While Tim Savell had been racing Mike Bankston’s 2013 Camaro-bodied Pro Mod at PDRA and other races across the country, he added NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod to his resume in 2016 and began racking up round wins right away.
In the RJ Race Cars-built machine featuring a 959 cubic-inch engine by Pat Musi juiced up on five nitrous systems, a Lenco transmission with a Bruno and a Neal Chance converter, he laid down a 3.76 in the eighth-mile at the race in Georgia in April to claim the elapsed-time record, which still stands. He went on to win that race as well as the races in Kentucky and Ohio, and finished as a runner-up at the race in Illinois, secured a semifinal finish at the race in Indiana and then cruised to the 2016 class championship.
“It was a total team effort,” said Savell, whose crew consists of his wife, Cindy Savell; Mike Bankston, who tunes the combination, Keith and Randy Auwarter, Lee Otis Kelley and Billy Banaka, who also races in VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod. “I’m not any more important as the driver of the car than the guys who help get it to the track and work on it. Without everyone involved, we would have nothing. On top of that, Mike Bankston, as the car owner, is very competitive and wants to give us the best parts possible so that we can win. As a result, the Camaro is the most amazing car I’ve ever driven. We tell it what we want and it does it.”
While Savell raced at a couple PDRA and Southern Outlaw races in 2016, he was firmly focused on NMCA.
“The NMCA rules were fair among the screw and roots blowers and the turbos and nitrous, and the cars were competitive,” said Savell, of Terry, Mississippi. “We really liked that.”
Savell and other champions will be celebrated during the NMCA Awards Ceremony, Dec. 9 at the Indiana Convention Center.
“We had a great year,” said Savell.