The 2017 season was bookended with a high note and the lowest of low notes for Port Perry, Ontario, Canada Pro Modified racer Eric Latino.
Latino, a veteran of the Pro Modified ranks who has spent the last five seasons competing on the big stage with the NHRA’s J&A Service Pro Mod Series, was unhurt in a violent accident during Friday’s opening round of qualifying at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas. Running opposite of Jim Whiteley, Latino’s Tim McAmis-built Camaro, purchased from fellow racer Mike Knowles, made an abrupt turn around 200-feet and careened across the centerline, striking the wall at a dangerous angle at speed. The car then ricocheted and struck the opposite barrier with considerable force before rolling to a stop.
Latino was awake and alert and climbed from the car and after being checked out by medical personnel returned to the track to support his follow Pro Mod comrades with his team.
The Canadian businessman and his Team Green Racing crew began their season on a high, powering to what was at the time the quickest pass in NHRA Pro Modified history and a new national record of 5.727 at the season-opening Gatornationals in Florida.