When Adam Flamholc rolls his supercharged ’63 Corvette to the front of the staging lanes at Atlanta Dragway, it’s 19-year-old William Serler who guides him back after the burnout. It’s also Serler who makes any last-minute adjustments to the wheelie bars, and Serler who guides Flamholc those last few inches into the pre-stage beam.
Among several NHRA Pro Mod teams boasting superstar drivers, world-renowned tuners and multiple specialist crew members, the two Swedes, now based in Cape Coral, FL, are doing it all on their own.
“I used to have people that came over from Sweden just for the races, but I’m not sure it’s beneficial for us,” Flamholc says. “William has been with me for many years and now we work in the shop together in Florida. That’s what we’ve been doing the last couple of months. I think it’s easier for us because we’re working all the time with the car and the engines, so we kind of know exactly what to do and when to do it.”
Flamholc explains his NHRA Pro Mod schedule was hastily put together after high-ranking representatives from SMP Racing, the Russia-based company he works with and which also sponsors his race team, attended the NHRA Gatornationals in March. Shaking down a roots-blown 2012 Mustang destined for competition this summer in FIA-sanctioned Pro Mod events overseas, Flamholc placed 25th of 29 entries with a 5.86-seconds pass at 246.08 mph.
Regardless, his Russian counterparts were so impressed with the experience they insisted he re-enter the NHRA fray.
“Our original plan was that we were going to run two cars in FIA in Europe this year, but then they came to Gainesville and really liked NHRA, so we decided then that I was going to run in NHRA. So basically we had 10 days to turn this car into an NHRA-legal car because it was fairly light and had a screw blower on it,” Flamholc says of the machine he’s racing in this weekend’s Arby’s NHRA Southernationals.
Originally built by Joey Martin, the split-window Vette’s chassis was updated by Chris Duncan Race Cars a couple of years back. It now sports a Flamholc-built, 526 Hemi outfitted with a Janis Racing roots-type supercharger.
“So we did it and went to Houston, didn’t really have any time to test, and I’m not happy with that race at all,” Flamholc admits of placing last of 26 entries with a 6.05 at 237.84 mph.
From there it was on to the 4-Wide Pro Mod event just last weekend at Charlotte, for which SMP Racing stepped up as event sponsor.
“We actually did better in Charlotte, almost qualified (19th of 24 entries with a 5.91 at 240.55), but we found some issues on the car so we decided to stay on Monday and test. Then the first run down the track the flywheel explodes, takes out the converter, the belly pan, the Bruno cracked, took out the whole wiring harness, so it just made a big mess,” Flamholc says.
“So me and William were basically working 24-7 since Monday just trying to get the car done for here. We had it done just 20 minutes before the first qualifying run on Friday.”
Unfortunately, with three rounds of qualifying in the books and Flamholc literally the next car up early in Q4 on Saturday afternoon, the skies opened up for the third time over Atlanta Dragway and NHRA cut their losses and set the Pro Mod field. Flamholc sat 23rd of 25 entries.
“It feels like we were not prepared enough to go NHRA racing. It’s very tough here. Everybody here is really good and they’re running their stuff hard, so I kind of regret going straight into the events. We should’ve gone testing for a couple of weeks first,” he realizes.
“Basically we’ve been using these three events, Houston, Charlotte and now here in Atlanta, as test sessions, just trying to figure stuff out to be competitive. And this year is to get the grade points, to get the feel of it, and to get a look at the tracks and hopefully next year we’ll show up much better,” Flamholc adds.
His NHRA efforts are about to be put on hold, too, as Flamholc will soon leave for several months of FIA racing and tuning with SMP across the pond.
“This was actually the last NHRA race we’re doing until the U.S. Nationals (early in September),” he explains. “After the U.S. Nationals we’re going to do St. Louis, Charlotte and Vegas, but in between I’ll be busy all over Russia and Europe.”
Bottom line, they’re not about to give up, Flamholc insists. He wants to prove NHRA Pro Mod is where he and Serler belong, too.
“This is where we want to race, to race against the best teams because that’s when you learn the most.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019