From Nate Van Wagnen / Drag Illustrated
Racing out of the No. 32 spot, Canadian Pro Mod standout Spencer Hyde made history Sunday night when he became the fourth winner of the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod presented by J&A Service. With $100,000 on the line at Bradenton Motorsports Park, Hyde defeated PDRA Pro Boost star Kurt Steding in a winner-take-all final round decided by just thousandths of a second.
Hyde wasn’t the only driver leaving with a stack of cash. Event victories also went to John Montecalvo in the $25,000-to-win $hameless Racing Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational presented by Seminole Paving, David Ngo in the $20,000-to-win Xtreme Front-Wheel Drive Challenge, and Lenny Lottig in the $15,000-to-win D H Davies Racing Factory Stock Classic. Sportsman event wins went to McKenna Kitterman in $10,000-to-win Top Dragster and Brooks McMath in $5,000-to-win Super Pro.
All heads-up classes qualified on Friday and Saturday, then random chip drawings determined the pairings for all rounds of Sunday eliminations.
Canadian Pro Mod young gun Spencer Hyde rolled into Sunday eliminations in the No. 32 spot out of 32 cars that ran well into the 3.60-second range to qualify for the $100,000 main event. As eliminations progressed, Hyde and his screw-blown “Jack and the Green Stock” ’69 Camaro proved that anyone in the ultra-tight field could’ve won.
Through a combination of driving prowess and sheer performance, Hyde charged through four rounds of competition to reach the final round. He left the starting line four thousandths of a second behind Kurt Steding, but Hyde pulled ahead with a 3.643 at 205.51 to beat Steding’s 3.652 at 207.15 for a .005-seconds margin of victory.
“This is unbelievable,” Hyde said. “I knew once we got in, we could run our game and we could run with everybody. We proved that with a volunteer crew of guys that are high school buddies and buddies from back home now. So many people to thank – first off, my mom and dad. Everybody on my whole crew showed up. I want to thank my fiancée. We almost didn’t make the final qualifier Saturday night. We swapped an engine right before we raced and we got it back together and bumped ourselves back in.”
In the first round of eliminations, Hyde was paired up with Tommy Gray as the first pair of Pro Mods to burn out across the starting line after opening ceremonies. Gray went red on a 3.724-second pass, while Hyde recorded a 3.811 at 198.26. He was in the first pair out in the second round, too, cutting an .035 reaction time and running a 3.719 at 205.10 to defeat fellow Canadian Eric Latino’s 3.699 on a holeshot. Another holeshot victory followed in the third round – he sent Marcus “The Axeman” Birt packing with a 3.675 at 205.07 to Birt’s 3.667 at 205.79. Finally, a third consecutive holeshot advantage paired with a 3.655 at 205.07 allowed Hyde to move past No. 3 qualifier Jason Harris and his 3.646 at 205.47.
Even after bumping into the 32-car field on the last qualifying session on Saturday night and racing his way into the winner’s circle on Sunday, Hyde was humble in his acceptance of the inaugural Scott Oksas Trophy, named after the late winner of the 2019 WSOPM.
“I don’t know if you can say we’re at the top,” Hyde said. “There were 61 cars and 59 of them went quicker than 3.83. There were 55 cars within a tenth of a second. It’s absolutely wild. No one can complain about the rules, I can tell you that. This is huge for us. I’m not very big. I can’t play football. This is our Super Bowl for sure.”
Hyde also praised his crew, including tuner Mark Savage.
“I knew if we were in the field it was anybody’s race,” Hyde said. “We struggled with the car all weekend and we finally got our hot rod back in Q4. And we just picked away at it. Mark Savage did an unbelievable job. That was a personal best.”
Steding drove the wheels off his Todd Tutterow-tuned, screw-blown P2 Contracting ’20 Camaro, leaving the starting line first in all five rounds of eliminations. The No. 20 qualifier made it out of a first-round pedal-fest with reigning Mid-West Drag Racing Series Pro Mod champion Dustin Nesloney with a 4.426 over a 4.456. He was off and running after that, though, using a 3.675 to beat J.R. Gray’s 3.668 in the second round, a 3.667 to defeat Tutterow and his 3.68 in the third round, and a 3.659 to move on in the semifinals over No. 31 qualifier Kenny Lang and his 3.677.
See the full story and results from Drag Illustrated and the WSOPM:
Photo's: Drag Illustrated / dragillustrated.com
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