The team won its first Pro Modified Racing Association championship, but the title was not decided until driver Jeff Roth piloted his 1941 Willys Pro Modified to a victory in the final round of PMRA racing for 2014 at the Grand Bend Motorplex.
Roth had been in second place for most of the season behind three-time PMRA champ Bruce Boland, and the team knew they had to win the final race to slip ahead of the veteran Stoney Creek Ontario racer.
"We battled with the car all day," said Roth, who hails from New Dundee, Ontario. "But the team worked hard and it all came together."
Running in his eighth year with the PMRA, Roth had won two events until this season, but took back-to-back wins at Grand Bend this year.
The Willys-bodied Pro Modified runs an Alan Johnson 526-cubic inch engine tweaked by Atchison Racing and sits in a Lowdown Hot Rods Chassis. Dave Bankes is crew chief with the team.
Roth qualified third for this final event, posting a 6.064, 234.19 behind Rob Atchison of London, Ontario, and Boland. Roth eliminated Derek Hawker of Corbyville, Ontario and Boland to meet up with Toronto's Sam Andreacchi in the PMRA final.
Both previous rounds were tough fights. Hawker ran a 6.174, 233.82 to Roth's 6.153, 224.60 but ran out of track to catch Roth. And Boland was slow on the tree for the next round, driving the wheels off his 1968 Firebird Pro Modified with a 6.153, 234.92 to Roth's 6.237, 227.73 but not catching Roth and his Willys.
With a minor advantage at the tree, Roth posted a 6.241, 228.02 to Andreacchi's 6.240, 209.30 in the final as it appeared Andreacchi's 1969 Camaro Pro Modified was slowing down before the finish line.
"It was our day," Roth continued after the race. "We ran some top-shooters and came out on top."
Roth also said the effort could not have been accomplished without his crew and sponsors.
"I have to thank all the crew, Dave Bankes, Larry Summerfield, Kyle McNeil and Willy Kerr, they went above and beyond this weekend," he mentioned. "I also want to thank my parents, Jim and Kim and my wife Ashley for their support. And I must thank Oak Grove Cheese, Shellbourne Fuels, Bright Water Service Inc., and D & J Sausage Factory for their support."
With his Grand Bend win, Roth took the Championship Point Award Series with 1310 points, only three ahead of Boland with 1307. Hawker placed third with 1216, fourth was Jason Kalso of Clarkston, Michigan with 1204 points, and fifth was Jack Grainy of Basom, New York with 1183 points.
The next race on the 2014 PMRA schedule is the International Pro Mod Challenge at the SuperChargers Showdown September 26 – 27 at the Maryland Int'l Raceway, Mechanicsville, Maryland. This non-points event will feature the PMRA racing against the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (NOPMA).
The Pro Modified Racing Association (PMRA), www.PMRA.ca enters its 10th season of popular Pro Modified racing this year, while the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, www.Quick32.ca will begin its sixth season, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series (PBSS) presented by Wiseco Performance Products, www.PBSS.ca begins its fourth year of operation. Several times during the race season all three series compete at the same weekend events, offering a colourful, diverse, and exciting package of drag racing action.
For more information, please contact:
Bruce F. Mehlenbacher/ Director of Operations
Telephone: (905) 772-1800 Ext. #22
Cellular: (905) 517-5345
Tim Miller/ Media Director
Telephone: (905) 870-1456