East Los Angeles, CA – Racer David Ngo made a visit to the Winner’s Circle and took home $20,000 at the invite-only World Series of Pro Mod invitational at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, FL on March 5th. Ngo was one of only 25 XFWD (Xtreme Front Wheel Drive) drivers who received a coveted invitation to compete in the XFWD class at what has become the preeminent series for Pro Mod competition.
Ngo rolled into Bradenton with his crew and his heavily patina’d, turbocharged, B18-powered EF Civic Hatchback prior to the event to avoid any issues, but his victory did not come without major setbacks and a massive team effort. Weather pushed the first qualifying round to 9PM Friday night, and on Ngo’s first pass he had to short shift into 4th due to track conditions, subsequently sending a rod through the block.
It's a long trip from Ngo’s home state of PA to Bradenton in Florida, so he and his crew got to work, starting a full rebuild at 10PM in the dark, with high winds sandblasting the team in the pits. “I felt defeated, being in the wind and getting sandblasted, but I just kept pushing,” commented Ngo. “Part of what kept me going is when Manuel Aponte, aka CMB Tuning, stopped at our pits with the owner of 316 and offered me a spare longblock. I did not end up needing it but it meant a great deal to me. They wanted to see me race, and that fired me up. The camaraderie between the racers and teams in XFWD is awesome.”
Ngo made it to the lanes in time for the final round of qualifying, where he was currently holding the 23rd spot. Only 16 racers move on to eliminations.
He got it done with a 7.98-second blast in the final qualifier to jump from 23rd to 7th, making the cut by a wide berth, and setting him up against #1 qualifier Nichole Ray Elff, who clicked off a blistering 7.78 @ 195 MPH in her last qualifier. No rest for the weary!
Facing off against Elff in round one eliminations, Ngo crossed the traps first with an 8.08-second ET to Elff’s 8.21. In round 2, Ngo faced Rey Rios and got the W, with a 7.93 ET to Rios’s 8.41. “I really enjoy racing Rey,” stated David, “He’s always given me advice and I have so much respect for him.”
The winds of fate shifted in round 3. Ngo squared off against Jayson Bello, who had transmission problems. “I cut my best light against Jayson!” laughed Ngo, He’s always so good on the tree, so for me to get him, now I’m able to talk smack!”
The final round of eliminations pitted David against Rafael Famania, who had issues, allowing Ngo to coast to victory. Commented Ngo, “We will for sure run this race again! I have always looked up to Rafael and his team, and it’s an honor to compete with him.”
David relies on a triple-disc Action Clutch to reliably, and repeatedly, transfer the massive power from his force-fed 1.8L turbocharged bullet to the wheels.
“I want to thank my crew for the weekend: Rolo Tuning, Lukas Mease, Samantha Moeun, Bunroeun Moeun, Ron Moreck, and Chad Carpenter. Y’all stuck by me,” stated Ngo, “I’d also like to give a shout-out to Victor Antonio Alvarez from Bradenton Motorsports Park and Wes Buck from Drag Illustrated for putting on this event! We were never waiting in the lanes for longer than half an hour, and the organization was top notch. Let’s not forget the ability to race on the big stage with the pro mods and eventually be on CBS sports is HUGE.”
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Photo credit: @pataconaso