With all the uncertainty that surrounded this 2020 racing season, Piedmont Dragway, “the DoorSlammer Capital of the World,” was able to have a full six-race season that was highly competitive and provided fans with their money’s worth of competition and a diversity of cars to keep even the most hardcore fan entertained. With this season’s champ, Jason Harris, winning three of the first four events, you would think this would have been a snoozer of a year. But, you would be wrong, my friend. Dialing in a new combination was 2019 champ Brian Shrader, soon to become the man to beat on any given night. With a total of 12 cars and drivers taking a time this year, there was no shortage of excitement.
So keep up, there will be a test at the end. As stated, Harris, after finishing in the second position for four years in a row, finally took this year’s combination to the points championship. His Jerry Bickel ’69 Camaro, last season’s Party Time Pro Nitrous car, was fitted with a Billy Albert 780ci bullet and transmissions by Mark Micke, Harris set about winning races and being low qualifier at several events. Not to be denied, though, was the winner of the October and now the November event, Shrader. His Robert Hayes-built Corvette, with power from Gene Fulton, as well as transmissions from Mark Micke, was right there and setting new ET records, almost at will. It must also be noted that two regular competitors, Travis Harvey and Justin Wall, were without a ride, competing in four events and three events, respectively. The new team of Robbie Keziah, Barry Mitchell and Matt Giangrande, arrived with a two-car team that will undoubtedly be in the finals in an upcoming event.
So it was that in qualifying that Shrader and Harris traded jabs with the Shrader Corvette in the No. 1 position with a 3.931 shot to Harris’ 3.933. Third and fourth were Brett Nesbitt at 3.971 and Keziah at 3.979. Giangrande was in at a 3.985 and Bubba Turner drove to a 4.089, while Cam Clark rounded out the field with a 4.146. Mike Graham was not competing as he has a new car arriving any time.
Competition began with the chip draw that put Harris against Clark in a close 3.989 to a 3.991, with the difference being a .065 light to Clark’s .070. Turner got a pass as Keziah’s Fulton powerplant had problems, allowing Turner’s entry to advance. Nesbitt used a .004 light to defeat Giangrande, who slowed to a 8.171 and wasted a .005 light. Then Shrader bumped the record to a 3.903 on a single.
Semifinal action had Harris winning a pedal fest over Nesbitt with a 4.332 to a 5.811. Shrader then again, bumped the record to a 3.900 at 187.07 over Turner.
The finals were record setting, super close and worth the price of admission. Shrader unloaded a record-crushing 3.871 at 187.57 to defeat Harris’ 3.916 at 187.14. This has to be the quickest and fastest run of the year, if not in several years.
Other eliminators in competition and finishing up their points were Outlaw Door Slammers presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts. Rick Whaley ended up in the Winner’s Circle with Robert Richardson winning the 2020 points title. The 6.0 category presented by Performance Tees was a battle of several drivers, with Todd Comer winning the 2020 points title and Jason Marshall winning the November event. In Deep Creek Motors Rico’s Real Street, the man, the myth, the legend won again with Kyle Shipmon winning the November race, as well as the 2020 points title.
As always, the management and staff at Piedmont Dragway would like to thank all their presenting sponsors, with a special thank you to the Super Clean brand of degreaser products for being the sponsor of the famous Big Dog Shootout. Thanks to all the fans who turned out for each event and we ALL are looking forward to the new season.