When the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) arrives at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, MI, this weekend (June 27-28), it will reach the halfway point of its inaugural eight-race season and Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous competitor Jason Harris will be attempting to keep his perfect record intact.
After winning the season opener from the number-one starting position in April at Rockingham, NC, Harris duplicated both efforts a month later in Valdosta, GA. He slipped a little with a third-place start at Memphis late in May, but the final result remained the same with Harris taking the trophy home. Still, the Pittsboro, NC-based racer isn’t taking his early season success for granted.
“Winning three races in a year, not even in a row, is almost unheard of in the Pro Nitrous world right now because there’s just so many good teams out there that nobody really dominates anymore,” he explains. “There are a lot of guys who can step up their game and go really fast at any race so I feel really fortunate just to be in the finals of all three races so far this year, never mind winning all three of them.”
As a sportsman class competitor in IHRA national events at the U.S. 131 strip, Harris has made the long tow over the West Virginia mountains and then across Pennsylvania and Ohio to reach Western Michigan several times in the past and says the trip is always worth the effort.
“It’s beautiful up there. It’s one of my favorite tracks, really wide, smooth, and Jason (Peterson, track owner) and his guys do a great job of keeping up the facility throughout the year,” he says. “It’s one of my favorite races to take my family to because it’s just a nice, scenic race track.”
Also expected to make strong runs against Harris this weekend will be Pro Nitrous rookie Lizzy Musi, who became the first woman to exceed the 200-mph mark in her class debut at Rockingham, along with Tommy Franklin, Michigan’s own Bob Rahaim, and Pat Stoken, who respectively reached the final round against Harris at the first three events.
Race teams from 15 different U.S. states, plus the country of Dubai, were represented in the star-studded NAS Racing Pro Extreme field at Memphis and the Michigan event should be just as diverse. Two-time PDRA winner Bubba Stanton, along with teammate Jason Scruggs, will be there, as will Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor, who made an unprecedented 3.48-seconds pass at Rockingham, marking the first time for a doorslammer to dip below three-and-a-half seconds in the eighth mile.
Additionally, the PDRA will feature its all-new Pro Boost division presented by Precision Turbo and Proline Racing Engines, along with Aruba.com Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, MagnaFuel Top Sportsman, STT Safety Equipment Top Dragster and two Jr. Dragster classes.
Thursday (June 26) is reserved as an open test session day for all PDRA racers on the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park eighth mile, with Friday continuing the test session for five hours beginning at 10 a.m., followed by two complete rounds of qualifying for all classes starting at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. A third and final round of qualifying beginning at noon will open Saturday’s schedule, with a pre-race ceremony set to go at 3:30, followed by elimination rounds. A jet car exhibition will close out both Friday’s and Saturday’s action.
Complimentary tickets to the inaugural PDRA Summer Drags are available at many retailers and commercial outlets in the U.S. 131 Motorsports Park area, or can be printed for free from the PDRA web site at http://www.pdra660.com/free-tickets/2014/summer-drags/. Parking is $20 per vehicle daily.