Chad Green on WSOPM Invitation: ‘There’s No Way I Was Turning It Down’

Chad Green didn’t care one bit about what he had heard about nitrous cars trying to compete at Bandimere Speedway.

He had his DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod invitation in his hand and nothing was going to keep him from accepting. A year ago, while watching the inaugural event just outside of Denver, Green wondered how he could ever get opportunity to race in the $100,000 winner-take-all race.

So when Drag Illustrated Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck hand-delivered his WSOPM invitation at the NHRA race in Topeka, Green was blown away – and also had his answer ready.

“To get an invitation, I don’t know even how to describe it,” Green said. “It’s such an honor and I didn’t think twice about it. For me, it was a no-brainer. Everyone says the nitrous car won’t do well at altitude, but we’ll see what we can do. It’s just an honor to be invited to a race like this. I was not going to turn it down.”

It’s the latest accomplishment in what has become a brilliant rookie season for Green, even after overcoming some significant adversity in his NHRA Pro Mod debut at Gainesville.

He advanced to the semifinals in impressive fashion before disaster struck, crashing nose-first into the wall in his matchup against Mike Janis. How quickly Green bounced back has been just as remarkable, as Green got a new Camaro from Jerry Bickel Race Cars and didn’t miss a race.

He qualified No. 1 and advanced to his first career final round before losing to Rickie Smith in Topeka, and currently sits fourth in points.
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Alex Laughlin Dishes on 2018 World Series of Pro Mod Invite

A new challenge has always been appealing for Alex Laughlin.

It’s already taken him to new places like Top Alcohol Dragster, a drag radial car at the biggest radial events in the country and a spot on the popular “Street Outlaws” television show.

Now, that thrill ride curiosity is sending Laughlin to the biggest and richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe.

Laughlin, a standout in the NHRA Pro Stock ranks, officially accepted his invitation to the DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod, which takes place Aug. 10-11 at Bandimere Speedway. Final details of what he will be driving on “Thunder Mountain” are still being worked out, but, for the time being, that’s beside the point. Laughlin will be in Denver in August in a Pro Mod car with a chance to win $100,000, and that’s more than good enough for him.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” Laughlin said. “It was something I wanted to be a part of, even last year. It is an absolute dream come true, to be honest. Just the whole deal with Wes [Buck] coming to the pits, presenting my dad and I with an invitation – it’s just over the top. It might be the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.

“We’re working out some details on the car that I’ll be driving, but I’ll be there no matter what.”

That need for speed will be quenched in a major way at Bandimere Speedway, as Laughlin makes his Pro Mod debut alongside some of the biggest names in the sport.
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2018 WSOPM Invitee Steve Matusek Talks High-Stakes, Magical Moments & Seeing Pro Mods at the Top of the Food Chain

It’s been nearly a year and Steve Matusek still gets an uneasy feeling when he thinks back to the inaugural DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod.

It’s certainly not about his overall feelings on the event. That, in Matusek’s eyes, was one of the more enjoyable experiences in the standout’s lengthy career.

But what eats at Matusek is the matter of leaving $100,000 on the table. It’s a predominant thought and one Matusek is none too happy to recall.

“I missed an opportunity,” Matusek said. “I should have won that race. It’s all on me.”

The saving grace is Matusek will get his chance for redemption at this year’s WSOPM, which takes place Aug. 10-11 at Bandimere Speedway. Improving on last year’s semifinal appearance is a clear motivation for Matusek, who hopes to finish the job in 2018.

A year ago, Matusek felt he had the car to beat, running well in testing and early on during the weekend. But he lost on a holeshot to eventual runner-up Steven Whiteley in the semifinals, putting an immediate damper on what otherwise was a thrilling and memorable weekend.

“I’m going back with a purpose,” Matusek said. “We felt like it was our race to lose and we lost it. We had a good, competitive car and I got beat by a holeshot. I’m 99.9% percent confident we would have beat (Mike) Bowman in the final round if I would have done my job. We want to get back there and pick up where we left off.”
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Pro Mod Powerhouse Shane Molinari Talks Potential Six-Figure Payday at WSOPM 2018

There were a multitude of reasons why Shane Molinari quickly accepted his invitation to return to Bandimere Speedway for the DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod for a second straight year. But he couldn’t find a bigger one than the six figures written on the oversized check that goes to the winner.

