TULSA, OK – Based on the strength of four number-one starts and two wins in the Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), Aaron Wells secured his first national Pro Mod championship early this October.
Then, to punctuate the accomplishment, the new champ followed up one week later with another big victory in the inaugural Atomizer Racing Injectors MWPMS Invitational, held within the NHRA national event at the Texas Motorplex, near Dallas.
“The car’s consistency was great all year long,” Wells said of his Jerry Bickel-built, screw-blown ’67 Mustang GT 500. “We had basically a semi-final or better at every race, so I really couldn’t have dreamed of a better season. It’s been kind of like a fairy tale where nothing really went wrong.”
MWPMS owner, promoter and competitor Keith Haney, a past Mid-West Series Pro Mod champion himself, praised the job Wells and his family based team did all season long and expressed confidence in the series’ new top dog.
Summit Motorsports Park New Home of NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division ET Bracket Finals
Norwalk, OH – As one of the most popular and prestigious tracks in the country, Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, is now the new home of the NHRA Summit Racing Series North Central Division ET Bracket Finals.
The renowned race had been held at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana every year, and will begin its run at America’s Racetrack Sept. 16-20, 2020.
In addition to competing for a coveted NHRA Division 3 championship on the storied strip, racers will be competing for a chance to chase a world championship at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.
“This is an opportunity to bring the best of the North Central Division and the Summit Racing Series to Summit Racing’s backyard, as it’s located so close to Summit Motorsports Park,” said William Tharpe, director of the NHRA North Central Division. “In addition to that, it’s an opportunity to create a new experience for the ET Bracket Finals and for everybody. Sometimes, to grow, you have to venture out of your comfort zone, and Summit Motorsports Park, which is reputed for its customer service, is a good place for us to do that.”
Gliha’s background includes serving as Executive Vice President, Corporate Finance at Live Nation, a leading live entertainment company. Gliha has applied her business skills both at Live Nation and in investment banking, including her current position as Managing Director at Jefferies LLC where she focuses on media and entertainment companies.
Gliha graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics from Claremont McKenna College. She is very familiar with NHRA, its business and its events, including its historic facility and events in Pomona, CA.
“We are honored and excited that Lee Ann has agreed to join NHRA’s board of directors. We think her business experience and her love of the sport will help NHRA confidently stride forward and continue to grow,” said NHRA board chair and CEO Peter Clifford.
Steve Torrence, Robert Hight, Erica Enders, and Andrew Hines were crowned NHRA Mello Yello world champions in their respective classes during Monday night’s awards ceremony at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.
All four drivers were awarded checks and trophies to celebrate season-long achievements that culminated in winning 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship titles during the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs.
Torrence captured his second consecutive Top Fuel world championship title after a thrilling weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, taking home the title following the third round of eliminations at the Auto Club NHRA Finals. En route to the championship, Torrence raced to nine wins during the season, eight of which came during a nine race streak.
In the Funny Car class, Hight raced to his third world championship title. Hight clinched the championship in dramatic fashion during the final round at the Auto Club NHRA finals at Pomona after a thrilling half-track burnout. Hight raced to a career best six victories during the 2019 season, holding the points lead for 23 of 24 races on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar.
Pronto Auto Service Centers, Head Contractors & Engineers to back NHRA Nitro Funny Car team
COLUMBUS, OH – The Head Racing Nitro Funny Car entry will be driven by Blake Alexander in 2020. Alexander and car owner/crew chief Jim Head will compete in 20 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with backing from Pronto Auto Service Centers and Head Contractors & Engineers.
“I enjoyed working with Jim when I drove his car in Bristol and I’m happy to say that we will be merging and beginning a business partnership,” Alexander said. “I am looking forward to a successful relationship with Jim and his group for many years to come. I really appreciate the Wilkersons’ kindness and dedication in helping a young race team flourish in 2019. Tim is someone that I look up to. Krista and him together are no doubt role models and people that I greatly respect. I look forward to seeing them, Daniel Wilkerson and my crew at the racetrack next season.”
Alexander, who was the NHRA’s youngest nitro team owner in 2019, will now combine his efforts with Head Racing. Head is an Indy winner in both Top Fuel and Funny Car and has been competing on NHRA’s tour since 1979.
HOLLYWOOD, CA — Austin Prock, driver of the Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist Top Fuel dragster for John Force Racing was named the Auto Club Road to the Future Award, NHRA’s Rookie of the Year Award, winner Monday night at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards banquet at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together. My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Prock said. “I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight. They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”
Prock, son of three-time championship tuner for Robert Hight’s Auto Club Chevy Camaro SS, Jimmy Prock, made his NHRA Mello Yello professional debut at the 2019 NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and went onto race a full season in the Mello Yello Series.
Halfway through the tour, at the 16th race of 24, Prock earned his first NHRA professional victory at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in Seattle, sharing the winner’s circle alongside team owner and NHRA Legend John Force as he earned his milestone 150th career victory. He recorded a career best elapsed time of 3.688-seconds and speed of 334.40 mph in a first-round victory over veteran racer Doug Kalitta at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
POMONA, CA – For a third time, Erica Enders is a Pro Stock world champion. This one – claimed on Sunday during the NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona – was special, both in how Enders succeeded on this day in eliminations, and how the champ and her team have battled back from adversity the last three seasons.
In the end, Enders triumphed in a possible career-defining performance on Sunday against Greg Anderson, clinching a third championship at the Countdown to the Championship finale with her quarterfinal win over Chris McGaha.
On the top end and the championship official, Enders took a minute to pause in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She gathered herself, exhaled and then the celebration was on.
“This one means a lot because of the valleys we’ve been through. It was a challenge for us and I’m thrilled. It’s just an awesome feeling to be back on top, and it’s the reason why you never give up,” Enders said.
“Today ended up being a great day with us locking up our third championship and my teammate, Jeg Coughlin, winning the race and solidifying the second position. For everyone at Elite Motorsports to take home the top two positions in NHRA Pro Stock, it’s a huge thrill for us. We take a lot of pride in what we do and it paid off this year. I’m just really proud.”