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Ed. Note:  Wady Hamam or Pro Mod Wad as he is known in the business is NOS's main nitrous Guru. He has been involved in nitrous oxide injection almost from its inception especially with the Pro Mod division.. He is originally from the Buffalo, New York area and has been involved in all types of racing from flat track motorcycles to fuel dragsters. In his wasted youth he even raced a fuel funny car powered by a blown and injected small block Ford! He and his brother campaigned a front motored Top Fuel dragster and lost a race against Don Garlits at the now closed Niagara Falls Dragway. His advice about nitrous problems is highly sought after but he is hard to get to. He has agreed to answer one question every couple of weeks for Drag Racing Online readers. Email your questions to:, and he will answer the question he finds most intriguing.

Hey Wad!

It is obvious that you make your living with NOS, but since you have used a blower also, can you give us your thoughts without destroying your credibility as to the pros and cons of using a nitrous oxide system over a blower? I have heard the myth on how nitrous is more affordable. Can you compare the cost of a nitrous system that will make comparable torque and horsepower to that of a blower? How much money does NOS spend on the top nitrous users to keep them from going blown?

It totally amazes me as to why some guys continue to use this product when the Pro Mod rules spell it out in black and white that blown cars are easier to maintain and make more horsepower. They continue to handicap the blown cars in order to keep Pro Mod competitive. I am just interested in a professional opinion as to why I should use nitrous instead of a blower. If carbs and nitrous make more power, why don’t they use this method in the fuel classes? I can’t believe how many people are sucked into using nitrous because it is cheaper. If they add up the parts they have destroyed, they will see that a blower not only makes more power, but is more affordable. Never again will I own anything with a carburetor on it.

Oh, by the way, I could have answered the guy’s question about that to do with the alky injected car trying to make it work with nitrous: put a blower under the hat and throw the nitrous away! I hate to sound like I’m down on your product of choice, but I need convincing that I should be using it. I am sure this letter will never show up on your page, but you can e-mail me personally. And by the way, I am not a blower salesman.

Tony Duncan


Hey Tone. Can I call you Tone?

Great letter! Now let me see if I can give you great answers.

When my brother and I ran blown stuff you were probably still a puppy. Back then some alky and benzene and 28- to 30-percent nitro would power our 392 Chrysler digger and our 330-inch small block Ford factory experimental Mustang into the mid-eights at 155-188 mph runs, smoking the tires for a thousand feet!

You are correct in the fact that I make my living selling NOS, but now that Holley Performance has acquired our company, we sell blowers also. As far as the myth about NOS being more affordable, way back when a bunch of the guys in the south started match racing on the eighth and quarter-mile tracks down there, a little nitrous made a BIG horsepower difference.

Guys like Carpenter, Vandergriff, Foust, Bell, and Kuhlmann really ran good with small amounts of nitrous in 600-inch motors. Then came the shot heard ’round the world. Bill Kuhlmann contacted us about two stages of nitrous and at the Darlington IHRA Winter Nationals in 1988, Bill’s ’85 Sonny Leonard-powered two-staged Camaro went 202 mph!! Talk about the phones ringing off the walls!!

Naturally, any racer that ran good on one stage now needed two. Then came IHRA Top Sportsman and things started to get serious — bigger purses, more magazine coverage, the need for speed, and the need to win! Until this point in time, for 30 grand you could have a nitrous motor that ran low 7s in the 190 mph zone. Enter engine builder Jim Oddy and driver Fred Hahn with a blown Corvette on alcohol. Let the battles begin! Much controversy!

The argument was that the class was gas and nitrous only, no blown alcohol, but the sanctioning body ignored the screams and the blown alky stayed. Oddy and Hahn did well and won many events, so more blowers showed up and soon came the time to become PROfessional and become Pro Modified.

Also, it was time to get with the Eagles or Fulton or Buck’s or Sonny’s or Shafiroff and purchase at least two good racing engines with at least two nitrous oxide systems installed and flowed and dyno tested and 40 grand each.

Then Scotty Cannon decides if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Scotty showed up with a high dollar Eagle blown motor that they had really figured the fuel system tune-up on and proceeds to set records. Now we have 40 thousand dollar blown motors!

The sanctioning bodies start to change the rules to keep peace and create some parity in the class: the nitrous guys are allowed another stage of nitrous and now we have 50 thousand dollar purpose-built five-inch bore spaced motors.

My point here, Tony, is that if you’re going to be competitive in Pro Mod, either blown or nitrous, you will spend 50 large for your engine and both will make BIG horsepower. As far as maintenance goes, the good-running nitrous guys change some pistons every weekend while the blown motors usually get pistons and rods when they service between rounds. They go through a crankshaft or two during the season, while most nitrous guys can use the same crank for two or three seasons, so I disagree with you on the easier, less expensive point.

As far as paying racers to stay with our products, NOS has always had an excellent contingency program to reward the racers who win or runner-up with our products. Some of the front-runners do use our stuff with no initial cost to them, but we have never handed any racer hundred dollar bills to us our product.

Your point on carbs is a fair one, as fuel injection is definitely starting to show its value in racing, proven by Harold Martin, Pat Musi, Danny Scott and others. I feel in time fuel injection will appear on many more of the front-running cars.

As far as using nitrous in fuel classes, not so many years ago, they did! Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Billy Meyer to name a few, used it on their fuel motors to add the oxygen content of the nitrous when they did their burnouts and backed up to the line. This kept the motors from loading with nitro and backsiding or damaging pistons. One year at the U.S. Nationals, Prudhomme went very quick and fast, so everyone in the class accused him of being on the button in the lights and banned the use of nitrous from that point on.

Tony, I am not going to try to convince you to use NOS or a blower program, but I will offer you this GOOD advice: Talk to racers who run blown and then talk to racers who run nitrous and listen VERY CLOSELY. I bet you will come away with a whole new outlook on both products.

In closing, I would really like to thank you for a great letter. I hope I wasn’t too long winded and that I did answer some of your questions to your satisfaction. I’ll tell you this, if I am ever looking for a blower salesman, I am definitely going to email you.


Pro Mod Wad


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