“It’s a no-brainer. It’s $100,000 to win,” said Molinari, who advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural event. “Money talks. I wish they had 4-5 of them a year. It’s all I would do.”

Of course, the chance to win six figures at a miserable event with a subpar atmosphere may have changed Molinari’s tune.

But for the Pro Mod standout, that wasn’t a concern in the slightest at the WSOPM, which takes place this year on Aug. 10-11. In fact, Molinari considered the inaugural event in 2017 a massive success.

Despite the intense pressure of trying to win $100,000 on “Thunder Mountain” and staying focused to do so, Molinari had no problem enjoying himself, which is, ultimately, priority No. 1 when he attends a race.
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Pro Mod Star Eric Latino Talks Suspense & Tension at WSOPM

Eric Latino discovered last year, when DRAG ILLUSTRATED Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck puts on an event, he doesn’t play. The World Series of Pro Mod, hosted at Bandimere Speedway for the second consecutive year, is Aug. 10-11 and the Canadian Pro Mod ace looks to build on his round win there from last year.

Latino has been re-invited to the second running of the event, as have all the racers from last year. More than just a race, the DRAG ILLUSTRATED World Series of Pro Mod is a gathering of the best of the best in Pro Mod racing. So it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway), getting invited is a big deal.

“It’s one thing to tell somebody ‘Hey man, I want you to come to my race,’” Latino said Monday during a phone call. “But he handed me an envelope with my name typed and printed on there, so he already had plans to have me there before he even came to Charlotte.

“That was pretty exciting because I didn’t realize…he was going to have the same 15 invited out. I thought he might pick a whole new crew just to change things up, so I was pretty excited to be invited again.”

With upwards of 30 drivers regularly attempting to qualify for one of 16 spots at the 12 NHRA Pro Mod races, there is no shortage of doorslammer vets ready and willing to compete against the best of the best. Latino said Buck explained why he and his fellow drivers were chosen for the second running.

“What Wes [Buck] told me is, that he’d literally rather not have the race than not have the original guys back out for the second-running; that our participation in the inaugural event meant that much to him,” Latino said. “And that means a lot to me and my whole team. We can’t wait.
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Derek Menholt: “My Entire 2018 is Planned Around WSOPM”

Derek Menholt figured he had a spot secured for the 2018 DRAG ILLUSTRATEDWorld Series of Pro Mod. After all, the Billings, Montana, native did claim the $10,000 Aeromotive Wild Card Shootout at the inaugural event a year ago, winning his way into the main event.

But Menholt still hoped for official confirmation when a certified letter showed up from DRAG ILLUSTRATEDFounder and Editorial Director Wes Buck inviting him to participate in this year’s running of the event.

Just like that, Menholt had his marquee event for 2018 secure.

“I really wanted to do it because it would be our Super Bowl for the year,” Menholt said. “This is definitely the U.S. Nationals for our team. There’s not a race I would rather be at. Until that letter showed up, I was nervous, but I was really excited to get that letter from Wes inviting us to come. I was extremely excited.”

This time, Menholt won’t have to race his way into the main event of the World Series of Pro Mod, which takes place Aug. 10-11 at Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver.

His participation in the inaugural place secured Menholt’s spot in the main event for 2018, Buck’s way of saying thanks for believing in the race and the vision he had for holding the biggest and richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe.
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Jim Whiteley Locks In Support for WSOPM as Racer and Presenting Sponsor

There have been a lot of great racing moments recently for Jim Whiteley, including picking up his second career NHRA Pro Mod win less than a month ago. But there’s still one weekend the veteran keeps coming back to and that was the inaugural Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod. In fact, it was such a memorable weekend that Whiteley had no problem clarifying just how enjoyable it was.

“That particular race was the funnest race that I’ve ever been to in 20 years of racing,” Whiteley said on Drag Illustrated Founder and Editorial Director Wes Buck’s Facebook Live show. “That’s what it’s all about, people hooting and hollering. It was a show, the fans had a great time (and) as racers, we’re ecstatic and we can’t wait to do it again. It’s an honor to open the door and say let’s do it again.”

