Drag Illustrated Issue 168, May 2021 - Page 20

Justin Kirk , Buck brothers win first PDRA Extreme Pro Stock trophy BY NATE VAN WAGNEN
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All Night Long

Justin Kirk , Buck brothers win first PDRA Extreme Pro Stock trophy BY NATE VAN WAGNEN

On Wednesday , April 28 , Justin Kirk came home from Wednesday night bowling league , packed his bags , and headed out to catch a flight to Dallas for an ADRL race . He had no way of knowing – dreaming , perhaps – that in three days he would be hoisting his first Mountain Motor Pro Stock trophy as the winner in Liberty ’ s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition at the PDRA Doorslammer Derby at Beech Bend Raceway Park on Saturday night .

After leaving his house in Kermit , West Virginia , Kirk headed northeast to pick up his clutch guy , Gerald Smith , in Charleston around 1 a . m . The duo drove four hours down to Charlotte Douglas International Airport to hop on a flight to Dallas , where they landed at 9 a . m . Not long after checking in at the hotel , it was announced that the ADRL race at the Texas Motorplex was
canceled due to a rainy forecast .
Kirk and Buck Brothers Racing owners Eddie and W . R . Buck had a tough decision to make : head home or make the 12-hour drive over to Bowling Green for the PDRA Doorslammer Derby . The answer was an obvious decision for Eddie .
“ Eddie said he left home to go racing and that ’ s what he was going to do !” Kirk laughs .
The group drove through the night , with six different drivers taking shifts , arriving at Beech Bend with enough time to unload and prepare the car for the first qualifying session on Friday afternoon .
After three rounds of qualifying on Friday , Kirk and the “ Big Daddy Warlock ” ’ 05 Cavalier sat in the No . 2 spot with a 4.071-second pass at 176.63 mph recorded in the second session . When he laid down at the hotel that night , it was the first time Kirk had been in bed since Wednesday morning .
On Saturday , Kirk won first round with a 4.101 at 176.53 over Dwayne Rice ’ s 4.56 . He left on defending world champion Johnny Pluchino in the semifinals , stepping up to a 4.097 at 174.96 next to Pluchino ’ s 4.166 at 176.93 .
Steven Boone , who won the PDRA Extreme Pro Stock world championship in 2018 and went to the finals at the PDRA season opener , was waiting for Kirk in the final round . The two drivers were locked door handle to door handle the whole race , with both drivers leaving with . 040 reaction times . Kirk finished first with a careerbest 4.063 at 177.07 , followed closely by Boone ’ s 4.076 at 177.07 .
“ I felt like I had 10 pounds tied to my left foot . That was the longest seven inches of my life ,” Kirk says of the staging process . “ I just really approached it like any other round . There were eight great cars here . No round was easy . I didn ’ t even
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAMES SISK
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