In an effort focused on safety, drag racing veteran Manny Buginga and Larry Jeffers Race Cars recently debuted a new, state-of-the-art Pro Mod.
“There are a couple things we wanted to do for about five years here, and Manny’s really big on safety, so he said go ahead and do it,” explained Larry Jeffers.
Buginga, who has always been a fan of Mustangs, gave the green light to Larry Jeffers Race Cars to construct the Pro Mod that’s now painted in the signature “Manny Race Red” paint.
“I’ve been great friends with Larry for a long time, so we agreed on it,” explained Buginga. “He had some ideas and wanted to put the flaps on the car, so we just rolled with it.”
The newly built Pro Line Racing Hemi ProCharged Mustang features innovative modifications that are the first of its kind to be featured on a Pro Mod.
“We installed a NASCAR roof lid on it, so if the car gets backwards, the air will actually push down on the car and slow it down – it will not pressurize the cabin of the car,” explained Jeffers. “A lot of Pro Mod cars, if you notice at the track, they spin around backwards, the air lifts the wing up, and the car wants to flip over, so we installed vents in the back of the car so when air gets up under there it releases it, and hopefully it won’t flip the car.”
Buginga also pointed out another safety feature.
“I’ve seen a lot of Pro Mods get the parachutes tangled up in the wheelie bars, so we added the net,” said Buginga. “We don’t know if it’s going to work. Hopefully, I never have to find out, but if it works in the right direction, I mean, it can’t hurt.
“Larry, he’s all for safety and thought these ideas would be great. He came up with most of them, so I think collaboratively it’s time for a little bit of change safety-wise.”
Buginga plans on testing the car today (Wednesday, January 17) at Bradenton Motorsports Park and if all goes well, debut the car at the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod.
As far as what’s on the docket for the 2024 season, Buginga explained, “We’re going to do Radial Wars with ‘Fred,’ the Pro 275 car. We’re going to do some of the outlaw races with the new Pro Mod and then get tested for NHRA and see where we stack up there. We just kind of want to poke our heads in and let them not forget about us.”
And in true Manny Buginga fashion, there are four names up for voting that will eventually be chosen as the new Pro Mod car’s name: Ned, Jed, Ted or Wilma.