TULSA, OK (Sep. 8, 2018) – Just qualifying for the inaugural $50,000-to-win Elite 16 event presented by Elite Motorsports and the Tulsa-based Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) is already guaranteed to be one very cool accomplishment. Thanks to Chilly Willys Engine Coolers, each of the 16 quickest Pro Mods at the famous Texas Motorplex Nov. 1-3, will be known as a Chilly Willys Qualifier. Additionally, Jim Phillips Collision Center of Evansville, Il., will be paying a bonus to the number-one starter.
“When Keith (Haney, Elite 16 organizer and promoter) came to me with the idea, I was all for it right from the start. I like to support guys who give back to the sport, who know what it takes to run these cars, and Keith is definitely someone who knows all about that,” Chilly Willys owner Brian Shaw said. “He’s paying a good purse, which is few and far between in Pro Mod racing, and I really appreciate that. So I’m glad to help out.”
Based in Moseley, Va., Chilly Willys builds a compact engine cooling unit that manufactures and recirculates its own cold water, to as low as 39 degrees Fahrenheit without any need for ice. It requires only water and a 110-volt power source to work between rounds, with a digital L.E.D. display making it easy to preset a desired water temperature. A single Chilly Willys unit works quickly enough to individually cool even a multi-car team between rounds.
“A cooler engine allows you to run a little more timing, burn a little more fuel, and the cooler an engine is, it lessens the detonation,” Shaw explained. “We can cool the water down to 39 degrees, which is cooler than anyone would need right now, but you can set it to anywhere from 39 to 150 degrees, wherever you want.”
Shaw said he decided to start building the Chilly Willys cooler seven years ago after growing tired of spending up to $10 per bag of ice at race tracks just to cool his car’s engine between rounds. “We were using maybe 20 or 30 bags, sometimes more, so I was spending up to $400 per race just on ice and then you had to go find somewhere at the track where you could dump all the water when it melted. I just thought there had to be a better, cheaper way.”
Jerry Bickel Race Cars, which will be on hand at the Motorplex during the Elite 16, and Sonny’s Racing Engines are Chilly Willys’s biggest distributors. In addition to several MWPMS regulars, Shaw now counts NHRA Pro Mod and Pro Stock, PDRA Pro Boost and Pro Nitrous, NMCA Pro Mod, and several regional Pro Mod and Sportsman racers among his loyal customers.
“I have a Chilly Willys for my two race cars and it just makes cooling down between rounds so much faster and easier,” said Haney, who plans to compete in the Elite 16 with “Notorious,” his nitrous-fed 2014 Camaro Pro Mod. “It really is a great product and I’m looking forward to being a Chilly Willys Qualifier.”
New for this year with Chilly Willys is an integrated transmission chiller. Shaw said he always offered a separate transmission chilling unit, but new versions of his product incorporate it within the approximately two-foot-square cube. Models specifically designed for automatic transmissions with nitromethane motors and automatics with alcohol-burning engines for blower and turbocharged combinations are also now available.
“The old transmission chiller was quite large and made everything quite a bit more expensive, but now with it in the box it can be made a lot less expensive while still being a top-quality product and still able to easily fit under a counter,” he said.
Despite winning the season-opening PDRA event in North Carolina with veteran driver James Hancock III behind the wheel of his nitrous-boosted ’69 Camaro, Shaw said they unfortunately will not be Chilly Willys Qualifiers this year.
“It’s a little too far for us at the end of the year … and besides, Keith Haney does not want us coming out there and whipping his butt!” he added, laughing. “But seriously, I want Keith to get all the credit he deserves for putting this race together. I appreciate it and I hope everyone else does, too. For someone to put his neck out there and pay this kind of purse to Pro Mod racers is just awesome.”
The Elite 16 will officially open with two rounds of qualifying Thursday evening, Nov. 1, with a whopping six additional rounds of qualifying scheduled throughout Friday, and eliminations set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. Adding to the exclusivity of the event, spectators will be limited to only 500, with tickets available for purchase in advance via a link on the MWPMS Facebook page and MidWestProModSeries.com. However, Chad Reynolds of Bangshift.com will be on site all weekend long providing a live online feed of all the action free of charge to fans at home.
For updated information and details please visit the MWPMS website at www.MidWestProModSeries.com or the series’ FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/midwestpromod
s. Pro Mod teams interested in entering the Elite 16 event should visit www.texasmotorplex.com/elite16 .
ABOUT THE MID-WEST PRO MOD SERIES
The Mid-West Pro Mod Series (MWPMS) is an all-eighth-mile, no-profit organization that typically competes during each host track’s biggest event of the year. Its appearance is entirely funded by sponsorships passed along to benefit the host tracks (typically about $10,000). The Mid-West Pro Mod Series also provides trackside sponsor banners to be displayed at each event, on-site PA sponsor announcements, and links to each company on the MWPMS website (www.MidWestProModSeries.com), plus an extensive social-media presence, texts and e-mail blasts, and commercials during all events.