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Record Setters and Race Winners Head to Virginia for PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown 

Tara Bowker photo

Two weeks after a record-setting start to the 2024 season, the Red Line Oil PDRA Drag Racing Series will be back on track this weekend at the Kaeser Compressors Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Classic Graphix. Set for April 18-20, the Mid-Atlantic Showdown will feature a wide range of racing action in the PDRA’s professional, sportsman, and Jr. Dragster classes as racers from across the country compete at the series’ “home track,” Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP). 

“It’s always fun to welcome everyone to our home turf at Virginia Motorsports Park,” said Tyler Crossnoe, PDRA series director and VMP vice president. “VMP has been a staple on the PDRA tour since the very beginning of the series in 2014. Virginia fans know when the PDRA is coming to town, and they’re in for a show this weekend. The season opener in North Carolina was off the rails with excitement, and you do not want to miss the second edition of the PDRA this season.”

The two quickest and fastest categories in the PDRA, Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous and WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive, both enter the Mid-Atlantic Showdown with brand-new elapsed-time national records. Four-time world champion Jim Halsey lowered the Pro Nitrous record that he already held to a 3.608-second effort, and Derek Ward charged to a 3.555 to set the new Pro Boost record. 

Pro Nitrous has multiple mid-3.60-second players this season, as Brian Shrader and Fredy Scriba raced through the field at the season opener to determine a new first-time winner in the final round. Shrader came out on top there. Class titans like Halsey and three-time and defending world champion Tommy Franklin will do everything they can to prevent another first-time winner this weekend. 

Pro Boost is wide-open yet again this season, with nine different drivers running in the 3.50-second range in qualifying at the season opener. Two-time world champion Todd “King Tut” Tutterow kicked off his return to full-time driving by defeating reigning world champion Jason Harris in a side-by-side final round. The two North Carolina hitters will battle with contenders like young gun Preston Tanner, World Series of Pro Mod winners Derek Ward and Spencer Hyde, multi-time winners Kurt Steding and Melanie Salemi, and Virginia-based drivers like Randy Weatherford, Steve King, and William Brown III. 

At the season opener, two-time Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition world champion Johnny Pluchino defeated fellow past world champ Steven Boone in the final round. Yet another past world champ, Chris Powers, is also in the mix, along with Florida-based drivers Dillon Voss, Jordan Ensslin, and Daryl Stewart, as well as Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational winner Matt Giangrande. 

New contenders are making things interesting in PDRA Pro 632, where rookies Andy House and Carson Perry squared off in the final round at the season opener. House got the win, but both drivers proved they have what it takes to compete with past world champions Amber Franklin and Jeff Melnick. 

Young gun Scott Kincaid raced to his fifth consecutive win in Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by Afco Racing at the season opener. He’ll try to stay undefeated in PDRA competition at the Mid-Atlantic Showdown, but he’ll face tough competition in two-time world champion Tim Essick, reigning world champion Bill Riddle, Virginia’s own Ron Green, rookies Dan Norris and Ethan Steding, and more. 

Blake Denton, the defending world champion in Afco Racing Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports, is back in the points lead after winning the season opener over fellow Virginia-based driver Matt Schalow. Championship runner-up Derek Mota and perennial contender Dan Whetstine will also be in competition at Virginia, along with new competitors looking to mix it up in the small-tire class. 

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Sportsman racers turn out in droves whenever the PDRA rolls into VMP. Local racers will join the PDRA’s touring sportsman racers to compete in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by PAR Racing Engines, Laris Motorsports Insurance Elite Top Dragster presented by Greenbrier Excavating & Paving, MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Corbin’s RV, Laris Motorsports Insurance Top Dragster presented by Younce RV, and Edelbrock Bracket Bash presented by COMP Cams. 

The future stars of the PDRA will take part in the Mid-Atlantic Showdown in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by Philadelphia Racing Products and Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by Philadelphia Racing Products. 

The Kaeser Compressors Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Classic Graphix at Virginia Motorsports Park will start with Thursday testing from 10 a.m. to around 6 p.m. Sportsman qualifying will begin Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Friday qualifying will begin at 9 a.m. starting with Jr. Dragster and sportsman sessions, with professional qualifying sessions set for 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. On Saturday, Jr. Dragster final qualifying will kick off at 9 a.m. before going into sportsman and Jr. Dragster eliminations. Pre-race ceremonies and professional eliminations are scheduled for 2 p.m.

Tickets are available for $20 on Thursday, $25 on Friday, and $30 on Saturday. Kids 5 and under get in free, while discounted Junior tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at or at the gate. 

Fans at home can watch the full event live on the official livestream through

This story was originally published on April 16, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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