The setting was none other than the home of the flying cars, South Georgia Motorsports Park. PDRA was opening its season at one of the premiere tracks in the country and lived up to all the excitement. They also gave new meaning to the "Flying Cars" mantra, when the El General car became the quickest door car in the history of drag racing.
For those that don't always follow the pro mod scene, PDRA is one of the few standout locations for organized pro mod racing in the United States. The Southern Extreme Nationals was the opening race of the season for them. This is where we get to see new cars, fresh motors, and all the work that racers have done in the off season.
We certainly got some great weather everyday of racing. Nothing too cold, nothing too warm. This was going to help show what these guys & gals could do. On the property heading up track prep was none other than Jason Miller, and he showed everyone that he knows how to make a track work. There were concerns going into the event about how many cars would show up because of some overlapping with other events. Fact is that PDRA has shown they are a solid force in the area of pro mod. So let's cross the worried box out too. As we saw an outstanding 13 cars in their fastest class, Pro Extreme. In Pro Boost we saw a whopping 21 cars. Looking at Pro Nitrous, there were a jaw dropping 19 entries. In Pro Extreme Motorcycle there were 17 bikes that rolled in. And in Extreme Pro Stock, there were a healthy 10 cars making the call to the lanes.
Based on the numbers I just rattled off to ya, and the fact that this is only the first race of the season, I would say the PDRA certainly made huge strides in the right direction for 2017 and beyond. If you can't get excited about these kind of pro mod numbers, you'd better check your pulse and see if you are still alive. These numbers didn't include the other classes like Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Juniors, and others.
So let's talk about the action. I'll be the first to admit that this was my first PDRA race that we covered live and I can tell you that we will be back again and again. The action was strong all event long. The side by side action was almost indescribable in mind.
Now I am never going to be the one to stroke an ego. If there are issues I am certainly going to address that too. I can say there are things that can/need to be addressed, that will be mentioned to those at the organization as suggestion. Then again, this was the first race of the season. I am sure that Galot in a few weeks will be even smoother.
As far as the racing action, we got to see Lizzy Musi and Jay Cox face each other in an epic battle when we got to the finals of Pro Nitrous Saturday night. Jay had wheeled his Pumpkin orange Camaro all weekend to jaw dropping numbers, and so did Lizzy when we saw her crack off a pass at 205 MPH. Jay, no slouch had a performance for the ages as well when he dropped a 3.67 pass on the class, and showed that his Buck powered car was planning on heading to the top and staying there. In the finals, Jay was in the left and Lizzy in the right. Both pull up and do 300'+ burnouts to get the fans rev'ed up. They get backed up and then it began. No one had any intention of staging their car. What felt like ten minutes as a photographer, in an absolutely epic duel of chicken to see who would move first. When the two of them finally decided it was time to put'em in the beams, it was Jay Cox pulling out the win in a side by side race.
When you talk Pro Extreme, you talk about drivers like Tommy D'Aprile, Frankie "MadMan" Taylor, Jason Scruggs, & El General. Speaking of El General, the beautiful orange Q80 backed Corvette decided that this was the time to show people that the quarter mile door slammer record was coming back to the states. El General absolutely put the throttle through the floor and laid down a 5.40 elapsed time in the quarter mile. On top of that, the car went to the finals in Pro Extreme where they faced off against the Mel Bush Motorsports backed Vette driven by Tommy D'Aprile. Tommy was the one to take the win this time.
Pro Boost was hot and heavy this weekend. Whether you were running turbos or a blower, this was the place to be. We saw some NHRA regulars like Jim Bell and his Mustang, along with Melaine Salemi and her Purple Reign Firebird. What it came down to though was the El General Mustang, powered by Proline and controlled by FuelTech against John Strickland in his blown Galot Motorsports backed Camaro. El General was the one taking home the win this time.
Pro Stock saw the ever tough New Yorker John Montecalvo run through the field before facing off against Scott Benham in the finals. John took the win, while Scott has the misfortune of crossing the centerline during his pass.
All of this action and we didn't even touch base on the bikes, which in my mind every single one of those riders has lost their ever loving minds. Or the sportman classes, where these men and women come from all walks of life, and all ages from 5-85. Literally something for almost everyone at this event.
If what I described doesn't get your blood pumping to come to one of these events I truly feel sorry for you. The PDRA showed me that it's a must attend series. Hope to see plenty of you at the up coming race held at Galot Motorsports Park.