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DI Warm-Up: PDRA Puts Charity First at Virginia Event

Throughout the recent PDRA U.S. Drags at Virginia Motorsports Park, the PDRA and its competitors were conducting a multi-pronged effort to collect donations in support of one of their own, as PDRA official Donnie Crowder and his wife Deborah are both currently battling cancer.

As racers entered the grounds, they had the opportunity to purchase $100 raffle tickets for a donated $4,300 Chilly Willy engine cooling system, a prize eventually awarded to Greg Slack of Converter Design Specialist (CDS), who promptly donated the unit back to the Crowder’s cause so it can be raffled off again at the PDRA race in September at Rockingham, North Carolina.

Additionally, Top Sportsman racer Ronnie Davis was conducting an ongoing raffle for a top-shelf $7,800 golf cart donated by his Davis Custom Carts business in Suwanee, Georgia. Davis said he raised nearly $4,000 for the Crowder fund at the PDRA event in Virginia alone, and $100 tickets remain available through Davis on his Facebook page or by e-mailing him at [email protected]. Raffle ticket sales will continue at the next PDRA event at Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the cart is expected to be awarded at Rockingham, though the winner will not have to be in attendance.

After having their scheduled qualifying session postponed due to curfew on Friday night, the PDRA’s Jr. Dragster racers took advantage of their suddenly free time to also demonstrate their charitable spirit by heading into the VMP grandstands that night with helmets in hand to collect donations for the Crowders from the fans in attendance. Judy Franklin, mother of Top Jr. Dragster driver Amber Franklin and wife of Pro Nitrous star Tommy Franklin, stressed the Jr. racers effort, which netted more than $1,000, was completely the initiative of the kids with no adult intervention requested or required.

The Jr. Dragster contingent wasn’t finished there, however. Knowing that NAS Racing holds an Instagram photo contest at each PDRA event that awards $500 to the picture that they feel best captures the spirit of the event, the Jr. Dragster competitors arranged several of their cars in an open section of the pits to spell out “NAS.” They then sent up one of their group up in a helicopter selling rides at the track to take a photo and distributed it via Instagram.

Understandably, NAS Racing chose the photo as its winner and doubled the award to $1,000 as the PDRA Jr. Dragster racers donated the entire amount to the Crowder fund.

“We’re so very proud of everyone at PDRA for opening their hearts and doing what they can to help Donnie and Deborah Crowder,” said PDRA official Renee Bingham, who works in the tower and also delivers the invocation before each PDRA race. “Over the weekend we raised nearly $10,000 and I think it really shows how much of a family we’re all part of here at the track.”




  • Here’s Lizzy Musi scoring her career-first win in Pro Nitrous July 26, at the inaugural PDRA U.S. Drags at Virginia Motorsports Park.
  •  Here’s a little more PDRA action from Virginia, featuring eliminations from the series’ new Pro Boost class for roots-blown and turbocharged entries.

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