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Knowles Looks to Strike it Rich in “The Energy Capital of the World”

(04-22-2014) Grand Junction, CO – Many an oil man hustled their way to fortune around the Houston, TX area. This weekend Mike Knowles and his Blown Money team look to “strike it rich” drilling Christmas trees in “The Energy Capital of the World”.

mikeknowles2011Mike Knowles of Knowles Trucking and Knowles Enterprises is no stranger to the energy business or “drilling the tree”. The Grand Junction, Colorado resident makes his living in the energy sector but, he gets his thrills behind the wheel of his methanol burning 68’ Camaro rocketing down the ¼ mile at over 240 miles per hour. In his last outing, at the season opener in Gainesville, Fl, Knowles came up short in the first round but, not without taking a shot at the tree; “Drilling it” with a .037 reaction time and loosing by a mere 29 thousandths of a second. This weekend the Blown Money team heads to Houston, Texas aka “The Energy Capital of the World” for the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals with Pro Mods Presented by J&A Service.

The 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals with Pro Mods Presented by J&A Service is the second race on the ten race NHRA Pro Modified Series. The SpringNationals are held at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas; 25 miles east of downtown Houston on the weekend of April 25th-27th.

The Pro Modified class at the 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals is presented by J&A Service. J&A Service, based out of Grand Junction, Colorado, is a leader in Oil and Gas Field Exploration Services.

MAGGIO CONTINUES WCOPMA DOMINATION

(3-28-2014) BAKERSFIELD, CA – The Maggio Motorsports team did it again. This past weekend at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California was the 2014 West Coast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (WCOPMA) season opening event in conjunction with the National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA). Mike Maggio and his Maggio Motorsports team ran the table for their sixth WCOPMA event win since first racing with the group in 2011.

maggio2Of Maggio’s six total WCOPMA victories a total of five of them have been clean sweeps which included a number 1 qualifying spot, event win and low ET of the event…this past weekend’s victory was no different.

Maggio started the day by grabbing the top qualifying spot posting a 5.754 on the score boards. Not too far behind was event runner up Rod Burbage in his Spec Rite Converter Racing 1969 Camaro with a 5.764. Jeremy Hanger and Tim “TK” Krupa rounded out the top half of the qualifying order with impressive 5.834 and 5.851 runs.

In the first round of eliminations Maggio edged out tough competitor Sean Renteria in his fan favorite unique 1964 Plymouth Valliant with a 5.744 to Renteria’s peddling 6.034. In his semifinal matchup Maggio would be paired against his old 1970 Camaro now campaigned by a top west coast based turbo racer Scott Oksas. Maggio’s crew chief Kurt Kuhnes had the ol Camaro hopped up and a new WCOPMA blower ET record of 5.694 lit up the score board for the round win. (side note – only two racetracks in the world have seen 5.6-second passes by Pro Mod cars. Las Vegas Motor Speedway in November of 2013 by John Stanley and Mike Maggio and now Auto Club Famoso Raceway can be added to that list).

Maggio would meet up against Burbage for what would sure to be a great final round. Burbage earned his way to the final by getting past John Durden with a 5.786 and Garrett Richards with a 5.766.

In the final round Burbage had the advantage at the tree but shortly after that it was all over as he had to do a quick peddle allowing Maggio to thunder down the 1320 for the event win with a 5.714 to Burbage’s 5.972.

The next event for the WCOPMA is scheduled for June 7-8 back at Auto Club Famoso Raceway for their Super Chevy Show event. The competition is tough this year as there are now five proven 5.7-players and a good ten or so 5.8-5.9 racers out here with many more teams stepping up their programs that will be ready for our next event.

Keep up with all the latest WCOPMA news by checking out www.WestCoastOutlawProMods.com – Photos by Racing Media Solutions.

Rowe & Matusek Battle at NHRA Pro Mod Season Opener

(3-27-2014) LAGUNA HILLS, CA – Had Danny Rowe (above) and Steve Matusek’s paths crossed a little later in eliminations it could have been argued that the Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod team had a perfect weekend, but it’s difficult to view the 45th annual Amalie Motor Oils NHRA Gatornationals as anything less.

