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Johnny Pluchino Scores First Extreme Pro Stock Victory to Start 2020 PDRA Season

OAKDALE, NY – Back-to-back PDRA Pro Outlaw 632 world champion Johnny Pluchino’s quest for an Extreme Pro Stock title kicked off in ideal fashion at the PDRA East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park over the weekend. The second-generation Mountain Motor Pro Stock driver picked up his first event win in the class, defeating Elijah Morton in the final round.

“We have high goals and high expectations for this year,” Pluchino said. “I had a feeling a win would come this year. I didn’t know it would come at the first race. I should’ve expected it since we’re at GALOT – this place is gold to me. I wish they ran every race here. To do it here, to do it right away, to start off the championship chase here and put this weekend together, it’s awesome.”

Like the rest of the PDRA, Pluchino and his Strutmasters.com team haven’t raced since October, as the COVID-19 crisis postponed the season-opener by two months. The extended offseason gave Pluchino plenty of time to refresh and upgrade his Jon Kaase Racing Engines 825ci engine in the team’s 2013 Mustang.

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Franklin, Salemi, Pluchino, Davis, Lannigan and Micke Win Season-Opening PDRA East Coast Nationals

BENSON, NC – A two-month delay was worth the wait for two-time world champion Tommy Franklin, as he opened the 2020 Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) season with a Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous victory in his “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro. Racing at the East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park, Franklin defeated Jim Widener in the final round.

Franklin was joined in the winner’s circle by Melanie Salemi in Penske Racing Shocks/Precision Racing Suspension Pro Boost presented by WS Construction, Johnny Pluchino in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock, Travis Davis in Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, Walter Lannigan Jr. in $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632, and Mark Micke in Drag 965 Pro Street.

In the PDRA’s sportsman classes, Cheyenne Stanley (MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by Tejas Borja), Steve Furr (Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster), Jeff Talracchio (MagnaFuel Top Sportsman 48), Barry Brown (Lucas Oil Top Dragster 48) and Michael Combs (Edelbrock Bracket Bash) earned victories.

Chase Carter picked up the win in Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster, as did Alyssa Rabon in Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster.

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Halsey, Weatherford, Carr and Davis Highlight First-Round Winners of Rain-Shortened Saturday at PDRA East Coast Nationals

BENSON, NC – The Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) was in the middle of professional class eliminations at the East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech when a lengthy oildown and popup rain shower halted the action Saturday night. The race is slated to continue Sunday at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, N.C.

“We’ve been fighting the weather all week, and it bit us again tonight,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “We really appreciate our racers sticking it out and working with us to make this race happen. Sunday’s forecast looks like it will make for a smooth, fast day of racing.”

Before the rain came, the series completed the first round of eliminations in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, Penske Racing Shocks/Precision Racing Suspension Pro Boost presented by WS Construction, Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock and Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle. An oildown in the first pair of $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632 put racing on pause before the rain started.

Jim Halsey (Pro Nitrous), Randy Weatherford (Pro Boost), JR Carr (Extreme Pro Stock) and Travis Davis (Pro Nitrous Motorcycle) recorded low elapsed time of the round to move on to Sunday’s continuation of eliminations.

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Friday Qualifying Rained Out at PDRA East Coast Nationals

BENSON, NC – Thunderstorms and rain showers kept racers in the pits Friday at the season-opening Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park. Race officials called off the day’s qualifying sessions later in the evening. Jr. Dragster racers completed one qualifying session between storms.

“We sure tried to get some racing in today, but Mother Nature wins this one,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “The PDRA and GALOT Motorsports Park track teams worked hard to get the track dry all afternoon and evening. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

The original Friday schedule included three qualifying sessions for the professional classes and two qualifying sessions for the sportsman classes.

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PDRA to Kick Off 2020 Season at East Coast Nationals

BENSON, NC – Almost two full months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) 2020 season opener, the all-eighth-mile series is set to get back to racing at the East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech this weekend, May 27-30, at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, N.C.

“This is a big, big deal for the PDRA and our racers, fans and sponsors,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “We’ve all been eager to kick off the season, and now thanks to the hard work by the GALOT Motorsports Park and PDRA teams, we’re finally able to go racing.”

The professional classes racing at the East Coast Nationals include Penske Racing Shocks/Precision Racing Suspension Pro Boost presented by WS Construction, Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock, $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632 and Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle. Classic Graphix will again present the Pro Mod Challenge for non-qualifiers in Pro Boost and Pro Nitrous.

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PDRA Releases Seven-Race Revised 2020 Schedule

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Just over a week away from the delayed start of the 2020 Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) season, the series announced Wednesday night its revised schedule. Six other PDRA races will join next week’s East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park, which was announced on May 8, on the 2020 PDRA “No Warning Labels” Tour. The seven-race revised schedule replaces the PDRA’s original eight-race schedule that was affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“We know our racers are eager to get this season started, and we’re thrilled to finally have a full season schedule to announce,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “The PDRA team has worked closely with the track operators and state and local officials to develop a realistic schedule.”

The East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech will kick off the season at GALOT Motorsports Park, May 27-30. Following the season opener, all race dates will line up with the dates on the original schedule. Darlington Dragway’s event, the Carolina Showdown presented by ProCharger, is now set for June 11-13. The North-South Shootout presented by Frederick Line-X at Maryland International Raceway (July 16-18) and Northern Nationals presented by Modern Racing at Maple Grove Raceway (Aug. 20-22) stay on their original dates. The DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies at Summit Motorsports Park has moved to September 10-12. DragWars at GALOT Motorsports Park (Oct. 8-10) and the Brian Olson Memorial Pro Line Racing World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park (Oct. 22-25) also continue with original dates.

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PDRA Returning to Racing May 29-30 at GALOT Motorsports Park 

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – As states begin to loosen restrictions set in place to control the spread of COVID-19, the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) is preparing to start its 2020 season, nearly two months later than planned. The PDRA East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech is now set to take place May 29-30 at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, North Carolina.

“We are extremely excited to finally get back racing, and to do it at GALOT Motorsports Park, the original season opener, is important and great as well,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “The team at GMP has been great to work with, along with the local authorities who have helped daily.”

Crossnoe revealed the new date for the PDRA season opener during a Facebook Live stream on the PDRA Racing Facebook page Friday evening. In the announcement, Crossnoe also explained that spectators won’t be able to attend the East Coast Nationals. It’s not the desired outcome for the series, but they’re willing to accept the compromise in order to start racing again.

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