In a move that didn’t come as a surprise to most, PDRA announced that they have pulled the plug on their Pro Extreme class due to lack of participation.
About a week and a half ago we wrote an article asking you if Pro Extreme was dead (read here), Well unfortunately that has come to fruition. As it was announced by PX driver Adam Flamholc that he would no longer be contesting any more Pro Extreme events the rest of the season, followed shortly thereafter by the organization announcing that they were officially pulling the plug.
While we believe that it is truly sad that the class appears to have run it course, the time had come for the PDRA to make the difficult decision to cancel it. The dramatic drop off of contestants for the class this year was glaringly obvious. I believe there were a total of four different competitors that attended the class this year. If you look at the year over year numbers, they had been falling by a good amount. 2016 saw a great number of cars, but 2017 was a huge dropoff (almost 50%) and the writing was on the wall.
In a quote from Bob Harris, he stated that the competition is not there…
“The competition is not there,” began PDRA’s Bob Harris. “While the racers appreciated the PDRA paying the full payout for races for only a few Pro Extreme cars, they expressed they would rather enjoy strong competition than just show up for easy money. Our Pro Extreme racers have begun looking at other options. Terry Leggett and Jason Scruggs both plan to move to a roots style blower and run Pro Boost.
“A few weeks ago we stated we would support the class all year,” Harris continued. “Since then we have talked to the racers that have been involved in the class this year and racers that we thought may come on board and we realize that continuing the class would have little benefit for the series or our racers.
“Our motto of being ‘by racers for racers’ has never come into question. We want to support our racers and do what’s best for them. We believe that this is the wisest decision based on our feedback from the racers. We gave it a one hundred percent effort to rally the class and get more racer support involved, but that’s just not going to be the case. We had plenty of sponsorship this season and those sponsors have all expressed they are going to continue supporting the PDRA and its racers.
“This class arrived 10 years ago. We realize that since that time Pro Mod has greatly diversified. It’s clear the current trends are supporting a more streamlined version of Pro Mod, which is why our Pro Boost category has been so popular and continues to gain strength. Although the incredible speeds and outlaw nature of Pro Extreme and screw blowers have great appeal, it’s a unique niche in Pro Mod that has, at least for a time, run its course. It was good while it lasted over the years and, who knows, it could come back some day.”
Pro Extreme will not be contested at PDRA events for the remainder of the year.
“We’d like to thank class sponsors Bryant Industrial Crane and Rigging, ProLine, and Quick Drive as well as class supporters Leggett Logging and Scott Farley and Michelle and the contingency partners that supported the class. Their efforts and commitment have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by the PDRA or the racers. We are grateful for their efforts in Pro Extreme and their dedication to the PDRA as a whole.”
There are plenty that believe the downfall of the class was a rules-based issue. There are others that have stated to us privately that it is more of a personnel issue within the organization that has turned them off from running with the PDRA. No matter what it may be, we have lost one of the most exciting groups of doorslammer cars in the world.
In speaking with Adam, as he was one of the competitors to compete this season, he stated that he is not sure what he will do for the rest of the season. He may head over to NMCA and Mid-West Pro Mod when his schedule allows as well. There are rumors afloat that Jason Scruggs and Terry Leggett may bolt a roots blower on and play in Pro Boost, but we have not been able to verify that with either racer.
PDRA’s next race will be contested at Virginia Motorsports Park in two weeks, where we are sure they will have an excellent turnout for their remaining classes, as VMP is really a home base for their core group of racers.