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MADISON, Ill. – Last weekend in Charlotte was not the ideal time for NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series racer Bill Glidden to continue having problems with his Mickey Thompson Ford Mustang.
But the longtime Pro Mod standout believes he has the problem rectified and he won’t have to wait long to see if he is correct.
Glidden hopes to break out of a frustrating three-race skid and continue his championship pursuit at this weekend’s NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the fourth annual AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.
“Anything can happen, but we’re struggling right now,” Glidden said. “We really worked on our stuff a lot between Norwalk and Indy, and went in there with decent hopes. But we didn’t have the week we anticipated and going to Charlotte we really struggled to figure why it wouldn’t run. Hopefully we found out what’s been going on. If indeed this is the problem and we can get this to run to the finish line with everything working correctly we’ll be good.”
This weekend’s Pro Mod races, presented by Precision Turbo and Engine, at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals marks the ninth of 10 events during the 2015 Pro Mod season, and Glidden is still in the thick of the championship hunt. Currently third in points, Glidden trails points leader Mike Janis by 67 points and Troy Coughlin, in second, by 21 points. Other talented standouts include Don Walsh, Bob Rahaim, who is 74 points back of Janis, Rickie Smith, who has won the past two world championships, Danny Rowe, who won last weekend in Charlotte, and Troy Coughlin Jr. Mike Knowles is the defending winner of the St. Louis event.
Glidden, though, hopes to have found a late-season spark after picking up just one round win in his past three races. He fell in the first round at both Norwalk and Indy, even after making a significant change to his tune-up after Norwalk, and lost in the second round in Charlotte.
Never afraid to make any necessary changes, Glidden went to work again after Charlotte, and hopes the latest one will mean improved performance at a critical juncture of the year.
“We’re hopefully optimistic,” Glidden said. “It would show signs of running really good and then just act like it was dragging a sled. If I can get to the other end and all my eggs are in one basket, then we can be competitive. We’ve scratched our way to get us where we’re at right now and if somehow we can get this turned around then we’ll see what happens. But if you throw a run away it’s hard to catch up.”
That speaks volumes about the competitiveness of the class, which will have another deep and talented field in St. Louis. But Glidden has more than held his own, winning in Englishtown and advancing to a final round in Houston.. He hasn’t always been the quickest, but Glidden, the son of legendary Pro Stock driver Bob Glidden, has performed well in eliminations. Glidden, however, knows things will be difficult in St. Louis with a number of standout drivers competing for a championship.
“Guys are going to have their stuff ready to go,” Glidden said. “Anything could happen. Any class is hard to win out here. There’s a lot of cars in our class and we’re not going to go down easy, (but) it’s a pretty tough deal now in any class in NHRA.”
The ideal scenario for Glidden would be making a strong pass in the first round of qualifying in St. Louis to ensure the changes have worked. The good news is Glidden has always enjoyed racing at Gateway Motorsports Park.
“We like St. Louis and have had some really good success there,” Glidden said. “We’ve done a lot of racing and testing there over the years and we seem to get down the track nice there.”
Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The growing class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, like ’67 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds and ’69 Camaros, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars. With more than 3,000 horsepower, the suspended door Pro Mod cars travel the quarter-mile in less than six seconds at speeds exceeding 250 mph.
J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday at 2:15 and 4:45 p.m. with one final qualifying session on Saturday at 1 p.m. The first round will begin on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. and continue on Sunday.