Fulton Racing Engines, a world-championship engine builder, will serve as the title sponsor of the PDRA’s fourth race of the 2023 season, the North vs. South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway. Penske Racing Shocks will join Fulton as the presenting sponsor of the race set to take place June 15-17.
“We’re fortunate to have incredible partners like Fulton Racing Engines and Penske Racing Shocks to help us celebrate our 10th season,” said Will Smith, marketing director, PDRA. “Gene Fulton and his team have powered some of our most successful racers. Similarly, Penske shocks are used on championship cars in multiple different classes. These companies play a critical role in the PDRA community, and their support of the North vs. South Shootout is certainly appreciated.”
Located near Spartanburg, South Carolina, Fulton Racing Engines is led by veteran engine builder Gene Fulton and a team that includes PDRA Top Sportsman and Top Dragster racer Stacy Hall. Fulton engines have powered racers to event wins, record performances, and world championships since Pro Mod’s earliest days.
In recent years, longtime Fulton customer Jim Halsey has relied on Fulton 959-cubic-inch engines to power his Brandon Switzer-tuned “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro. Halsey has won the last four Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous world championships, along with multiple Structural Concrete Nitrous Wars titles for Fulton. Halsey decided to bring Fulton on as the title sponsor of the North vs. South Shootout as a token of appreciation.
“I’ve been a customer of Gene’s for probably 21-22 years and he’s always looked out for me and taken care of me, so I wanted to do something to help promote his deal,” Halsey said. “Maryland fits good because it’s home, and honestly, it’s probably one of the more well-known doorslammer areas of the country.”
Halsey, who’s based in Havre de Grace, Maryland, enters the North vs. South Shootout as the defending event champion and the points leader. After going 20-plus years without a win at Maryland International Raceway, Halsey won the event the last two years. He started the 2023 season with back-to-back wins and a semifinal finish at the last race in Norwalk, Ohio.
“It’s always tough to win close to home for me,” Halsey said. “I’ve been lucky a couple of times that I’ve been able to do it. Based on our results at the Norwalk event, I think we have a pretty good chance. We’ve been doing some testing while we’re racing and we found some stuff there. We stumbled a little bit in the semis and shook the tires a little bit and that’s what cost us that round. But winning my engine builder-sponsored race would be pretty great. Hopefully [Fulton] can be there and get in the winner’s circle picture with me.”
Penske Racing Shocks offer racing shocks for customers in the PDRA’s numerous doorslammer classes, from Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost to the Top Sportsman ranks. They also offer products for automotive vehicles, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles.
“This was a great opportunity for us to support PDRA and its racers,” said Aaron Lambert, general manager, Penske Racing Shocks. “It’s always exciting to see our name associated with a great series such as PDRA. As for the racers, being able to support a series that in turn gives our customers a great competitive platform to showcase all their efforts, it’s just a great opportunity that we are happy to be able to contribute to. We are proud to support all our racers.”
The North vs. South Shootout is the closest race on the PDRA tour to Penske’s headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company plans to have a technician or two attending the race to provide technical assistance and support.
“We at Penske Shocks are always eager to give back to the racers that make it possible for us to do what we do,” Lambert said. “We hope our support and products really help them take that competitive advantage to the track and perform at their best. We know racers strive to perform at their absolute best; that’s why we strive to produce the absolute best shocks and give the best possible support. We are proudly designed, manufactured, and hand-built in the USA.”
For more info on the PDRA Fulton Racing Engines North vs. South Shootout presented by Penske Racing Shocks, visit www.PDRA660.com.