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NEOPMA 31st Anniversary Season Continues at Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge V

David Hilner photos

As the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (NEOPMA) continues to celebrate its 31st anniversary season, the eighth-mile series will celebrate another milestone this weekend, August 18-19, at the Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge V. This weekend will mark the series’ fifth time racing at Empire Dragway, which has seen a resurgence under the ownership of Jerry Scaccia.

“When we held a race at Empire for the first time in 2021, I could already tell it was going to be a lasting partnership,” said John Mazzorana, founder and president, NEOPMA. “Jerry Scaccia and his team have welcome us with open arms. The fans at Empire treat our racers like they’re rock stars. Empire is a wonderful facility, and the track prep is always perfect. We had to deal with rain showers at our last race here, so we’re hoping for a nice, dry weekend with fast, safe racing.”

A late-night popup shower prevented the series from completing the final round at the Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge IV in early July. That final round, between New York’s Melanie Salemi and Pennsylvania’s Johnny Camp, will take place during qualifying this weekend.

“Fans will get to see some incredible side-by-side racing this weekend, including the final round from our last race at Empire,” Mazzorana said. “We’re looking forward to handing out two big trophies by the time racing is over on Saturday night.”

Along with Salemi and Camp, drivers expected to compete in the Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge V include two-time and reigning NEOPMA champion Mike Decker Jr. and son Mike “Hollywood” Decker III, series standouts like Steve King, Kevin McCurdy, Tyler Hard, Matt Deitsch Jr., Fredy Scriba, Andy Jensen, Derek Ward, and Tommy Gray, as well as regional competitors like Bob Bauer, James Beadling, Matt Guenther, Kenny Lang, Dave Texido, and John Vergotz.

“Between our series regulars and additional racers from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Canada, we’re expecting a rather large field,” Mazzorana said. “Our plan is to have a consolation race for the drivers who don’t qualify for the 16-car field. Plus, we’ll have a big pizza party for our racers and their teams to show our appreciation.”

NEOPMA competition at the Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge V will begin Friday with qualifying sessions around 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A final qualifying session is scheduled for noon on Saturday, with elimination rounds to follow beginning at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available at the gate for $30 per day. Children 12 and under get in free.

For more info about NEOPMA and the Empire Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Challenge V, visit or  

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This story was originally published on August 15, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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