It’s been almost one month since Spencer Hyde turned on the final win light at the $100,000-to-win Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod presented by J&A Service at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The champagne has been buffed off Hyde’s screw-blown “Jack & The Green Stock” ’69 Camaro, and his phone notifications have started to return to a normal pace.
Hyde is on the grounds at GALOT Motorsports Park to run Pro Boost at the PDRA season opener, the Summit Racing Equipment PDRA East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech. The brand-new sticker on the back of his trailer announces that he’s the 2023 World Series of Pro Mod champion, but everyone here already knows. There’s been a steady stream of people coming over to congratulate Hyde and his team. Manufacturers have been offering free or heavily discounted parts. He’s seen in a different light than he was when he rolled through the gates at GALOT last year.
“I think it just showed everybody that we’re here for real,” Hyde said of winning the WSOPM. “I wouldn’t say people took us lightly before, but we were definitely not one of the big teams, so it just helped showcase what we’re capable of. And I think they look at us a little different now, coming here.”
And while Hyde out-qualified nearly 30 other cars to make the WSOPM field, then beat five standout competitors on his way to the winner’s circle, he realizes he’s up for another challenge this weekend. There are around 25 Pro Boost entries teched in for Friday qualifying, including many of Hyde’s fellow WSOPM competitors.
“I was joking with Mark [Savage, Hyde’s tuner] earlier, I knew that there was well over 20 cars here, and I said, ‘I’d hate to come off winning the biggest race of the world and then not qualify at the first PDRA race,’” Hyde laughed. “But testing’s going pretty well, so I think it should be OK. I’m just excited. It seems like Pro Mod’s in a good spot right now. There’s lots of cars – lots of good cars. Hopefully it just carries through the whole season and we get good car counts at every race.”
After GALOT, Hyde plans on running the next three PDRA races, then he’ll return to run the last two races on the PDRA schedule. Between those stretches, he’s getting married and running a Top Fuel match race at his home track in Canada.
“I’ve promised the Patons I’d run the fuel car for them in Grand Bend, and it’s important to me to get back to Grand Bend,” said Hyde, who completed his NHRA Top Fuel licensing the week before the WSOPM. “That’s where I grew up and started in Jr. Dragsters, and so I want to get back there and race something.”
Hyde did note that he’d certainly consider running the full PDRA tour if he ends up near the top of the points standings after the first four races of the season. Plus, the construction firm operator and his team enjoy attending the PDRA races and are eager for the opportunity to compete with other strong teams in Pro Boost.
“We love racing here,” Hyde said. “Especially coming in from Canada, we have a long tow to most of these races. Having Sunday to get home is huge for my guys, who all have full-time jobs, and myself, as I run a business, and not missing Monday is huge for me. I’d rather leave a day early on a Wednesday or Thursday than miss a Monday. We seem to always have a good time here at PDRA, and Tommy and Judy [Franklin, PDRA owners] run a good show and Tyler [Crossnoe, series director] is great. So yeah, moving forward, I think that’s where you’re going to see us mostly.”
Hyde is also eying up the “winter series” races in Florida. Of course, he fully intends on defending his WSOPM crown.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to top it, to be honest,” Hyde said. “I just hope we can go back there again next year and hopefully do it again or at least put up a good performance.”