A little over nine months after inception, the World Drag Racing Alliance (WDRA) gathered at Darlington Dragway for the last event of its inaugural season. The WDRA Summit World Championship presented by SunCoast Performance is an invitation-only event consisting of Sportsman Drag Racing Series champions and Bracket Finals main event winners, in other words, the best of the best.
Thursday featured a test and tune session for everyone in attendance followed by a pit vehicle race. A sibling rivalry played out in the final round when John Varner representing Gulfport Dragway took the $300 win over his sister, Grace, who picked up $200 while representing for North Florida Motorplex. Mason Crews and Kadden Collins with Darlington Dragway were the semifinalists.
Friday featured $5,000 to win races in four categories with no entry fee for the competitors. Title sponsors for each class were American Race Cars for Box, Laris Motorsports Insurance for No Box, Renegade Race Fuels for Sportsman, and Wild Willy Fuel Fragrance for the Junior Dragsters. After completing the time trial and nearly first round, a rainstorm created a pause in the program, but the clouds eventually parted, and the track was restored to racing conditions.
Three door cars and one dragster made their way into the American Race Cars Box semifinal: Jeff Sobczynski, Kevin Crawford, Johnny Hellams, and Parker Dotson. Sobczynski put together a .014 package which left Hellams’ .022 light mathematically ineligible. Crawford was .007 on the tree and ran dead on with a six to eliminate Dotson, who was .020 up front. Two first generation Camaros rolled into the water box for a nearly heads up final with Sobczynski representing Empire Dragway and Crawford calling Darlington Dragway his home track. The race was over at the starting line when Crawford was .0004 red while Sobczynski was .043 green and ran 5.963 on his 5.96 dial to take the $5,000 back to New York.
The Laris Motorsports Insurance No Box semifinal came down to Kaden Jenkins, Tyler Duff, Donnie Hagar, and Brian Yerger, Jr. Duff is .0009 red while Yerger is .050 green and runs dead on his 6.21 dial to advance. Hagar also ran dead on his dial paired with a .010 reaction time, which left Jenkins mathematically ineligible with his .040 reaction time. Two newsworthy drivers who have recently conquered big money bracket racing faced each other in the final, with Hagar hauling from US 131 Motorsports Park and Yerger representing Darlington Dragway. Only one hundredth separated the pair on the starting line, and both drivers ran one above their respective dial ins, but Hagar’s .003 light gave him the winning edge to pick up the $5,000 purse.
The Renegade Race Fuels Sportsman dwindled down to three cars, with Brandon Cox from Keystone Raceway Park, Dustin Carroll from Darlington, and Chris Brooks from Prescott Raceway. Cox was behind the wheel of one of the slower rides on the property but took the .022 starting line advantage and broke out .0004 for the win beside Carroll, who ran .007 under his dial. Brooks made the most of the long haul from Arkansas by taking the $5,000 win over Cox, who was .013 red in the final.
Wild Willy Fuel Fragrance sponsored the next generation of racers, and the Junior Dragster semifinal featured Camren Laffoon, Brayden Jones, Emerson Green, and Wesley Clark. Darlington’s Jones went red beside the .038 green reaction time of Laffoon, who was representing Eddyville Raceway Park. The next pair have nearly identical reaction times, but Green ran dead on the 7.93 dial for the win while Union Dragway’s Clark ran three above for the loss. Iowa took the $5,000 win in the final when Laffoon is .009 and ran 8.00 off his 7.99 dial while Ubly Dragway’s Green is .034 and dead on but must settle for the runner up.
Shortly after the Sportsman final round, the wild weather returned with a torrential downpour and heavy winds. Once the rain stopped, event staff and racers worked together to get the designated pit party area cleared for the racer appreciation meal and live band. An enjoyable atmosphere of comradery between WDRA employees, racers, families, and track staff was evident as everyone let loose a little before the last day of competition.
The pressure intensified on Saturday when champions from across North America battled in hopes of claiming the first WDRA Summit World Championship titles.
For more information on the WDRA Summit Sportsman Drag Racing Series visit our website at www.racewdra.com.