R&E Racing and Coast Packing will be bringing a pair of supercharged machines to the 2024 Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event to be held at Bradenton Motorsports Park March 1-3, and the team’s co-crew chief/tuner and driver, Jason Lee, will be wheeling a new screw-blown Pro Mod Camaro there in competition.
After winning the 2022 Radial vs. the World championship, PTP Racing’s Jason Lee contested the 2023 World Series of Pro Mod at the wheel of the ProCharged, Coast Packing/R&E Racing 1969 Camaro, but a part failure took the team out of competition in the quarterfinals. They went on to compete in NHRA’s Pro Modified category during 2023 with a second ProCharger-powered car that they initially leased from Manny Buginga.
Luke Nieuwhof photo
“We tried some new stuff with the NHRA,” Lee said. “It went reasonably well. We are hoping to learn from that and maybe end a little stronger in 2024.”
Since then, the team bolstered its vehicle inventory by purchasing Buginga’s 2018 Camaro that Lee drove in NHRA, as well as the roots-blown 2020 Camaro that Buginga himself drove in 2023. Lee said that the team will contest the U.S. Street Nationals with the ’69 Camaro while it readies the 2020 car for a switch to a PSI screw blower and Liberty transmission for the World Series of Pro Mod in March.
“We were the first ProCharger-powered Pro Mods to go 200 MPH in the eighth mile and just like we wanted to put together a ProCharger/EFI/Hemi combination, we want to put together a screw/EFI combination for NHRA,” Gustafson said. “Adding another car with a different combination to the stable gives us more flexibility.”
Lee noted that the Coast Packing/R&E Racing Pro Mod team will also put the screw-blown machine to work in outlaw-style races such as the World Series of Pro Mod and possibly some PDRA events. After the U.S. Street Nationals, Lee and his Part-Time Performance Racing partner, Patrick Barnhill, will be rewiring the car for its new EFI upgrade. Lyons Custom Motorsports continues to be the team’s base of operations and performs all of the maintenance on the cars between races and racing seasons.
“I personally think the screw cars have a slight advantage in that arena and it gives us the best opportunity to win,” Lee explained of the choice in supercharging.
Between the frame rails of the Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built chassis and beneath the PSI blower sits a Noonan Race Engineering HEMI and Lee will be tuning the engine combination using Haltech’s Nexus R5 ECU. Lee and Barnhill currently run the Nexus in Tom Blincoe’s blown Pro Mod to control the ignition system, but they will be converting the screw car to full electronic fuel injection.
“Will we be fully prepared? Probably not,” said Lee. “Are we hoping to be prepared enough? We hope so. If it doesn’t work out, we might convert the NHRA car for the event. We need the weather to cooperate so we can go and test. I wouldn’t wish this schedule for the next five weeks on anybody, but after that, it should be smooth as silk for the rest of the year.”
While the thrash is on to ready the new ride for Lee and the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, he noted that Gustafson will join him at the race in the team’s ProCharged 1969 Camaro that has served double duty in both Pro Mod and Radial vs. the World competition over the last few years.
“I really like our chances with Eric driving the ‘69 Camaro,” Lee said. “We have a lot of time and data and it’s refined to the T, and that gives us a very good opportunity to do very well. With the screw car, there are a lot of unknowns, but I think we can get it sorted out in a very short amount of time.”
As co-crew chief and tuner, Lee has extensive experience with all sorts of Pro Mod engine combinations, and surely has the skill to pull off a win with a new combination at any given moment. We’ll find out when the zoomies start crackling at Bradenton Motorsports Park in March.
Tickets for the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod are on sale now and can be purchased at https://bit.ly/wsopm2024. Fans watching from home can tune in to the official event livestream on FloRacing at https://flosports.link/3uYLot3.