Team Boddie and Xtreme Pro Mods West at Sears Point
When it comes to fast doorslammer drag racing action, the Midwest, South and East Coast receive most of the recognition. Rightfully so given the number of dragstrips in those regions. On the West Coast, the majority of the drag strips are 8-plus hours between one another. While Jay Boddie (pronounced Bo-Dee) and his “Team Boddie Presents” coordinate and promote the Grudge Racing program, Sean Renteria leads the Xtreme Pro Mods West group. Together they’re making it a point to put West Coast Doorslammer Action on the map.
These two groups have no affiliation with each other, but it’s common that both will run in conjunction at certain events – those events are something special as door car racing is at a fever pitch across the nation. We were recently on location at the NHRA Division 7 Drags at Sonoma Raceway to witness these fast guys first hand. What a beautiful setting. Sonoma Raceway is cut through the hills of California’s wine country near Napa. There’s “pinkies up” wine and cheese people here in this neck of the rolling oaks. But when Sonoma Raceway fires up, the Outlaws take over. Quite the contrast.
Let’s talk about Team Boddie’s classes first. Jay Boddie’s twin-turbocharged Hemi-powered first-gen ’63 Nova is commonly seen on TV with the Street Outlaws group and more recently, the No Prep Kings series. When he’s not behind the camera, Boddie is doing everything he can to provide a place for big and small tire racers to race throughout the West Coast with his “Team Boddie Presents” events held in California, Nevada and Arizona. As you can see below, when Boddie talks, people listen.
The racing is unstructured when compared to the traditional format. There are no qualifying rounds, just time trials for racers to get a grip on the track prior to eliminations which are drawn from a hat each round. They race on an eighth-mile format with the clocks off so fellow competitors don’t know how fast the others are running. The two classes consist of small tire and big tire – small tire limitation is anything smaller than a 28×10.5w or a 275 radial, big tire is anything bigger than that. Steel roofs and quarter panels are a must for small tire, fiberglass bodies are allowed in the big tire class with tire size limitations or added weight involved.
The Xtreme Pro Mods West group holds their events in California, Nevada and Idaho. Typically, 12-18 pro mods will come to any given event and five-second 250mph passes are the norm down the quarter mile. The Pro Mods are seemingly “outlaw” with their engine combinations (except for minimum weight for each engine combination), overdrive limits for the supercharged cars and a max turbo size for the hairdryer folks. All cars must meet NHRA and SFI requirements but other than that it’s fair game.
Team Boddie’s small tire class was filled with 14 racers vying for the 4k payday – not chump change. Cashing that check would be DJ “Afromaro” Reid with his centrifugal-supercharged ’68 Camaro riding on an 8.5 rear tire out back who just got back into the scene after a 5-year hiatus. Not a bad way to make a re-debut!
On the big tire side, first time grudge racer Jim Teague rolled out his supercharged fiberglass Nova strapped with Mickey Thompson 33×10.5w’s (tire penalty for an all-glass body) for the first time and took down the previous event winner as well as the current points leader during the elimination rounds en route to his visit to the Sunoco winner’s circle.
Taking the top honors in the XPMW class was the D-Bar-D owned second-gen Camaro tuned by Shane T and driven by long-time west coast hitter Ed Thornton. The team qualified 3rd overall with a 5.82 / 262mph blast down the track and followed it up with low ET in each round of eliminations stringing together 5.7-passes like it was nothing. Their 5.79, 5.77, 5.73 and 5.79 runs through the four elimination rounds led them to Sonoma’s winners circle. The 5.73 in the semi-finals was a team career best and they also ran top speed of the entire event with a 267mph blast paired with that .73 run in the semi-finals. Deadly fast and consistent, there’s no wonder why they’re the reigning champions.
Across the United States, and the world for that matter, drag racing is alive, well and thriving. There are many independent series’ such as the Xtreme Pro Mods West and Team Boddie Presents groups which are racing regularly at tracks big and small. This door car scene is bigger than its ever been.
Do yourself, the racers and the tracks a favor by supporting your local drag strips. Many tracks are doing well, but we’re also seeing some of these facilities across the country turning into suburban neighborhoods, shopping malls or just shut down all together to wither away to nothing. Do your part and get out there!