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Drag Illustrated

Drag Illustrated ‘After Hours’ Party Powered by VP Racing Fuels Set for Dec. 8

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.

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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.

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Chris Rini ‘Automatically’ Accepts 2023 World Series of Pro Mod Invitation

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.

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Four-Time PDRA Pro Nitrous World Champion Jim Halsey Locked in for 2023 World Series of Pro Mod

BRADENTON, FL – The most dominant driver in PDRA Pro Nitrous history, Jim Halsey, has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park. With four consecutive world championships behind the wheel of the world’s quickest nitrous-assisted big-tire Pro Mod in the eighth mile, Halsey will be a serious contender for the $100,000 winner-take-all prize.

“You can’t have a Pro Mod race on this level and not include Jim Halsey,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “From his rookie season in 1991 to his recently secured fourth consecutive Pro Nitrous world championship, ‘Jimmy Winlights’ as I like to call him, has been a crucial player in the Pro Modified world. He’s as dedicated as you can get, and his whole team shares that attitude. They’re a perfect fit for the kind of event we’re trying to create with the World Series of Pro Mod.”

Driving his Fulton-powered “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro, Halsey has been the driver to beat in Pro Nitrous competition for the last four seasons. He’s racked up numerous wins, low qualifier awards, and four world championships.

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2022 NMCA Xtreme Pro Mod Champion Randy Merick to Compete in 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod

BRADENTON, FL – Coming off a successful 2022 season in which he secured four NMCA wins and the Xtreme Pro Mod championship, Glen Allen, Missouri’s Randy Merick was invited to participate in the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod to be held March 3-5, 2023 at Bradenton Motorsports Park.

“Wes [Buck] called me and congratulated me and asked me if I would come, and you can’t turn that down,” Merick said of the coveted invitation to the WSOPM race.

Owner of the Twin Lakes Whitetails hunting ranch and a farmer as well, Merick is a longtime, big-tire racer who has raced Pro Modified since 1997. He also competed in the wild Super Chevy Nitro Coupe class from 1999 throughout the early 2000s, and set both E.T. and speed records for the class and doorslammers worldwide.

While he didn’t intend to run for NMCA championship in 2022, he hit five of the six races, and after winning the St. Louis event mid-season, he kept the throttle down and was able to sweep the remaining three races despite considerable challenges from Derek Ward, Jim Widener, and defending champion Chip King.

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PDRA’s Tommy Franklin Set to Race for $100,000 at 2023 World Series of Pro Mod

BRADENTON, FL – As a co-founder of the PDRA and a two-time Pro Nitrous world champion in the series, Tommy Franklin has made a lasting impact on the eighth-mile Pro Mod scene over the last 10 years. Now, Franklin is hoping to add another title to his resume – World Series of Pro Mod winner.

Franklin, driver of the Musi-powered “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro, was the second driver invited to compete in the 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The winner of the 32-car, invite-only race will walk away with $100,000.

“First and foremost, I’m gonna go for that $100,000, but if it’s not me, I’ll definitely be pulling for one of my PDRA teams for sure,” said Franklin, who owns the PDRA and Virginia Motorsports Park along with wife Judy. “I want one of my guys to win that deal. I want to be arrogant and say one of my guys is going to win it. I’ve said it many times, I’ll stack our racers up against anyone.”

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Mark Micke Accepts First Driver Invitation to 2023 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod

BRADENTON, FL – Mark Micke has made significant contributions to the world of doorslammer drag racing, both as a driver and as the owner of M&M Transmission. He holds the record for the fastest eighth-mile pass in Radial vs. the World history, and his company’s transmissions, torque converters, and shifters have been used by some of the most accomplished racers in Pro Mod, drag radial, Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings, and beyond.

Micke was also the first advertiser in Drag Illustrated magazine back in 2005, and he’s maintained an ad in all 177 issues after that first edition. With all those factors in mind, DI Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck chose to extend the first driver invitation for the $100,000-to-win 2023 DI World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, at Bradenton Motorsports Park to Micke.

“I remember telling [Micke] ‘We don’t have the magazine done yet, but I promise it’s going to be badass.’ He goes, ‘I believe in you, Wes. Send me an invoice.’” Buck said as he introduced Micke on the Nov. 3 edition of The Wes Buck Show. “This gentleman has been a part of the Drag Illustrated family ever since. I wanted to make sure the very first invite to the WSOPM went to the same guy who believed in me 17 years ago as we embark on this next chapter of the DI journey.”

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World Series of Pro Mod Returns at Bradenton with Invite-Only, $100,000-to-Win Shootout

BRADENTON, FL – Drag Illustrated announced today the return of its popular World Series of Pro Mod (WSOPM), an invitation-only, $100,000-to-win event celebrating the Pro Modified division. New for 2023, the race will take place March 3-5 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, with an outlaw eighth-mile format. Forty drivers will be invited, and 32 drivers will qualify for the main field.

“Pro Mod is the universal language of drag racing,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “This is the largest inventory of pro-level, heads-up race cars on the planet. This is a brand of drag racing that has a unique cult following and, in my opinion, is home to many of our sport’s biggest personalities and most competitive racers. It’s a style of drag racing that has grown by way of regional series all across the country and around the world that are healthy and thriving. It’s our goal with the World Series of Pro Mod to bring racers from all those various sanctions and series and let them race for the largest purse in Pro Modified history, on the grandest stage and under the brightest lights possible.”

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Drag Illustrated Partners With Simpson Race Products for New Giveaway

FT. WORTH, TX – Drag Illustrated’s new Giveaway series will continue in November with products from Simpson Race Products, the magazine announced today. The winner of the November DI Giveaway, which opens Nov. 1, will receive a Simpson luggage set, a $600 value.

“Our first two Drag Illustrated Giveaways were a huge success, so we’re excited to continue the program this month with the support of Simpson Race Products and Holley,” said Mike Carpenter, Drag Illustrated’s Chief Operating Officer. “Simpson is an iconic name in drag racing – and motorsports in general – and their products have helped countless drivers stay safe as they hit the track. I know our readers and followers will be excited about the opportunity to win some Simpson gear.”

Simpson, a member of the Holley family of brands, is the leading provider of critical motorsports and motorcycle safety equipment. Backed by best-in-class technical expertise, the company has built a loyal following in the motorsports community among both professional and amateur drivers.

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Drag Illustrated Partners With Publication Printers to Upgrade Flagship Print Magazine

FT. WORTH, TX – Drag Illustrated remains proud and committed to its print product and continues to prove that by announcing today that the company has partnered with Publication Printers in Denver, Colo., to produce the magazine.

“Drag Illustrated magazine is our flagship product. The print magazine is the foundation that everything else we do is built on,” said Wes Buck, Drag Illustrated Founder & Editorial Director. “That said, it’s paramount that the magazine be of the highest possible quality because that’s what our brand is known for, and it’s what our readers expect. Racers are detail-oriented; aesthetics matter to this community, and by aligning ourselves with the team at Publication Printers, we can ensure that every subscriber gets a showpiece in their mailbox.”

Drag Illustrated has been the home to the most talented and respected photography, design, reporting and writing in the drag racing space. Making the move to Publication Printers was the next step in elevating the at-home experience for Drag Illustrated’s subscribers.

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