BRADENTON, FL – When Carl Stevens Jr. won the 2018 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod at Bandimere Speedway, he didn’t just collect the $100,000 winner-take-all prize. He also earned a lifetime invitation to all future Drag Illustrated events, including the recently announced 2023 World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“I can’t even put into words what it means to get the chance to do it again,” said Stevens, who was also a participant in the 2019 WSOPM. “That was the baddest race I’d ever been to. The excitement and buzz that was building heading into that race, when that race went away, the buzz went away. There was no real excitement or hype like you’ve got going again. It’s pretty awesome to get a chance to be a part of that again. If I wasn’t invited, I’d be there as a spectator just because of the buzz and everything that’s around it.”
Unlike the first three WSOPMs, which were quarter-mile events based on “legal” rules, the 2023 edition will be an eighth-mile race with outlaw-style rules that allow entries from across drag racing’s numerous Pro Modified classes.
BRADENTON, FL – The cash bonuses for racers at the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod continue to grow, as Mike Janis Superchargers announced today a $10,000 low qualifier award for the Bradenton Motorsports Park event on March 3-5, 2023. The quickest of 40 invited drivers in qualifying will collect the $10,000 before chasing the $100,000 winner-take-all prize on race day.
“I’ve always said if I had the opportunity to help somebody, I would. I have that opportunity now,” said Mike Janis Jr., CEO/owner, Mike Janis Superchargers. “When Wes [Buck] started this deal a long time ago, I told him I’d support him from here to Alaska if we could. When he came out with this race, I just thought it was over the top. I wanted to be a part of it. We look forward to making a big bang. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a low qualifier bonus like this before. We wanted to do something a little different for everybody.”
A passion for Pro Modified racing runs in the family for Janis, the son of three-time Pro Mod world champion Mike Janis. The father-son duo fielded two NHRA Pro Mod entries in 2022 with drivers J.R. Gray and Mike Thielen. While Janis Sr. has taken a step back from driving for the last couple seasons due to health issues, he’s been cleared by his doctors to return to competition.
Red Line Oil Race Day Performance Bonuses to Reward Performance, Showmanship at 2023 World Series of Pro Mod
BRADENTON, FL – Racers at the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod will be racing for more than just the $100,000 winner-take-all prize thanks to event sponsors like Red Line Synthetic Oil. The lubricants brand signed on to create the Red Line Oil Race Day Performance Bonus Program, putting up $5,000 for five different awards that reward performance and showmanship at the Bradenton Motorsports Park event on March 3-5, 2023.
Red Line Oil Brand Director Mark Beatty has been involved with Drag Illustrated events since the inaugural World Series of Pro Mod at Bandimere Speedway in 2017. After the success of the three WSOPMs and two World Doorslammer Nationals, Beatty knew he had to get involved with the 2023 WSOPM.
“Sometimes events are put on just because they seem like the next thing to do,” Beatty said. “When it comes to the events that Drag Illustrated does, it’s not that. They’re putting on events because they matter. It’s bigger than DI. It’s bigger than all of us. It’s always done for the right reason. That’s rare.”
BRADENTON, FL – Long known for his exploits in radial racing with Chevy Corvettes, Mark Woodruff more recently stepped up into the Pro Mod game when he purchased a 1969 Camaro Pro Mod from B&B Race Cars. Since then, he’s had Mark Micke and Craig Sullivan drive the car in both Radial vs. the World and Pro Mod trims, but Woodruff’s entry into the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod is set to be his driving debut in the Pro Mod category.
“I love the format on it, the invitation, the 40 cars, the top 32 qualified go in,” Woodruff said. “Once you’re in the field, you throw the qualifying out because it’s a chip draw – It’s a unique situation. Most of the people that have been invited to this deal have never raced like that before.”
Woodruff noted that his racing experience over the past 25 years includes quite a bit of grudge racing and cash days-type of street racing that involved a chip draw or just random pairings, so he’s rather familiar with the format.
BRADENTON, FL – Pro Mod drivers won’t be the only ones racing for big money at the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Event promoters announced today the $25,000-to-win $hameless Racing Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational presented by Seminole Paving, with 16 drivers getting invited.
“My passion for Pro Modified drag racing is no secret, but I’m also very passionate about Mountain Motor Pro Stock,” said Wes Buck, Drag Illustrated founder and WSOPM promoter. “Like Pro Mod, this class has a rich history and a rabid fanbase. With massive, naturally aspirated engines, hood scoops, clutches, and hard-leaving launches, what’s not to like? The $hameless Racing Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational presented by Seminole Paving is the perfect complement to the $100,000 winner-take-all World Series of Pro Mod.”
The MMPS Invitational was spearheaded by longtime class enthusiast and media member Scott “the Limo Guy” Soucy. He’s covered MMPS extensively over the last few seasons through his Real Pro Stock series, showcasing the action and the unique personalities that make the class so special. He worked with multiple racers and sponsors to put together the funding and participation for the MMPS Shootout.
