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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Kirt's Automotive Pro Mod Challenge
Music City Raceway

By Darren Woodruff & Danny White

Bill Clanton's Big Money Willys Pro Mod. File photo by Darren WoodruffHistoric Music City Raceway in Union Hill, Tennessee, held the Kirt's Automotive Pro Mod Challenge on June 3. First place prize was a whopping $5,000 to win, bringing out the best of the Deep South Pro Mod racers. The track was a little slippery, wreaking havoc on the 2,000-horsepower cars attempting to get down it.

After the smoke of qualifying cleared, longtime legendary match racer Bill Clanton of Rome, Georgia, led the field. Clanton's star spangled 53 Studebaker with a blown Pontiac for power ran a 4.26 for number one qualifying position. Professional Pro Mod match racer Hugh Scott from Red Bay, Alabama, was number two at a 4.33 in his well-traveled Willys. Number three qualifier was R.E. Smith in his blown 53 Studebaker, run by Joey Moore late last year. R.E. got the C& R Automotive car to go a solid 4.36. The Wiggins Racing-sponsored blown BAE 57 Chevrolet of Bennie McDonald was next at 4.45 for the fourth spot.

The second half of the field was headed up by the event-sponsored car of Kirt's Automotive owned by Kirt Frame with son Brandon at the wheel. The 632-inch Oldsmobile 1992 Lumina Z24 got down the track at 4.65 for number five. Returning to the Pro Mod scene after nearly ten years was Alabamian Danny Gardner. Danny had the Gardner Racing blown 1994 S-10 in the field at a 4.75. 

Former IHRA Top Sportsman World Champion Terry Housley of Lenoir City, Tennessee, was number six with a troubled 5.01. Housley, who has raced in the Super classes, Top Sportsman, Pro Stock, and now Pro Modified, has teamed up with T.J. Harrill to race a nitrous 40 Willys. On the bump was former Mopar racer Keith Reed. Reed and his father before him had raced Mopar products since the seventies but has switched to a Blown BAE 63 Corvette. Reed 's R&R Racing entry ran a troubled 5.10.

R.E. Smith's Willys Pro Mod. File photo by Darren WoodruffThe first round began with Bill Clanton downing Keith Reed handily, 4.40 to 5.01, in a blown doorslammer match. It was blower vs. bottle next, with the blown 57 Chevy of Bennie McDonald taking the easy win with a 4.45 when Brandon Frame broke on the line. The next race was a wild one with the two Willys of Hugh Scott and Terry Housley taking each on other in another blower vs. the bottle race. Scott was the winner this time with a 4.37 to Housley's troubled but consistent 5.01. Scott won the round but had a piston break. This caused an oil fire and put him out for the rest of the race. R.E. Smith's 4.32 put out the improved 4.60 of Danny Gardner in the last race of the first round.

The quickest race occurred in the first race of the semi finals. Clanton laid down a 4.26 to beat McDonald's trailing 4.36. With Hugh Scott, out R.E. Smith took a solo into the final round with Low E.T. of the night, a whopping 4.20.

The final was a match-up of two blown 53 Studebakers with the longtime racer Bill Clanton taking on R.E. Smith. The Stude of Smith claimed the victory and the $5,000 first prize from Kirt's Automotive this time with a solid 4.30 over Clanton's off pace 4.70.

Danny White & Darren Woodruff


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