Keeping patient and staying the course is often easier said than done, especially in NHRA Pro Mod where wins aren’t easy to come by.
But it’s a strategy that worked out great for Brandon Snider, who now finds himself in the mix of a world title chase.
Even as a main sponsor left and Snider showed immense winning potential, he tried not to rush the process. It paid off with his first career victory in the class at Dallas after qualifying No. 1 for a second straight race, and Snider is feeling good about his chances in his supercharged Corvette heading into this weekend’s race in Houston, the penultimate race of the 2020 NHRA Pro Mod season.
“That was pretty huge for us. We’ve know for a few races now we had a car capable of winning, and we knew it was coming and just a matter of time,” Snider said. “We were patient, stayed the course and let it happen. It was important to not rush it and it couldn’t have worked out any better. We need to win a race to get some help to continue racing.”
Snider got the victory, is a viable championship contender and his Corvette is now a hot item on the “for sale” market.
He is awaiting a new Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars and getting a victory is a nice touch for a car Snider is looking to sell. Again, perfect timing for a driver looking to end his 2020 season on a huge high note.
“It couldn’t have worked out better to win. We’ve got a new car coming from Bickel and now that this one is doing well, I have a lot of people calling me,” Snider said.
This might have been a long time coming for Snider, but it was evident the steps he had taken in recent races that a win was within his grasp.
He qualified No. 1 Gainesville, ran well in St. Louis during the lone qualifying session before it was postponed to Houston due to weather, and grabbed the No. 1 spot again in Dallas.
From there, Snider was dynamite on the starting line, including going .025 in the final round to pick up a holeshot victory against points leader and defending world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson.
That victory, where Snider went 5.805-seconds at 245.99 mph, pulled Snider to within 18 points of Jackson and the Pro Mod lead heading to the final two races.
“I’ve raced against Stevie before and you just have to let things play its course,” Snider said. “You have to be on your tuneup and I tried to cut a decent light. In the past, I’ve tried to push the car and push myself and then you wind up making mistakes. In the final, I was cool and calm, and just tried to let things play out.
“It was just a relief to get that win. I’ve been wanting it for so long and we just had to let it happen. We’ve got the car working pretty good and we just do the best job we can.”
Snider was thrilled to share the moment with his longtime friend, Jimmy Crenshaw, and his step-son, Nathan, who are the only other two people that help Snider on the car.
It made the win that much sweeter for Snider, who also praised the likes of Justin Bond and his JBS Construction company, and Jim and Annie Whiteley and J&A Service, which have both helped support him in recent races.
It has kept Snider racing and in championship contention heading into Houston. Based on how well he does at Houston Raceway Park will determine if he heads to the finale in Las Vegas. If he’s within striking distance of Jackson or, in a best-case scenario, overtakes him in Texas, it could set up a memorable finale in Sin City. But that’s not the immediate focus for Snider.
“Jim and Annie Whiteley do so much for the racers out there. They help so many people and I want to thank them for helping. It’s just a great family,” Snider said.
“I don’t really feel any pressure heading to Houston. We’re not worried about the championship. We’re just thinking about trying to win a race and get our program better. We’re going to go out and do the best we can.”