Championship runner-up JR Carr was the lone winner on Saturday night at the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Proline Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals, as rain set in just after completing the Extreme Pro Stock final round at Virginia Motorsports Park. Carr won on a single after final-round opponent Dwayne Rice lost power after the burnout.
The all-eighth-mile series will attempt to finish the season finale on Sunday, though rain remains in the forecast.
“We’ve been trying to get ahead of these storms all weekend, and we just came up a little short tonight,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “We are watching the forecast and we’ll do the best we can to get this race completed when the weather allows.”
During eliminations that were completed, drivers in a handful of classes secured 2020 PDRA world championships. John Strickland claimed his first title in Penske/PRS Pro Boost presented by WS Construction. Similarly, Wes Distefano became a first-time world champion in $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632. Steve Furr (Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster), Stacy Hall (MagnaFuel Top Sportsman), Nyckolas Shirkey (Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster) and Alyssa Rabon also clinched championships.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
Mountain Motor Pro Stock veteran JR Carr entered the 2020 season without a low qualifier award or event win in PDRA Extreme Pro Stock competition. He picked up both accomplishments earlier this season, then added one of each again at the World Finals. He won his second PDRA “660 Man” trophy in an unceremonious final round, clicking off a 4.394-second pass at 161.52 mph in his Frank Gugliotta-tuned ’20 Camaro while Dwayne Rice’s ’18 Camaro sat silent just past the 60-foot mark.
“I was underwhelmed at first when I was shutting the car off,” Carr said. “I had never been through a pass where the other car was still on the track. That just got in my head. Then I calmed down and thought, ‘It’s a test pass.’ I was trying to really shallow stage and I put it on the wood and [the stage bulb] wouldn’t stay lit. Finally I just moved in, staged and the car went left and I shut it down. It was not how I wanted to win. But a win’s a win. We’ll take it. We had to be there to have that opportunity and it is what it is.”
Carr qualified No. 1 and continued to pace the class in eliminations. He recorded low E.T. of both rounds before the final, running a 4.065 at 178.50 to defeat Dave Hughes’ 4.135 in the first round and a 4.046 at 177.86 to beat 2018 world champion Steven Boone and his 4.084 in the semis.
“We did run good,” Carr said. “We ran really good numbers. The car’s consistent and I drove pretty good. My team’s been flawless. I’m so thankful for all of them and all the sponsors and guys that give us the good stuff. We couldn’t do it without them. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive it.”
Rice had one of his best weekends in PDRA Extreme Pro Stock competition, qualifying No. 3 in his Miller-powered Mountain Motor Mafia ’18 Camaro. He beat 2019 world champion John Montecalvo’s 4.139 with a 4.095 at 176.10 in the opening round. Rice slowed to a 4.741 at 152.23 in the semifinals, but opponent Chris Powers went red on his 4.552 pass.
In the PDRA’s other professional and sportsman classes, the following drivers are left in competition:
Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous: Jim Halsey vs. Matt Guenther
Penske/PRS Pro Boost presented by WS Construction: Johnny Camp vs. Kurt Steding
Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle: Travis Davis vs. Chris Garner-Jones
$hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632: Dillon Voss (bye), Wes Distefano vs. Chris Holdorf
Drag 965 Pro Street: Tim Essick vs. Carlos Gonzalez
MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by Tejas Borja: Buddy Perkinson vs. Tim Molnar, John Benoit vs. Bruce Thrift
Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster: Nick Hamilton vs. Steve Furr, Larry Roberts vs. Carson Brown
MagnaFuel Top Sportsman 48: Nick Meloni (bye), Ron Whitlock vs. Stacy Hall
Lucas Oil Top Dragster 48: Tyler Rudolph (bye), Aaron Roberts vs. Bill Madden
Pro Jr. Dragster: Brayden Davis vs. Nyckolas Shirkey
Top Jr. Dragster: Alyssa Rabon vs. Coolidge Rivenbark