Big burnouts, a big payday and big excitement.
If Stevie “Fast” Jackson had to sum up his thoughts and his plans for the DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod that would be it.
Yes, things have not gone according to plan the last two months on the NHRA Pro Mod circuit. But with a month to work until the biggest and richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe takes place on Aug. 10-11 at Bandimere Speedway, Jackson is daring you to bet against him at the $100,000 winner-take-all event.
Just make sure you bring cash.
“I’m up for any type of shenanigans that cause anyone to talk trash,” Jackson said on Wes Buck’s Facebook Live show. “If somebody wants to call me out for Denver, they can call me out now. (But) I wouldn’t bet against us in the long-term.”
Jackson may seem ripe for the taking at the moment.
Since a crash at the finish line during the finals of the NHRA Pro Mod Four-Wide race in Charlotte in late April, it has been a struggle for one of the most popular and outspoken drivers in the sport.
He has just one round win in the past four races and failed to qualify at the past two events, something that’s hard to fathom for a talent like Jackson, who finished second in points a year ago and was second before the crash.
The struggles have tested Jackson in ways he didn’t expect, but it’s also caused him to work harder than ever.
There have been reasons for a frustrating stretch, all seemingly valid ones, but Jackson won’t have any part of it, especially as the WSOPM gets nearer.
It’s also his way of giving everyone a heads-up that these struggles aren’t going to last much longer.
“I don’t give you rainbows and stuff like that. I’ll be honest. The last eight weeks has challenged how dedicated I am to this sport,” Jackson said.
“I don’t make excuses. Our job is to do what we do better than other people can do it, and these last few races I haven’t been doing that. These last few races have kicked my ass more than I’ve had it kicked in a long time.
“(But) we’re not going to continue to suck forever. Dragging a race car up there that’s not competitive is not my style. I am as dedicated as I’ve ever been. We’re not going anywhere and failure absolutely fuels me to work harder.”
In truth, there’s already redemption on Jackson’s mind since a parts failure came at an inopportune time in a first-round loss a year ago to Mike Janis at the inaugural WSOPM.
That has been stuck in Jackson’s mind for nearly a year and it’s only made him more motivated for 2018.
“I had the car to beat last year. I’m coming to get that money this year,” Jackson said.
That means plenty of work from now until August, but Jackson again believes the challenge of racing at Bandimere Speedway will bring out the best in him against the Pro Mod elite.
With the scoreboards off a year ago, tall tales and rumors of what Jackson was actually running on Thunder Mountain reached a fever pitch. Of course, Jackson also did his best to fuel that talk, all with a wide grin on his face.
But Jackson was more than pleased with how his car ran at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet, and he was more than happy to put on a show in front of the Pro Mod-starved crowd in Denver.
“I had so much fun. I had the most fun coming to that race, it’s right up my alley,” Jackson said. “I love challenging conditions. I like racing in a place where there’s not a whole bunch of data. To watch the fans get excited about it, that was enough of a reason to go back out to Denver.”
Which brings us to the big burnouts portion of Jackson’s excitement level.
Another burnout contest is coming to the Friday night portion of the weekend, and with money and pride on the line, Jackson gladly threw his name into the hat.
He also made sure to do it in trademark “Stevie Fast” fashion, which means throwing the gauntlet down to anyone else interested.
“Let me go ahead and clarify this: There is nobody on the planet that can do a better, longer, stinkier, nastier, smokier, louder burnout than me,” Jackson said. “I’ve got a burnout engine, one motor dedicated solely to crush everybody’s ass in the burnout contest.”
Let the games begin.
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