2022 Mid-West Drag Racing Series at US 131 Motorsports Park

Preston Tanner Wins First Mid-West Drag Racing Series Event

Preston Tanner Wins First Mid-West Drag Racing Series Event

Pro Mod Driver Preston Tanner wins his first Mid-West Drag Racing Series race at US 131 Motorsports Park. Watch full replays of MWDRS events on FloRacing!

Sep 13, 2022 by Drag Illustrated
Preston Tanner Wins First Mid-West Drag Racing Series Event

Preston Tanner scored his first Summit Racing Equipment Mid-West Drag Racing Series (MWDRS) presented by J&A Service victory in his Stroud Safety Pro Mod debut Saturday night at US 131 Motorsports Park’s Honor Credit Union Funny Car Nationals. The 22-year-old former Jr. Dragster standout defeated points leader Dustin Nesloney when Nesloney went red in the final round. Tanner is now the fourth different Pro Mod winner in the five races the series has contested so far this season.

A red light also decided the outcome in the J&A Service Top Alcohol Funny Car final round, where Chris Marshall won over Annie Whiteley to secure his third MWDRS victory.

MWDRS event victories also went to Billy Swain in Race Star Wheels Top Dragster, Michael Chitty in Voss Wheelie Bars Top Sportsman, Austin Perrone in B&C Trailers Pro Jr. Dragster, Aliyah Pitsch in Zimmerman Properties Sportsman Jr. Dragster, Roderjan Busato in Pro Mod Slammers, and Colman Hansen in Jr. Slammers.


Preston Tanner rolled into US 131 Motorsports Park with a full head of steam after winning his first Pro Mod race in PDRA Pro Boost just a month ago. Driving his screw-blown “Sweetheart” ‘15 Corvette tuned by Jeff Pierce, Tanner was confident he could go rounds in his MWDRS Pro Mod debut.

“I knew we’d have some tough competitors when we showed up, like the Proline boys and Brandon Snider,” Tanner said. “Most of the competition there is pretty stiff, so I didn’t think we’d show up and just win. I knew we’d have to earn it. But I knew Jeff and I were both doing our job, and we’d be pretty hard to beat.”

Tanner’s confidence grew after qualifying. He was the provisional No. 1 qualifier after the first session on Friday evening, then Dustin Nesloney grabbed the top spot in Q2. Tanner reclaimed the No. 1 spot in Saturday’s final session, though, throwing down a 3.629-second pass at 204.73 MPH to lead the 19 cars that attempted to qualify for the 16-car field.

“It just shows that Jeff knows what he’s doing,” Tanner said of the No. 1 qualifying effort. “He knew the track conditions and knew what it would take and it worked. In all honesty, qualifying is all Jeff. That’s his showcase for all his effort in this car.”

Tanner started eliminations with a 3.657 at 203.80 to beat Scott Krueger in the opening round. With bracket-like consistency, Tanner ripped off a 3.651 at 202.16 in the second round to defeat Tom Ladisky, who went red.

A marquee matchup followed in the semifinals, where Tanner lined up against Brandon Snider, who’s excelled in both outlaw and “legal” Pro Modified competition. Tanner’s .005 reaction time helped him win the round, as he ran a 3.64 to hold off Snider’s 3.619.

“I was watching Brandon’s lights in qualifying, and I was like, ‘Man, I need to get up on the wheel,’” said Tanner, who used to watch Snider race Pro Extreme when he was racing Jr. Dragsters. “Dad was like, ‘Hey, you want to even the box out?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, we probably should because he’s been on it and he’s going to throw down.’ He threw down. I was setting up to be .010 and I was .005. There wasn’t much room for error, but I knew we had to go for it. Look at the number he threw down. It was crazy. Just the fact that I can race with these guys is just unbelievable.”

In the final round, Nesloney went red by .011, negating a 3.648 at 204.82. Knowing he’d already won, Tanner lifted shortly after passing the Christmas tree because his screw-blown ‘Vette was getting out of the groove.

“I might’ve been able to get it back in the center, but I saw the red light and there was no reason to risk having anything going wrong by staying in it,” said Tanner, who thanked parents Andy and Missy, sister Lexi, Pierce, crew member Chad Crawford, and supporters Wyo Motorsports, M&M Transmission, G-Force Race Cars, Kinetic Engineering, and Manhattan Collision Center. “I saw my win light, so I was like, ‘All right, we’re good. We’ve got the car in one piece and the win light, so that’s all that matters.’ We had our best 60-foot in the final and it was on track to lay down probably fastest of the weekend. We knew Nesloney wasn’t going to take it easy on us.”

Tanner, who’s in his second year of Pro Mod competition, enjoyed his first MWDRS race. He praised MWDRS and US 131 officials for their efforts toward a successful race weekend.

“It’s a really good atmosphere over there,” Tanner said. “The cars are really good. I think they had 19 cars going for 16 spots. The fans at US 131 were insane. There’s fans in the stands at most Pro Mod races, but that race was packed. You looked up in the stands and it was jam-packed. It just shows that the sport is alive.”