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John DeFlorian Accepts First Invitation to $25,000-to-Win Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational

Tara Bowker photo

There are few people who get as excited about Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing as class veteran John DeFlorian. That’s one of the reasons why he was the first driver invited to take part in the inaugural $hameless Racing Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational (MMPSI) presented by Seminole Paving. Taking place during the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, March 3-5, 2023, at Bradenton Motorsports Park, the MMPSI is a $25,000-to-win invitational.

“To be invited first, I’m extremely humbled by it,” DeFlorian said. “I never would’ve expected it. This is going to be a lot of fun. This will be the best of the best. When you go down there for $25K, you’re going to have guys throwing down, and you better bring your A-game if you’re gonna try to get it done. We’re so wound up and excited about it. This is the first year for it, and I don’t think it’ll do anything but grow and get bigger and bigger every single year from here on it. Glad to be on the ground floor of it.”

Since joining the Mountain Motor Pro Stock ranks in 2012, DeFlorian has just about done it all, including win races in five different series and sanctioning bodies. He’s competed against championship drivers along the way, and he’s expecting the toughest competition yet at the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational.

“All the guys that have participated in this class and had success here, these are the guys you want to go up against,” DeFlorian said. “The guys like Johnny Pluchino – those guys won the championship. You want to run them. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. That’s going to make it exciting. I’m really anxious to hear who some of these other invites are going to be.”

DeFlorian currently holds the PDRA Extreme Pro Stock elapsed-time record at 4.000 seconds set at the PDRA World Finals in 2021. He was painfully close to becoming the first MMPS driver to officially break into the elusive 3-second zone. While it’s outside sanctioned competition, DeFlorian believes the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational will provide conditions favorable to producing that magical number.

“We’re talking about Bradenton in the beginning of March,” DeFlorian said. “The weather is going to be spectacular. It’s going to be so damn fast down there. You’re going to be on a killer surface in killer conditions. There will be no reason not to run fast.”

Like the World Series of Pro Mod, which pays $100,000 to win, the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational will be a winner-take-all shootout. Drivers will qualify on Friday and Saturday, but all pairings on race day Sunday will be determined using a random chip draw. DeFlorian is eager to experience both aspects of the unique event format.

“If you’re fortunate enough to be one of the last two cars, you know one of those two guys is going to be the winner and one has to go home with nothing. That’s a huge amount of pressure,” DeFlorian said. “However, it’s something we haven’t had the opportunity to do before, so I think it’ll be fun.

“Then you put on top of that that every round is a chip draw,” DeFlorian added. “I think that is so cool because you literally won’t know who you’re running until you get up there. We all mentally get prepared in the pits to run the next guy because we know who it’s going to be. In this case, there won’t be any of that. It’ll be a matter of pulling the chip and five or 10 minutes later you’re on the starting line.”

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Since 2005, DI has informed, inspired and educated drag racers from every walk of the racing life - weekend warrior and street/strip enthusiasts to pro-level doorslammer and Top Fuel racers. From award-winning writing and photography to binge-worthy videos to electric live events, DI meets hundreds of thousands of racers where they live, creating the moments that create conversations.