As the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) enters what is now the halfway point in its 2020 season, the all-eighth-mile series has announced updates to its schedule and its rulebook.
The PDRA and its racers will have to wait at least a year to make their Maple Grove Raceway debut, as local restrictions on spectator events have forced the cancellation of the PDRA Northern Nationals, originally scheduled for Aug. 20-22 at Maple Grove.
“Maple Grove Raceway was optimistic for the event and the start of a wonderful partnership,” said Sarah Gingrich-Manley, director of communications, Maple Grove Raceway. “The Pennsylvania governor has not yet lifted the 250-person gathering restriction at this time. We submitted a plan to the Department of Health in order to be granted an exception to the restriction weeks ago. However, we still have not heard back yet. In the interest of everyone’s time, money and safety, we mutually agreed to cancel the event this year. We are hopeful for a return of PDRA for the 2021 schedule.”
What was supposed to be the Northern Nationals is moving to Virginia Motorsports Park, the series home track. The PDRA Summer Shootout presented by Callies Performance Products will take place Aug. 27-29 at VMP.
“We were all looking forward to racing at Maple Grove for the first time, so this was a tough blow for us,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “Fortunately, we have Virginia Motorsports Park in our back pocket. This allows us to continue with our goal of holding a full championship series this year.”
“The original Aug. 20-22 date will sadly not be a direct crossover to VMP, as a track rental event is already in place that weekend,” Crossnoe added. “We hate making date changes as much as anyone, but finding places to race and dates to hold these events in 2020 has hands down been the hardest job of the year. Our team will now go to work remodeling as much as possible behind the scenes to give you all the best product possible on track that you have all come to expect from the PDRA. Our goal here is to make sure you have as many chances as possible to gain points and chase the ever-elusive season championship. Even though certain things have to change to make this possible, we will continue to do the best we can do for the PDRA, its racers, teams, fans, media personnel and everyone involved with the series.”
Additionally, the PDRA DeCerbo Construction All-American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies, originally slated for Sept. 11-13 at Summit Motorsports Park, was effectively cancelled when the Norwalk, Ohio, facility announced earlier this year it would not open for the 2020 season. The All-American Doorslammer Challenge will not be replaced, shortening the PDRA season to a total of six races.
“As soon as we learned that we wouldn’t be able to race at Norwalk this season, we immediately went to work looking for alternative host tracks,” Crossnoe said. “However, with limited options available, we didn’t find a track or date that would work for the series and our racers. We hope to make our way to Norwalk in 2021.”
The remaining events on the 2020 PDRA tour are the Summer Shootout presented by Callies, Aug. 27-29 at Virginia Motorsports Park; PDRA DragWars, Oct. 8-10 at GALOT Motorsports Park; and the Proline Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals, Oct. 22-25 at Virginia Motorsports Park.
In addition to the schedule changes, the PDRA released rule changes for Penske Racing Shocks/Precision Racing Suspension Pro Boost presented by WS Construction, $hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632 and Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster, as well as a competition/race procedure change for all Professional categories. These rule changes go into effect immediately as of July 31, 2020.