Rowe_Agave_suitAfter qualifying number one and eight, respectively, amongst the quickest field in the history of the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series with Rowe’s 5.858-second, 250.33mph effort and Matusek’s 5.904-second, 246.26mph blast, the Pro Mod tag team headed into Sunday morning’s elimination rounds paired up with two nitrous oxide frontrunners in Jim Laurita and Dan Stevenson.

“With a 5.95 bump spot there’s nobody you can take lightly,” says Rowe, looking back at the strongest field of Pro Mods the class had ever seen. “All the cars are so close, we knew we’d have to fight for every round – there wouldn’t be any ‘gimmes’ in Gainesville.”

When the smoke cleared after the opening stanza both Rowe and Matusek were heading to the second round; Rowe dispatching Stevenson with a stout 5.949/246.93mph combination while Matusek trailered Jim Laurita with a 5.986-second, 242.76mph lap – setting up a quarterfinal round showdown between the Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod Camaros.

“If you’re going to have to race your teammate, you’d like for it to be in the final,” says Matusek, checking in from his office at Kansas-based Aeromotive, Inc. – the high performance fuel systems company he founded and serves as President. “The way we looked at it, though, was that one of us was going on to the semis, and that’s the most important thing – going rounds on race day.”

PRI_MatusekWhen the yellow lights flashed Rowe and Matusek left together and were side-by-side until the eighth-mile mark when Rowe pulled away for the win with a 5.919/246.48mph effort to Matusek’s 5.996/241.41mph shot.

“That was going to be a hell of a drag race,” says Rowe. “The side window came out of Steve’s car down toward the finish line and he had to let out of it, but it was a still a great race and, honestly, I have to say it was cool to be out there doing a burnout alongside my teammate in another supercharged Agave Underground Camaro. Like Steve says, you don’t want to meet your teammate until the final, but it was pretty killer for all the Pro Mod fans in Gainesville.”

In the semifinal round, however, Danny Rowe Racing’s incredible early season momentum was slowed slightly when reigning NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series champion Rickie Smith jumped off the starting line just before Danny Rowe, and held on for a holeshot victory with a 5.919/246.48mph pass over Rowe’s quicker and faster 5.889-second, 248.25mph effort.

“You hate to lose like that,” says Rowe. “You hate it for the team, mainly, because these guys – Jimmy, Karen, Junior, Darryl, Chop, Chris and Gary – all work so hard and really gave Steve and I both a pair of bad ass race cars this weekend. But like I always say, that’s why they call it racing and not winning. You’re going to win some on a holeshot and you’re going to lose some; today we were just on the wrong side of it.

“We’ve got two great cars and we’re already turning our attention to Houston,” continues Rowe. “We’re looking to go down there and pick up right where we left off in Gainesville – with two of most competitive cars on the property.”

To keep up with the latest news and results from Danny Rowe Racing, log onto www.dannyroweracing.com.  Photos courtesy of DRR & Drag Illustrated.

Blown Money Team Passed the Testing Season; Ready for 2014 NHRA Pro Mod Opener

(3-14-2014) GAINESVILLE, FL – It’s been a busy “off-season” for Mike Knowles and his Blown Money Pro Modified team. After finishing 2013 with a career best 5.88 at the season finale’ in Vegas the concentration for the down months went to perfecting their already stout combination.

knowles2013web“We had a good combination all last year. We just needed to put everything together and learn what she wanted. We got a glimpse of that in Vegas and this off-season we really didn’t make that many changes and focused more on finding her happy place,” said car chief, Bill Rice.

“We went testing a handful of times and just focused on the set up and the tune up. We wanted to see how the car reacted to the changes. We did this each time out and then were able to bring her back to our baseline each time she would repeat. This helps us learn what the car will do in various weather and track conditions. It’ll hopefully keep us ahead of the curve as the season roles on,” added Rice.

“Tim (McAmis), Bart (Sunn), and Billy have really made these testing sessions count. There have been times in the past when I questioned how much the testing helps but, this year we learned valuable information each time we went out. It’s kinda like that light bulb coming on moment when you know something really good is gonna happen. I believe in my guys and the combination we have. I have a pretty darn good feeling about this year and I can’t wait for it to start,” said team owner/driver Mike Knowles.

