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Fresh off title, Mod Champion Pace Wants to Make History

Tuesday, 02 November 2021

With his IHRA Summit SuperSeries Mod World Championship in hand, Tim Pace has an eye on history.

Pace is the three-time defending champ for the Mod (No Box) class at Holly Springs (Miss.) Motorsports. Now, he wants to become the first repeat champion at the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals. 

“I want to be the first person to go back-to-back,” Pace said. “It’s so tough because you have all these great champions from all over the country, but that’s my goal. I know it’s a tough task because none of these racers are easy to beat. It’s a tough, tough race to win.”

World Finals Winners Mod Champion Tim Pace

It also takes a little luck in many racers’ opinion, although the old saying about luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Pace knows all about opportunity. The 43-year-old manages a Bingo hall in Iuka, Mississippi which offers opportunities to younger people.

The customers aren’t all older folks, but a broad spectrum. The money they raise helps put kids in Northeast Mississippi through college. This year alone, they’ve donated 1.5 million dollars to the program.

The customers at the Bingo hall are like family as Pace can name the exact date —June 26, 2010 — when he moved to Iuka. The drag racers are like family as well, particularly those at his home track. His close friend, Brad Davis, won the Race of Champions at the 2020 IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals.

“There are a lot of good racers, a lot of tough competition. Holly is one of the toughest places to win at,” he said. “The more you win the points, the harder it gets. People are gunning for you and it makes it more interesting.

“This year, I struggled the start of the year. My blue car broke in May. The lifter broke, ruined the cam and everything. It was running 6.60s then. When it was fixed, I put a little faster set-up on it and the IHRA World Finals was only the second race I’d run that car since then.”

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That car is a blue 1990 Ford Mustang with a 351 Windsor-based stroker motor that has been modified to 427 cubic inches. 

Pace had been running a back-up car, a silver 1995 Mustang, which he continued to have success. He won a big race in Kentucky and advanced to the World Finals with the silver car. 

At the IHRA Division 2 (Heatwave) Summit Team Finals, the silver car nosed ahead at the start and he red-lighted. He put a new brake system on the car, but at the test-and-tune for the World Finals, his brakes would not hold at the starting line. 

“I was thinking it might have a bad master cylinder, but I didn’t want to mess with it,” he said. “I knew it would put me out of the World Finals and that’s the best race of the year for me. That’s what I had worked so hard trying to get to.”

Back in the blue car, there were some questions how it would perform. No need to worry, it was flawless although Pace admitted there were some anxious moments with the tough competition he was going up against.

“The car never hiccupped. I never lost a round, went straight on in. I was nervous, especially when I got to (round) 4. When I got to eight, I was really nervous for some reason.” he said. “I usually don’t get nervous, but I knew that was a big, big race. I wanted to do good regardless, but everything clicked. At four cars, I ran Corky Weeks (from Alamo City) who has the real fast white truck, running a 5.51 at 127 mph. That’s moving for a truck.”

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Once the win light came on and Pace was headed back to the trailer, he could hardly contain the excitement about going to the final. In the final, another tough matchup with Ohio racer Zach Livingston awaited. Pace had a solid .019 reaction time and finished with a 6.255 elapsed time at 103.99 mph against a 6.23 dial-in to beat Livingston’s faster car.

“He has a 5.42 Camaro so the slow car in the final was me,” he said. “The fastest two cars, I had to run at the semifinal and the final. When I went down through there, I’m trying to not let out because they’re liable to fly by me. When I lifted, I’m thinking, ‘Please don’t break out.’ Then, my win light came on and it was super exciting.”

He has been even more excited thinking about the championship prize package which included $20,000 from Summit Racing Equipment, an eight-day/seven-night vacation for two on the island of Aruba courtesy of Around Aruba Tours, a world championship diamond ring, an IHRA Gold Card and an IHRA Ironman trophy.

“The Ironman was awesome. There are other Ironman races, but that one is something special,” he said. “My little nephew, I always give him my trophies and my big checks. He was like, ‘Did you really win?’ He asked, ‘Am I going to get that one too?’

“I told him, ‘Yes, but that one stays at my house.’ He was super excited over that one. I had never seen one up close, but when I held that one and then got that money from IHRA, that’s the most money I’ve ever won in my life.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 November 2021

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Summit Team Finals Midwest - Eddyville Raceway Park
Eddyville Raceway
Thursday, September 8th - Sunday, September 11th
Summit Team Finals Division 3 - Dragway 42
Dragway 42
Thursday, September 15th - Sunday, September 18th
Summit Team Finals Division 5 - US 131 Motorsports Park
US 131 Motorsports Park
Thursday, September 22nd - Sunday, September 25th
Summit Team Finals Division 4 - Xtreme Raceway
Xtreme Raceway Park
Friday, September 23rd - Sunday, September 25th
Summit Team Finals Division 2 - Holly Springs Motorsports
Holly Springs Motorsports Park
Thursday, September 29th - Sunday, October 2nd

 

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