Knowles' runner-up finish in Charlotte reignites competitive flame
GRAND JUNCTION, CO Ė Not only did veteran Pro Mod Racer, Mike Knowles make it to the finals of the NHRA OíReilly Auto Part Nationals in Charlotte, NC he did it in fine fashion setting a new unofficial record for a blown, converter driven ,legal Pro Mod at 5.888 seconds and 245 miles per hour.
ďMan, I tell you after the start of the week I had and all the stuff that happened in the pits. Our performance here as a team really means a lot; I wish we could have got the win but tuning under the conditions we were faced with is tough. This is a new combination this year and the more experience we get with it the better we will be. Iím just really proud of my guys,Ē said Knowles.
The trials and tribulations Knowles is referring to is the fact that prior to leaving for the event one of his companies Tractor Trailers burnt to the ground and that while at the event a spectator burglarized the teamís pit space. A member of Knowles crew confronted the man and a scuffle ensued. The man was later escorted from the facility.
ďItís getting real close to the end of the season and we have made some major gains on our tune up. For us to be the quickest car with our type of combination under the current rulesí itís like a huge attaboy for all of us on the team,Ē said Car Chief Bill Rice. ďI know it lit a fire under everyone on the team when those numbers came up, especially Mike. Iím real happy for him because this one was a true team effort spearheaded by him not an outsider. We made the calls as a team. I canít wait for St. Louis and I know Mike and the rest of the team feel the same way,Ē added Rice.
The AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals will begin Friday Sept. 28 at Gateway Motorsports Park outside of St. Louis Missouri. The Pro Mods will get two shots at qualifying on Friday at 2:30 and 5 PM, with a third scheduled for Saturday at 1:30 PM. The first round of eliminations will run later Saturday at 4 PM. Final eliminations will begin Sunday during the second round of Professional eliminations at approximately 12:30 PM local time.
Photo by Roger Richards