‘LIKE’ Blown Money Racing on Facebook for the latest updates! – www.facebook.com/blownmoneyracing

Rowe & Matusek set for Gainesvill​e Invasion

(3-14-2014) GAINESVILLE, FL – Only days removed from a phenomenal multi-day test session at Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida, the newly formed Pro Mod tag-team of Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek have made the short trip up to Gainesville Raceway and are ready to put their supercharged Agave Underground Tequila Pro Mod Camaros to work.

dannyrowe

Work begins, of course, at this weekend’s 45th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals – the historic, tradition-rich kickoff to the 10-race NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season.

“We’re definitely ready,” said Rowe. “Jimmy [Rector, crew chief] and the team have hardly stopped working since we pulled out of Las Vegas last October. It’s been a non-stop effort to get ready for what’s likely to be the most competitive season we’ve ever seen in NHRA Pro Mod.

“We made some good runs in testing and made a lot of ground, especially with Steve [Matusek] getting comfortable in a blower car after having raced a turbo car for several years,” Rowe continued. “This winter was all about finding horsepower and we’re hoping we can see the fruits of that labor starting this weekend at the Gatornationals, which is always one of our favorite stops on the tour. It’s the first race of the season, but it’s also one of the most fabled events on the entire NHRA trail and you can tell – the fans come out in droves and they’re passionate and knowledgeable. The community kind of rallies around the race, and that’s adds a lot to it, as well.”

Without question, the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series has established itself as the final frontier for fast doorslammer drag racing, and Rowe and Matusek intend to make the most of the platform in 2014.

“We’ve seen this series continue to grow year after year,” said Rowe. “The caliber of teams that are out here right now – from the drivers and cars to the crew chiefs and crews – are at an all-time high. All the different combinations – supercharged, nitrous-injected and turbocharged – are all very competitive, and it should make for some bad ass drag racing. With the conditions we generally have in Gainesville, I’m sure we’re going to see some big numbers, too. We’re excited.”

To keep up with the latest news and results from Danny Rowe Racing, log onto www.dannyroweracing.com.

TUTTEROW #1 QUALIFIER AND RUNNER UP AT US STREET NATIONALS

(01-27-2014) CLINTON, NC  – GALOT MOTORSPORTS’ driver and Crew Chief, Todd “King Tut” Tutterow scored a second place finish and was the number one qualifier in the Outlaw Pro Mod class at the U.S. Street Nationals race held at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida on January 24-26, 2014.

DZIMG_91741Behind the wheel of his supercharged 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, Tutterow put down a stellar pass in the first round of Outlaw Pro Mod qualifying going 3.902 at 191.28 MPH to secure the number one position. In round two, Tutterow briefly slipped into the number three spot but easily regained his rightful place at the top of the pack in the third and final qualifier with a 3.883 at 192.88 MPH run.

In the first round of eliminations Tutterow had a 3.852 at 194.30 MPH trip down the strip, his quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, and moved into round two where his 3.902 at 192.10 MPH run earned him the right to run in the next round. Moving into the semi-finals, Tutterow cut a great light and flew down the track to reach the big end ahead of his opponent with a 3.874 at 192.55 MPH run. The final round was incredibly close all the way to the finish line, but ultimately Tutterow came in just .008-seconds behind his opponent to take home the second place title.

With a fantastic runner-up class finish and number one qualifier honors, the GALOT Motorsports team had a great start to their 2014 season.

The GALOT team has a busy schedule planned for 2014 including the full 10-race NHRA Pro Mod series, and also plans on attending local races, such as the Big Dog Shootout at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, NC, and various Extreme Outlaw Pro Mod (EOPM) races, as scheduling permits.

Matusek to drive TMRC Camaro for Danny Rowe Racing

(12-13-2013) LENEXA, KS – You heard it correctly! Aeromotive’s Steve Matusek is trading in a set of turbos for a supercharger. Danny Rowe, driver of the Agave Underground Tequila Supercharged ’68 Pro Mod Camaro and Danny Rowe Racing (DRR) have teamed up with Steve Matusek and Aeromotive for the 2014 season. Matusek will drive the second car for DRR, also a supercharged ’68 Camaro. “The opportunity came up towards the end of the season and a after a little deliberation, I just couldn’t pass it up,” said Matusek.

