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SMITH GETS FIRST PRO MOD CLASS WIN OF 2022 NHRA SEASON, THORNE WINS D-WAGON NHRA PRO MOD SHOOTOUT

Posted By: Steve Baur

Rickie Smith advanced to his fifth straight final round on Sunday in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon and broke through for his first victory of the 2022 season at Brainerd International Raceway as part of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
 
The event, which was powered by Stinar, was the sixth of 10 races during the 2022 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon. Smith made a major move in the points standings as well, picking up the win over Doug Winters with a run of 5.791-seconds at 250.92 mph in his nitrous-powered Sokal Camaro in the championship round.
 
Winters had the advantage on the starting line, but Smith tracked him down early, cruising to the victory with another run in the 5.70s this weekend. The multi-time world champion reached the finals with victories against Khalid AlBalooshi, Mike Castellana and two-time world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson, also posting a .018 reaction time during his win in the second round.
 
The longtime standout also pulled within 25 points of leader Kris Thorne with four races remaining this season.
 

“Points are way far out of my mind,” Smith said. “I wanted to win a race before I retire again this year. We’ve done it. Unless I win another one, this may be the last time you see me win an NHRA race. It’s just been awesome to stay out here this late in my career. Thank you NHRA and thank you D-Wagon for putting up the money. God bless everybody and I love all of you.” 
 
Despite falling in the finals, Winters enjoyed a memorable day en route to his first career final round in the category. He upset No. 1 qualifier Thorne, who won the D-Wagon NHRA Pro Mod Shootout on Saturday, and J.R. Gray as he was searching for his first career win.
 

POINTS LEADER KRIS THORNE WINS D-WAGON NHRA PRO MOD SHOOTOUT AT BRAINERD

  
Kris Thorne turned in another fantastic performance during his 2022 season in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon, driving to the victory in the D-Wagon NHRA Pro Mod Shootout specialty race on Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway.
 
It marked the first-ever specialty race for the NHRA Pro Mod category and Thorne, who is also the points leader in the class on the strength of three victories, claimed another memorable moment, beating two-time world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson in the final round. Thorne’s run of 5.762-seconds at 250.88 mph in his ProCharger-powered Camaro was easily enough to knock off Jackson, who got loose early in the run.
 
Thorne claimed more than $11,000 for winning the shootout as his 2022 continues to be one to remember.
 

“Everything went according to plan and the team did a great job,” Thorne said. “I want to thank the D-Wagon folks for putting this on for the Pro Mod class. My guys did a great job getting the car down the track, giving me a car that could win. We had a good tune-up in the car against Stevie and I just had to make sure I was on my game.”
 
Thorne knocked off Khalid AlBalooshi, Mike Thielen and Justin Bond, who won last weekend in Topeka, to reach the final round of the shootout. He was also great on the starting line through all four rounds, turning in a .020 reaction time in the final round. His pass of 5.725 at 250.41 in the second round on Saturday also gave Thorne the No. 1 qualifier position for Sunday’s NHRA Pro Mod race, which is powered by Stinar in Brainerd, as he looks to claim two victories in one weekend.
 
“We’ve had really good success so far this season and it’s been a great weekend already in Brainerd,” Thorne said. “We won the shootout and if we can take the money on Sunday, too, we would be really fortunate.”
 
Jackson reached the final round thanks to wins against Lyle Barnett and Mike Castellana. He also qualified second with a run of 5.734 at 253.33.
 
 
The FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon returns to action as part of the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals on Aug. 31-Sept. 5 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.
 
***
 
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Final finish order (1-16) at the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. The race is the sixth of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
 
 
PRO MODIFIED:
1. Rickie Smith; 2. Doug Winters; 3. Steve Jackson; 4. Mike Castellana; 5. JR Gray; 6. Jose Gonzalez; 7. Lyle Barnett; 8. Sidnei Frigo; 9. Justin Bond; 10. Khalid alBalooshi; 11. Kris Thorne; 12. Mike Thielen.
 
 
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Sunday's final results from the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. The race is the sixth of 10 events in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
 
Pro Modified -- Rickie Smith, Ford Mustang, 5.791, 250.92 def. Doug Winters, Chevy Chevelle, 5.997, 240.34.
 
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Final round-by-round results from the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the sixth of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon.
 
PRO MODIFIED:
 
ROUND ONE -- JR Gray, Chevy Camaro, 5.770, 247.97 def. Justin Bond, Camaro, 6.455, 160.08; Mike Castellana, Camaro, 5.763, 246.75 def. Sidnei Frigo, Chevy Chevelle, 5.809, 244.47; Steve Jackson, Camaro, 5.769, 251.63 def. Mike Thielen, Camaro, 9.756, 94.81; Rickie Smith, Ford Mustang, 5.765, 250.74 def. Khalid alBalooshi, Camaro, 7.849, 108.31; Jose Gonzalez, Camaro, 5.751, 250.13 def. Lyle Barnett, Camaro, 5.774, 256.16; Doug Winters, Chevelle, 5.875, 225.00 def. Kris Thorne, Camaro, 8.863, 107.76;
QUARTERFINALS -- Winters, 5.915, 217.07 def. Gray, Foul - Red Light; Smith, 5.798, 250.51 def. Castellana, 5.781, 247.43; Jackson, 5.758, 253.85 def. Gonzalez, 5.797, 242.50;
SEMIFINALS -- Winters, 11.854, 106.10 was unopposed; Smith, 5.806, 250.88 def. Jackson, 6.878, 145.88;
FINAL -- Smith, 5.791, 250.92 def. Winters, 5.997, 240.34.
 
BRAINERD, Minn. -- Point standings (top 10) following the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the sixth of 10 events in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon.
 
Pro Modified
 
1. Kris Thorne, 535; 2. Rickie Smith, 510; 3. Steve Jackson, 350; 4. Justin Bond, 330; 5. Jose Gonzalez, 303; 6. JR Gray, 276; 7. Lyle Barnett, 271; 8. Doug Winters, 263; 9. Mike Thielen, 244; 10. Khalid alBalooshi, 226.


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