Tuesday, April 26, 2011



BAYTOWN, Texas – The phrase “History tends to repeat itself” is one not only limited to the textbooks and notepads found in schools. In fact, the phrase can be seen in the pits and on the track of many NHRA Drag Races around the country.

Whether it’s the wave of successful wins a driver can have in one season, a string of No. 1 qualifiers that occur in back-to-back races, or even a repeat world championship, history can have a tendency to repeat itself on the dragstrip. As the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing series returns to Royal Purple Raceway, April 29-May 1, for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, it’s that exact phrase that driver Danny Rowe hopes to be uttering in Winner’s Circle on Sunday.

Just one year ago Rowe claimed his first win in the newly created series when he held off fan favorite Melanie Troxel in the final round. The win moved Rowe all the way up to the fourth spot in the point standings and helped give him the momentum he needed to finish second overall by season’s end.

Now, just one year later, Rowe is sitting in a prime spot to take the point standings for the first time in his career. In the first two races of the season, Rowe has collected a runner-up finish in Gainesville and a semifinal round finish in Las Vegas. He currently sits third in the point standings, just 57 points behind first place driver Khalid Balooshi. Is this a chance for history to be repeated for Rowe?

“It would be huge to win again there,” Rowe said. “To have that little bit of momentum and consistency on our side would be huge, especially in this class.”

Though a repeat win in Houston is the first and foremost thing on Rowe’s mind entering this weekend’s event, the thought of winning the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod world championship in just its second year in existence is never too far behind.

“Every point counts in this class,” Rowe said. “We’re looking for everything that we can get. The way you look at the championship is by looking at today. At where you are right now. We’re really focused on what we’re going to do in Houston and if we can do that at every race and have that consistency, hopefully we will be on the right side of the points standings at the end of the season.”

But Rowe knows that with so many impressive cars and drivers in the series this season, and the hot summer months just around the corner, everyone has a chance to grab that world title.

“Obviously anyone in the top 10 is in the game deep,” Rowe said, referring to the point standings. “It’s anybody’s race right now. The points difference between winning a race and finishing runner up is such a huge swing, so all it takes is a race win to really change the outcome in the standings. I think at this point in the season, it really is anybody’s race.”

Rowe will have his hands full as the series heads to the Houston area. Pro Mod points leader Balooshi has swept the first two events of the season in his Speedtech ’68 Camaro, and defending world champion Von Smith is always a top contender in the series.

Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer cars with an extremely diverse collection of vehicles, including ’63 Corvettes, ’68 Camaros, ’67 Mustangs, ’68 Firebirds as well as late model cars, the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals will also be part of the 60th anniversary celebration of NHRA. Legendary Top Fuel pilot Shirley Muldowney will be on hand to sign autographs, meet fans, and participate in the festivities.

• SCHEDULE: Get Screened America qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on April 29 and at 12:45 p.m. on April 30. The first round of Pro Mod eliminations begins on April 30 at 3:15 p.m. Pro Mod eliminations resume on May 1.

• TICKETS: Tickets are available for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals. Please call Royal Purple Raceway at (281) 383-2666 or visit www.royalpurpleraceway.com/buy-tickets to purchase tickets online.

• ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise 30-minutes of racing highlights from the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series portion of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals on Sunday, May 8 at 2 p.m. (ET).

• ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.


UPDATED 4/12/2011 (Following the second of 10 races; victories in parentheses)

1. Khalid Balooshi, Dubai, UAE, Speedtech ’68 Camaro (2) 204

2. Rickie Smith, King, N.C., ‘68 Camaro 148

3. Danny Rowe, Laguna Hills, Calif., Sterling Bridge ’67 Camaro 147

4. Roger Burgess, Duluth, Ga., ProCare Rx ’53 Corvette 128

5. Kenny Lang, Manitoba, Canada, Kenny Lang Racing ’53 Corvette 122

6. Ed Hoover, Gilbert, S.C., ’68 Camaro 98

7t. Ray Commisso, Toronto, Canada, ProCare Rx ’68 Camaro 97

7t. Brad Personett, Elkhart, Ind., ProCare Rx ’68 Camaro 97

9. Michael Gullqvist, Hasselby, Sweden, Persaker, ’68 Camaro 87

10. Von Smith, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Barwa/Al-Anabi Racing ’68 Camaro 86