Eric Latino is one of the 20 Pro Stock drivers who are gearing up for an appearance at the inaugural SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage set to take place Feb. 8-10 at Bradenton Motorsports Park. This event stands out in the drag racing calendar not only for its high stakes but also for its unique format and significant racer involvement.
“I’m excited about the race because there is $125,000 on the line,” said Latino. “I’m also excited because there are going to be fuel cars in Bradenton – the fans are going to crazy for it, and I think it will be a sell-out.”
The substantial prize money, $125,000-to-win in Pro Stock, is a major draw for him and his KB Titan Racing team. However, the PRO Superstar Shootout holds more than just financial allure for Latino.
“If we win, we have $125,000 going straight to our race program, which will benefit us for the whole season,” stated Latino, who returned to Pro Stock in September of last year. “I am very dedicated to our race team. I would put that money back into our engine program and share it with the rest of the team.”
Latino also expresses enthusiasm for the PRO Superstar Shootout’s unique elimination format involving a chip draw. This format adds an element of unpredictability and excitement to the competition, something the experienced Pro Mod driver finds alluring.
“I think the chip draw is cool,” he continued. “Every Pro Mod race Wes Buck has put on has been done that way, and it’s great.”
Latino’s familiarity with Bradenton Motorsports Park is another factor contributing to his confidence. Reflecting on his past experiences, Latino said, “I’ve raced at Bradenton Motorsports Park many times and can’t pick just one. The track’s owner, Victor Alvarez, is a super nice guy. They treat us really well there, and I have only great things to say about the facility, the owner, and the staff.”
Latino acknowledges the importance of this race and that it would be the biggest win in his career.
“I have won in a Shakedown Pro Mod race where there are no set rules, so to win the PRO Superstar Shootout race over some of the big dog races we have run would be one I would chalk up on the board and never forget,” said Latino.
Furthermore, Latino also anticipates a diverse fan base at the PRO Superstar Shootout, different from typical nitro races. He believes the event will attract local spectators new to this caliber of drag racing.
”The fans coming to this race will be local people who have never really seen Pro Stock or fuel cars,” he stated. “I think the fans will be blown away and excited by this race. It will drag people in, and if they do the event next year, they will sell even more, and the fans will bring in friends and family from other parts of the states. I think it’s going to be a big deal.”
The SCAG Power Equipment PRO Superstar Shootout presented by JHG will also feature $250,000-to-win in Top Fuel and Funny Car. Tickets are now on sale at https://bit.ly/scagpro. Fans can also watch the entire race live through FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3t04gHk.