pro mod -vs- fuel altered showdown - poloson punishes the pro mods!, fuel curve

Pro Mods vs Fuel Altereds Showdown – Poloson Punishes the Pro Mods!

Pro Mods are the wildest door slammers to ever see the surface of a drag strip and currently one of the most popular classes in the sport of drag racing. Fuel Altereds were banned from organized NHRA racing in the early 1970s due to their ill temperament and highly dangerous nature. Put them together, side by side, with no rules in a true run-what-ya-brung affair and you’ve got yourself a Pro Mods vs Fuel Altereds Showdown!

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

The fifth annual running of this titanic match up held each 4th of July weekend at North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas, rocked the grandstands with two days of non-stop quarter mile entertainment. Twenty-eight entries packed the pits hunting a spot in the massive twenty-four car first-round eliminator featuring the quickest twelve cars from each class. This modified Chicago-style format advanced the quickest winning pro mod and quickest winning fuel altered from round two, straight to the final for all the marbles. Coming into this year’s event the official score was Fuel Altereds 3 – Pro Mods 1. The “buggies” and “taxis” as they jokingly call themselves prepared for yet another summer showdown unlike any other in the country.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

pro mod -vs- fuel altered showdown - poloson punishes the pro mods!, fuel curve

Sporadic storm cells across North Texas didn’t stop the racers nor the eager spectators from piling through the gates of NSD, hungry for nitrous purges, header flames, jet dragster fireballs, fireworks and a downright honky tonkin’ good time. After three rounds of qualifying, Jody Austin led the fuel altered field with a 3.74 at 174 while Doug Reisterer took the pole in Pro Mod with a 3.86 at 186 mph. It’s amazing how competitive these cars actually are despite their monumental differences in construction and horsepower application. Fans were treated to some thrilling side-by-side performances as the teams took the gloves off and showed no mercy.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

pro mod -vs- fuel altered showdown - poloson punishes the pro mods!, fuel curve

As the final pair of cars came to life in the burnout box, the Nick Poloson-driven “Sundown” fuel altered tuned by Tom Wood was ready to take on the most feared pro mod driver in the region – Gaylen Smith and his “Texas Bounty Hunter” blown 1957 Chevy. These two, the quickest winners of their class from the second round, had never won this event guaranteeing a first time PM -vs FA Showdown winner. Both drivers were amped for the bout and both cut strong reaction times as the amber bulbs flashed unleashing a combined 5,000+ horsepower.

Poloson took a slim lead at half-track while shooting nitro flames from the pipes which tickled the tips of the rear wing. Smith was holding strong in his lane and giving it all he had, but at the stripe, it was Poloson’s 3.85 at 193 mph taking the win light over Smith’s very close 3.87 at 194 mph in the closest final round in event history.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

What a night for the team from San Antonio, Texas who’s crew went berserk on the starting line in celebration of their big win. Not only did they win, team “Sundown” set their career best mark with a 3.71 at 199 mph blast In first round competition adding a little icing to the cake. Poloson truly punished the pro mods in every round on his march to the winners’ circle and improved the overall score to Fuel Altereds 4 – Pro Mods 1 in the event’s five-year history.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

“Winning this event is a real treat for our team,” Poloson said from the winner’s circle. “This is a very interesting and fun event for us each summer and we’ve enjoyed quite a bit of success against the pro mods in the past. There was plenty of tough competition here this weekend and both sides were represented strongly. We just had a better day than they did! Gaylen gave us one heck of a race that’s for sure. Our team worked together all weekend and the car performed flawlessly as a result, we couldn’t be happier with how it all shook out,” said Poloson.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

Close to 5,000 spectators, racers and crew members made their way through the gates of North Star Dragway for this annual holiday weekend event. Over 100 race cars were in attendance over the weekend including the class racing action held between the pro rounds. This one is one of those events you might consider adding to your bucket list folks, it will not disappoint and can only be seen once a year deep in the heart of Texas. Mark your calendars for June 29th & 30th, 2018 to catch the sixth annual edition live and in person in Denton, Texas.

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

Congratulations to Nick Poloson, Tom Wood and the entire “Sundown” fuel altered team on their impressive efforts in winning this one of a kind Pro Mods vs Fuel Altereds race. Long live fuel altereds!

pro mods vs fuel altereds, fuel curve

Photos courtesy of Chris & Tera Graves, Wes Ramsey, Steve Scott

Chris Graves has been involved in drag racing photography and journalism since the late 1990's and started shooting before he had a drivers license. Graves spent seven years crewing on Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars for Mitch King, Tony Pedregon and Dale Creasy Jr. After graduating from the Univ. of North Texas in 2006, Graves went full-time as a freelance photographer with wife Tera and the couple travels the country covering all forms of drag racing under his label Max Cackle Photography. Graves, track photographer at North Star Dragway in Texas, also serves as president and founder of the Southwest Heritage Racing Association and takes a few weekends off each season to pilot his blown front engine dragster in the SHRA and NHRA Heritage Series Nostalgia Eliminator 1 category.

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