Drag Illustrated Issue 175, March / April 2022 - Page 57

Special Section
“ I think what you saw last year speaks for itself in that it goes back to being a driver and tuner race again ,” Lambert says . “ When you ’ re on radials for a while , you kind of become lazy as a driver . Being back on the 33-inch slicks , you ’ ve gotta get back up on the wheel and drive it a little bit . There were races where the whole field was within a tenth or two and the reaction time could make or break every round .”
Beyond the competition aspect , Pro Street is developing a fan following for the exciting passes and the relatability of the cars . There ’ s just something special about stockappearing cars with 3,000-horsepower engines charging down the track .
“ I think we ’ re putting on a good show ,” Lambert says . “ You have side-by-side , wheels-up passes , and not a lot of wasted passes for the people in the stands . We had many , many people – fans , racers , etc . – come by our pits last year and just tell us how much they loved the class . Fans can relate to the cars .”
The competition level in Pro Street will only get tougher this season with the influx of new talent . Drivers who ’ ve publicly shared intentions to run Pro Street this year include Bill Lutz , Carmen Damiani , Andrew DeMarco , and Tommy Youmans .
“ We ’ re seeing the names that say they ’ re coming and they ’ re not newbies to racing ,” Lambert says . “ They ’ re very well-known and seasoned
racers that are coming out to compete . I think we ’ re going to have some very close , competitive , and fast racing this year .”
On the heels of Pro Street ’ s success in 2021 , PDRA has added another small-tire class this season , AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports . Numerous racers have already expressed interest in participating in the four-race program , including Essick ’ s crew chief , Dan Whetstine , who has a ProCharger-boosted small-block ’ 93 Fox body Mustang .
“ It fills a little void for a lot of stuff in our area ,” Essick says of Super Street . “ There ’ s a lot of 28-inch-tire cars . With some local stuff dying down , it gives them an arena to bolt on a set
of 28x10.5s and come race somewhere . I think it ’ s pretty big . We ’ ll bring Danny ’ s car to all of them . It fits perfectly in this class . I think Super Street is going to have as big or a bigger following than Pro Street .”
Pro Street will be contested at six of the eight races on the 2022 PDRA schedule , sitting out the Doorslammer Derby , April 28-30 at Beech Bend Raceway Park and DragWars , Sept . 29-Oct . 1 at GALOT Motorsports Park . Super Street will race at the North vs . South Shootout ( June 23-25 ) at Maryland International Raceway , the Summer Shootout ( July 14-16 ) at Virginia Motorsports Park , the Northern Nationals ( August 11-13 ) at Maple Grove Raceway , and the Brian Olson Memorial World Finals ( Oct . 13-16 ) at VMP .
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