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Summit Racing Equipment, Penske Racing Shocks Named Sponsors of PDRA Northern Nationals

Tara Bowker

Summit Racing Equipment, the Official High-Performance Source of the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA), has been named the title sponsor of the upcoming PDRA Northern Nationals, Aug. 11-13, at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania. Penske Racing Shocks, a leader in providing high-quality racing shocks for automotive vehicles, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles, is taking on the presenting sponsor role.

“We’re honored to have Summit Racing Equipment and Penske Racing Shocks step up as the sponsors of our second annual stop at Maple Grove,” said Will Smith, marketing director, PDRA. “Summit Racing Equipment came on board with us in a big way last year, and they’ve increased their support of the series this year as an event sponsor and contingency sponsor. Penske has been involved with the series over the years as a sponsor and manufacturer providing products and service for our racers. We really appreciate both companies getting involved with the PDRA Northern Nationals.”

Along with the Summit Racing Equipment Northern Nationals presented by Penske Racing Shocks, Summit Racing was also the title sponsor of the recent PDRA ProStars race during Virginia Motorsports Park’s K95 Richmond Night of Fire on July 30. After the successful inaugural running of the Summit Racing PDRA ProStars event in 2021, the Tallmadge, Ohio-based automotive parts retailer decided to expand its support of the PDRA for 2022.

“They’re both great events,” said Jim Greenleaf, Motorsports & Event Manager, Summit Racing Equipment. “We were eager to see how the ProStars event worked out and how the racers reacted. We’ve seen a lot of great, positive feedback. The next natural step was to expand our support with another event.”

The Northern Nationals is a home race for Penske Racing Shocks, based in nearby Reading, Pennsylvania. Penske offers racing shocks for customers in the PDRA’s numerous doorslammer classes, from Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost to the Top Sportsman ranks.

“This is a great opportunity for Penske Shocks,” said Aaron Lambert, general manager, Penske Racing Shocks. “We have had a great relationship with Will and everyone at PDRA over the years. With this being our home track and being able to come on board as the presenting sponsor, it really means a lot.”

Penske will have a full presence at the Northern Nationals, as their trackside support trailer will be onsite. Along with Lambert, Penske technical reps Jerry Wittig and Dustin Zerr will be in attendance, as well as Adam Lambert from PRS Suspension, to provide technical support and service for customers.

“We really hope this brings some more awareness to the event,” Lambert added. “PDRA is such a competitive series – they really put on a great show in all classes. We have a lot of different racing series and customers that haven’t attended a PDRA event, so we are hoping by being able to promote this event we can bring in a few new faces that can enjoy this great series and event.”

The Northern Nationals is the sixth of eight races on the 2022 PDRA schedule. It’s also the first race that will count towards 2023 Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars points.

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“The pursuit for those coveted 2023 ProStars spots starts now,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “On the heels of the second annual ProStars race, our racers are eager to start earning points for the opportunity to race at the ProStars again next year. The ProStars program is as much about consistent participation as it is about performance, so the racers who join us at Maple Grove will be off to a great start.”

The PDRA made its Maple Grove Raceway debut in 2021. Veteran NHRA racer Kenny Koretsky and his family took ownership of the historic Pennsylvania racetrack earlier this year.

“We’re looking forward to racing with the Koretsky family for the first time this weekend,” Crossnoe said. “Maple Grove is such a special track with a lot of passionate fans and racers in the area. We encourage everyone to come out and see what the PDRA has to offer.”

The Northern Nationals will include professional racing in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive, Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition, $hameless Racing Pro 632, and Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by AFCO. The PDRA’s new small-tire class, AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports, will also race at Maple Grove.

The pro show will be complemented by a full sportsman program, including MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by US Rail, Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance, MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers, Lucas Oil Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance, and Edelbrock Bracket Bash presented by COMP Cams.

The PDRA’s fierce Jr. Dragster racers will also take part in the Northern Nationals in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP and Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by PRP.

The PDRA Summit Racing Equipment Northern Nationals presented by Penske Racing Shocks will start with prerace testing from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Jr. Dragster and sportsman qualifying will kick off at 9:30 a.m. Friday, followed by the first pro qualifying session at 2 p.m. Friday Night Fire, featuring back-to-back pro sessions, begins at 5:30 p.m. Sportsman and Jr. Dragster racers will get a final qualifying shot at 9:30 a.m. Saturday before going into eliminations. Pro eliminations will begin at 3 p.m.

Tickets are available for $15 on Thursday, $20 on Friday, and $25 on Saturday, while a weekend pass is available for $50. Kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.

This story was originally published on August 8, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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