Dominant racers don’t sit back and keep doing what they’ve always done to win, they look to find new ways to win. The GALOT Motorsports team has an impressive resume in Pro Modified and Pro Boost competition and they are ready to add another page of victories. Drivers Kevin Rivenbark and John Strickland will be piloting a pair of Camaros in a partnership with Pro Line Racing to help develop their new potent ProCharged combinations in Pro Modified racing.
This alliance of these two powerhouses in the Pro Mod world actually began back in 2017 when Rivenbark and Eric Dillard of Pro Line began talking about the possibility of Rivenbark making a move to a turbo combination. After speaking several times the two never worked out a deal, but that changed in 2018 after Rivenbark called Dillard to congratulate him on his recent results behind the wheel of his new ProCharged ride.
“Talks picked up again after he ran the 1969 Camaro so well at the Midwest Pro Mod Series event. I called him to congratulate him and things escalated from there. I started asking questions about what it took to run the car and the things became a lot more serious. John and I approached Mr. Wells about it and he likes the idea of something like this that can really be developed more. To be the ones that help Pro Line develop and sell it just makes it more intriguing,” Rivenbark says.
The GALOT team scaled back their racing operations in 2018, only attending a few PDRA events where Jeff Bohr assisted with the tuning when he could, before ultimately, Rivenbark moved into the role of tuning the cars.
We feel like the electronic fuel injection is the way to go in the future for us anyway if we’re going to continue to race. We love superchargers over turbos so that played into things. – Kevin Rivenbark
“I don’t feel comfortable that we have a top three car with me doing the tuning so I talked to Mr. Wells and Eric some more about getting something going. We feel like the electronic fuel injection is the way to go in the future for us anyway if we’re going to continue to race. We love superchargers over turbos so that played into things. The ProCharger setup is something new to our world in Pro Mod. There’s a few that have run it but never had the success Eric had right away so it shows the potential it’s got,” Rivenbark explains.
Dillard sees the value in working with the GALOT team with everything that they can offer as a top-flight racing team. “We needed a team like GALOT to partner with strategically that can race the car at a high level at every event. With our commitments to clients here at Pro Line, it would be very hard for us to really have the ability to develop the combination. It will all be their equipment but the Pro Line team will be there to support them.”
Rivenbark will be driving the former Pro Line house car that Dillard drove to a runner-up finish at the Elite 16 in Dallas last month, while Strickland will pilot the orange and black Jerry Bickel-built GALOT car after it has been converted to the new Pro Line setup. Rivenbark’s Camaro will still be something that Pro Line is very hands-on with and plans to use as a development tool.
“My car is going to be tuned by Steve Petty and they will be very involved with everything. This is very much a partnership in a way between GALOT, Pro Line, and ProCharger because they are heavily involved too. Without all of them and FuelTech, none of this could be possible. Both cars will be available for testing to help Pro Line. Having two cars will allow for information to be gathered twice as fast and new things to be tried,” Rivenbark says.
Dillard has already shown how potent the new Pro Line combination is after running consistent 3.7-and 3.6-second runs at the Midwest Pro Mod event. His 3.67-second pass set the new ProCharger doorcar record so the Camaro is making plenty of power. The goal now is to put the car in the capable hands of the GALOT team and let them refine the combination even more.
“I think we will have the combination really close right out of the gate. Are we going to gain another second, I doubt it, but I think they will be able to find a few hundredths to be competitive with the turbo and blown cars,” Rivenbark explains.
Right now Rivenbark and Strickland plan on returning to the familiar stomping grounds of the PDRA Pro Boost class where the GALOT team has dominated in the past. In 2016 the GALOT team won every Pro Boost race on their way to the championship, and 2017 saw two of the team members finish in the top five. After not making many events in 2018 the team is revitalized and ready to make another title run.
There have been talks about the NHRA allowing Pro Mods using a ProCharger combination for the 2020 season and it could lead to the GALOT team making an appearance at some events. There has even been talk of putting radials on Rivenbark’s car for some Radial vs The World action at Lights Out 10.
We’re committed to helping the NHRA develop the centrifugal superchargers and see if they can be legal. It’s kind of up in the air if we can run it in 2020 — anything’s a possibility. – Kevin Rivenbark
“We’re committed to helping the NHRA develop the centrifugal superchargers and see if they can be legal. It’s kind of up in the air if we can run it in 2020 — anything’s a possibility. When it comes to putting radials on the car, we’ve talked about that but haven’t made a decision on that yet. It’s something that is on the table but really hasn’t been finalized.”
The partnership between the GALOT team and Pro Line is something that will make Pro Mod racing very interesting in 2019. Working together with ProCharger will allow all involved to push the envelope of what’s possible when it comes to generating horsepower with a centrifugal supercharger. With a highly competitive drive coming from all parties, don’t be surprised to see Kevin Rivenbark and John Strickland making many final round appearances next year.