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Tommy Franklin Shakes Up PDRA Nitrous Wars with No. 1 Qualifying Effort at Maple Grove

It’s been the Jim Halsey Show in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous for most of the 2021 Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) season, but two-time world champion Tommy Franklin shook things up in Nitrous Wars presented by Structural Concrete by qualifying No. 1 at the recent P2 Contracting Northern Nationals presented by P2 Racing.

“It’s no secret that we’ve been struggling, so to go out there and make a good run and put it up front feels good,” Franklin said. “It’s good for the team and everybody involved. Pat Musi Racing Engines has been there for us the whole time. I’m really happy with it. The goal right now is just to get a couple back to back.”

Driving his Musi-powered “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro, Franklin qualified No. 1 with a 3.752-second pass at 202.58 mph. It was the first time in the first six races of the season that a driver other than Halsey has qualified No. 1 in Pro Nitrous.

“Tommy has had numerous struggles all year – if it’s not one thing, it’s another,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “But, he and crew chief Chris Murray haven’t given up on the Jungle Rat just yet, qualifying at the top of the heap at Maple Grove, albeit a rain-shortened program. It was great to see someone different hoist the Nitrous Wars presented by Structural Concrete bottle for the first time this season.”

Nitrous Wars is PDRA’s bonus program rewarding the top performers in Pro Nitrous. The Nitrous Wars trophy is a specially branded nitrous bottle that’s handed off to the latest Pro Nitrous low qualifier at each of the eight races on the PDRA tour. At the end of the season, the driver with the most No. 1 qualifiers takes home the bottle and their engine builder is also named the Nitrous Wars champion.

Before Franklin’s No. 1 effort at Maple Grove, Halsey was the No. 1 qualifier at the Summer Shootout presented by Ty-Drive at Virginia Motorsports Park in mid-July. The two-time and defending world champion ran a 3.668 at 204.94 in his Brandon Switzer-tuned, Fulton-powered “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro. At the Northern Nationals, he missed the No. 1 spot by just .004 of a second.

With just two races left in the 2021 PDRA season, Nitrous Wars presented by Structural Concrete will continue at PDRA DragWars presented by Proline Racing, Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at GALOT Motorsports Park.

This story was originally published on August 19, 2021. Drag Illustrated

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