Whiteley recently received – and then promptly accepted – his invitation to the second annual Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod, which again takes place at Bandimere Speedway on Aug. 10-11.

For Whiteley, who competed in the inaugural event with his son, Steven, it was a no-brainer to accept the invite, in part because of the $100,000 winner-take-all prize. But Whiteley, who received the first official invite, hinted that his reasoning went far deeper than that.

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Lazydays RV and Bandimere Speedway Launch Ultimate Race Day Tailgating Sweepstakes

Lazydays, The RV Authority™, and world’s largest dealership, announced today the Lazydays RV Ultimate Race Day Tailgating Sweepstakes for the upcoming 2018 Bandimere Speedway race season, which will mark the speedway’s 60th Anniversary.

Race fans and RV tailgating enthusiasts can enter for a chance to win the tailgating experience of a lifetime, which includes tailgating at track accommodations in a decked-out Lazydays RV luxury motor home, tickets to the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod race on Saturday, August 11th, and a special staring-line experience at the beginning of the race.

“Partnering the biggest, richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe with the World’s largest RV dealership shows the commitment of Lazydays RV to motorsports and entertainment fans, not just in Colorado, but from Arizona to Florida,” said John Bandimere III, Bandimere Speedway’s Executive Vice President and General Manager. “Lazydays RV is all about top-rated products and services and Bandimere Speedway is proud to connect our two brands through one of the most exciting promotions of the season.”

“We are proud to partner with Bandimere Speedway to enhance fans’ race-day excitement,” said John Lebbad, Chief Marketing Officer for Lazydays. “Tailgating gives race fans a fun and exciting way to enjoy this spectacular race event, and we’re honored to be providing the winner with a VIP RV experience as a part of the World Series of Pro Mod festivities.”

The Lazydays RV Ultimate Race Day Tailgating Sweepstakes runs through July 15th, 2018. Sweepstakes is open to all U.S. citizens 18 years or older as of 4/1/18. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. Visit sweepstakes rules and details.

To purchase tickets for the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod and to learn more about the event, visit or

What You Need to Know Before Heading to the Track

Event Name: Inaugural Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod benefiting One Cure and presented by J&A Service

Bandimere Speedway
3051 S. Rooney Road
Morrison, CO 80465
P: (303) 697-6001

Track frequency: 95.1 FM

Official event live feed: (presented by Strange Engineering)
Official event website:
Official event Facebook:
Official event Twitter:
Official event hashtags: #WSOPMRaceWeek #WSOPM #WSOPMMainEvent


Event Merchandise
Bandimere Speedway will sell event t-shirts, hoodies, hats and other event merchandise at four different locations around the facility. Drag Illustrated merchandise and subscriptions will also be available for sale at a location in the Pro Mod pits.

Friday, Aug. 4
Gates open – 2 pm

Aeromotive Wild Card Shootout
Shakedown 1 – 3:30 pm
Shakedown 2 – 5 pm

WSOPM Invitees
Shakedown 1 – 5 pm
Shakedown 2 – 7 pm
Shakedown 3 – 9 pm

Aeromotive Wild Card Shootout
Eliminations – 6:30 pm

MagnaFuel Top Sportsman/Top Dragster, JR Race Car 7.90, and Reverse Race qualifying to run between rounds of Wild Card Shootout

Saturday, Aug. 5
Gates open – 12 pm

WSOPM Invitees
Final Shakedown – 3:30 pm

Open Pits & Autograph Session – 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Pre-Race Ceremonies – 6 pm

World Series of Pro Mod Main Event
Show Time – 6:30 pm


Steve Matusek vs. Wild Card Runner-up
Stevie Jackson vs. Mike Janis
Mike Knowles vs. Steven Whiteley
Eric Latino vs. Danny Rowe
Michael Biehle vs. Clint Satterfield
Aeromotive Wild Card Winner vs. Mike Bowman
Shane Molinari vs. Harry Hruska
Pete Farber vs. Jim Whiteley


Bandimere Speedway has compiled a number of frequently asked questions and answers to help you better plan your day at the races. If the following still does not answer your question please feel free to contact us at

Are there any specific items not allowed inside the facility?
Posted signs remind patrons that the following items are not allowed into the facility at any time:

No alcoholic beverages
No glass bottles or containers
No concealed weapons
Use of marijuana is prohibited
Children must be accompanied by an adult
No illegal drugs
No motorized/non-motorized vehicles through the spectator gates
Pets (except service animals assisting those with disabilities)

**Bandimere Speedway security staff reserves the right to prohibit any items that may pose a safety hazard or hinder the enjoyment of the event by other patrons.

