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Halsey, Salemi and Essick Provisional No. 1 Qualifiers After Rain-Shortened Friday Qualifying at PDRA Summer Shootout

Roger Richards

A brief drizzle turned into a constant downpour, putting an early end to Friday qualifying at the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Drag 965 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Graphix at Virginia Motorsports Park. The series was in the middle of the first qualifying session for Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition when rain started. A continuous heavy downpour led officials to postpone the rest of qualifying to Saturday.

Before the rain started, the series completed the first round of qualifying in three professional classes: Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive, and Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by AFCO.

Points leader and defending world champion Jim Halsey is the provisional low qualifier in Pro Nitrous with a 3.723-second pass at 205.26 MPH blast in his Fulton-powered “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro. Pro Boost record holder Melanie Salemi posted a stunning 3.645 at 203.43 in Eddie Whelan’s roots-blown Slice-and-Ice ’19 Camaro to lead the field. Tim Essick, the defending world champion in Pro Street, is on top with his 4.103 at 185.72 in his ProCharger-boosted “Brown Sugar” ’18 Mustang.

When pro qualifying continues, Extreme Pro Stock will complete its first session, along with $hameless Racing Pro 632, Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, and AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports.

The PDRA’s sportsman classes completed one qualifying session. The provisional low qualifiers are Buddy Perkinson in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by US Rail, Larry Roberts in Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance, Bill Janke in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers, and Nick Meloni in Lucas Oil Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance.

Ryan Harris (Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP) and Jason Geryes (Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by PRP) are the provisional low qualifiers in the Jr. Dragster classes after two of three sessions.

The PDRA Drag 965 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Graphix will continue Saturday at 8:45 a.m. starting with a final qualifying session for the Jr. Dragster classes. Extreme Pro Stock and the rest of the pro classes will complete their first qualifying session starting at 10 a.m. A second pro qualifying session will start at 12:45 p.m., while pro eliminations are scheduled to start at 3:45 p.m.

Visit the PDRA Facebook page or for a complete Saturday schedule and other event updates.

This story was originally published on July 15, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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