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NHRA Technical Department Announces Screw Supercharger Weight Break, New Rules for Pro Mod

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has unveiled a series of rule changes for the Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, aiming to maintain parity and enhance safety within the sport. Following a thorough analysis of performance numbers from the first two races of the 2023 season, the NHRA Technical Department has decided to reduce the minimum weight of screw supercharged entries from 2,740 pounds to 2,700 pounds. This change is expected to bring more balance to the competitive field and ensure a level playing field for all teams.

The weight reduction is just one of several updates communicated to NHRA Pro Mod teams through a letter from the NHRA Technical Department. Additional safety-related rule changes include:

  1. Throttle blade color contrast: Each throttle blade must have a contrasting color located on the forward outside face. The throttle blades must be clearly identified from a distance and cannot be all black. Contrasting colors can be represented by a sponsor’s logo, color of the throttle blades, decals placed on the throttle blade, etc. This change was recently introduced in the Top Fuel and Funny Car rules and aims to make it easier for safety personnel to determine whether the throttle is closed before they approach the track in the event of a crash or incident. It also helps identify if a driver is keeping the throttle open well past the established 1,000-foot or quarter-mile finish line.
  2. Pressure manipulation device wiring: Pressure manipulation devices must be wired directly to the transbrake and cannot be connected to the ECU. This rule ensures that no teams are using electronics on their race cars to manipulate torque converter charge pressure during a run. 
  3. Centrifugal supercharger restraint system review: The NHRA is currently reviewing the centrifugal supercharger restraint system and working closely with manufacturers on potential changes. This follows an incident at the recently completed NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway outside Charlotte, North Carolina, where a centrifugal supercharger failed towards the end of a pass. The NHRA will notify teams if any changes are made to enhance safety in this area.

The rule adjustments will be implemented immediately, so it will be interesting to see the impact on the upcoming NHRA Route 66 Nationals, scheduled for May 19-21. As the series progresses, the NHRA reserves the right to introduce additional rule changes as needed to maintain control over performance and preserve parity within the category.

The FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by Type A Motorsports is renowned for showcasing the world’s fastest and most distinctive doorslammer race cars. With a diverse range of vehicles, the series caters to all kinds of hot-rodding enthusiasts. Pro Mod cars, boasting more than 3,000 horsepower, demonstrate impressive feats on the track, completing the quarter-mile in under six seconds and reaching speeds of over 250 mph.

As the 2023 season unfolds, race teams and fans alike will be eager to see how the rule changes affect competition in the FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. The NHRA’s commitment to parity and safety ensures that the series will continue to provide exciting, closely contested racing that will not only drive fan interest, but maintain the interest and enthusiasm of the competitors involved, which has certainly impacted participation in the class to varying degrees over the years.

This story was originally published on May 5, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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