Can I bring an umbrella?
Umbrellas are permitted; however, an umbrella may only be used if, when open, it provides protection only to the Guest holding it and does not interfere with other Guests’ enjoyment of the event. Personal umbrellas larger than 15”, when collapsed, and/or golf umbrellas are not permitted. Guests may be asked to close their umbrella if it is obstructing the view of other Guests.

Can I bring a cooler into the race?
No coolers larger than six-pack size (approximately L 20″x W 13″x H 14″) are permitted into the facility. All coolers are subject to inspection by speedway security.

Can I bring alcoholic beverages into the facility?
No alcoholic beverages may be brought into the speedway facility.

Can I smoke at the facility?
Smoking is allowed in designated areas. Smoking is not allowed in the grandstands. Contact a Bandimere employee to find the designated smoking areas.

Can I bring a backpack into the facility?
As long as they are no larger than a six-pack size L 20″x W 13″x H 14″. All backpacks are subject to inspection by speedway security.

Are there special handicap parking areas?
Handicapped Parking is located in the front of the Main Ticket Center, via Gate B. Shuttles are available at all events. Contact a Bandimere employee for a shuttle.

Can I bring my pet to the race?
No pets are allowed at any Bandimere Speedway events (except service animals assisting those with disabilities).

Do I have to buy passes to get into the pits?
This is part of what makes drag racing so special. Every ticket to a Bandimere Speedway event includes a pit pass, allowing you and your family the opportunity to get close to the drivers and their cars.

Can I get drivers’ autographs?
During the Mopar Mile High Nationals, NAPA Auto Parts Night of Fire & Thunder, CARSTAR Thunder on the Mountain, and Brakes Plus Jet Car Nationals, many drivers will sign autographs in their pit area. At all other Bandimere Speedway events the drivers are often available at any time for autographs to anyone that asks.

Can I use my cell phone at Bandimere Speedway?
You are permitted to use your cell phone at any place at Bandimere Speedway, but please keep in mind those around you when making calls.

Are there check-cashing services available?
There are no check-cashing services at Bandimere Speedway.

Are there ATM machines at the Speedway?
Yes, there is an ATM available for use in Bandimere’s official souvenir store Competitive Threads.

Where do I pick-up tickets?
Bandimere Speedway has two spectator box offices. Both are easily visible upon entering the facility and placed next to the spectator entrances. Will Call tickets can be printed up at any open window at all box office locations by showing your ID. The main spectator walk-in entrance is the northern of the two entrances.

Can I buy tickets in advance?
You may purchase tickets for all events on-line, at all front range King Soopers locations or by calling the box office at 303-697-6001. You will have the option of printing your tickets at home, or for an additional fee you can leave them in will call or have them mailed to you.

What food concessions are available?
A wide variety of foods are available from the Bandimere Speedway concessions such as Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Nachos, Ice Cream and much more. There are two main concession stands at the Speedway one located conveniently near each of the two main grandstands. Bandimere concessions also proudly serve a full line of ice-cold Pepsi and Budweiser products. At larger events a number of independent vendors including pizza, barbeque, kettle corn and more is available.

Is there a place to buy souvenirs?
Official Bandimere Speedway merchandise is available at the Speedway souvenir store Competitive Threads, during all Bandimere events. At larger events multiple sales locations will be available throughout the facility.

What facilities are available if I have a medical problem?
Mobile First Aid teams patrol the facility at all times during an event. In the event of needed medical assistance contact any speedway personnel and give them location/situation and first aid assistance will be contacted immediately.

What dining, lodging facilities, and entertainment facilities are available in the area?
There are many local dining and entertainment facilities available in the area. For a complete list of Bandimere Speedway preferred lodging partners check the hotel listings page by clicking here.

