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NORWALK, Ohio – Even during what has been a frustrating NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season at times, you will have no chance catching Danny Rowe getting down on himself.
As upbeat and positive-thinking as any driver in the class, Rowe continues to forge ahead, confident he will find Pro Mod success at some point during the 2015 season in his Agave Underground Chevrolet Camaro.
The next chance comes as part of this weekend’s ninth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, where Rowe is focused on getting the full potential out of a car he knows is capable of winning races.
“For sure things haven’t gone as well as we expect this year, but sometimes in racing you need a little luck and we just haven’t had it,” Rowe said. “We’ve had some challenges this year but it’s helped us pull together. This is an incredible resilient group of guys that work hard, love what they are doing and are committed to being better. All we have to do at this point is stay the course. We’ve got a great team, a great car and if Steve [Matusek] and I do our jobs we can do what we set out to do, and that’s win races and compete for a world championship.”
The Norwalk stop is the sixth of 10 events during 2015 and marks the first race in the second half of what has been an ultra-competitive season. Former world champion Troy Coughlin is the defending winner of the event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Currently eighth in points, Rowe is eager to make his first NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series final round of the season and pick up his first win since 2012. Rowe posted a semifinal appearance in Atlanta, but he hit the wall following a second-round win there and couldn’t race in the semifinals.
It’s the perfect summation of Rowe’s 2015 season, which included a second-round loss at the most recent event in Bristol.
“Bristol, unfortunately, didn’t provide a lot of positives for us, but we know where we made our mistakes and we know what we have to do to correct them,” Rowe said. “It’s like anything else – you have to stub your toe every once in a while to figure out what your next step should be.
“Our goal is to put these cars in the winner’s circle as soon as possible, and do everything we can to get back in the points chase. We have to take it round by round and believe in the fact that we’ve got good people around us.”
There is no denying that as the two-car team of Rowe and Matusek includes a pair of the most talented drivers in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series class. But the class is loaded with standouts and championship contenders, including Pete Farber, Rickie Smith, who has claimed back-to-back world championships and won in Bristol, points leader and Houston winner Don Walsh, Mike Castellana, Bill Glidden, Coughlin, Troy Coughlin Jr., Mike Janis, Kenny Lang and Gainesville winner Bob Rahaim.
Rowe gladly accepts the challenge and is hopeful to see his luck headed in the right direction. He will face off against a loaded class of 30 drivers in Norwalk, but it remains an event Rowe looks forward to each year.
“Norwalk is a great race track and a great facility,” Rowe said. “The Baders do an unbelievable job with event marketing and bringing people in. I’m always excited to go there. It’s not without its challenges, though, as it’s typically hot that time of year and it can make the track a little tricky. But everyone races on the same track, and (crew chief) Jimmy Rector put me on the pole there last year, so we’re confident as we head to Ohio.”
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
NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, July 3, with sessions at 4:15 and 7 p.m. The final session will take place Saturday, July 4, at 4:15 p.m., with the first round of eliminations slated to start on Saturday at 7 p.m.
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES FACT SHEET:SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS
WHAT: Ninth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, the sixth of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. The race will also showcase the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
WHERE: Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio. The track is located at 1300 State Route 18, half way between Cleveland and Toledo; just an hour and a half north of Columbus. The Ohio Turnpike is less than 10 minutes away.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 853 feet above sea level; Track direction is north to south.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, July 2-5
TELEVISION: A 30-minute show from this event will be televised on the Velocity Channel in the fourth quarter of 2015.
FRIDAY, July 3: NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4 and 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 4: NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4 p.m.; First round of eliminations at 6:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 5: NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES eliminations continue at 12:45p.m.
PAST WINNERS: Troy Coughlin, 2014; Rickie Smith, 2013; Don Walsh, 2012; Mike Castellana, 2011; Pat Musi, 2010
TRACK RECORDS: 5.863 sec. by Danny Rowe, June. ’11; 253.85 mph by Don Walsh, July ’12.
NATIONAL RECORDS: 5.772 sec. and 258.71 mph by Melanie Troxel, June ’11, Englishtown.
TICKETS: For tickets, call (419) 668-5555 or purchase online at www.summitmotorsportspark.com.