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Fulton, Pro Line and Allen Win 2023 PDRA Engine Builder Challenge Titles

Tara Bowker photos

This season, the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) expanded its engine builder challenge programs to include three of its pro classes. After eight races of intense competition, titles went to Fulton Competition Engines in Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars, Pro Line Racing in Boost Wars, and Allen Competition Engines in Horsepower Wars.

Originally featuring just Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, the PDRA engine builder challenges grew to include Boost Wars in WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive and Horsepower Wars in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition. At each race on the schedule, the top four qualified drivers and their respective engine builders from the previous event squared off in a two-round shootout in qualifying. The winning driver earned four points for their engine builder, the runner-up earned three points, and so on.

“Nitrous Wars has been one of our longest running programs, and we figured the time was right to get the engine builders and teams in Pro Boost and Extreme Pro Stock in on the fun too,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “The new engine builder challenge format added even more excitement and intensity in qualifying. Drivers who qualified for the challenges got the chance to turn on a couple win lights before race day, while everyone else had to fight for a spot in the next event’s challenge. We saw some thrilling side-by-side racing in qualifying, which gave fans a great preview of what to expect on race day.”

STRUCTURAL CONCRETE NITROUS WARS

Fulton Competition Engines scored another Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars title thanks to one of its longtime customers, four-time world champion Jim Halsey. The Maryland native won five of the eight Nitrous Wars races and was runner-up at two of the other three events in his Brandon Switzer-tuned “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro. Fulton wrapped up the season with 27 points.

Jay Cox, who stepped away from driving duties at the end of the season, won the three Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars races that Halsey didn’t win. Cox in his Musi-powered Butner Construction “Pumpkin” ’69 Camaro also appeared in two other finals, adding to contributions by newly crowned champion Tommy Franklin and past world champion Rickie Smith, to secure second place for Pat Musi Racing Engines with 24 points.

Albert Racing Engines’ own Billy Albert qualified for six Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars events and reached the final round at two of them to finish third with 17 points.

BOOST WARS

Just one point separated the top two engine builders in Boost Wars, where Pro Line Racing won over WYO Motorsports. Johnny Camp, Travis Harvey, Jason Harris, Scott Lang, and Ken Quartuccio all contributed points to Pro Line’s Boost Wars total of 22 points. Harris, the 2023 world champion, earned the most points of those five drivers with three wins in his ProCharged “Party Time” ’69 Camaro.

Todd Tutterow’s WYO Motorsports claimed second place with 21 points. Kurt Steding in his screw-blown P2 Contracting ’20 Camaro earned most of those, while Preston Tanner also put a win on the board in his screw-blown Strange Engineering “Sweetheart” ’15 Corvette.

Noonan Race Engineering rounded out the top three with victories by Canadians Spencer Hyde and Scott Wildgust in their screw-blown Camaros totaling 17 points.

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HORSEPOWER WARS

Competition was also close in Horsepower Wars, with the consistent Allen Competition Engines holding off Jon Kaase Racing Engines by just one point. Elijah Morton in his Allen-powered Morton Motorsports ’19 Camaro won three times in four Horsepower Wars final rounds. Past world champion Steven Boone also contributed a runner-up finish to Allen’s total of 26 points.

Team Kaase saw two-time world champion Johnny Pluchino reach the final round at the first three races, winning the third one in his Feather-Lite Batteries ’13 Mustang. Tony Gillig and newly crowned world champion Alan Drinkwater also added wins to Kaase’s total of 25 points, while John DeFlorian also represented Kaase.

Sonny’s Racing Engines took third place in the Horsepower Wars standings with 13 points. Past world champion Chris Powers represented the brand and its late founder, Sonny Leonard, at all but one of the eight races in his Sonny’s Racing Engines ’21 Camaro.

For more info on the PDRA engine builder challenges, visit https://www.pdra660.com/competition/ebc/.

This story was originally published on November 16, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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