Famed Nitrous Pro Mod Racer Rickie Smith Makes The Change To Turbos

I’m not here to blast the NHRA for their rules in the Pro Mod class, they have people ...

I’m not here to blast the NHRA for their rules in the Pro Mod class, they have people who make those decisions that understand things much better than I do. However, I have to believe there’s some kind of issue with parity in the class when a guy who has run nitrous for years and won a lot while on the juice suddenly makes the switch to a different power adder.

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When that racer just happens to be three-time world champion Rickie Smith, it tends to make a lot of waves, and Smith isn’t exactly known for keeping his thoughts to himself. “I don’t even know how to express how disappointing it is,” Smith said in an interview with Competition Plus back in January. “I’ve done everything I can do talking to NHRA. I guess they think I’m a damn joke or something.”

Smith had made moves to switch power adders before but stuck with nitrous. However, it appears this time the blue bottle brigade has lost one of their biggest names to the boosted camp this time, as Smith has taken delivery of a brand new Jerry Bickel Mustang that will be powered by ProLine’s twin-turbo Pro Mod program.

While it’s a drastic change from nitrous to turbos, Smith has enough experience and instinct to get the hang of wheeling a whole new combination pretty quickly, as you can see in this video below from our friends over at ProLine Racing Engines. These guys know their stuff so well that marketing manager Bud Hodge, who makes a quick prediction at the beginning of the video, quite literally is able to predict Smith’s ET down to the hundredth of a second.

When you’re talking about hooking up the kind of power it takes to run 252 MPH in the quarter mile and these guys are able to call their shot with this kind of accuracy, it just shows you how well the tuners at PLR know their data and equipment. I personally hate to see the nitrous camp lose another car (photographers love nitrous flames!) but I’m anxious to see how Smith does behind the wheel of his boosted Mustang.


Rickie Smith's new turbo 67 Mustang has made great progress in just two days. The Steve Petty tuned Pro Mod went a 5.77 earlier today!#pettytuned

Posted by Pro Line Racing on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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