Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 54

Special Section
IT ’ S A NEW YEAR FOR PDRA ’ S LIBERTY ’ S GEARS EXTREME PRO STOCK PRESENTED BY AED COMPETITION , AND IF OFFSEASON PREDICTIONS PROVE CORRECT , IT WILL BE PERHAPS THE BIGGEST YEAR FOR THE MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCK CLASS IN THE LAST DECADE-PLUS . AT LEAST 16 CARS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE SEASON-OPENING EAST COAST NATIONALS PRESENTED BY FUELTECH , APRIL 7-9 AT GALOT MOTORSPORTS PARK , WHILE AS MANY AS 20 OR MORE CARS COULD APPEAR AT RACES LATER IN THE SEASON . ¶ THE GROWING LIST OF COMPETITORS INCLUDES VETERANS WHO ’ VE BEEN HERE ALL ALONG , PAST COMPETITORS WHO ARE COMING BACK , AND ROOKIES WHO ARE NEW TO THE CLASS . THE GROUNDSWELL OF SUPPORT HAS BEEN
been a long time coming , according to drivers like JR Carr and Johnny Pluchino .
“ This is what we ’ ve needed and wanted ,” says Carr , a front-runner in the class and a behind-the-scenes proponent of the category through the Mountain Motor Pro Stock Association . “ It ’ s all just coming together . It takes time , and with what everybody has been through the last few years , to have this many new cars and cars that have changed hands , new people , people who ’ ve never been in Pro Stock , it ’ s phenomenal . The class deserves it , the fans deserve it , and PDRA deserves it . They ’ ve stuck with us and really done everything they can to help us , and it looks like it ’ s finally paying off .”
“ I ’ ve been after this for the last 6-7 years ,” adds Pluchino , who won
the 2020 Extreme Pro Stock world championship in his first full season as the driver of his father John ’ s proven Ford Mustang . “ It ’ s really a testament , in my opinion , to the teams who stuck it out and didn ’ t quit when we were down at 5-6 cars at certain events and fighting through it and making
sure we stayed out there . We could ’ ve lost Mountain Motor Pro Stock . I really feel like these last few years have been a rebirth for what we ’ re going to see in 2022 . Excited is an understatement .”
Pluchino fondly remembers the days of 20-plus Mountain Motor Pro Stock
cars showing up to races when his father raced in IHRA Pro Stock . His enthusiasm for the category ’ s growth isn ’ t overshadowed by the fact that it will make it harder for him to a second XPS world championship and his fourth overall in the series , but it is on his mind .
“ We are aware that going into the season , it will be probably the most difficult season in the last 10-15 years with the amount of competition that ’ s coming out ,” Pluchino says . “ We ’ re seeing new cars and new teams and teams understanding that they have to move their programs forward in order to win races .”
Among the new cars coming to the class are a trio of Kaase-powered , Haas-built Ford Mustangs out of the new APEX Motorsports camp . Derrick Reese , who made his
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