“For Racers, By Racers,” states Mid-West Pro Mod Series Founder and Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park Co-owner Keith Haney.

Early in 2017, a group of racers realized that there were a lot of Mid-west-based Pro Mod teams sitting at home and not racing. The reason for their lack of participation was the fact that most major Pro Mod events are staged on the East and West Coast, thereby adding a lot of additional travel expenses and time off work to compete in these series. This left a lot of Pro Mods sitting in the shop and racers sitting at home. The Mid-West Pro Mod Series was created to alleviate this problem and allow Mid-west racers the opportunity to compete in the central US without having to travel a long distance.

Drag racing is a sport built on passion, but passion alone can’t keep the lights on, employees paid and the track gates open. For that, a track needs to be profitable, offering a facility and events that make its customers-racers, fans and sponsors want to come back time after time. Keith Haney helped create the Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS), a professional drag racing organization that delivers a generous sponsor package, star drivers, immaculate cars and an unrivaled eighth-mile show to complement each host track’s special event. This group of racers formed the MWPMS to make a place for Nitrous, Roots-Blower, Turbocharged, Pro Chargers and Screw Blown Racers to compete on a level playing field. They decided to keep it simple - one class that promoted parity among the different combinations.

“We’re not trying to be the whole show, we want to come in and help boost a track’s already established event,” Haney explains.

They also wanted to stage well-run events at premier tracks in conjunction with their existing – well attended - large scale events. In 2019, we ran a total of 9 events: 2 at Worldwide Technology Raceway (Formerly Gateway Motorsports Park), 2 at Tulsa Raceway Park, 1 at the Texas Motorplex, 1 at Xtreme Raceway Park, 1 at Beech Bend Raceway, and 1 at Memphis International Raceway. In addition to these events the series was also invited by NHRA to hold an exclusive 22-car invitational event in conjunction with the NHRA national event held in Dallas in October 2019. The MWPMS became the first eighth mile Pro Mod organization invited to compete on the NHRA stage with the 330-MPH Nitro and Pro Stock cars.

The racers loved the feel of competing in front of tens of thousands of fans. In addition to the many fans at the NHRA event, the races at Tulsa Raceway Park saw the racers compete in front of almost 50,000 spectators, while the inaugural event held at the new Xtreme Raceway Park hosted 7,700 paid spectators.

Over 60 different Pro Mod teams competed at the 2019 events. At the St Louis event, we set the single event car count record with 38 competitors showing up for a 16-car qualified field.
As the series grew and became known as a series that truly cares for the racers, opportunities began to open up to expand the series. One of those options became available in 2020 when the series added junior dragsters to the show. “Drag racing has always been a sport that can be enjoyed by the entire family of all ages, and we saw the opportunity to bring in the young racers and their families to compete at races right alongside their big car counterparts. The junior drivers and families are a great addition and we truly enjoy having them as a part of the series”, states Event Director Ellen Eschenbacher.

In mid-2020, after a race that was run in conjunction with the NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol classes, another opportunity presented itself to the series when Jim and Annie Whiteley of J & A Service approached Keith about adding a Top Alcohol Funny car class to the series. In no time at all a deal was struck and Top Alcohol Funny Car was added as the sixth class to the Mid-West Pro Mod Series.

With these two class additions it became apparent that the series, which was originally founded to provide a place for Pro Mod racers to race, had outgrown the Mid-West Pro Mod name. “The series was no longer synonymous with just Pro Mods, so a decision was made to change the name to something that would better reflect the variety of classes we have involved in the series, and the series was re-branded as the Mid-West Drag Racing Series”, states series founder Keith Haney.

Our business model is very lean and mean. We don’t want a lot of overhead, but we do want to make it one of the top organizations in drag racing. The MWDRS team consists of Jimmy Boles as Race Director, Lonnie Grim as Technical Consultant, Ellen Eschenbacher as the Event Marketing Director, and Keith Haney as Owner/Director of Marketing and Sales.

In addition to providing a variety of entries in six different classes from Pro Mods to Junior Dragsters, the Mid-West Drag Racing Series brings to each host track its own tech inspector, a professional live feed operation and the formidable reach and frequency of a sophisticated online marketing presence.

• 2018 Live feed viewership via Bangshift.com
o 2.61 million minutes viewed
o 99K views
o 26:22 average duration per view

• 2019 Live feed viewership via Bangshift.com
o 2.34 million minutes viewed
o 101K views
o 22:27 average duration per view

• Socially interactive on Facebook Live
o 2.6 million views
o 171 hours live
o 119K likes
o 101K comments
o 28K shares

Every day we field calls from race teams who are building new combinations that are planning to run the entire Series with us. We think having 40+ cars per event is in the near future. We have tons of racetracks calling us to have an event at their track. As the rules have aligned with NHRA and many teams choosing to compete with MWDRS, the potential is huge!
Our racers are successful, self-employed business owners who own trucking companies, auto and RV dealerships, communication companies, etc. What they all have in common is that they are passionate about their sport and willing to spend a lot of money towards making their cars go faster. Many of these teams have six-figure annual racing budgets. This is where you benefit…

One of the benefits of coming on board with MWDRS is the diversity in the events we are part of. Our 8-race regular season brings us to tracks where we will run with already-established races running Nitro and Bracket Racing, Grassroots local classes, Super Pro, Bikes, to Super Chevy and Jet Cars. The reach is exponential! Our new venue for 2020, Martin, Michigan will be a Nitro event with a new demographic reach for the series.

Unique and customized sponsorship opportunities are available within the Series.
According to Haney, that’s what it’s all about for the Mid-West Drag Racing Series. In fact, he insists he doesn’t even want to profit on his end; it’s all about promoting the class and helping make sure tracks are able remain solvent and open for the future.

“We’re running this as a zero-profit business, which means everything we take in gets paid out again to either the tracks or to support our racers. The money that comes in from the sponsors allows us to pay the race tracks, allows us to pay for our Website, allows us to pay for our live feed, which we do through Bangshift.com so you know it’s done right, and they get to sell it to their marketing partners and make money, too,” Haney says.

In addition to its thrilling show for fans and a great-and profitable-attraction for tracks, the Mid-West Drag Racing Series provides an outstanding value for series and event sponsors who can expect to receive trackside banners displayed at each event, links to each backing company on the MWDRS website, plus an extensive social-media presence, which now extends to more than 200,000 targeted users and continues to increase with e-mail blasts and commercials during all events.

We look forward to YOU being part of the Mid-West Drag Racing Series!