HEBRON, OH – Despite multiple attempts to dry the racing surface, Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) officials decided to cancel the remainder of the PDRA Super Strip Nationals at National Trail Raceway. The decision was announced Saturday afternoon after rain showers prevented the completion of the first of three planned qualifying sessions.
“This was a tough decision,” said Bob Harris, PDRA race director. “We fought it from Thursday through today. The racers were getting edgy after sitting here for 2-3 days, especially knowing we’re probably not going to get it done even if we do get in one round of qualifying. We just made a final decision to let everyone go home and enjoy Sunday.”
A threatening Sunday forecast and a substantial amount of racing left to complete gave PDRA officials no choice but to cancel the event.
“The Sunday forecast looks just as bad,” Harris said. “We would run on Sunday if we could get in two rounds of qualifying today, but that just wasn’t happening. It takes eight hours to run two qualifying sessions, which is our rule. It wouldn’t be fair to give everyone one qualifying session and set the field. The weather wouldn’t even give us the chance to complete one session, so there’s no sense in everyone sitting here and spinning our wheels.”
HEBRON, OH – The Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) will race in the Buckeye State for the first time this weekend at the inaugural PDRA Super Strip Nationals, July 19-21, at National Trail Raceway. The all-eighth-mile event will feature competition in several professional and sportsman categories, as well as a performance by Nashville recording artist PJ North.
One of the stars to watch this weekend is John DeFlorian, who’s having a career-best season in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock. Driving the Amsoil ’16 Camaro, DeFlorian raced to two No. 1 qualifying positions and his first-ever PDRA win in the first four races of the season. His goal for the Super Strip Nationals is to rebound from a first-round loss at the PDRA Firecracker Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park last month.
“We’ve had a really good start to the season,” said DeFlorian, who last raced at National Trail Raceway in 2009. “We stubbed our toe a bit in the first round at the last race in Virginia. We hadn’t been shaking the tires all year until that first round, and we were puzzled by that. We figured out what had happened when we got back to the pits, so going into Columbus, I’m feeling optimistic and I’m looking forward to it. If we just stay focused on doing what we’ve been doing all season, I think we should be OK.”
PITTSBORO, NC – The PDRA is now officially halfway through the 2018 season and a clear leader has begun to emerge in the Flatout Gaskets Nitrous Wars. Musi Racing Engines drivers have now taken the Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC pole position in three of the four contested events. No driver has yet to repeat as low qualifier, but engine builder bragging rights currently belong to the Musi camp.
At the season opener, Tommy Franklin scored low qualifying ET in his 959 cubic inch Musi powerplant. At the next event at Maryland International Raceway, Jay Cox scored a lone Flatout Gaskets Nitrous Wars bid for Buck Racing Engines. At the last two events it’s been all Musi again with Jason Harris topping the leaderboard at US 131 Motorsports Park with a 3.714 at 201.52 effort. He went on to win the event. At the latest national event, Randy Weatherford used his Musi engine to power to the front with a 3.712 at 202.82.
Although he hasn’t quite sealed the deal, yet, Jim Halsey has been making waves with his Fulton engine. He qualified second at Virginia Motorsports Park and went to the semi finals before falling to eventual winner, Jason Harris. Harris left .022 in front of Halsey, which put him crossing the finish line first by just .003.
PITTSBORO, NC – Every racer’s favorite recording artist, PJ North, will perform at the PDRA Super Strip Nationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus Ohio. The concert will be held in the track pavilion on Friday, July 20th after the third qualifying session.
North just finished up a heavy tour schedule, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Man and Woman of the Year Gala. This event honors the fundraisers who spend 10 weeks raising as much money as they can for the LLS.
“A good friend of mine Cody Weaver was one of the volunteers who was in the running for Man of the Year, and he put us up for the entertainment sponsorship,” explained North. “He’s a great friend of mine and a huge proponent of my music, so I was really excited when we could help out and donate our time for a good cause. I have heard a lot about the LLS because they have branches in major cities, and friends of mine here in Nashville were a big part of the Nashville Gala. I saw what kind of effort went into it, and the money that was raised, so I was just really excited to be able to offer up our band as a donation and be a part of this great cause.
DINWIDDIE, VA – Longtime Moroso Pro Boost driver Ric Fleck scored his first-ever event win in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Saturday night at the PDRA Firecracker Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Fleck defeated points leader Chuck Ulsch, who was appearing in his fourth consecutive final round.
Past world champions Jason Harris (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC) and John Pluchino (Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock) also won in their respective classes, as well as first-time winners Ehren Litten in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle and Daryl Hameetman in East Side Auto Transport Pro Outlaw 632. Ken Quartuccio swept the debut of his new ’17 Corvette in Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5, qualifying No. 1 and winning the event.
In the PDRA’s sportsman classes, North Carolinians Derrick Brown (MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman) and Chaz Silance (Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster) scored event wins, along with Wayne Rogers in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman 32 and Angela Gantkowski in Lucas Oil Top Dragster 32. Casey Wagner defeated Connor McGee in the Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster final round, running 7.97 on a 7.90 dial-in to McGee’s too-quick 7.885. Mallory Logan used a .005 reaction time and 7.946 on a 7.90 dial-in to beat Nyck Shirkey’s break-out 7.893 in the Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster final round. Brian Mollison earned the Edelbrock Bracket Bash win over Rikki Molnar.
Weatherford, Salemi, Montecalvo, Schweigert and Pluchino Qualify No. 1 at PDRA Firecracker Nationals
DINWIDDIE, VA – Virginia native Randy Weatherford secured his first No. 1 qualifier award of the season in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC at the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Firecracker Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Joining Weatherford as the low qualifiers in the PDRA’s professional classes were Melanie Salemi in Moroso Pro Boost, John Montecalvo in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock, Terry Schweigert in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle and Johnny Pluchino in East Side Auto Transport Pro Outlaw 632. Ken Quartuccio is the No. 1 qualifer in Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5.
The PDRA’s sportsman categories, which will receive a third and final qualifying session Saturday morning, are topped by Billy Albert in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman and Matt Sackman in Lucas Oil Top Dragster. Leading the Jr. Dragster classes going into Saturday are Brooke Miller in Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster with her 7.901 pass and Virginia’s own Connor Shields with a near-perfect .001 reaction time in Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster.
MOORESVILLE, NC – Lizzy Musi and car owner, Frank Brandao, recently took delivery of a brand new Jerry Bickel-built Dodge Dart. The car is in the final prep stages at Musi Racing Engines and will hit the concrete for the first time at Virginia Motorsports Park for the PDRA Firecracker Nationals, June 29 and 30.
The PDRA has opened up two days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the event, a prime opportunity for Lizzy to make some shakedown passes in the new whip, predictably named King Kong 7.
In full preparation to continue their Pro Nitrous Championship chase, the Edelbrock-backed Musi/Brandao team will also bring King Kong 6 to the event, warding off any setbacks from new car blues.
“We’re excited for the new car,” stated Pat Musi, car tuner and owner of Musi Racing Engines. “We’re bringing lots of momentum into Virginia. Virginia is a good race for us. She’s won multiple times there, so it’s a good luck track for us. She’s second in points so hopefully she can move up. We hope to run the new car, but whichever car is the most comfortable for Lizzy during testing is the one we’ll race with.”
Both cars will remain race ready in the Musi stable with the same engine combination, although King Kong 6 has already been sold. “The old car has been sold to some friends of mine in the Middle East,” explained Musi. “He’s allowing us to use it and keep the car here for now. They’re really good friends.”