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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Pro Mod Pro Bod Shootout at Kennedale

By Danny White

The Pro Mod Pro Bod Shootout was held Friday night July 14 at legendary Texas Raceway in Kennedale, TX. Along with the monthly Pro Mod show a separate bikini contest was added to accent the show. A grand total of 22 racers attempted to make the tough 8-car field. After the dust had settled the number one qualifier was surprise entry Randy Merick at 4.249 in his blown 95 Corvette. Merick is from Zelma, Missouri and is the world's quickest doorslammer at a whopping 6.10 in his Nitro Coupe. 

Hometown Kennedale racer, chassis builder, Super Comp racer, and Texas Pro Mod killer Nathan Martin was number two in his Stove Parts/Texas Harley 97 Firebird with a solid 4.273. The Madman, Frankie Taylor from Dickison, was number three with a 4.310 in the Taylor & Brooks blown 97 Firebird. DeSoto-based Gaylen Smith was number four with a 4.38 in the blown BAE Texas Bounty Hunter 95 Camaro. Scott Herzog was the number five qualifier at a 4.433 in the Herzog Racing 94 Corvette from Breham. 

Making his long awaited debut of the year was James Satterwhite in the Satterwhite Racing 69 Camaro. James is out of Red Oak, Texas. He ran 4.438, which landed him in the number six spot. Big Jim Brooks out of Round Rock, Texas, got the number seven spot at a 4.475 in his 97 Lumina. On the bump was local Ft Worth racer Grant Hensley who ran a 4.594 in the G-Force 92 Trans Am.

Outside in the number nine spot was Shawn Davis out of Lake Charles, LA, in his blown 69 Nova at 4.646. The number ten spot was held by Pro Mod rookie Ronnie Niswanger at 4.693 in his 67 Chevy II. Pat Edwards was number eleven at a 4.723 in his 94 Beretta. Derrick Mitchem finished twelfth in his father's legendary 90 Camaro at a 4.873. Keith Farris ran a 4.895 for the unlucky number thirteen spot in his 91 Firebird. Steve Torrance got his Grand Prix to run a 4.948 for the fourteenth spot. The last car in the fours was longtime racer Tommy Adams in his 69 Camaro. 

Bobby Booth could not get it together and managed only a 5.043 from the Booth Automotive 38 Chevrolet. Marty Neely got his Camaro to run a 5.052 for number seventeenth. The eighteenth qualifier in his first Pro Mod race was Kirk Williams at a 5.054. Gerry Stevenson in his 90 Camaro ran a 5.102 for number nineteen. Butch Lake who has been having a good year in the Trouble Camaro had nothing but Trouble with a 5.143 for the number twenty spot. Glenn Ward, also in his first Pro Mod race, went 5.531 for the twenty-first spot. The last DNQ was Chuck Poindexter who ran an off pace 8.876 to come way short in his blown Luv pickup.

The first round of Pro Mod eliminations was a wild one. Merick and Hensley faced each other with Hensley getting the holeshot .518 to.532. Merick thundered by to a 4.325 168.49 win to Hensley's shutoff 5.183 132.38. In the next race, Nathan Martin and Big Jim Brooks staged a battle of nitrous cars. Martin got the holeshot, which he parlayed into an off pace 4.873 victory over Brooks' close but also off pace 4.869.

James Satterwhite raced the Madman Frankie Taylor next. Satterwhite got the big holeshot with a.417 to Taylor's .550 and was able to win with a 4.435 166.57 to Taylor's faster 4.341 166.04. That holeshot accounted for a true win margin of .039 seconds, or half a car length. The last race Scott Herzog and Gaylen Smith battled it out in the battle of blown vs. nitrous. Smith got the holeshot .484 to Herzog's .576 and ran low ET of the round with a 4.276 165.49 to Herzog's close 4.329 168.49.

The opening race of the semifinals was the battle of blown cars Randy Merick and Gaylen Smith. Smith got the holeshot with .437 to Merick's own .456. Merick stepped up for the win with a great 4.175 171.28 to Gaylen Smith's close 4.252 166.57. The nitrous cars were next with Satterwhite and Martin racing each other. Satterwhite tried again for the perfect light and came up too quick with a.389 foul. Martin had a.489 reaction himself and ran a 4.337 163.70 while Satterwhite ran a consistent 4.418 161.38.

The final was the battle of the world fastest doorslammer, out-of-stater Randy Merick, racing local hometown hero Nathan Martin. Nathan Martin got a big tenth of a second holeshot with a.437 to Merick's .544. Merick motored by on the big end, however, with a new track record of 4.152 175.00 to Martin's car length behind pass of 4.344 164.28.

The race was not only a win for Missourian Randy Merick, but also produced a new track Pro Mod record and the satisfaction of coming out of a mini retirement to prove he could still win after harvesting his farm last year.

Danny White


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