NHRA Adjusts Pro Mod Rules for 2024

First-time NHRA FuelTech Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Mike Castellana performs his burnout at Las Vegas prior to taking both the title and the race win - NHRA photo
First-time NHRA FuelTech Pro Mod Drag Racing Series champion Mike Castellana performs his burnout at Las Vegas prior to taking both the title and the race win – NHRA photo

NHRA’s FuelTech Pro Mod season has been on hiatus since the Nevada NHRA Nationals, held just before last month’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas, but NHRA has been busy making changes to that class for the 2024 season that starts with the 55th NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida next March.

In a release sent to Pro Mod competitors on November 21, NHRA stated its rules committee has implemented changes “for parity” in the category with immediate implementation.

Initially, Pro Mod’s concept was one of an outlaw class using door slammer cars with minimal intrusion from the sanctioning body. Just like everything else in the motorsports sphere, that has changed. And parity? It’s tough to gain any sort of parity when you have as many concepts guiding a particular class like Pro Mod as NHRA has undertaken.

Still, NHRA is stirring the pot by adding, subtracting and allowing weights to stay the same in Pro Mod’s variety of power-adding vehicles that are permitted to hit NHRA’s water boxes for the 2024 season. To whit, those using centrifugal superchargers on their cars can deduct 35 pounds, going from 2775 to 2740 pounds next season, while those using Roots superchargers must add 15 pounds (2620 to 2635).

There are no changes for turbocharged cars, who have a minimum weight of 2590 pounds and no changes for screw-type superchargers, currently at 2640 lbs. Prefer using nitrous and racing at2565 lbs? No problem and no changes next year.

NHRA is embracing nostalgia body styles in this class, by allowing body styles from 1959 and older to deduct 75 pounds from minimum weight. Nostalgia body styles from 1960 through to 2000 are allowed to deduct 50 pounds from minimum, while Chevrolet Chevelle body styles from 1968 through 1972 may deduct 30 pounds. The 1968-69 Chevrolet Camaro body style deducts 15 pounds from minimum used in 2023.

NHRA is also addressing mechanical rules. Semi, canted valve or wedge heads are permitted, as are billet heads. They may use a single spark plug per cylinder only, with a maximum of two valves per cylinder. Supercharged valves sizes greater than intake 2.400 inches and exhaust of 1.900 inches add 25 pounds to their cars, Turbocharged valve sizes greater than 2.450 inches, exhaust 1.900 inches all add 25 pounds.

NHRA is allowing the removal of 20-lb adders for any 4.9-inch bore space supercharged combination, while all programmable power distribution modules are prohibited, NHRA rules makers said.

Mike Castellana with the spoils of his first Pro Mod championship and race win at Las Vegas – NHRA photo

Because of all the different parameters allowed in NHRA’s Pro Mod class, won this year by veteran Mike Castellana in a Camaro for his first career world championship – and took the series finale race win in Las Vegas – NHRA felt it needed to make some changes to the class.

Castellana, the No. 1 qualifier for the season finale and 10th race of the year for this class, earned his first national championship after defeating Dimitry Samorukov and watching foe Justin Bond lose to Kevin Rivenbark in the second round.

Castellana came from third in the points chase and “didn’t want to think about what we had to do” to gain his first title. “I knew we had to win the race, that was our goal. I had no clue we could win the championship and I have to thank my whole team,” he recollected.

About Anne Proffit 1224 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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