As we travel from dragstrip to dragstrip each season there are always a certain number of Chevy drag cars that both stand out and are memorable.
One such vehicle that has caught our attention is a quite unique Pro Modified-classed 1951 Chevy campaigned out of New York state by longtime racing partners Jason White and Donald “Shorty” Leppard. Based out of Cicero, New York, Jason and Donald have been campaigning this machine for five seasons now, and over that time they have amassed a lot of fan popularity regarding not only how the car looks but how it performs on the racetrack.
Driver Jason White is well known for his very smoky burnout procedure (much to the delight of fans) and this little Chevy has dipped into the 5-second zone and run almost 240 mph so far. The team is well known on the match-race and independent Pro Mod racing circuits in the Northeast. “We’ve got this car running pretty fast considering it’s rather an unconventional shape for the class,” said Jason White. “It for sure pushes a bigger aerodynamic envelope than most of the other cars in Pro Mod. But the car fits perfectly and serves our purpose very well at the local racetracks we usually run in the USA and Canada.”
According to White, there are only a handful of other 1951 Chevy style Pro Mod cars even built. The team does utilize a somewhat unconventional powertrain in their machine, too. That being an alcohol burning 526ci Brad Anderson engine with Veney heads, which is topped with a PSI screw blower. All together, the combination produces about 3,000 horsepower.
The popularity of the race car with fans is something the team enjoys from meet to meet. Both newer racing fans and veteran racing fans often ask questions. “The racing fans love the shape and the rarity of the ’51,” Jason added. “People sometimes first mistake it as a Studebaker. But a lot of older fans relate to it because they had similar cars (with straight-six engines) way back when they got their first-ever cars. There is always a great mix of reactions!”
Jason and “Shorty,” who first began their drag racing partnership 15 years ago, fund their racing operation as 100 percent independents. Jason is the co-owner of a family business that his father started back in 1971 (White’s Auto & Speed Supply), which is a fully equipped machine shop facility that also sells racing parts and components.
Donald “Shorty” Leppard is the owner and operator of Old Mans Garage, which he established a long time ago and has operated forever. When not out campaigning his Pro Mod car with Jason, Shorty can often be seen racing his own 1,300hp nitrous-injected 1986 Camaro at local dragstrips in the Northeast.