Are cameras (video or still), allowed in the races?
You are allowed to take video or still pictures of the vehicles at anytime. However video and/or still pictures taken at Bandimere Speedway are for personal use only and may not be sold or marketed without a licensed arrangement from Bandimere Speedway or the NHRA.

Are unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, allowed in the races?
To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all our guests, Bandimere Speedway strictly prohibits the operation of or use of any unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as “Drones,” on, from, or above the Bandimere Speedway Complex premises. This includes all UAVs regardless of size, weight, or purpose. Only the facilities official photographer company has specific written permission from Bandimere Speedway to use such vehicles.

Precision Racing Suspension, Penske Shocks Named Title Sponsor of WSOPM Private Test Session

The Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod announced today that Precision Racing Suspension and Penske Shocks have been named the title sponsors for the private test session for the biggest and richest race in Pro Mod history.

The Precision Racing Suspension/Penske Shocks World Series of Pro Mod Private Test will take place Tuesday, Aug. 1 and Wednesday, Aug. 2, leading into the highly-anticipated race on Aug. 4-5 at Bandimere Speedway. The WSOPM will release official times for the test sessions soon.

The two-day test session will give the all-star lineup of Pro Mod drivers the chance to get their cars acclimated to competing at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet. With a winner-take-all prize of $100,000 being awarded, the test session is also an opportunity to make sure the cars are locked in to deliver thrilling performances during Saturday’s main event.

“When the stars and cars roll into Bandimere, we want the fans in attendance to see them at their absolute best,” Drag Illustrated Editor-in-Chief Wes Buck said. “Precision Racing Suspension and Penske Shocks have stepped up to make this test session a reality and we’re super excited about it. Very few of these competitors have raced on the mountain (at Bandimere) and with all this on the line, you want to see all of them making great runs. With this pressure and on this kind of stage, you want everyone to perform at their best, and we’re happy to put on this test session and let our racers get ready for the biggest and richest Pro Mod race in the history of the known universe.”

Penske Shocks and Precision Racing Suspension are a major name in both the Pro Stock and Pro Mod ranks, with top names in both classes relying on them for continued success. Seeing the massive growth of the Pro Mod class and the impressive momentum the World Series of Pro Mod event has built, both companies jumped at becoming a sponsorship partner for the inaugural race.

“The class has never been stronger and the competition level shows that, and we’re definitely excited to see this kind of event come together,” said Adam Lambert of Precision Racing Suspension. “We like seeing Pro Mods get the recognition they deserve and we’re definitely happy to be a part of this event. A bunch of the cars competing have never driven in altitude like that and the test session will open up a lot of eyes. But by the second day big numbers will start to get put up and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the really big numbers on Friday.”

Of course, in continuing with the theme of the weekend where the scoreboards will be turned off during qualifying, they will be off during testing, giving no indication of what others are running during the test session. Race control will also be closed, ensuring no testing numbers will be leaked prior to the event.

“With this much money on the line, that’s something we take very seriously,” Buck said. “Being that we’re announcing the first-round pairings on July 5, you can bet your butt competitor A will be watching competitor B and vice versa during testing. I think having this test session may actually intensify things for the race.”

The intensity level is already expected to be at a fever pitch, starting with Friday’s Aeromotive Wild Card Shootout, which awards the winner $10,000 and the final spot in Saturday’s main event. The first 14 spots were invite-only, with the 15th spot coming via fan vote.

“I think what the test session does is ratchet up the intensity,” Buck said. “I think when you allow teams to test for two days, it just makes the racing even better. Everyone is going to roll up on Friday with bad-to-the-bone hot rods, knowing what it takes to make a good run. With stakes this high, you want to see everybody going to the starting line fully prepared. You want to see great side-by-side action with everyone pushing their cars to the limit.”

Lambert, for one, can’t wait to see the action unfold, especially if competitors take full advantage of the two days of testing.

“I think it’s going to be an absolute slugfest,” Lambert said. “It’s going to be exciting to see everyone battle it out for that big stack (of $100,000).”

If interested in taking part in the test sessions, please contact Nate Van Wagnen at (440) 986-1480 or e-mail

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