TMRC CamaroThis comes on the heels of the recent announcement from NHRA in regards to the Pro Mod series and the 2014 season. Both Danny Rowe and Steve Matusek are founding members of the Real Pro Mod Association (RPM), the group attributed with keeping the NHRA Pro Mod Series strong and viable as well as bringing in new sponsors and the upcoming TV series to be featured on Velocity. “RPM and our involvement in the series only strengthened the relationship between Danny and I, and made this move make even more sense,” Matusek continued. “Danny has had tremendous success and his crew chief, Jimmy Rector is top notch. I am extremely excited to be a part of the team!”

In addition to the tremendous reputation of DRR and their team, a move like this makes even more sense for Aeromotive’s racing program. Last year, Aeromotive released a new fuel pump for the blown alcohol and nostalgia funny car market. Proven on Matusek’s alcohol injected turbo pro mod, this pump is the perfect option for the Pro Mod and alcohol classes. Expect to see these new pumps in full force throughout the 2014 season.

The 2014 NHRA Pro Mod season is a 10 race series that kicks off in Gainesville, FL in March. Expect to see both Steve and Danny flying the Agave Tequila flag in a pair of beautiful blown Pro Mods.

2014 NHRA Pro Mod Schedule Released, Includes TV Coverage

(12-04-13) GLENDORA, CA - The 2014 NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series schedule has been released featuring a 10-race schedule, with each event to be televised on the Velocity Channel, it was announced today by NHRA officials.

Knowles-PRThe series will visit drag strips across the country from March through November and will include a visit to Georgia’s House of Speed, Atlanta Dragway, for the 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, May 16-18.

Each race will air in a half-hour show on the Velocity Channel, which launched in October and is owned by the Discovery Network. The Velocity Channel features the best in automotive, sports, leisure and travel programming. The shows will be produced by Masters Entertainment Group and are scheduled to air during 10 consecutive weeks in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“We anticipate an exciting season of racing in the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series and look forward to the Velocity Channel putting the NHRA Pro Mod Series on television to showcase these 250-mile-per-hour race cars,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA.

“We also thank the presenting sponsors of the NHRA Pro Mod Series events for their support which makes it possible to conduct the series.”

The presenting sponsors will be recognized in the applicable Velocity Channel telecast and during NHRA Pro Mod Series qualifying and eliminations at the NHRA national events at which the Pro Mod Series is contested.

The series opens March 13-16 with the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Florida’s Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. The series will once again race on Father’s Day weekend at Bristol Dragway, during the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (June 13-15), and also again on Independence Day weekend (July 3-6), at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.

Featuring the world’s fastest and most unique doorslammer race cars, highlighted by ’63 Corvettes, ’68 Camaros, ’67 Mustangs and ’68 Firebirds, as well as a variety of late-model cars, the NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast.

The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series is supported by the Real Pro Mod (RPM) Association, a group of NHRA Pro Mod Series team owners who works closely with NHRA on many initiatives to maintain the series.

2014 NHRA Pro Mod Series Schedule

 

March 13-16

45th Annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals

Gainesville, FL

April 25-27

27th Annual  O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals

Houston, TX

May 16-18

34th Annual  Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals

Atlanta, GA

May 29–June 1

45th Annual  Toyota NHRA Summernationals

Englishtown, NJ

June 13-15

14h Annual  Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Bristol, TN

July 3-6

8th Annual  Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

Norwalk, OH

Aug. 27–Sept. 1

60th Annual  Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals

Indianapolis, IN

Sept. 12-14

7th Annual  NHRA Carolina Nationals

Charlotte, NC

Sept. 26-28

3rd Annual  AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals

St. Louis, MO

Oct. 30–Nov.

14th Annual  NHRA Toyota Nationals

Las Vegas, NV

 

TUTTEROW FINALIST AT 2013 BIG DOG SHOOTOUT

(11-18-13) CLINTON, NC – GALOT MOTORSPORTS driver Todd Tutterow raced to a second place podium finish at the final 2013 Big Dog Shootout event held at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, NC on November 9, 2013.

2013-Big-Dog-CamaroDriving his supercharged classic Chevrolet Camaro, Tutterow ran well during qualifying, putting down a best ET of 4.12 to rank him sixth overall.

