Outlaws in Orlando

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With the NHRA Pro Mod season beginning officially at Gainesville Raceway in two weeks, many top teams headed to Orlando Speed World Dragway for the World Outlaw Nationals.

There were several varieties of Pro Mod race cars on show, including NHRA Pro Mod for the ‘legal cars’, Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost.

The majority of entries were found in NHRA Pro Mod, where 19 teams attempted to qualify for a 16 car field. Top qualifying honors went to Rick Hord’s turbocharged 2016 Corvette with a 5.697 in the first qualifying session of the event, a time that would stand as low ET for the weekend.

The final round came down to Jose Gonzalez in the El General/Q80 2018 Camaro and Stevie ‘Fast’ Jackson, also in a Camaro. Dominican-born Gonzalez took out Georgia’s Jackson in a 5.70 to 5.73 contest.

Pro Nitrous saw PDRA champion Jason Harris top qualify with a stout 3.700 on the eighth mile, scraping ahead of a tight top three that also featured Lizzy Musi with a 3.703 and Jay Cox with a 3.704. The eight car field was anchored by former no-time racer Justin Swanstrom, who couldn’t find a full pass during qualifying.

Harris and Musi would live up to their top seed positions and face off in the final, where Harris dropped an impressive 3.686/204mph as Musi had troubles and the noise from her Dart disappeared early.

Pro Boost was a mix of combinations included Procharged and screw blown motors. Eric Gustafson drove his 1969 Camaro to top qualifying position with a 3.698/203mph.

Gustafson would also make it to the final where he faced Kris Thorne. Gustafson looked to be on another 3.6 second run until a plume of smoke from the back of his car as it neared the finish line. Thorne was able to come back for a 3.77/211mph win to Gustafson’s slowing 3.79 at just 172mph.

The Pro Mod teams will now focus on their respective series including the NHRA opener at Gainesville in just under two weeks and the PDRA kick off at Galot Motorsports Park in early April.

Jeremy Ray fits up the valve covers to his 1963 Corvette Pro Mod.
The Whiteley family had two Pro Mods and a Top Alcohol Funny Car out for some testing.
Eric Gustafson had good reason to smile after earning the top qualifying position in Pro Boost with his Procharger-equipped Camaro.
Adam Flamholc's team await the fire up order.
Rickie Smith was out to prove a point with a turbocharged Ford Mustang - belting out a 257mph top speed.
Pro Nitrous contender Jay Cox waits for a qualifying session in the staging lanes.
Pat Musi and daughter Lizzy make some last minute adjustments in the staging lanes.
Chip King is early to the lanes in the Dreamworks Challenger, but unfortunately he would miss the 5.86 bump spot for the NHRA Pro Mod field.
Doug Winters' crew await the fire up signal before a qualifying run with their Bandit Big Rig Series Chevelle.
Jason Harris crinkles the rear tyres as his Pro Nitrous Camaro launches.
Stevie 'Fast' Jackson took the Bahrain 1 Camaro to a runner up spot in NHRA Pro Mod.
Steven Whiteley burns out over freshly applied gold dust on the start line, using to help get rid of bald spots on the track's rubber surface.
Jerico Balduf's gorgeous Batman-themed Chevelle was the number two qualifier in Pro Boost.
NHRA Pro Mod top qualifier Rick Hord waits in the twilight for his final run of qualifying.

More images in the gallery below. Event coverage with thanks to Noonan Race Engineering.