As more and more chassis and car fabricators, engine builders and performance industry frontrunners align themselves with the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA), the upcoming inaugural season is shaping up to be a runaway success.
One of the most prominent companies to join North America’s newest eighth-mile racing sanction is Sonny’s Racing Engines of Lynchburg, Virginia. Owner Sonny Leonard brings more than 40 years of experience to the program, both on the track and in the 14,000 sq. ft. facility that today houses his state-of-the-art engine design, manufacturing and testing operation utilizing 5-axis CNC machining.
The Sonny’s Racing Engines name has been associated with numerous important chapters in racing history, among these being Bill Kuhlmann’s 1987 smashing of the 200-mph barrier in the quarter-mile by a full-bodied car. Kuhlmann utilized a 615-cid engine kit purchased from Leonard to accomplish the feat. On the strength of that accomplishment IHRA President Ted Jones established the Pro Modified class one year later.
There have been eight IHRA and three ADRL Pro Stock championships as well as numerous other performance landmarks established in multiple types of motorized competition thanks to the power and dependability provided by Sonny’s Racing Engines.
For 2014, Sonny’s Racing Engines will be posting contingency for PDRA racers in select categories, with a total payout of $35,200 on the line. There will be $11,200 paid out to competitors utilizing Sonny’s cylinder heads in Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Extreme Pro Stock, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster. Another $24,000 will be available to racers in the above classes who run with complete Sonny’s engines. This includes a $200 bonus awarded to the No. 1 qualifier who runs a Sonny’s powerplant in Extreme Pro Stock.
“We’re really proud to be able to support the PDRA and its racers with contingency this season,” said Sonny Leonard. “It’s a great way to keep the competition at a high level and keep the racers coming to the events. The association will be a whole lot stronger because of it.
“I am really looking forward to working with everyone at the PDRA,” Leonard added. I have known [PDRA co-owner] Jason Scruggs for quite a while, and he and his father Mitchell are very good racers and successful businessmen. They are well known for being true to their word and doing what they say they are going to do, which these days is very important.”
The involvement of Sonny’s Racing Engines in the PDRA’s program for 2014 is just another reason why feelings are running so high regarding the eighth-mile series’ potential for success.
“Having Sonny Leonard as a key player is a huge boost to the PDRA’s credibility among racers and race fans,” said PDRA Race Director Bob Harris. “Sonny has seen it all and his experience in the sport both as a racer and engine builder is second-to-none. He has given PDRA racers something big to shoot for thanks to his generous contingency program. We certainly appreciate Sonny’s Racing Engines for everything they do for our sport.”
To learn more about Sonny’s Racing Engines, visit the company’s web site at www.sonnysracingengines.com