Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 - Page 124

Richard Freeman ’ s Return to Mountain Motor Pro Stock Garners Low Qualifier Award

Richard Freeman and his Elite Motorsports team made a big splash at the World Series of Pro Mod , debuting two Mountain Motor Pro Stock Camaros in the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational – one driven by Freeman , and the other by five-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders .
Freeman put the MMPS class on notice early , running 4.065 seconds at 177.81 mph to qualify No . 1 , two-thousandths of a second ahead of class veteran John DeFlorian . Despite having low E . T ., Freeman said the car could ’ ve run even better .
“ We were trying to go 4.03 . The . 06 run was decent , but it wasn ’ t as good as it could ’ ve run .”
It would prove to be good enough , with Freeman staying in the top spot all the way up until eliminations . In the process , he took the $ 1,500 low qualifier bonus put up by Scott Soucy ’ s Real Pro Stock . Enders also ran well , qualifying fifth with a run of 4.085 . But despite his team ’ s solid performance , Freeman was cautiously optimistic Saturday night prior to the chip draw for first-round pairings .
“ I wouldn ’ t be surprised if these cars go some rounds , but I ’ m not really good enough in the seat ,” Freeman offered . “ I haven ’ t been in one of these
things since 2009 , so whoever gets me , they probably have a fair shot , even though I ’ m fast . It ought to be good .”
It was a premonition that proved to be true . The “ whoever ” in this instance was young standout driver Alan Drinkwater , who took advantage of a huge holeshot – . 059 to . 125 – to defeat Freeman in the opening round of competition . With both drivers having to pedal , Drinkwater managed a 4.773 at 154.12 , while Freeman slowed to a 4.940 at 156.57 .
Freeman then watched the next pair of cars from the top end , where he saw Enders lose a close battle with Freeman ’ s rival , Chris Powers . Powers got off the line first and ran a 4.144 at 175.14 , to a 4.163 at 176.14 pass for Enders . Just like that , the weekend ’ s incredible start quickly came to an end . But where others might see disappointment , Freeman was happy with the team ’ s performance , and eager to see how the rest of the season goes .
“ We ’ re just getting started ,” said Freeman . “ We came out here to kind of see how things went . I ’ m very pleased with the outcome , being on the pole , and Erica ran good . We got a lot to do in the year to come , but it ’ s gonna be fun .” – CRAIG COOK DI

XFWD Low Qualifier Nichole Elff Enjoys WSOPM Environment

Nichole Elff , standout Xtreme Front-Wheel Drive racer , made her mark on the World Series of Pro Mod . Elff claimed the No . 1 qualifying spot in the Xtreme Front-Wheel Drive Challenge , a supporting class to the richest headlining Pro Mod race .
“ We put down awesome side-by-side , 7-second passes . The temperature and the prep conditions were perfect ,” Elff said ahead of round four of qualifying . “ We just did a little short test hit in Q3 . So we ’ re ready for Q4 .”
Elff in her Boston Scientific ‘ 92 Honda Civic was the only competitor to dip into the 7.70s , taking over the top spot from Rafa Famania and his 7.809 at 191.78 .
It was no surprise to the Avon , Indiana-based driver that many of the XFWD cars would be in the 7-second range . As a matter of fact , Elff is the first woman to run 7 seconds in XFWD and is currently the only female fielding a car in the class . She also holds the 2021 World Cup Finals Import vs . Domestic title in XFWD .
“ As an Xtreme Front- Wheel Driver , I feel like I ’ ve been holding up pretty well with some really fun passes ,” Elff said . She was ultimately eliminated by the Xtreme Front-Wheel Drive Challenge winner , David Ngo .
However , Elff wasn ’ t only excited about her weekend accomplishments of qualifying No . 1 but also that she was racing at the prestigious event .
“ It ’ s been amazing seeing all the variety of cars that are here ,” said Elff . “ I ’ m a huge fan of Pro Mods , so seeing 61 of the baddest Pro Mods out there go down the track , the same track I ’ m going down , has been awesome .”
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