Piloting his 1969 screw-blown Camaro, Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 recipient Spencer Hyde is leaving the cold Ontario winter to heat things up at the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, which takes place March 3-5 at Bradenton Motorsports Park.
Hyde admitted to being a bit surprised when he received the invitation from Drag Illustrated Founder & Editorial Director Wes Buck, but jumped at the opportunity.
“Wes kind of caught me off guard, to be honest,” Hyde said. “I thought if I hadn’t heard by the beginning of January, it was getting late and I saw the list was pretty full. When he called, I was super stoked. We just put everything in high gear here to get ready to go.”
Hyde joins fellow Canadians Justin Bond and Eric Latino as international drivers on the list of nearly 50 racers that will be competing for the $100,000 cash prize.
“It means a lot,” said Hyde. “Obviously, it’s a pretty diverse field here with drivers from a bunch of different countries, not just the U.S. and Canada. You have (Khalid) Balooshi from Bahrain, José (Gonzalez) from the Dominican Republic. It’s pretty cool to be a part of the international squad, so to speak. I’m very excited.”
Hyde is no stranger to Bradenton, either, qualifying seventh at the 50th Snowbird Outlaw Nationals in 2021, and reaching the quarterfinals. He believes that experience will benefit him at the WSOPM.
“I’m excited to go to Bradenton, just because I know we have some data from there and our car seems to like that racetrack,” Hyde said. “After watching Ken Quartuccio click off a whole bunch of mid-to-low .60s runs [at the recent U.S. Street Nationals], I’m pretty confident we can do that. It looks like that’s what it takes to win.”
Hyde also locked in a big grudge race with former ADRL and PDRA world champion Bubba Stanton for WSOPM Rivals Night, which will take place during the second qualifying session on Friday.
“I told him I’d match race him in Texas last year and I didn’t make it down there,” recalled Hyde. “I told Wes that if he’s looking for any more Friday night matchups, I’d love to call Bubba out. I’m driving his world championship car from 2014, so I kind of want to rub it in.”
Hyde has a busy 2023 season lined up, beginning with getting his Top Fuel license the week before he competes at the WSOPM. After that, his team plans on making six of the eight PDRA events, as well as running the Paton family’s Top Fuel car at their Canadian national event in Grand Bend. And he’ll undoubtedly be battle-tested for those races after competing at the “biggest, richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe.”
“Just to be beside any of the guys – or girls – on the list is pretty awesome,” Hyde said. “They’re all world-class Pro Mod drivers. This is going to be the biggest Pro Mod race ever, and I’m just glad I can be a small part of it.”
For more information about the WSOPM, including a complete list of invited drivers and how to purchase tickets, visit www.WorldSeriesofProMod.com.