Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 94

Pro Mod car at high noon ,” Woodruff insists . “ You ’ re just not going to do it . The physics aren ’ t there . You ’ re not going to get the weight moving and we can ’ t get it light enough .”
Pandora ’ s box has already been opened , so to speak , but Woodruff doesn ’ t think it ’ s too late to reverse course and bring back the magic of RvW . Radial-tired Pro Mods like the GA- LOT Motorsports ’ 69 Camaro have knocked down major barriers – the 3.50-second barrier with Kevin Rivenbark driving in 2019 and the 3.40-second barrier with Daniel Pharris behind the wheel in 2021 – but fans still want to see those stock-appearing monsters like Woodruff ’ s former Lynch / Petty Corvette get after it and chase those same barriers .
“ You ’ ve got to have the perfect conditions and the track ’ s got to be super sticky , but if you want to put the world on their ear , you go out and have a stock-bodied car go 3.59 ,” Woodruff says . “ I know we can do it . We ’ ve proven it already with what we ’ re able to back half with a 275 tire . If you give us the right conditions with the 315 , there ’ s no doubt . I mean , I think we can go 3.55 .”
Woodruff has accepted that Pro Mod-style cars
are the way to go in RvW right now , so he had B & B Race Cars build a new ’ 69 Camaro for the 2022 season . It made its debut with Mark Micke driving it in Pro Mod at the U . S . Street Nationals at Bradenton earlier this year before entering RvW with Craig Sullivan driving at Lights Out 13 . The car will continue to be a multi-purpose hot rod throughout the season .
“ The Camaro is my RvW car that could go run Pro Mod if I want to ,” Woodruff says . “ I built the car for RvW to try to go after that [ FuelTech Radial Outlaws ] championship deal once they added that . And Pro Mod , we all know you can go race that anywhere , anytime , pretty much any part of the season . With the Mid-West series looking to be as strong as it is , I ’ d like to run some of those races , along with PDRA and NMCA . I ’ d really like to run some of the ADRL Pro Extreme races if they haul the rules out the window and see who can crush the scoreboard . That ’ s intriguing to me .”
Woodruff also plans to continue running the Corvette in Pro 275 , and he has another car coming out soon . But you probably won ’ t see Woodruff driving both cars at the same event .
“ I don ’ t have it in me ,” Woodruff admits . “ I ’ ve done it before and it ’ s just a lot of work . I ’ ve got enough quality people around me with Mark and Craig and a couple other people that I would trust behind the wheel that are good wheelmen . I ’ d rather go enjoy the weekend and watch both my cars have a chance at winning than to go there and be a circus and chase our tail and not perform as well as we can because we ’ re trying to do too much .”
Woodruff and his crew are all for putting in the work , that ’ s for sure , but not when it involves pushing the people or the equipment too hard . They run a manageable schedule anchored by Lights Out and Sweet 16 in the early part of the year and No Mercy in October . The plan is to pick and choose from the dozen-plus options for Pro Mod races to fill out the rest of the schedule .
“ The radial stuff has to be run at a certain time of the year at a certain time in the day ,” Woodruff says . “ For me personally , I don ’ t want to race in June , July , and August . We ’ re going to go hang out on the lake and enjoy the boat and do some family time there . Our race season is basically January through May , then September through December .”
Beyond his own racing program , Woodruff says he ’ s even had aspirations of putting on his own events , or maybe even owning a track . He credits promoters like Long for all the work they put into events , as he talks to “ Duck ” often enough to know the behind-the-scenes efforts it takes to make these races happen . Woodruff is obviously passionate about the sport and finding ways to make it better , and putting on races of his own is a unique challenge he ’ d consider .
“ I ’ d probably end up hating drag racing after it was said and done ,” Woodruff laughs . “ But I could see myself making a transition out of what I do right now and just promoting , and racing , and throwing on badass events , and making it happen .” DI
94 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 175