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Inaugural PDRA Season Opens this Weekend at Rockingham

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A new era in eighth-mile, outlaw doorslammer racing is set to begin this weekend, as the brand-new Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) holds its inaugural Spring Open Apr. 3-6, at North Carolina’s historic Rockingham Dragway.

Headlined by the NAS Racing Pro Extreme and Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous classes, the PDRA season opener will also feature an all-new Pro Boost division presented by Precision Turbo and Proline Racing Engines, along with Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster and two Jr. Dragster classes.

Bubba Stanton

Bubba Stanton

“We couldn’t be more excited and happy about the PDRA getting its first season underway,” said Bob Harris, the series race director. “A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen over the last few months, and a lot of great sponsors for both classes and contingency awards have stepped up to help us put together what I believe will be the best organization ever assembled for this type of drag racing.”

The competition in NAS Racing Pro Extreme is expected to be particularly intense as past world champions Bubba Stanton, Jason Scruggs and Mick Snyder will do battle with the likes of multi-time event winners Tommy D’Aprile, Frankie Taylor and Joey Martin.

Mike Castellana

Mike Castellana

In Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, former champion Mike Castellana with legendary crew chief Shannon Jenkins will face challenges from top-notch racers Tommy Franklin (top photo), John DeCerbo, John Camp and Pat Stoken. Additionally, former Top Sportsman star Lizzy Musi will make her Pro Nitrous debut in the same Dodge Stratus once campaigned by her famous father, Pat Musi.

The new Precision/Proline Pro Boost class will have no shortage of stars, too, with former Pro Extreme champion Todd Tutterow and teammate Kevin Rivenbark mixing it up with Proline’s Eric Dillard and teammate Jose Gonzalez, along with Todd Moyer and Doug Winters, among others. Meanwhile, Extreme Pro Stock will include the two-car Goforth Racing team featuring two-time class champ Cary Goforth with Todd Hoerner subbing in relief for Dean Goforth, as well as past champion John Montecalvo and perennial contender John Pluchino.

Eric McKinney

Eric McKinney

Up on two wheels, two-time past champion Eric McKinney and teammate Ashley Owens, also a former champion, will lead the way in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, while the high-speed bracket racing Top Sportsman and Top Dragster classes will also see heavy hitters from several states showing up at “The Rock.”

Thursday Apr. 3 is reserved as an open test session day for all PDRA racers, with Friday continuing the test session before the opening round of qualifying for all classes begins at 6 p.m. that evening, followed by three more complete rounds of qualifying scheduled for Saturday. Also, a bonus Ultra 4 Shootout for both Top Sportsman and Top Dragster will pit the four quickest qualifiers from the first two qualifying rounds against each other in round three, with the winners in each class facing off in a $500-to-win final during Saturday night’s last qualifying session.

Complimentary tickets to the inaugural PDRA Spring Open are available at many retailers and commercial outlets in the Rockingham Dragway area, or can be printed for free from the PDRA web site. Parking is $20 per vehicle daily.

(Photos by Ian Tocher; Click to enlarge)

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