which appear extensive. At the time it was unclear what kind of time frame there was to getting the car repaired and back out.
The week leading up to this race, Jonathan was number 4 (tied with Troy Coughlin) in the standings and there were plenty of people wondering if Jonathan would find a replacement ride for the weekend since he was still entered. It appears that nothing materialized on that front though.
E3xtreme caught up with the President of Precision Turbo this morning to discuss what is going on with the future of the Pro Mod. Harry stated that it was a mutually agreed on direction for the PTE/Gray program. And while we pressed Harry about who the seat may be filled by, he remains tight lipped about who will be the pilot going forward.
We did get a chance to talk about the car being over at LJRC though and the amazing job that they have been doing with the car. Harry stated that he was very excited for the improvements that LJRC is now able to do with the chassis and the aerodynamics of the car.
"I'm very happy that this opportunity has given Larry Jeffers Race Cars a chance to do some chassis and aerodynamic improvements on an already very fast record holding race car. Larry and his staff are working long hours with a timeline that has exceed our expectations and we will have the car back on base at PTE very soon. We simply can't wait for this exciting year to play out in Real Pro Mod !"
E3xtreme is not sure which direction Precision Turbo or Jonathan Gray are headed, but we are willing to bet that both will be successful in the future. PTE is on the cutting edge of not only Turbo technology, but as well as their line of performance HPL Oil. And there are plenty of drivers out there that would fit the bill to fill the seat, so stay tuned to E3xtreme as we will bring you news as it happens.