Reid Overcomes Adversity in PDRA Victory
A quick look at Randell Reid’s 2014 season with two races and two final rounds might lead one to believe that this young Pro Extreme racer has had it easy. But there are few overnight success stories in racing, and, like many, Reid’s road to victory was paved with adversity.
Randell Reid first got behind the wheel of a drag car when he was only ten years old, when Junior Dragster competition opened the door for him to start his career. Having watched his father bracket race since he was only days old, racing was in Reid’s blood. From Junior Dragsters the Texan stairstepped through the ranks, following his dad in bracket racing before moving up to Top Sportsman and then Pro Mod and Pro Extreme.
Although Reid was thrilled to reach the quickest class in professional eighth mile racing where he competed against the quickest and fastest doorslammers on earth, he wasn’t quite content just lining up beside them. Like any true racer he wanted to win. However, Reid often found himself coming up short. Then, at the end of last season Reid was sidelined with a gruesome engine explosion that caught the car on fire. The ‘07 Corvette would have to be stripped, completely rewired and get all new body panels.
The car’s major overhaul, coupled with business obligations, caused Reid to miss the first two PDRA events. His first time out in 2014 was the Throwdown in T-Town at Tulsa Raceway Park, May 15-17. There he made it to the final round.
A small flame of hope began to fan for Reid and his team as they left their success at Tulsa to compete with the biggest and baddest at the PDRA Memphis Drags the following weekend.
“People know that we had a lot of downs,” Reid explained. “We had a car for a long time that we just couldn’t make work. We tried and tried and tried. We were always there and always trying to do the best we could, but we just came up short. Everybody knew about our engine explosion last year, too, and they gave us a lot of support. It really helped us overcome the lows that we had and make a positive out of it.”
Reid was hoping those positive vibes would continue at the Memphis Drags. After three rounds of qualifying in NAS Racing Pro Extreme, the Reidco Enterprises Team sat 12th with a qualifying best of 3.674, a little over a tenth off the number one spot held by Jason Scruggs. Reid would have his work cut out for him during eliminations, but the power of his Brandon Pesz/Alan Johnson designed engine was showing promise. In round one he bested number five qualifier Bader Ahli on both ends of the track for an easy, albeit upset, win. Round two paired Reid with former Pro Extreme Champ, Mick Snyder. Reid again beat his opponent off the line and cruised to victory with a 3.61 elapsed time as Snyder slowed to a 4.15. The day wasn’t getting easier for Reid as the semi finals brought on number one qualifier Jason Scruggs. Scruggs nearly matched his qualifying best with a 3.571, but his .096 reaction time to Reid’s .034 and 3.613 E.T. put Scruggs crossing the stripe last. Reid was headed to the final of his first ever PDRA event.
Bubba Stanton had advanced through the rounds on the other side of the ladder to earn his final round appearance. Stanton had more than once proved himself the man to beat, going undefeated so far in the PDRA. His streak would come to an end in Memphis, however. Stanton broke a connecting rod in the semis and was unable to make the call for the NAS Racing Pro Extreme final. From one of the lowest points of his racing career just a few short months ago, Randell Reid fought back, took on the giants of the sport and claimed victory.
“It felt wonderful to win that class,” Reid elaborated. “It’s the fastest people in the world, people like Jason Scruggs, Mick Snyder. It’s one thing to line up against them and race them and another thing to win. So I was kind of beside myself.
“I want to thank my father for helping me to do everything I want to do in my racing program. My dad is always supporting me in my racing.”
With the family business, Reidco Enterprises, backing Reid’s machine, it’s a full family affair. Randell’s father Darrell Reid competes in both Top Sportsman and Top Dragster. His brother, Laramie, fields a Top Dragster machine as well. “I give a special shoutout to our crew who gets four cars ready, clean and back to the starting line each round. That’s a tall order and a lot of work.”
Brandon Pesz serves as Crew Chief for the team, which, along with Reid’s father and brother, also consists of Chris Dollar, Andrew Arnold, Randall Works, Jeremy Frye, Carl Rose, Joe Smith, and last but not least his wife Taylor Reid. Randell also wishes to thank Todd Martin with Lethal Acceleration and Kryptonite Kustomz, who designed and wrapped Reid’s Corvette.
With one PDRA race under his belt and one victory to match, Randell Reid and his team have overcome the odds. It’s a safe bet that Reid’s first PDRA victory won’t be his last.