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Record-Breaking Season Kicks off with 5.50 Pro Mods & Radial Insanity


Video by TheRacingVids via YouTube

The first weekend of October proved to be one for the history books with records trampled as the crisp weather took hold of the Mid-Atlantic region. Summer turned off nearly overnight and by the weekend record runs at Cecil County Dragway and Maryland International Raceway flooded social media.

The top of the list is the nitrous-powered Pro Modified of Dean Marinas that ran 5.57 at 255 mph! It beat the old nitrous-injected quarter-mile run, which Freddy Scribba set earlier in the weekend with a 5.65 effort. Marinas was competing in the North East Pro Mod Association event, which was held at Maryland International Raceway during its Supercharged Showdown extravaganza.

The Marinas Motorsports/Harry Pappas team runs a 1969 Chevy Camaro that was built by Jerry Bickel Race Cars and is powered by a Pat Musi Racing 959ci powerplant. The engine is based on a billet 5.300 bore space engine block with Musi’s proprietary cylinder heads. Multiple stages of nitrous from Speedtech are plumbed into the custom intake manifold. Marinas relies on a Proformance Racing Transmission TH400 transmission. Prior to Marinas running in the 5.60s and 5.50s, Rickie Smith held the nitrous-powered door slammer record, also a Pat Musi Racing powered racer, with a 5.71 effort. Smith did so under NHRA rules that restrict the displacement and lock-up transmission functions amongst other little rules.

The record book didn’t get closed after Marinas’ runs as the Pro Modified world saw two more niche categories run unrivaled performances. Kevin McCurdy competed in the same event with a ProCharger/HEMI combination and settled in on a best run of 5.52 at 258 mph. The stellar performances earmark that team as the quickest and fastest “Centrifugally Supercharged” door slammer. Patrick Barnhill of PTP Racing was instrumental in consulting and tuning on the new ProCharger combination. He uses a Haltech Elite 2500T engine management system to tune the impressive machine.

Some call it a Pro Import while others say it is a Pro Modified with a sport compact engine—it is all semantics as Arnaldo Rodriquez of Venenum Racing crushed the previous record with a 5.55 at 254 mph from a 2JZ-powered Scion FRS! The venerable six-cylinder combination was at Maryland International Raceway testing for the upcoming World Cup Finals at the same facility.

The weather and track conditions were just as favorable up the road at Cecil County Dragway for its Outlaw Street Car Shootout competition. Ronny Rhodes and his small-block Chevy, nitrous-injected 1968 Camaro set a new standard for Ultra Street when he ran 4.58 during eliminations. He lost the race but won the Ultra Street championship at Cecil County Dragway, same as his father Ron Rhodes did in X275.

In Outlaw 10.5 the awesome C6 Corvette of Blake Copson pushed the all-time quickest mark down a tick from the previous record with a 3.77 at 208 mph. He relies on a twin turbo Pro Line Racing HEMI engine. Copson went on to win the event over the nitrous-powered monster of Mo Hall.

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.