Tutterow defeated his challenger in the first round of eliminations, going even quicker with a clean and true 4.05 ET pass to trigger the win lights in his lane. Moving into the semi-finals, GALOT’s Tutterow found himself alone at the tree with a bye run as his opponent was not able to make it to the start. Opting to take it easy on the car, Tutterow launched effortlessly and backed off the throttle partway down the track to cruise easily into the next and last round for the night.

As Tutterow staged his Camaro at the tree for the finals, the crowd was on its feet and buzzing with excitement to see who would come out on top of this epic battle. Besting himself yet again in the finals, Tutterow hooked perfectly and ran his quickest ET of the night: a flawless and fast 3.92 put Tutterow straight down the track in the center of the groove, but ultimately it was not enough to hold off Chris Rini’s 3.86 ET pass.

The GALOT Motorsports team is thrilled with Todd Tutterow’s runner-up finish, and is looking forward to running at more Big Dog Shootout races in the 2014 season!

PMRA Countdown to the 2013 Championship – Rocky Di Lecce – Champion

(11-18-13) CAYUGA, ON – It just couldn’t get much better for Rocky Di Lecce in 2013.

The Pro Modified racer from Mississauga, Ontario won a record-setting five events for one season in the Pro Modified Racing Association, winning the Championship Point Award Series in fine style.

Di Lecce also captured a special Pro Mod Invitational held at Maryland International Raceway in September in an inaugural Canada-versus-USA matchup, besting some of the finest Pro Mod teams in the Eastern US.

Rocky3This year went well, I am happy with it, said Di Lecce, who has now completed his second full year of PMRA competition. But I have still a ways to go, he continued. I was still on a learning cycle this year.

For a new racer in the Pro Modified ranks, Di Lecce, a former OSCA champion, has been a quick study with solid qualifying attempts at all PMRA events in 2013, and a consistency that brought he and the rest of the Metro Infrastructure Inc. team success.

And he said this success would not have happened without the help of his team. These guys worked so well throughout the year, he explained. They were so thorough, provided a solid car, and helped so much.

Di Lecce qualified fourth for the season opener at Martin, Michigan, and took the final round over fellow PMRA racer Jay Santos of Halton Hills, Ontario. For the next three events, all held on the Cayuga Dragway of Toronto Motorsports Park, Di Lecce qualified number one on the ladder, and also powered his Camaro to victory at each race, eliminating Jeff Roth of New Dundee, Ontario, Bruce Boland of Stoney Creek, Ontario, and Derek Hawker of Corbyville, Ontario in the final rounds.

For the fifth race, the first of two held at the Grand Bend Motorplex, Di Lecce started number two on the ladder, but went rounds, meeting up and beating Boland once again in the final. For the season closer, he qualified number one but was eliminated in the first round.

In two non-points PMRA races held in 2013, Di Lecce qualified number one during the IHRA MOPAR Nitro Jam Nationals at Grand Bend, racing until the semi-final, and then went laps with some of the best from the Eastern US in September to win the first International Pro Mod Challenge held at Maryland International Raceway.

When asked about his plans for 2014, Di Lecce said the focus will be on reducing weight in the car.

We were good for power, he noted. But we are going to lighten up the car. We are always looking to improve.

With Angelo Aceto as crew chief, the others in the winning team include Emilio Aceto, Kevin Cooper, Tony Presto, Michael Aceto, Robbie Cesario and Nadia Di Lecce. The team is sponsored by Metro Infrastructure Inc. and Midway Automotive. The Camaro recorded trips down the quarter-mile in the 5.9-second range at over 242 mph this year.

The Camaro is powered by a 526-cubic inch Brad Anderson (BAE) supercharged hemi coupled to a Lenco Drive in the Tim McAmis Race Cars chassis. The car features a Waterman Racing Components fuel system and Kobelco supercharger.

I want to thank my sponsors and especially my crew, he said. A special thank you to Al Billes for his reliable horse power, and I want to thank Hutch’s Transmissions and Neil Chance Convertors.

Photo Credit: Holloway Saunders, Brad Turk, Brennan Shortall ~ www.DragRaceCanada.com