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The last time the Texas Automatic Outlaw Pro Mods turned a wheel of competition was way back in May at Thunder Road Raceway Park in Shreveport, Louisiana. Since then two events had to be cancelled due to rain and one due to a schedule conflict, so this third go round on Oct. 22 for the 2016 campaign was very welcomed by racers and fans alike.
Bob Gulitti won the first two events of the season and currently holds down the number one spot looking to close out the year with a championship while last year’s championship runner up, Tim Ortiz, is once again looking up at that number one coveted spot.
The 2013 Series Champion, Chris Domino, stepped up his game during the down time, and dropped a monster 903 cubic inch Pat Musi nitrous-assisted power plant in the maroon ’68 Camaro and, after a long five months of preparation, debuted it at this event. Friday night was a test and tune session and Domino laid down a career best 4.08 ET at over 180 mph and had the throttle hang open. Domino kept his cool and got the Camaro stopped after dumping the chutes, shutting off the motor and locking up the front tires as he blew one out, which in turn dragged the oil pan and ground a hole in it and the right side headers. Nothing like a little drama from a former Series Champion to set the stage for what was a great deal of anticipation to get racing again in Southeast Texas.
The racing conditions were superb on this October Saturday with bright sunshine and mild temps. Fourteen competitors rolled up for the first of two qualifying sessions to set the eight-car ladder for eliminations. The first pair out to test the Evadale eighth had Keith Hollenshead in his 1966 Mustang with 2015 Series Champion Bengt Blomberg, who was running this night down one cylinder and not up to full power. Blomberg showed great performance, running 4.23 @ 171.03 on 7 as Hollenshead had issues off the line, fogging his lane with smoke and coasted to a 6.00 @ 77.49.
The third pair out matched up two local racers that call Evadale Raceway home and Two Texas Automatic Outlaw Pro Mod stalwarts as Richard Willett rolled in against Chris Domino. Domino, after an all day thrash to make repairs to the oil pan and headers, and a quick road trip to Houston for front runners from the testing incident, served notice, throwing down a career best ET of 4.06 @ 179.64 as Willett ran a solid 4.67 @149.85.