BRADENTON, FL – As one of the original stars of PDRA’s Pro Nitrous eliminator, Jay Cox knows what it takes to throw down with a big-inch, nitrous-fed Pro Mod. He’s going to lean on that knowledge base to “swing for the fences” at the $100,000-to-win 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, an outlaw eighth-mile Pro Modified celebration March 3-5 at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The former professional baseball player is one of the 40 drivers invited to take part in the winner-take-all event.
Cox is excited about the challenge that lies ahead of him and the rest of the WSOPM field. Racing against a mix of roots-blown, screw-blown, ProCharged, and turbocharged cars in addition to other nitrous cars, Cox realizes it’s going to be a max-effort scenario.
“It’s going to take a lot of pistons and a lot of engine parts,” Cox said. “I ain’t scared to work on ’em. Everybody knows I’ll work just as hard, if not harder than anybody when it comes to tearing a nitrous motor down and putting it back together at the racetrack.”
BRADENTON, FL – PDRA Pro Boost standout Melanie Salemi has accepted her invitation to the World Series of Pro Mod at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Salemi currently holds the PDRA Pro Boost E.T. record at 3.568, which she set during the season opener. Her dominating force in Pro Mod racing has earned her an invitation to compete for the $100,000-winner take-all cash prize, March 3-5.
“We wouldn’t miss it. It’s going to be a really great event,” said Salemi. “The World Series of Pro Mod is what drag racing needs right now – something different and something to get the fans involved.”
Salemi has had a successful drag racing career, winning $40,000 in Pro Mod at the Shakedown Nationals in 2018, then claiming the $50,000 cash prize at the 50th Snowbird Outlaw Nationals at BMP in December 2021. Plus, she claimed back-to-back wins in Radial vs. the World at the World Street Nationals in 2019 and 2020.
INDIANAPOLIS – Drag Illustrated After Hours, a party hosted by Drag Illustrated magazine during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show week, will be powered by VP Racing Fuels, DI announced today. With support from the leading fuel brand, DI After Hours will take over INVY Nightclub in Indianapolis on Thursday, Dec. 8.
“We are so excited to continue to host Drag Illustrated After Hours Powered by VP Racing Fuels in what has become a staple event for PRI attendees,” said J.T. Hudson, VP of business development & client relations, Drag Illustrated. “It’s always fun to talk and chum it up with friends and partners. It’s so amazing the relationships that are formed within motorsports, and the party gives everyone a chance to hang out and chill for a bit outside of the track, shop, trade show and so on.”
This year’s party will build on the success of last year’s After Hours. After a hiatus due to COVID in 2020, DI After Hours returned in 2021 at INVY with the club’s new owner, Jason Jenkins, who owns some of the most popular bars and clubs in Indianapolis.
Two-Time and Defending NEOPMA Champion Mike Decker Jr. Gets ‘Golden Ticket’ to 2023 World Series of Pro Mod
BRADENTON, FL – Former Outlaw 10.5 star Mike Decker Jr. has had an incredible 2022 season in Pro Mod competition, winning some of the biggest independent races as well as a second consecutive Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (NEOPMA) series championship. His efforts earned him an invitation to the $100,000-to-win Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, 2023, at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
“We’ve been sitting on the edge of our seats like everybody else waiting for that call,” Decker said. “It feels like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, getting that golden ticket, to get the opportunity to go and compete against the best in the country. We’re excited and humbled to get it, especially since it’s our second year running Pro Mod.”
Piloting his screw-blown Decker’s Salvage “Big Change” ’18 Camaro, Decker started the 2022 NEOPMA season by defeating his son, Mike “Hollywood” Decker III, in the final round of the season opener at Maryland International Raceway. He also won NEOPMA’s Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge II at Empire Dragway. Additional victories followed at the Yellowbullet Nationals, a NEOPMA points race, at Cecil County Dragway, as well as the $25,000-to-win 20th annual Shakedown Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
BRADENTON, FL – Chris Rini, who was on the leading edge of the torque converter and automatic transmission movement in Pro Modified, has accepted his invitation to race in the $100,000-to-win 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod. Rini, who’s earned championships in multiple classes, will be one of several nitrous-assisted drivers racing in the marquee eighth-mile Pro Mod event at Bradenton Motorsports Park on March 3-5, 2023.
“I was hoping I would get on the exclusive list,” Rini said. “I watched the YouTube release from SEMA. [Wes Buck] talked about how there was no so-called criteria list, they were just looking for people who push the needle and try to push drag racing forward. I’m excited to be on the list.”
Rini’s Pro Mod career began in the mid-2000s. Since then, his car has served as a test bed for ATI Performance Products’ new product development. In the early days, Rini was often the only driver to show up with a torque converter and automatic transmission. He was one of the drivers who persevered through the development stages, and now the combination is the industry standard at Pro Mod’s highest levels.