NORWALK, Ohio – While he just missed out on a championship in the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series a year ago, Brandon Snider enjoyed every part of the experience of competing for his first NHRA Pro Mod world title. The veteran believes it’s made him a better driver and he’ll look to continue that momentum as part of this weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk.
Currently fourth in points in the loaded class, Snider is coming off a final-round appearance at the most recent event. It’s been steady progression for Snider in his new blown J&A Service Camaro, and it’s the intense competition of Pro Mod racing where he gets the most enjoyment. He finished second in the title chase a year ago, but Snider continues to make strides and get more confidence driving his new car.
“I’ve made a lot of laps in fast cars over the years, but going quarter-mile racing in NHRA Pro Mod, the people you’re going against are some of the best tuners and drivers in the world,” Snider said. “You’ve got that in your mind, but at the end of the day, you just have to know your car and do your job. I get it a comfort zone and I don’t get too worked up. If I’ve got a car that is fast and going up and down the track, that gives me a lot of confidence.”
The race is the fourth event of the 2021 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series season and will be shown on Fox Sports 2 (FS2). Former world champ Khalid alBalooshi won the race in Norwalk in 2019, which is the last time racing took place at the fan-favorite track. It’s also a top facility for Snider, who will look to win for the first time at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
Snider brings a winning pedigree to the race, thanks to his 2020 finish and start this year. But he’ll have to be on his game to get past the likes of Charlotte winner and back-to-back world champ Stevie “Fast” Jackson, points leader Justin Bond, alBalooshi, class newcomer J.R. Gray, Jose Gonzalez, Jeffrey Barker, Mike Castellana, Alex Laughlin and Doug Winters. But the atmosphere in Norwalk is second-to-none and Snider is excited to feed off that energy.
“It’s just great people can get out and go to these races. That makes a big different. The people out at the track and in the pits, it’s a whole different energy vibe,” Snider said. “We’re entertainers and we need people there to be able to put on a show. We’ve only run in Norwalk a couple times, but we like racing there. We like the track and the facility is just amazing. It’s a great pit area and everything about it is nice. We’re anxious to get back there and see what we can do this weekend.”
Snider has been fighting through a nagging electrical issue in the car early in the season, something he hopes gets corrected for the weekend. With more than five weeks off since the last race in Charlotte, Snider and his team tested earlier this week and he’s confidence they’re in a good position to perform well in Norwalk.
“Those electrical issues got me in the semifinals in Atlanta and the finals in Charlotte, so hopefully we can get that worked out,” said Snider, who has two career victories in the class. “We’re ready to get back at it and other than those issues, we’ve got a pretty good handle on the car. It just takes laps to get a new car sorted out. We’re working on all the little things and all we can do is our job, maybe get a little luck and hope for the best.”
Featuring the world’s fastest doorslammer race cars, the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service offers something for every kind of hot-rodding enthusiast. The class is highlighted by historic muscle cars, as well as a variety of late model American muscle cars.
COURTESY NHRA COMMUNICATIONS