PRO MOD – DENVER
Unlike last year, neither Jim nor Steven Whiteley made it to the final round of the $100,000-to-win World Series of Pro Mod, but the father-and-son team enjoyed its second-best outing of the season behind only Jim’s victory at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston. Key word: enjoyed.
“This is my favorite race of the year,” Jim said of the 2nd annual World Series of Pro Mod at picturesque Bandimere Speedway. “If I could only go to a couple races a year, it would have to be this one and Gainesville. And if I had to pick just one, it would be this one, no doubt about it. It’s just a fun deal all around – the atmosphere, the competition, no E.T.s on the scoreboard in qualifying … everything. There’s just nothing else like it.”
Just as at the inaugural in 2017, the event – billed by promoter Wes Buck of Drag Illustrated as “The Biggest, Richest Pro Mod Race in the History of the Known Universe – attracted some of the biggest names in the sport: folk hero “Stevie Fast” Jackson, perennial NHRA title contender Danny Rowe, two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, former national event winner Shane Molinari, cagey veteran Todd Tutterow, and, of course, the Whiteleys’ YNot team. Contested just outside Denver and literally right over the hill from the world-famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, it was five rounds of brutal competition, and the Colorado-based YNot crew was right in the middle of the fray.
The invitation-only affair was open to 32 drivers, but six were unable to attend, leaving 13 head-to-head showdowns in the opening round of eliminations. Both Jim and Steven advanced, Jim over Tutterow and Steven over Justin Jones with a stout 6-flat at 239 mph in the power-robbing mile-high air. Steven, who went all the way to the final last year before dropping a heartbreaker when he was forced to lift in the money run, and Jim both bowed out in the second round, but both will be back for the 2019 extravaganza. “I wouldn’t miss it,” Jim said. “I looked forward to this weekend since we left here last year.”