Clay Jones Memorial Nationals
Beech Bend Raceway Park
Bowling Green, KY
September 24 – 27, 2015
AMRA Pro Mod / Pro Gas Recap
By: Ryan Oehler
The weather may be getting cooler but this seasons AMRA points race is heating up for many of the classes and racers. With another exciting weekend of drag racing behind us, the AMRA Pro Mod and ProGas classes have no time to rest with less than two weekends until the season finale at Rockingham raceway on October 17-18.
This past weekend from Bowling Green, Kentucky was another great AMRA event thanks to large spectator and racer attendance. The riders of the Pro Mod class was at each other throats, with several of the competitors battling for the points championship and the others looking to claim some great prize money from the classes generous sponsors. Those sponsors include Mike Stocum and Henry Stanton from Rochester Custom Cycle, Capone Racing, Motolenz Photos, and Ryan Oehler Racing. Thanks to these great sponsors, we were able to put up another $1000.00 plus purse.
The Pro Mod class has been continuously becoming more competitive all season long. Several of the racers have been tuning their machines closer and closer to the winners circle. Morry Straubel and Larry Pratt have been on a role with their Iron Eagle Pro Mod bike. They put another win on the score board this past weekend making it two in a row and edging there way closer in the point championship. Ryan Oehler has been leading the points all season long and but this past weekend he lost in the semifinals to Larry Pesce.
Larry Pesce, crew chief Eric Carlson, and the entire White Knuckle Racing team worked their butts off just to make it to this race, performing a complete engine rebuild just days before the race. Larry just missed out on his first win this season when he was defeated by Morry in the finals on Sunday.
Jerry Lee Cloyd and Gary Douglass have also been making some serious improvements with their machines. They have both been putting some very impressive numbers on the board and show that they could be top contenders in this class.
Henry Stanton showed some serious dedication and commitment to the class and sport by bringing the big money purse for this Pro Mod class, but was unable to bring it back home as he struggled with traction issues here this past weekend. Henry and crew chief Mike Stocum have hurt several motors this season and show that they are serious competitors that will not back down. Keep your eye on this team for good things to come in the future.
John Price made his first appearance this season in the Pro Mod class, but showed extreme dedication by first pulling solo duty on this long trip from Maryland, and second by putting down some seriously competitive numbers on the track. John is no stranger to the Pro Mod field and shows that he and his machine were in sink and will be ready in Rockingham.
Pro Gas has also seen some serious action here this past weekend with side by side racing, upsets, and yes great class sponsors. The Pro Gas class has brought some big name sponsors to the table, including Junior Pippin Trucking, Vanson Leathers, Star Racing, Double Trouble Racing, Posada Drywall, Caldwell’s Performance Center, Redline Oils, Ryan Oehler Racing, and Harley Davidson of Bowling Green. With the help of these sponsors we were able to double the purse for this class.
Mike Pearce and Tom Caldwell once again put down the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend and held down the number one qualifier position for the sixth straight time this year. This team really shows their dedication and competitiveness to this Pro Gas class with not only having one of the quickest bikes but also by bringing several of these class sponsors to the table.
Billy Doherty and his “Fear the Banana” Pro Gas bike were definitely putting some fear in this Pro Gas field this past weekend and took it all the way to the winner circle. Billy and his crew chief Mike Stocum have been tuning this new bike all season and have finally got several of the gremlins shook out. Billy beat Mike Pearce in the finals and took home all the money and showed that he will be a serious contender in Rockingham.
Shane Pendergast and his crew chief John Arnold have been working hard all year long and showed their commitment to the class and sport this past weekend by adding some cash prizes from their race team Double Trouble Racing. This team has reinvested into their program and has been shaking this Pro Gas bike down and will certainly be more than just Double Trouble once they get this machine figured out.
Keith Richner and Kyle Leblanc rounded this ProGas class out this past weekend. Both these riders have continuously gained strength all season long. Either one of these riders can play the upset card at any time and hope to do just that in Rockingham.
The excitement continues to grow as this season approaches its final race at Rockingham Raceway on October 17-18. Stay tuned to see who will make their way to the winners circle and who will be crowned champion of this 2015 Pro Mod and ProGas season.