Well, that didn’t take long.
Jason Scruggs, the iconic eighth-mile doorslammer racer who is transitioning to full-track quarter-mile Pro Modified racing, secured his first NHRA Pro Modified top spot, albeit provisionally at the Denso NHRA U.S. Nationals outside of Indianapolis on Friday.
Scruggs, a multi-time Pro Extreme champion, thundered to a 5.717 elapsed time at 253.04 miles per hour to finish the day just ahead of Mike Janis (5.758), Jonathan Gray (5.759) and Rickie Smith (5.760).
“It’s just one run, but this is blower air out here, and the Prochargers didn’t make a good run,” Scruggs explained. “But we really thought we’d go a .72 or .73 if we made a good run, so I’m real happy with .71.”
The provisional top spot sends a strong message that Scruggs is ready for his rain-delayed final round against Chad Green from the NHRA Summernationals last month.
“Still, it’s a lot of pressure,” Scruggs said. “We’ve been building on it for a month and a half, I’m ready to get it over with. And hopefully we can get a Wally, but Chad Green, he’s tough too. So, it’s a 50/50 shot out here. Everybody’s tough.”
Friday’s achievement is just one in a string of personal milestones for Scruggs, who admittedly followed in the footsteps of legendary Pro Modified racer Scotty Cannon with his domination in eighth-mile doorslammer racing.
“I didn’t really think I’d be ever at Indy,” Scruggs admitted. “But that being said, if we come to race, we always come to run good, I’ve always said that. And sometimes it don’t work out. We don’t even qualify at some of the races. But you know, we come with a mindset that we’ve got as good equipment as anybody and been doing this a long time. So we feel like, that if we have a little luck, that we can run with the top cars.”
Saturday’s Q2 session will feature the conclusion of the NHRA Summernationals, and double as a qualifying session.