The Mid-West Pro Mod Series kicks off its 2018 season this weekend at Texas Motorplex in what could be a harbinger of great things.

The Bruce Lowrie Chevrolet North vs. South Frankenstein Mid-West Pro Mod Shootout is the first of eight races on the MWPMS schedule, up from four from its inaugural season a year ago. If car count is any indication, the Mid-West Pro Mod Series is in for a terrific year. At least 30 cars are expected in Ennis, Texas on Friday and Saturday – for a 16-car field. And more cars could show up.

Businessman/racer Keith Haney helped create the series a year ago, filling a hole for Pro Mod races in the middle of the country.

"The series is for race tracks, for race fans and for the sponsors," Haney said. "Everybody will see it this weekend, and we'll prove that the Midwest is where it's at.

"Pro Mod is on its way back. You can see that by looking at the Gainesville entry list. There are 35 Pro Mods there (for the NHRA race), there will be 30-something here. The reason why this one is going to be good is there's nothing in the Midwest anymore; there are no more series. The PDRA left the Midwest area, and rightfully so: They couldn’t get the support on their end to have it. Of course, they have more than one class. We just have the one, and all of them run together. They have too many classes breaking it up.

"Because of the rules and the way it all plays out, we believe that it makes it where everybody can come have fun – and not have to race the same guy, the same car every time."

MWPMS officials give tracks the option to bring other classes, or simply have the Pro Mod class on its own or as support for other series the same weekend. Texas Motorplex wanted some drag radial classes, so they'll be with the Pro Mod cars this weekend.

"It's going to be a real good deal," Haney said. "We should have 30-plus (Pro Mod) cars. I don't know about all the radial classes and all, but the main thing is the Mid-West Pro Mod Series. The radial cars come with that. The track has the race, and if they want to add 'em, they add 'em. It looks like we should have a good turnout in 275, 235."

Keith Haney

Haney said he's a "little nervous" about car count in Radial vs.The World, simply because many of those racers are getting ready for the Sweet 16 race in a couple weeks, followed by the Radial Revenge Tour season-opener.

But he knows there are more than enough Pro Mods to fill the 16-car field.

"Oh, my goodness, yeah, we'll have plenty of Pro Mods," Haney said. "There may be more than 30, and that's not even the people coming who I don't know of. That could make it even bigger."

To what does Haney attribute the success of the new series? Several things. For starters, the increase in the sheer number of Pro Mod racers in the Midwest made it a bit easier to attract drivers and teams.

Then, Haney says the rules package allows for several different engine combinations to compete equally.

"It makes it fun," Haney said. "I've always want to race a Frankie Taylor, I've always wanted to race the screw cars, Brandon Pesz, Justin Jones, Todd Martin, Brandon Lewis. I just think it's fun to have a nitrous car or a turbo or whatever. You run a class together, and it's awesome."

Haney bragged about MWPMS purses, too. In addition to paying $10,000 to win, each of the 16 qualifiers will be paid, too.

"There are other sanctioning bodies who do that, but their top dollar was less," Haney said. "Now, they've matched the same purse that we have. Because we're one class, the track only has to worry about marketing one class – not 50,000. And they don't have to worry about funding 10, 12 classes. They have to worry about funding just a few."

And finally, the series has streamlined the actual racing to a day and a half – finishing on Saturday night.

"Our show is so much shorter than any other series out there," Haney said. "Our show is a day-and-a-half. You get to race on Saturday, and you're home on Sunday. We've got a lot of working people, and the cost of travel is a lot less. The purse is good, so why wouldn't you come race with us? That's what everybody has looked at. They've said, 'Hey, I can race for $10,000, and I can be home on Sunday with my kids. Why not?'"

Haney, by the way, is the series' defending champion. And the Oklahoma car dealer has no intention of losing it to someone else this year – or of losing the smack-talking battle either.

"There's probably a bull's eye on the side of my car because I talk enough s--- to all of them," Haney said. "The difference is when they talk back, I back it up, and they can't. When they pull up next to me, their ass is shaking in their boot. They know that my ass is going to drag them, and a lot of times they're going to make a mistake because they're so nervous. I've got nothing to lose because I'm already the champion. They've got to take it away from me."