In the third and final qualifying round for the inaugural Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Mid-America Open at Gateway Motorsports Park, Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor (above) reclaimed the number-one position in NAS Racing Pro Extreme that he’d lost two days earlier to defending class champion Bubba Stanton.
The PDRA managed to complete two qualifying sessions after rain showers on Friday morning washed out the scheduled opening round. Heavy rain returned on Saturday to prevent almost all on-track action, extending the event’s completion to Sunday, beginning with the final qualifying round and followed by eliminations for all classes.
Joining Taylor as top qualifiers in the PDRA pro classes were Travis Harvey in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, Tylor Miller in Precision Turbo Pro Boost and Chris Garner-Jones in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle.
Sportsman class pole sitters included Ronnie Davis in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman and Jon Bradford in Dart Machinery Top Dragster, with Jackie Cannon leading the way in Huddleston Performance Pro Jr. Dragster and Nathan Prose in Huddleston Top Jr. Dragster.
Taylor held sway over the Pro Extreme class with a 3.55-seconds pass at 212.99 mph in the opening round, but Stanton stepped up with a 3.54 at 214.21 in round two. With his Sunday qualifying effort Taylor and his ’05 Corvette took over again with a 3.544 that was four-thousandths of a second quicker than Stanton’s elapsed time.
In Pro Nitrous, Harvey’s 3.72 at 199.61 from Friday night’s session held up for the lead, while Miller jumped up from the number-11 position to the top spot on Sunday with a 3.84 at 189.44 in his supercharged ’69 Chevelle. Meanwhile, Garner Jones held on with a 4.04 at 175.66 to become the first rider to unseat Eric McKinney from the top spot in Pro Extreme Motorcycle after McKinney won all three previous PDRA events contested so far this year from the number-one position.