FREDERICKSBURG, VA – It took a near-dominant season for Tim Essick and his ProCharger-boosted “Brown Sugar” ’18 Mustang to win the first-ever Drag 965 Pro Street world championship in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA). The Outlaw 10.5 veteran’s commitment to the new class paid off, as he won four races and set the record twice to claim the title.
“It’s so special,” Essick said of the championship. “Just to be able to do it the first time out is just phenomenal. I want to repeat it. I want to be like [Jim] Halsey. Keep having [the class] and I’ll keep coming.”
Essick, who built his fan-favorite car in his own home garage, reached the final round at the season-opening East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech, losing the round to championship rival Jesse Lambert. He went on to win the DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies at Norwalk, where he also set a new class record, before suffering a first-round loss at his home race, the North vs. South Shootout presented by Line-X at Maryland International Raceway.
HUNTINGTON, NY – The Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (NEOPMA) will celebrate its 30th season of competition in 2022 with a full schedule made up of eight points races and an invitational, non-points race. The season will conclude with a special $30,000-to-win race at Maryland International Raceway.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that we’re celebrating 30 years of fast doorslammer racing in 2022,” said John Mazzorana, founder and president of NEOPMA. “This club and its members have seen the highs and lows of the sport over the last 30 years and we’ve stood the test of time. We’ve adapted to keep up with the changing trends in the sport, but we’ve always acted in the interest of providing a safe, fun place for racers to compete and put on a show for the fans at the tracks that bring us in.”
The season will kick off at Maryland International Raceway’s Door Wars, April 29-May 1. The schedule continues with stops at Atco Dragway (May 13-14), Cecil County Dragway (June 3-4), and Empire Dragway (June 17-18). U.S. 13 Dragway will host an invitational eight-car, non-points race on July 8-9. NEOPMA will then return to Empire (August 5-6), MDIR (August 19-20), and Cecil County (Sept 2-4) before wrapping up the 30th anniversary season at MDIR for the $30,000-to-win special event.
Lyle Barnett Among 50 Pro Mod Drivers Set to Help Bradenton Motorsports Park Celebrate 50th Annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals
BRADENTON, FL – Two-time NHRA Pro Mod event winner Lyle Barnett is one of the 50 Pro Modified drivers locked in to race for the celebratory $50,000 payday at this weekend’s 50th annual Snowbird Outlaw Nationals presented by Motion Raceworks at Bradenton Motorsports Park. Along with Pro Mod, the event will feature Outlaw 632, radial racing, jet cars and more.
“I want to win this one just as bad as I want to go win the U.S. Nationals,” said Barnett, who won two races at the end of the 2021 NHRA Pro Mod season, his rookie year in the class. “It’s one of the richest Pro Mod races of the year. This is a big one. This closes out the year. Whoever wins this one goes into what little offseason we have with some clout and bragging rights. I’m pumped up to be here to battle it out with 49 of the baddest Pro Mods on the planet.”
The M&M Transmission Outlaw Pro Mod presented by Carmack Engineering entry list includes a diverse mix of drivers from numerous different classes and organizations. Drivers include two-time NHRA Pro Mod world champion Stevie “Fast” Jackson; PDRA Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost stars like Jim Halsey, Tommy Franklin, Jay Cox, Todd Tutterow, and Daniel Pharris; Radial vs. the World hitters Marcus Birt and Tim Slavens; and even Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings standout Justin “Lil’ Country” Swanstrom.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – An increasingly competitive $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632 class made sure Wes Distefano didn’t have an easy road to his second consecutive Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) world championship. Still, Distefano made it look easy with four wins and three runner-up finishes in the eight-race 2021 PDRA season.
“It’s not that we expected to come out and win the championship again,” Distefano said. “We fought and we enjoyed the challenge and the adversity and we just worked through it right up until it was clinched. We never took it for granted. We just worked and did our job. As soon as it was done, it was on to the next thing. We wanted to win the next race.”
The first of three runner-up finishes came at the season-opening East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park. At the next race, the inaugural Stroud Safety Doorslammer Derby presented by Classic Graphix at Beech Bend Raceway Park, Distefano qualified No. 1, crushed the class E.T. record, and won the event.
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – In just his second year in Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) competition, New Hampshire native Nick Meloni came close to winning a pair of world championships. Driving for car owner Tommy Zarella, Meloni won the MagnaFuel Top Sportsman world championship and finished second in Lucas Oil Top Dragster points.
“Honestly, this year was really just a dream year all around,” said Meloni, who ran Top Sportsman in the early 2000s and returned to competition in 2020. “It was one of those years where I had really solid cars. When I needed to be good, I was good, and when I needed to be lucky, I was lucky.”
In Top Sportsman, Meloni drove the Nesbitt-powered TT Motorsports ’69 Camaro to event wins at the DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies at Norwalk and the P2 Contracting Northern Nationals presented by P2 Racing at Maple Grove. He added runner-up finishes at the Stroud Safety Doorslammer Derby presented by Classic Graphix in Kentucky and the North vs. South Shootout presented by Line-X in Maryland. He clinched the championship at Proline Racing DragWars presented by Modern Racing at GALOT Motorsports Park.
MOORESVILLE, NC — With a successful partnership that has lasted more than a decade, Lucas Oil and Pat Musi Racing Engines announced that their longtime relationship will continue for the upcoming 2022 season.
Lucas Oil will maintain its sponsorship on Lizzy Musi’s Edelbrock and Lucas Oil-powered “Bonnie” Camaro on the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings circuit for the upcoming year, and the partnership will also continue to extend into the engine shop for Pat Musi Racing Engines. Both Musi Racing and Pat Musi Racing Engines have proudly used Lucas Oil’s proven products for more than a decade, building an incredible track record along the way.
“We’ve been together a long time, so it’s great to continue this partnership,” Pat Musi said. “We’ve got a great car going into next year and they see the potential in that, so we’re both pretty happy and we can’t thank them enough for their support. It’s a great relationship and it’s definitely a partnership.”
FORT WORTH, TX – Drag Illustrated After Hours Powered by Titan Racing Engines, a party hosted by Drag Illustrated magazine during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show week, is returning this year after a hiatus in 2020, the magazine announced today. With new support from Titan Racing Engines, the party will take over INVY Nightclub on Thursday, Dec. 9.
“I can hardly describe how stoked we are to not only get back to having the party but get back to PRI in general,” said J.T. Hudson, vice president of business development and client relations, Drag Illustrated. “It’s always fun to talk and chum it up with friends and partners. It’s so amazing the relationships that are formed from this awesome sport. We couldn’t be more excited about the party.”
While INVY hosted DI After Hours in 2019, the club went under new ownership shortly after the party. The new owner, Jason Jenkins, made sweeping changes to the venue’s layout and staff. Jenkins, who also owns other popular nightclubs in Indianapolis, promises an improved party experience.