pro mod madness, Fuel Curve Countdown. The Nation’s Top 10 Pro Mods, Todd Tutterow

Pro Mod Madness! Our Fuel Curve Top 10 List #9 Todd Tutterow

Editor’s Note. This is a ten-part series we will run once per week introducing the Top 10 Pro Mod race cars in our opinion. Series author Steven Bunker knows a thing or two about drag racing, especially Pro Mods. His grandfather Bob Bunker was one of the premier racers in supercharged, steel-bodied, quarter mile door cars which were the precursor to the class. Check back each week as Steven counts ‘em down!

#9 – Todd Tutterow “King Tutt”

Fuel Curve Countdown. The Nation’s Top 10 Pro Mods, Todd TutterowWhen rules are made for your specific car combination you know you’re doing something right. Todd Tutterow has had his fair share of “discussions” with tech and rules officials who have implemented sanctions to restrict his car. They’re known as the “Tutterow Rules”. From local Pro Mod events to nationally-based series’, Todd Tutterow has found remarkable success as both a driver as well as a tuner. The North Carolina-based racer can, and has, driven and tuned every engine combination from nitrous to turbo as well as supercharged setups. But it is the supercharged engines he’s had the most success with, both legal and outlaw.

These days Tutterow has been scarce in the driver’s seat but that doesn’t mean he’s not a threat. He’s been known to strap in at select NHRA Pro Mod events over the past few years and is typically a top-half qualifier, good for a round win or two and he’s made his way to a few finals to boot. His accolades as a tuner these days is what sets him apart. He has racked up many round wins in both quarter-mile and eighth-mile Pro Mod action as well as small-tire Outlaw 10.5 and Drag Radial action. When you’re not a “full time” driver and still make people nervous when they pair up against you, you definitely deserve a spot on our Top 10 list.

Fuel Curve Countdown. The Nation’s Top 10 Pro Mods, Todd Tutterow

Tune in next week for #8 on our Top 10 Pro Mod Drag Racers list

The List:
#10 – Danny Rowe


No index, no breakout, no throttle stops. Sizeable horsepower gains were made from adding nitrous oxide kits and roots-style superchargers. The cars had to be door slammers – factory-made vehicles on a suspended chassis, right-hand steer and most importantly, functioning doors.

Back then it was small groups of regionally based racers racing amongst one another to see who had the fastest car at the track on any given weekend. The newly coined wild and crazy Pro Mod class quickly became the modern-day version of fuel altereds with wheel-up launches, long smoky burnouts, wild rides down the track and angry engines waiting to unleash massive power as soon as the ambers dropped.

Fast forward a couple decades and Pro Mod as a class is thriving. It’s safe to say that the Pro Mod class today is easily the largest heads-up drag racing class in the world. Weekend warriors are still duking it out regionally for the title of the fastest car at the track on any given weekend while large traveling circuits are in place for those who want to chase points and race for a championship against the best of the best. The continuing progression of parts and pieces are only forwarding the growth of the class which has also spawned many different sub-classes.

The most desirable series for the professional Pro Mod racers is the current J&A Service Pro Mod series. Run at 12 NHRA National events a year ranging from Las Vegas, NV to Charlotte, NC and everywhere in between, the J&A Service series races a full quarter-mile (unlike NHRA’s 1,000 foot limit for nitro cars) under a strict rule book limiting each engine combination individually in the search for parity. Supercharged and nitrous cars are still abundant but in the past 5 years or so turbocharged cars have become a major factor in the Pro Mod world, especially the J&A Service Pro Mod series.

Staying true to how the Pro Mod class started, the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) is, in our opinion, the second largest series which focuses on the old saying “run what you brung and hope you brung enough”. The PDRA split the classes into Pro Extreme for the screw-supercharged and outlaw turbo cars, Pro Nitrous for the outlaw nitrous racers and Pro Boost for the rule-abiding supercharged and turbo cars. All three PDRA classes are contested on the eighth-mile and have strict safety rules in effect when it comes to the engine combinations the rules are slim but some exist.

Aside from the two major options available to race Pro Mod cars, there are countless regional series’ stretched across the US for the weekend warriors. Additionally, many world-wide options exist for Pro Mod racers in countries and continents such as Australia, the Middle East, Puerto Rico, Canada, Europe and many more.

It’s no easy task to narrow down the estimated 700 Pro Mod cars worldwide into a Top 10 but we’ll give it our best tune up.

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A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.