The 10th season of Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) eighth-mile drag racing action will come to a close this weekend as the series crowns champions at its eighth and final race of the year, the Pro Line Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by ProCharger. Hosted by Virginia Motorsports Park since the PDRA’s inaugural season in 2014, the World Finals is a marquee race on both the PDRA and VMP schedules.
“There’s no place like our home track to wrap up the season and crown our 2023 world champions,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “This is always an exciting time, whether you’re fighting for a championship or not. Between the cool fall conditions and the track conditions our PDRA and VMP teams provide, all the conditions are there for world records and personal bests. The top drivers in several classes are separated by less than a round, so class records and hero runs in qualifying could make the difference in those championship battles. This is going to be a can’t-miss weekend for our local fans and those watching from around the world on FloRacing.”
Two-time Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous world champion Tommy Franklin is wrapping up one of the best seasons of his career, as he’s won four times in seven races in his Musi-powered “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro. Three of those wins came at the three most recent events, giving Franklin a nearly three-round lead over four-time and reigning world champion Jim Halsey. With two wins in four final-round appearances, Halsey and his Fulton-powered “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro can’t be counted out.
By reaching the final round at the recent ProFabrication DragWars at GALOT Motorsports Park, two-time Pro Nitrous world champion Jason Harris secured the WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting & Ty-Drive world championship. Driving the ProCharged “Party Time” ’69 Camaro, Harris won two races in five final-round appearances. The points are much closer behind Harris, as Travis “The Carolina Kid” Harvey, Ken Quartuccio, Kurt Steding, and Scott Lang will be fighting for their top five positions.
Less than one rounds separates the top two drivers in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition. Chris Powers, the 2021 world champion, has a win and a runner-up finish in his Sonny’s Racing Engines ’21 Camaro. He’s just 30 points ahead of rookie Alan Drinkwater, who has two wins in three final-round appearances in his Kaase-powered IronListing.com ’08 Mustang. Tony Gillig, who won two of the four races he’s attended, is third in points, but he’s out of championship contention.
The M&M Transmission Pro 632 championship battle tightened up at GALOT, where reigning world champion Amber Franklin picked up her second win of the season in her Musi-powered “OG Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro. She’s now just under three rounds behind points leader Jeff Melnick in third, with Doug Nicholl just under two rounds behind Melnick in second. Melnick drove Alan O’Brien’s AMC small-block-powered Greenbrier Paving & Excavating ’20 Camaro to three wins in four final-round appearances to hold the lead for most of the season.
Chris Garner-Jones, the 2021 world champion in Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, is the points leader yet again as the class goes into its sixth and final race. With two wins on his T.T. Jones Racing Hayabusa, Garner-Jones is just over one round ahead of Brayden Davis. Davis, the son of reigning world champion Travis Davis, also has two wins aboard his Timblin Chassis Hayabusa. Kuwait’s Meshal Al-Saber kept his championship hopes alive by winning the last race on tour, putting him just over two rounds out of first.
In Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by Afco Racing, Bill Lutz took over the points lead for the first time when he reached his second consecutive final round at the last race. The driver of the screw-blown “Big Boost” ’68 Camaro went around Bill Riddle in his roots-blown Corrigan Race Fuels ’89 Camaro to lead by less than one round. Two-time and reigning world champion Tim Essick is in third with just three points less than Riddle. Scott Kincaid is fourth with just over three rounds behind Lutz after winning his third race in as many appearances on the seven-race Pro Street season.
Afco Racing Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports is competing for its first-ever world championship, and Blake Denton is currently the leading contender. He’s won twice in his nitrous-fed ’76 Camaro to hold a lead of more than three rounds. Derek Mota, who won the season opener, swept the two most recent races in his single-turbo Mustang by qualifying No. 1, setting the record, and winning the event to sit second.
A pair of past world champions are leading the points battle in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by PAR Racing Engines, where Chris “Nitrous” Nyerges won the last race on tour to come within just over three rounds of points leader Donny “Hollywood” Urban.
A past world champion will also likely walk away with the Laris Motorsports Insurance Elite Top Dragster title. Steve Furr, the 2020 world champion, started the season with back-to-back wins, and he’s held the points lead all season. Pete Maduri, the 2021 world champ, also had early success to sit second, while reigning world champion Larry Roberts is just over four rounds behind Furr in third.
Numerous drivers in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Corbin’s RV are eligible for the world championship. Fresh off a win at GALOT, Chad Traylor holds the points lead over reigning world champion Joe Roubicek, while 2021 world champion Nick Meloni is also less than three rounds out of the lead.
Two of the most recent world champions in Laris Motorsports Insurance Top Dragster, 2021 champ TG Paschal and reigning champion Tisha Wilson, are back in championship contention. Paschal’s success early in the year helped him hold the lead all season. He’s almost four rounds ahead of Wilson, who won at Maryland and has gone rounds at every other race. Dickie Smith is also in the hunt in third.
One championship has already been decided in the Jr. Dragster classes, as Brayden Davis secured enough points to clinch the Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP title at the last race. The points battle in Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by PRP is much closer, with the top three drivers – Victoria Beaner, Wyatt Stanley, and Ayden Tilghman – separated by just 13 points. Three other drivers are also mathematically eligible.
Edelbrock Bracket Bash presented by COMP Cams, though not competing for a championship, will also take part in the World Finals festivities with a 64-car showdown featuring the area’s best bracket racers.
Tickets are available for $20 on Thursday, $25 on Friday and Sunday, and $30 on Saturday. Children 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be purchased at PDRA660.com or at the gate.
The race will be streamed live on FloRacing.com for fans who can’t attend in-person.
Pre-race testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Qualifying kicks off on Friday starting with the Jr. Dragster and sportsman classes at 9:30 a.m. Pro qualifying sessions are set for 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Jr. Dragster and sportsman qualifying will conclude on Saturday morning starting at 9:30 a.m. Pro qualifying continues at 1 p.m., followed by the first round of eliminations for Top Sportsman 48, Bracket Bash, Pro Jr. Dragster, and Top Dragster 48. Saturday’s action wraps up with a fourth and final pro qualifying session at 6 p.m. Jr. Dragster and sportsman eliminations continue Sunday at 10:15 a.m., with pre-race ceremonies and pro eliminations following at noon.