Winters Ready To Race At "Original" Home Track In Thunder Valley
When the Super Chevy Show comes to Thunder Valley Sept. 24-26, race fans should prepare for an amazing display of performance as 10 Nitro Pro Mods square off in one of the wildest shows on four wheels.
These high-horsepower, nitro-belching rockets fight their pilots for control as they roar down the quarter-mile at Bristol Dragway. One of those seasoned racers has extra reason to leave town with the trophy.
Doug Winters, who has raced professionally since 1999, once grew up in the shadow of what was then Bristol International Dragway.
“Bristol is my original home track,” Winters explained. “I was born over in the Banner Elk area, so it was my home track for years. My dad grew up there running IHRA, so I basically grew up at Bristol. Plus, we’ve had a lot of success there over the years.”
Last season, Winters was one of two Pro Mod competitors who made exhibition runs during the Fas Mart Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by JanPak. To add to the already exciting schedule at this year’s Super Chevy Show, Dragway officials moved Thunder Valley Mayhem to Saturday night, Sept. 25.
In addition to Mayhem’s line-up of extreme exhibition vehicles, like the Super Shockwave jet truck, a car eating dinosaur and two jet trains, all 10 Nitro Pro Mods will line up again to race under the lights. Winters said the experience is one drivers and fans alike will not soon forget.
“We were lucky enough to come to Mayhem last year,” he said, “and the fans were awesome. The place was jam-packed. I can’t imagine having a combination of that crowd along with the Super Chevy crowd. I’m sure it will be a sight to behold on Saturday night. The fans will definitely get their money’s worth, I know that.”
Winters, who drives a 1957 Chevy replica, worked his way up through the drag racing ranks starting at the age of 16. He says the challenge of driving a Pro Mod is what attracted him to them.
“I like that they had doors and looked like something you would drive on the street,” he said. “But, they had tremendous horsepower and were really unstable, so it is a task to really drive one.”
When fans come to Bristol, they should be prepared for a good time. Winters even encourages curious spectators to come by the Pro Mod pits to talk with the crews and drivers.
“The car show, the marketplace, the swap meet and drag racing,” Winters started. “What else could you want? There are a lot of good guys in the Pro Mod pits. You’ll see guys that are hard working, but have enough time to talk to the fans and answer questions. Plus, you’ll see good side-by-side racing on the track.
“Come out, have a great time, and enjoy the event,” he added. “There is something for everyone. Stop by the pro mod pits, ask questions and talk with us.”
Fans also will get to see the area’s best bracket racers, a spectacular selection of some of the best classic and modern Chevys at the Keisler Engineering car show, as well as the Performance and Restoration Marketplace, car corral and swap meet.
For extreme excitement and entertainment, the Super Chevy Show and Fas Mart Thunder Valley Mayhem is the place to go.
Gates open Friday at 9 a.m. with racer tech inspection. A Test and Tune session is scheduled for noon.
Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday with Car Show registration and tech inspection also beginning at this time. Time trials take place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday’s bracket racing begins at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s Fas Mart Thunder Valley Mayhem presented by JanPak has two pro show sessions scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Sunday gates open at 8 a.m. with car show registration from 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Tech inspection also beings at 8 a.m. A Racers for Christ chapel service is slated for 8:30 a.m. Time trials will run from 9 a.m. – noon. Sunday’s bracket race rolls off at 1 p.m. with Sunday’s Pro Show, featuring the Pro Mods, at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Spectator Admission is $10 Friday and $20 both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s admission includes Thunder Valley Mayhem. A weekend pass is available for only $30. Ages 10 and under are $5 per day, or $10 for the weekend. Full hook-up camping is available for $100.