Pro Stock Battle of the Burnouts and US Nationals Photo Highlights!
We like to give credit where credit is due here at Fuel Curve and the NHRA deserves a golf clap for staging the first-ever “Pro Stock Battle of the Burnouts” at the recent “Big Go” – the Chevrolet NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. We hope it becomes an annual affair.
Years ago, the best thing about NHRA Pro Stock was it meant the fuel cars were 20 minutes away from running. Or as the late Steve Evans once joked “The best thing about Pro Stock is two go down there and only one comes back.” Don’t get us wrong. Pro Stock was bitchin’ back in the 1960s and 70s and much of the 1980s but the 90s and so far in the new millennium it had become a bit stale.
There are many contributing factors to the division’s stagnation. Chevrolet’s utter domination and Mopar’s valiant yet unsuccessful efforts to keep pace. Ford isn’t even a factor any longer with no team’s repping the big blue oval on the 1320. The recent rule changes involving EFI, 10,500-rpm rev limits and no hood scoops has also thrown a wrench into the picture but those racers who have persevered and stayed true to the mission have given NHRA fans good shows on Sundays.
For the U.S. Nationals, Pro Stock got a much needed shot in the arm with the Pro Stock Battle of the Burnouts. There was palpable excitement from both fans a race teams not to mention a $5,000 first place prize courtesy of Denso Spark Plugs. It was as old school as it gets too with crowd reaction playing a determining factor in the outcome. The contest was staged during four of the five qualifying sessions over three days.
Sterling, Colorado’s Deric Kramer, driver of the American Ethanol Dodge Dart (Yay Mopar!) was the winner of two of the four qualifying contests which ultimately gave him the overall win over fellow competitor Shane Gray. It’s a good thing Kramer won the Pro Stock Battle of the Burnouts contest. He was rudely ousted in Monday’s opening round of eliminations by North Carolinian and Shane’s son Tanner Gray.
So what was Kramer’s secret sauce? “It felt great,” he said. “The fans really responded to the competition and I was happy to please them. It’s a good feeling to get a nice RPM going, feel the motor and feel the car then and let ‘em roast.”
The other racing at Indy was as good as it’s ever been with the largest fields of fuel cars this season. Brash young Texan Steve Torrence doubled up by capturing his first Indy Top Fuel title after winning the Traxxas Nitro Shootout on Saturday. J.R. Todd and Drew Skillman also got their first Indy wins, while Eddie Krawiec got back into the Indy winner’s circle riding his Pro Stock Harley motorcycle.
Our friend Mark Rebilas, the same ace lensman who brought us Fuel Curve’s Indy 500 photos, captured all the action. Check out his additional images in the gallery below