Stevie “Fast” Jackson is headed to Bandimere Speedway to hurt some feelings at the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, Aug. 4-5. If a six-figure paycheck comes home with him, then that’s simply icing on the cake.
“I’m fired up. It’s $100,000 and there’s a lot of people coming that I want to smash into the ground, and that’s more alluring than the money,” Jackson said. “We’re coming out there and I’m coming to get that money. I’m going to buy something with it, a boat or something, but I’m coming to get it.”
Jackson enthusiastically accepted the invite to the inaugural high-stakes Pro Mod event, which promises the biggest and richest payout in Pro Mod history.
The chance for bragging rights at the unique event is equally appealing for the ultra-popular Jackson, who has never been shy about being vocal to up the ante.
The grudge racer turned Pro Mod standout isn’t going to back down before this highly-anticipated event, either, in part because he’s looking for every advantage possible in a weekend where tensions will be high. He is well aware of what the winner-takes-all stakes mean and Jackson is quite certain it will have a noticeable effect on how each of the standout drivers prepare for the event. But in a “win or go home” scenario, Jackson likes his chances.
“I don’t care how big, bad, or tough you are, I come from grudge racing and I have grudge-raced for $100,000 on one shot, one kill, and if you say your brake leg ain’t shaking going into the top bulb, you’re a liar,” Jackson said. “Hell yeah it changes it. It’s like a final round every single run.
“Anytime where the stakes are bigger, I love it. I feed off it. If you go up there thinking about the $100,000 it’s over with. You’ll see some driving mistakes you wouldn’t normally see, I assure you.”
Jackson’s approach of running his car “as hard as it will go every single time I’m up” could pay off with the event’s unique set-up. For the 16 drivers competing in Saturday’s main event, there will be no qualifying runs, only three shakedown runs with the scoreboards off. It’s certainly not the norm for a vast majority of the invited competitors, but it’s a scenario that brings Jackson back to his roots, something he hopes is another advantage in his favor.
“That’s what makes grudge racing so exciting and that’s where I came from,” Jackson said. “It changes up the whole deal. A lot of these guys have raced in this formatted series for a long time and if you’re not versatile as a driver, anytime you change some fundamentals, the driver is going to have as hard of a time as the tuner. I like it. If they’re going to outrun us, they better go up there with full timing. It’s going to be good.”
The money, of course is a game-changer for Jackson, one of 14 invited drivers. The 15th driver will be selected via fan vote while the final entry will be the winner of Friday’s 16-car, $10,000 to win shootout, something Jackson went out of his way to note he is looking forward to watching.
Racing at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet at Bandimere Speedway will be a first for Jackson, but it’s also part of the reason he quickly accepted the invite.
One final reason is a chance to start his advance scouting – and all his pre-race trash talk – a full month before the event. First-round matchups will be announced on Drag Illustrated Editor-In-Chief Wes Buck’s Live! Show on Wednesday, July 5, giving the pairings plenty of time to marinate. With $100,000 on the line, don’t be surprised to see Jackson going out of his way to bring his own brand of excitement leading up to the event.
“It will be awesome,” Jackson said.” It will be like some prize fighters out here. I don’t know a lot of these guys that run NHRA, but as soon as I figure out who I’m going to run, I’ll be digging through the live feed, trying to figure how they like to stage, how I can mess with them.
“That will be a huge deal and it will be a huge deal for the fans. It’s going to be like an MMA fight. We’re going to know who you’re going to see. I’m excited about the whole deal. I can’t wait and I’m ready to go. It’s going to be good.”