The NHRA’s Pro Modified division will likely undergo changes for next season in the name of parity. According to the NHRA’s Glen Gray, the tech department has put the turbocharged combination under scrutiny which includes consideration of eliminating the spec turbo requirement.
“Since Indianapolis we have been looking at some various ways to create parity between the turbo, supercharged and nitrous cars. The turbo cars have a lot of potential and they’re starting to realize that potential even with a spec turbocharger that we have now. We are looking at some different ways to control that next year.”
At the most recent stop on the ten-race NHRA Pro Modified Series presented by ProCareRX, No. 1 qualifier Donnie Walsh [5.816] was nearly a tenth quicker in his turbo entry than the quickest nitrous qualifier at the AAA NHRA Midwest Nationals. The disparity between the turbo and supercharged entries was nearly a half-tenth.
The turbo cars have accounted for the low elapsed time and winner dating back to Norwalk in July.
Currently the turbocharged entries have been required to run a spec turbo, a regulation which could be rescinded for next season as new rules are set in place.
Parity isn’t the only issue which Gray has faced lately with the Pro Modified division.
Gray confirmed the NHRA has been made aware of a possible conflict of interest with spec turbo supplier Precision Turbo owner Harry Hruska and his close association with a number of the competitive turbocharged teams.
“We’re aware that there have been some suggestions that there is a conflict of interest,” said Gray. “And those are people’s positions. I’m not too concerned about that. I don’t feel that anybody’s been slighted due to that, any of their customers, so I’m not too concerned about that. But I do think it would be better to have multiple manufacturers producing turbos for the class next year.”
One of those associations is with the Mustang driven by Walsh, the No. 1 qualifier at the last three events and low elapsed time of the last four. Gray said the NHRA has put Hruska’s involvement under scrutiny and is convinced there is no issue.
“We obviously have scrutinized the turbo on his car, as well as others, and found nothing to be incorrect, nothing to be any different,” Gray said. “Harry has even swapped out turbos with other teams this year, right off of his car to another car. So I don’t feel that that’s an issue. We kept a pretty close eye on that. We have one of the spec turbos on our tech trailer that we can compare to any other turbos that are out there. And there’s serial numbers and identifications that were put into this that we asked to be put into this turbocharger to begin with, to make sure that we knew that they were the correct turbos and that no one had modified them.”
The NHRA, according to Gray, when it comes to possible rule changes is looking at possibly reducing turbo size and/or controlling turbo boost. Those possible changes have resulted in positive conversations with the competitors regarding the adjustments to the rules.
“We’re looking at over the next six weeks or so we’re gonna try to make a decision on which way we’re gonna go there,” said Gray. “We want to give obviously the Pro Mod competitors as much time as they possibly can to adjust to whatever changes are made for next year.”
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