A Mission drag racer had a break-out year in 2020, scoring his first career win, setting a world record and making racing history.
Justin Bond took home the National Hot Rod Association’s prestigious Wally trophy, following his win at the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series at the Houston Raceway Park in Texas on Oct. 25, 2020.
The pro-modified class of race is a first-to-the-finish competition, “heads up, like foot race,” said Bond.
“I didn’t really expect it to happen at that race and be so fast,” he said. “I have lost in the finals before.”
Bond’s ProCharger Bahrain 1 Racing Camaro went a quarter-mile in 5.707 seconds at 249.35 miles per hour to claim the victory – a historic first for the ProCharger-powered vehicle class, since centrifugal superchargers were allowed in the rulebook for 2020.
Bond qualified third for the competition, then defeated Doug Winters, Jonathan Gray and points leader Brandon Snider to reach the championship round – his second ever. There he defeated first-time finalist Brandon Pesz.
Prior to the race, Bond hadn’t been active all year because of COVID-19, but Alberta announced a pilot project which allowed him to travel without immediately having to quarantine, Bond said.
“I heard that on a Thursday night, so I called my guys and said, ‘Get my car to the track in Houston.’ I jumped on a plane Friday morning,” he said. “My car arrived Saturday, I hadn’t seen it in five months.”
In another milestone for the year, Bond set a world record during a warm-up pass in the Drag Illustrated Doorslammer Nationals on March 7 in Orlando, Florida. He went a quarter-mile in 5.623 seconds at 253.14 miles per hour, marking the fastest NHRA-legal Pro Mod pass in history.
Since his win in Houston, Bond has raced once more in Las Vegas, losing by six-ten-thousandths of a second in the semi-finals.
Bond has been racing since 2010, but started in the Pro Mod class only two years ago. As the founder and owner of JBS Equipment, an agricultural-machinery manufacturer in Mission, Bond said he’s been fixing up engines his entire life.
Bond’s Bahrain 1 – the Pro Mod Camaro he drives – took a team approximately a year to construct. It gets its name because the Sheik of Bahrain is a major sponsor of the team.
“He’s super into drag racing,” Bond said.