In the midst of making the trek back to Indy for the second time in less than a month, Clint Satterfield was asked how he could build upon the momentum from his strong start to the NHRA Pro Mod season at this weekend’s race at Lucas Oil Raceway.
“I’m coming off the trailer and going to No. 1, that’s what I’m doing,” Satterfield remarked in a matter-of-fact tone.
Satterfield didn’t stop there, either.
Unprovoked, the Pro Mod veteran immediately detailed his goals for the season, fully confident after seeing everything that has gone right thus far in 2020.
“I want to win the championship in both series (NHRA and Mid-West Drag Racing Series),” Satterfield said. “I know how fast this car is and I know the changes we’ve made will make it even faster and more reliable.”
With that, Satterfield is throwing down the gauntlet — and it appears he has the car and the team to back it up in what’s shaping up to be a resurgent year.
He’s the current points leader in the MWDRS after winning at Xtreme Raceway Park in July, and Satterfield looked dangerous at the NHRA opener in Indy a week later, advancing to the semifinals.
It’s a whole new look for Satterfield, who made the switch to a ProCharger-equipped XRE Hemi for his Larry Jeffers-built ’69 Camaro Pro Mod in the off-season.
He had high expectations right off the bat and Satterfield hasn’t disappointed. After qualifying second in the MWDRS, Satterfield was consistent in eliminations and he followed it up by qualifying third at the NHRA opener, running in the mid-5.80s in treacherous conditions before bowing out in the semifinals.
The team found impressive power, has made monumental strides working with Mark Menscer on the shocks and suspension and appears to be a totally different beast in the NHRA Pro Mod ranks.
Satterfield, though, didn’t doubt this was all in the realm of possibility.
“The car is just really fast and it’s just the whole package,” Satterfield said. “All the cars basically make the same power, it’s how you’re able to apply that power that lets you win and lose races. This car really applies the power well and the car drives phenomenally well. I just have to concentrate on driving.
“It’s just the whole package that’s come together this well. I knew we had lots of power, and we’ve really been progressing with Mark and the package he’s put underneath this car. Once we could apply the power we wanted, we had great faith it would be this fast and it has been.”
Satterfield quickly became a firm believer in the ProCharger, adding another level of parity in the diverse NHRA Pro Mod field. All four power adders were represented in the semifinals at the opener in Indy and that wasn’t lost on Satterfield.
“The NHRA works very diligently and very hard to have parity in the class,” Satterfield said. “That was about as perfect as it could be.”
The only hiccup occurred before the semifinals when Satterfield couldn’t make the call. But that’s an area he and longtime crew chief Bob Gardner rectified heading into this weekend’s NHRA Indy Nationals.
“We had a couple setbacks, but learned a lot from it and we’re going to come back stronger and faster,” Satterfield said. “It opened our eyes to the things we needed to do to be better to continue to go rounds, and it’s going to propel us to do even better.”
For Satterfield, it’s all about proving a point that he can win again in this class. His victory came in 2013 and the NHRA Pro Mod class looks vastly different than it did seven years ago.
It hasn’t always been easy in the years that followed, but Satterfield managed to persevere. Now, though, the veteran feels rejuvenated with the ProCharger combination.
“We just need to continue to go down the track. This car wants to go fast — hot or cold, it doesn’t matter,” Satterfield said.
And if you needed a refresher, Satterfield finished the conversation almost exactly he started it — with a reminder about his plans for the weekend.
“We’re going to No. 1 and we’re going to stay there,” Satterfield said.