This weekend’s U.S. Street Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park marks a brand new foray for Mark Woodruff.
While the veteran drag radial racer won’t be doing the driving, the race is Woodruff’s first venture into the world of Pro Mod racing. Close friend Mark Micke will be driving Woodruff’s ’69 Camaro, marking a dream come true for Woodruff.
“It’s awesome. Being a fan of drag racing, what kid doesn’t want to run in Pro Mod at some point,” Woodruff said. “This is the premier place to be and such a big race. But we didn’t come just to qualify, that’s for sure.”
It’s a loaded field of 60 Pro Mods battling for the $32,000 prize, but Woodruff and Micke plan to have an immediate impact.
Woodruff has loaded up on everything, has plenty of support from sponsors, and has built a strong team around him to make this Pro Mod debut an impressive one.
It’s the way he’s always competed and Woodruff plans on being just as aggressive in the new category.
“As the team owner and the guy that funds the program, I’ve come into this thing full title and ready to go,” Woodruff said. “I’ve surrounded myself with great partners, we’ve got great people that back us and we’ve got really good equipment, and if we need it, we’ll get it.”
Woodruff plans to run a Harts Charger, an innovative new centrifugal supercharger, in the Camaro at some point soon this season, another exciting development in his jump into the Pro Mod world.
He also envisions the Camaro being a dual-purpose car, being able to shift back and forth between Pro Mod and Radial vs. the World races. With Micke likely driving, Woodruff expects to run a number of Pro Mod events in the Mid-West Drag Racing Series, NMCA and others.
The focus this weekend is on the massive event in Bradenton and Woodruff is looking forward to competing alongside his longtime friend.
“Mark and I have been friends for a long time, competed together and against each for a long time, too,” Woodruff said. “It’s a collective deal from both of our teams to make everything bigger and we’re excited about it.
“We always built this car to be a dual-purpose situation, not knowing the future of RvW. It’s a diluted class right now, and this Pro Mod stuff, it’s a great way to go race and (Bradenton) is the place to be this weekend.”
Brad Personett will be making the tuning calls on the Pro Mod car at the U.S. Street Nationals, while Micke has also assembled his team that has made the storied Malibu such a successful car over the years.
As far as driving, Woodruff’s focus this year is piloting his Pro 275 Corvette, with hopes of coming for a radial championship. But for this weekend, Woodruff’s focus is on making a statement in his Pro Mod debut.
“There’s a lot of experience and quality components on this team,” Woodruff said. “There’s nothing second-rate about it. If we do our homework and prepare, hopefully we’re rolling into the semifinals and finals on Sunday with a shot to win. The Pro Mod class, in general, is such a competitive class, as long as you qualify in the 32-car field, you’ve got a shot of winning the race.”