Shane Molinari is not a newcomer to NHRA Pro Mod, but this weekend in Norwalk he continued the tread of first time Pro Mod winners in 2017 that includes Steven Whiteley, Steve Jackson, and now Shane Molinari.
Shane has what can only be described as one of the most beautiful Pro Mods ever to grace the race trace surface. Looking at Shane's Firebird is like looking at a soft, warm, piece of glass. It appears absolutely flawless. This isn't the same cookie cutter Camaro or Corvette. The Firebird is a piece of art. It's a piece of art that just brought home the most coveted thing in all of Pro Mod racing, and that's an NHRA Wally.
Pro Mod this season has been known for it's strange happenings. We have rookies making huge waves, as well as the class veterans making sure everyone knows they are still a force to be reckoned with. One moment the blowers are crushing everyone, and the next moment everyone is crying that the turbos have an unfair advantage. All the while, Shane just keeps creeping up on everyone.
To say that Shane had one hell of a tough road to victory this weekend might be an understatement. In the first round Saturday night he defeated the ever tough Eric Latino. This was after they squeezed in two qualifiers earlier in the day as well. Come E2 on Sunday, Shane faced off against Topeka winner Stevie "Fast" Jackson and came out victorious. Shane found himself lined up against one of the best, if not the best door slammer drivers in history for his semifinal match up. On the other side was Trickie Rickie Smith, and Shane managed to hold on for a close victory. He wrapped up the weekend by having to face off against the same opponent he lost to the weekend before in the final, and the team that set the Pro Mod world record MPH on Friday in Troy Coughlin and the Jegs.com rocket. This final was done early when Troy got loose and Shane's car, as it did all weekend stayed true and straight, cruising to a blistering 5.77 and the win.
The win is a huge step in the right direction for a team that really has been the cream of the crop all season. This moves Shane into the #3 spot in points, just 156 behind Mike Castellana, and only 74 points behind #2 Troy Coughlin. With only 4 races left in the season at this point, it appears that these three, along with a couple others are going to be gunning it out for those top spots all the way through the season final in Vegas.
In the mean time though, Shane can take some well deserved rest and relaxation when it comes to Pro Mod racing. The J&A Service Real Pro Mod Series is actually off until Labor Day weekend. Then the roll into the historic U.S. Nationals, before heading to St. Louis, Charlotte, and wrapping it all up in Vegas.
I am sure the last thing on Shane's mind is taking so time to enjoy victory though. As this level, it's all about what you are going to do to stay in front of the competition at the stripes. With that in mind, chances are Shane is going to spend time on his Pro Line powered, Precision Turbo boosted beast, figuring out how to be the one to beat when the calendar hits September. But for now, congratulations to the entire Molinari team on becoming a first time NHRA Pro Mod event Champion!!