Gone Too Soon: “Mustang Mike” Modeste Passes Away At 47


As the afternoon hours of December 13th began, the racing world began to learn some of the saddest news it’s endured in years as one of the innovators and most professional souls in the sport had passed away. Mike Modeste, better known to the world as ‘Mustang Mike’, he was well-known, well-respected, and loved by many in this great sport.

Modeste was a fixture around the large radial races for years, bouncing around in a few different classes before falling into the fresh Limited Drag Radial (LDR) category with his twin F1X ProCharger-fed big-block powerplant. After struggling early in the season, Mike pulled out a win at Radial Fest – The Gauntlet in September. The Brooklyn, New York-based supercharger guru rolled into the World Cup Finals at Maryland and struggled in qualifying, ending up dead last before running the table in eliminations to earn another prestigious win to add to his long resume.

The last hot rod that Mike ever took down the racetrack, his twin ProCharged LDR/ODR Ford Mustang.

The last hot rod that Mike ever took down the racetrack, his twin ProCharged LDR/ODR Ford Mustang.

Modeste’s quiet yet professional attitude made him an instant superstar with many. In addition to his own racing, he spent time on the Bill Miller Enterprises-sponsored NHRA Top Fuel dragster team, piloted by Troy Buff. as well. Mike also traveled to Bahrain and Qatar after being contracted by numerous teams for his tuning services and mechanical mindset.

Modeste really blasted onto the scene with his partnerships with the Bruder Brothers and David Pearson, and he could be found Mike near those two cars when both were in the supercharger camp, making sure things were in order and running in record-breaking shape. Mike was always found with a smile on his face, win or lose. He could be having one of the most frustrating weekends known to man but would always take the time to talk to a fan and treated everyone with the same amount of respect as he did another, and for that he will always be remembered.

The flood of posts across social media have been moving, to say the least, pouring in from all corners of the drag racing community. Modeste was loved by his peers and he will be deeply missed by all. All of us here at Dragzine send our most sincere condolences to the Modeste family.

About the author

Tyler Crossnoe

Tyler has been involved in motorsports from an early age, and has worked at numerous drag racing facilities and now travels the country with a track preparation consulting business. He also spends plenty of time on the racing side with his personal bracket car, and as crew member on Pharris Motorsports’ Drag Radial team. Tyler joined Dragzine in 2014 as a freelance writer.
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