Once described as Pro Stock cars on steroids, Pro Mod cars have become a popular addition to NHRA events through the Get Screened America Pro Mod series. Pro Mod cars are full-bodied, left-hand driver vehicles which are very loosely based on production models. They also feature supercharged, turbocharged or nitrous oxide equipped engines that allow them to run deep into the five-second zone at speeds of over 258-mph. Colorfully painted and wholly unpredictable, the Pro Mod class is reminiscent of the early days of Funny Car racing.
A large part of Pro Mod’s appeal stems from the wide variety of body styles that are favored by competitors. Those bodies include everything from early model Chevy Camaros and Corvettes to late model Dodge Stratus and Ford Mustang replicas. Since there are few rules governing aerodynamic enhancements, Pro Mod cars often feature radical body modifications including stretched wheelbases and oversized rear spoilers.
Under the current rules, Pro Mod engines can be either supercharged, turbocharged, or utilize nitrous oxide, with differing weight breaks for each combination in an effort to assure a level playing field. Currently, nitrous oxide equipped engines have no cubic inch limit and can run at 2,425 pounds. Supercharged vehicles are limited to 526-cubic inches and must weigh at least 2,650 pounds and turbocharged cars can have 540-cubic inches and may weigh no less than 2,650 pounds. Similar to the powerplants found in Top Alcohol Funny Cars, a competitive Pro Mod engine can produce in excess of 3,200 horsepower. Most Pro Mod racers use a three-speed planetary-type transmission and an adjustable multi-disc clutch, which helps them tune the car to suit track conditions.
While a Pro Mod chassis resembles a Pro Stock frame, there are significant differences since the Pro Mod car must be built to handle nearly twice the horsepower of a Pro Stock car. As a result, double frame rails are mandatory and there is also extra bracing required in the rear suspension and engine compartment. Although the chassis design also shares some similarities with a Funny Car, a Pro Mod car must use a full automotive-type suspension with springs and shock absorbers on all four corners. Any size rear tire is allowed and most racers opt to use a bead-lock system to secure the tire to the wheel. There are many safety related requirements for Pro Mod racers including duel parachutes, an on-board fire suppression system, and a fire suit for the driver meeting SFI 3.2A/20 specs.
Pro Mod Fast Facts
In 2011, Troy Coughlin Sr., drove his turbocharged JEGS.com Chevy Camaro in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series. Troy was also the only driver to qualify for all ten races in 2010.
Having run in the five-second zone on numerous occasions, Troy is officially the quickest member of the Coughlin family. His father, Jeg Sr., raced in Top Fuel in the late 1970s but his career best pass is in the 6.0-second range. Troy’s best speed of 255-mph is also the fastest for a member of the JEGS team.
The current performance record for Pro Mod is 5.772-seconds by Melanie Troxel at the 2011 Englishtown event. Troxel also holds the speed record with a 258.71 performance at the same event.
The Pro Mod class can trace its roots to the Pro Stock match races and Quick 8 events that were popular at Southern tracks during the 1970s and 1980s. At many tracks, rules were difficult to enforce, so the rules were relaxed and motto became, “Run whatcha brung”.
The Pro Mod class has worldwide appeal as it is currently thriving in North America, Australia, Europe, and at tracks in the Middle East. In 2011, the Get Screened America Pro Mod series attracted team from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Aruba, and Qatar.