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Jay Santos Takes Provisional No. 1 Spot in Outlaw Pro Mod at Snowbird Outlaw Nationals

Chris Sears photos

A slew of Pro Modified drivers dipped into the 3.60-second zone during Friday qualifying at the 52nd Snowbird Outlaw Nationals presented by Motion Raceworks, but it was Jay Santos’ 3.616-second blast down the Bradenton Motorsports Park eighth mile that took the provisional No. 1 spot after two qualifying sessions. Santos leads a list of more than 32 drivers attempting to qualify for the $52,000-to-win M&M Transmission Outlaw Pro Mod presented by FuelTech and PJS Racing field.

The provisional No. 1 qualifiers in the other heads-up categories at the Snowbird Outlaw Nationals are Mark Woodruff in Precision Shaft Technologies Pro 275 presented by Pro Line Racing, Eric LaFerriere in Mickey Thompson Tires X275 presented by Precision Turbo & Engine, Paul Gargus in Energy Manufacturing Limited Drag Radial presented by Callies, Daryl Stewart in TBM Brakes Outlaw 632 presented by Rife Sensors, and Shawn Pevlor in TRZ Motorsports Ultra Street presented by Summit Racing

Qualifying continues Saturday with three sessions before starting eliminations on Sunday.


The fight for the top spot in the first Outlaw Pro Mod qualifying session came down to two Canadian drivers, Spencer Hyde and fellow Ontario-based driver Jay Santos. While Hyde was the leader after Q1, Santos improved from his No. 2 ranked pass to a 3.616 at 205.57 MPH to go around Hyde and hold off Mark Micke and Todd Moyer for the provisional No. 1 spot.

“We always knew we had a car that could run, but we had some gremlins in the beginning with electrical issues,” said Santos, driver of the screw-blown Brampton Pallet ’69 Camaro. “It put us back like crazy, but we’ve been pushing hard. We finally got here and we struggled a little bit the last couple days, but we made some adjustments and she’s right back where she should be. We’ve got a car that we can race with anybody, to be honest.”

Transmission guru Mark Micke is currently No. 2 in his twin-turbocharged M&M Transmission ’69 Camaro with a 3.621 at 215.79. Earlier in the week, Micke’s car made the quickest ever quarter-mile Pro Mod pass, a 5.359 at 272.94, with past NHRA Pro Mod world champion José Gonzalez driving. “Turbo” Todd Moyer in his Carl Stevens Jr.-tuned, twin-turbo ’15 Camaro qualified third with a 3.622 at 223.25. Hyde, who won the $100,000 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod at Bradenton in March, ended up No. 4 with his 3.624 at 207.02 in his screw-blown “Jack & The Green Stock” ’69 Camaro. Derek Ward, the newly crowned Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association champion, drove his screw-blown ’68 Firebird to a 3.641 at 206.20 to round out the top five. A total of 28 drivers ran in the 3.60-second zone, with Bob Glenn’s 3.724 holding down the 32-car bump spot.

“It’s unbelievable to race these racers,” said Santos, who credited his tuner, Angelo Aceto, and his team and their supporters. “It’s been a dream. We’ve been pushing hard to get to their level, and I think we’re there. We’ve got more. We’re going to work hard at it to show it.”

Santos realizes he’ll likely need to step up if he wants to keep his No. 1 spot going into Sunday eliminations. Several drivers dipped into the 3.50s during pre-race testing, and while Santos wasn’t one of them, he believes he’s just as capable as anyone else in the field.

“I don’t think it’s going to hold,” Santos said of his leading 3.616. “I think people will go in the 3.50s for sure. It just depends on the weather conditions. We’re going to try for it too, though. We’re ready and we’re going to do our best to get there.”

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PRO 275

Small-tire veteran Mark Woodruff jumped to the top of the Pro 275 qualifying order in the night session when he recorded a 3.765 at 198.26 in his screw-blown ’10 Corvette. He passed newly crowned FuelTech Radial Outlaws Racing Series Pro 275 champion Jason Collins, who is now second with his 3.769 at 199.35 in his screw-blown ’69 Camaro. Ocala, Florida’s Chad Opaleski also threw down a number in the night session, a 3.866 at 185.59, to sit third going into Saturday’s three sessions.


The rest of the field in X275 will need to take a big step up to get around provisional No. 1 qualifier Eric LaFerriere, who fired off a 4.161 at 178.90 in Duy Bui’s turbocharged ’97 Nissan 240SX known as “White Rice.” Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Mark Meiering is the closest to LaFerriere with a 4.297 at 171.62 in his turbo ’07 Mustang GT500. Sean Lyon in his ’89 Mustang is currently third with a 4.33 at 168.18.


Six drivers in Limited Drag Radial ran in the 3.90s, with Paul Gargus making the quickest of those passes, a 3.904 at 191.05 in Scott Tidwell’s ProCharged ’69 Camaro. Huston Dial drove the nitrous-fed “Devil Horse” ’04 Mustang to a 3.949 at 182.26 to take the No. 2 spot. Matt Bell in his Illinois-based, turbocharged ’93 Mustang qualified third with a 3.951 at 191.57.


Jupiter, Florida’s Daryl Stewart has a firm grasp on the Outlaw 632 No. 1 qualifier position after setting a best of 4.143 at 172.25 in his nitrous-fed Chassis Engineering ’12 Camaro. Two fellow Floridians sit behind him, starting with Clermont’s Chris Holdorf and his 4.231 at 167.30 in his Dewitt Custom Concrete ’06 GTO. Port Charlotte-based Kyle Salminen is third with a 4.234 at 166.56 in his ’69 Camaro.


Shawn Pevlor, the No. 1 qualifier in Ultra Street at last year’s Snowbirds, is three sessions away from another low qualifier award. Pevlor ran a 4.464 at 156.63 in his nitrous-fed ’92 Mustang to take the provisional No. 1 spot over Camren Massengale, who laid down a 4.49 at 157.23 in his ’01 Z06. Brian Keep qualified No. 3 in his ’98 Camaro with a 4.502 at 156.15.

Saturday’s action, which includes the Night of Fire, kicks off with a third round of qualifying at 9 a.m. Qualifying continues at 1 p.m., followed by Jet Jam at 4 p.m. The final qualifying session is scheduled for 5 p.m., with the Night of Fire finale featuring jet trucks and jet dragsters closing out the night at 8:30 p.m.

Fans can watch the race through the official event livestream on FloRacing. For a detailed schedule and results, visit  

This story was originally published on December 1, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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