The 2019 Summit Racing Mid-West Pro Mod Series kicked off over the weekend that the Texas Motorplex in Ennis and we were there to cover the action.
There is nothing like a little 12-hour drive from home to cover an event. That will really get your juices following by the time you arrive. Well that is exactly what we did over the weekend when E3xtreme headed to the warmth and wind of Ennis, TX. And when I say windy, that might be an understatement. Not only did the weather turn out amazing, so did the racing. MWPMS added two more classes to the fold this season as well. The fans get to experience Top Dragster and Top Sportsman, both of which are amazing classes.
So, what about the class that puts the cars in the lot and the butts in the stands? None other than the ear shattering, ground shaking, pulse racing, pro mod action. If you are like me and grew up in the upper Midwest, where it seems to snow most of the damn year, you didn’t always get to hear a lot about pro mod. When you read a magazine talking about pro mod though, you can bet your ass that you would hear the name Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor. Frankie is one of those men that has been there, done that, and forgot more than most of us, including myself, will ever know.
Ennis was Frankie’s time though. In a pro mod field that featured screw blowers, roots blowers, a whipple, nitrous, and turbos, it was not going to be easy for anyone to get a round win. Aaron Wells, and his stupidly beautiful blown Mustang took the #1 spot in qualifying with a 3.731 and was followed pretty close by Justin Jones 3.739, Keith Haney 3.749, and eventual event winner Frankie Taylor at 3.779. As a matter of fact, the top four qualifiers were also the four that were still battling it out when we got to the semi-finals.
In the semi-finals of Pro Mod, it was Haney vs. Jones & Taylor vs. Wells. Justin Jones was able to take out Haney and advance to the finals. He would end up facing off again Frankie, who defeated Wells. In the previous round Wells went and make the quickest pass of the event at a 3.67. So, it was going to be the Mad Man Icon vs. the Young Gun in the finals. Two Larry Jeffers built Vettes. Justin had the tree with an .051 to Frankie’s .054, but Justin got way towards the wall and Frankie cruised on past him. When the scoreboards lit up, it was Frankie’s 3.709 over Justin’s 4.297. This win had very special place from Frankie and the family, as it was only 9 months ago to the day that Frankie’s brother and crew chief Paul Taylor lost his son Paul Jr. in a tow truck accident. The emotion after the win was pretty overwhelming for everyone in the winner circle area. On a side note, a big congratulations to Wayne Roberts who, as far as we know, became the first person to EVER put a Whipple in the 3.60 zone. Wayne and his team are great people that are doing unheard of things!!
X275 was a heavyweight boxing match on the dragstrip if I had ever seen one. Names like Kato, Heckel, Hubbard, Campbell, and more. The numbers that were posted on the boards during qualifying were mind numbing. Whether it was personal best short times, or best et’s, or what the hell did I just see MPH passes, it was happening in Ennis. Kenny Hubbard lead the way, followed by another Texas racer J.D. Campbell. It was no surprise to see these two going at it and putting up numbers that every X275 racer in the country was texting me about. While Kenny Hubbard, who is the MWPMS back to back X275 World Champion, would make it to the finals, it would be Texas heavyweight throwdown with the reigning Sears X275 World Champion Shane Heckel. This time it was Shane that managed the win over Kenny with a 4.37 to Kenny’s 4.38. Kenny was dead late on the tree (.114) which didn’t help the cause. Not to be lost in the shuffle was the fact that J.D. Campbell set the Nitrous Small block X275 record as well. J.D.’s Camaro is an absolutely beautiful car, and we congratulate him on setting a new small block X275 nitrous record.
The sportsman classes are something new to MWPMS this season. Keith, who used to race in Top Sportsman, continues to be a big fan and supporter of the class, along with Top Dragster. At Ennis we saw some of the best Top Sportsman and Top Dragster drivers in the country compete.
Top Sportsman saw Mick Snyder and his blown EFI Camaro lead the pack. Only problem was that he didn’t get past the second round. This opened the door for some other drivers, including the household name that is Bob Gulitti. Bob was going rounds in his Nitrous powered Mustang. Earl Folse was the man that got a piece of Bob in the final round though, and Earl took full advantage of the opportunity. In the finals Earl laid down a 4.170 on a 4.11 (.016 tree) to Bob’s 4.073 on a 4.00 (.020 tree) and took the victory over Bob. Expect to see both drivers in the hunt for the first ever Mid-West Pro Mod Series Top Sportsman Championship at the end of the season as well.
Top Dragster. If you like the rail machines, then you will certainly love Top Dragster. This year the class is presented by Race Star Wheels, which means these men and women have a Championship Fund to race for come the end of the year as well. There isn’t much that you don’t see in Top Dragster. We even managed to see a diesel-powered rail competing over the weekend, which from my point of view was damn awesome. The sound that thing make was so cool!! When they reached the end of the day though, it was Wynette Hudgins that took the victory over a hard charging David Johns. Wynette went a 3.885 on a 3.85 with a .008 light, while David went dead on 4.137 on a 4.13, but had a .074 light. So, a big congratulations to Wynette on being the first ever Race Star Wheels Mid-West Pro Mod Series Top Dragster class winner!
The last class of the night was the Slammers class. This is a class for those in Pro Mod that either don’t qualify or are on the less fortunate side of the boards after first round. Ej Hickl and ’41 Willys was the one to walk away with the victory here though. This car was so damn beautiful it could have taken home first place in most any car show. They were getting their first passes on the car and managed to go to the finals in the Slammers Class. Even though earlier in the week the team destroyed a driveshaft, they managed to get it together and take the win when Jon Stouffer was unable to make it back for the finals due to a huge top-end blower explosion during his semifinal round.
It was a hell of a weekend in Ennis. Shoutout to Keith Haney, Jimmy Boles, Jimmy Biggs, McTaggart, and Ellen for putting on such an awesome event. Next stop on the MWPMS tour is Bowling Green in conjunction with OSCR, but in the meantime the E3xtreme crew is off to Gainesville this weekend.