Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 - Page 121

Semifinalist Kenny Lang Almost Makes It An All-Canadian Final Round

As a two-time IHRA Pro Modified world champion and overall veteran of the IHRA and NHRA Pro Mod scene , Kenny Lang was an obvious choice as an invitee to the World Series of Pro Mod . But with a new combination to be sorted out , no one – including Lang – knew where he would stack up in the field of 60 other drivers for the $ 100,000 race .
“ First of all , just even being invited to that , it was a great race to be there ,” Lang said . “ Obviously , all the world ’ s best cars were there . Sixty-something cars in the field ; it was so tight . So qualifying for that is just a huge feat in itself . Because , really , any of the top 48 cars could have won that thing .”
Lang ended up No . 31 in the field with his 3.679 at 204.23 , one of eight 3.67-second passes on the qualifying order . During Saturday night ’ s chip draw to determine first-round pairings , the Canadian driver drew No . 1 qualifier Johnny Camp . He knocked out Camp with a 3.735 at 202.88 over Camp ’ s 3.753 before dipping back into the 3.60s with a 3.687 at 206.29 to beat Rob Cox ’ s 3.716 in the second round . Lang improved again to a 3.667 to knock out reigning FuelTech Radial Outlaws Radial vs . the World champion
Jason Lee and his 3.909 in the third round . He was consistent in the semis , but his 3.677 wasn ’ t quick enough to get past Kurt Steding ’ s 3.659 .
“ It was just great to go some rounds ,” Lang said , “ and the car kept picking up run after run , so we ’ re finally actually getting a handle on it and got a good race car to run with now . We ’ re really happy with going to the semifinals . Always tough to lose , but definitely nothing to be sad about . Going to the semifinals at that race was more than we expected .”
The semifinal finish at the WSOPM was a strong start to the season for Lang , who plans on running as many PDRA Pro Boost races as possible , as well as the Florida winter series races , a few local events , and possibly a couple NHRA Pro Mod appearances . It also proved that Lang and his supercharged , PJS Racing-powered ’ 69 Camaro can run with the best Pro Mod teams in North America .
“ All my friends and family are all volunteer help ,” said Lang as he began to list off the people who contribute to his efforts . “ Al Billes , a good friend of mine , has always tuned all my stuff , and he ’ s doing a great job with the engine program . Brandon Pesz for his help and support
with the new engine that we got in the car . VP Fuels , Miller Welding Equipment , NGK Spark Plugs – all those people have been with me for a long time and always helpful . That makes a big difference in making our program continue on .” – NATE VAN WAGNEN DI
May / June 2023 DragIllustrated . com | Drag Illustrated | 121