Blake Bowser will not take credit for the name, but the concept that’s all on him.
Bowser, the popular owner and operator of Auto Cub Famosa Raceway, has created a new eliminator which debuted at last month’s Bakersfield March Meet called Nitro Pro Comp.
“I do need to give the credit for the name to Ron Capps,” Bowser said. “I was calling it 5.90 Nitro, and he called me and said, ‘Don’t have numbers in it. You got to get a name for it.”
“So I said, “How about nitro Pro Comp?” He goes, “I said, “We got to get nitro in there,” so we came together and got Nitro Pro Comp.”
Pro Comp is not a new concept, as the Top Alcohol divisions in NHRA competition were born out of a category of the same name and concept, yet only one combination ran nitro. In Bowser’s world, they all run nitro.
Also, in his world, a nitro car is a terrible thing to waste.
“It kind of grew out of the 5.90 Funny Car category we had past few years,” Bowser explained. “On Thursday of the event every year, the March Meet, we do just a free hit down the track for the fuel cars every afternoon on Thursday, and we just mix whatever comes up, an altered versus a dragster, whatever. We just pair them up and go, and the fans really, really dig it.”
In Nitro Pro Comp, there are AA/Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds, front-engine dragsters and short-wheelbased early era rear-engine dragsters.
“I thought maybe we could expand on this, what’s happening on Thursday throughout the weekend,” Bowser explained. “So, I start thinking, okay, the 5.90 deal we have is perfect. We can throw rear motor dragsters in there, front motor cars, Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds, and just mix them together, so that’s what it is. 85% nitro got to be certed, the driver in the car certed for that number, and you’re good to go. So, that’s it.”
The concept of Nitro Pro Comp has been a bona fide hit.
“We have a lot more cars doing this than we did the 5.90 funny cars, so that’s encouraging. I think it’ll grow,” Bowser said. “I think it’s a real good chance for guys to run their car and not hurt a lot of stuff. We’ve got some guys who can’t run 550s and 60s, and I don’t want to lose those cars. I want those cars to come back time and time again. So, the idea is to give them a safe number to run and let them pair it up and have some fun and entertain the fans, and that way, we all win.”
Then when you add Fuel Altereds to the mix, the excitement ratchets to another level of excitement.
“Who knows what’s going to happen. Right? Bowser responded. “The pairings will dictate who’s going to run against who, but yeah, it’s always going to be exciting to watch. It’s always going to be just a lot of fun.”