Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 104

Amber Franklin and Lexi Tanner

Women of Power 2022

BEST FRIEND FINAL

BY NATE VAN WAGNEN PHOTOGRAPHS BY TARA BOWKER AND MELLIE SNEDEKER
HE PRO 632 final round at the PDRA Doorslammer Derby was a victory

T for the PDRA Jr . Dragster community , as two graduates of the program faced off in the first all-female final round in the history of the class . Amber Franklin , the 2017 Pro Jr . Dragster world champion , squared off against her longtime best friend and the 2015 Top Jr . Dragster world champion , Lexi Tanner , in

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the final .
Driving the Musi-powered “ OG Jungle Rat ” ’ 69 Camaro that her father , Tommy Franklin , drove to back-to-back Pro Nitrous world championships , Franklin came out victorious . She used a 4.182 at 170.62 to overcome the holeshot advantage by Tanner , who ran a 4.238 at 167.68 . It was Franklin ’ s first Pro 632 win in just her fourth start in the class .
“ This one is definitely big ,” Franklin said in the winner ’ s circle . “ I made a Facebook post a couple years ago that I dreamed to someday drive this car . I ’ ve watched my dad win in it for many years . It definitely feels great . I want to thank my parents , the good Lord above , my crew , Pat Musi Racing Engines , Jerry Bickel Race Cars , Hoosier Racing Tires , M & M Transmissions , Jeff Pierce Tuning – there ’ s a whole lot of people that made this possible . They definitely saved me in the finals , but there was no better way than to have it with Lexi .”
Franklin qualified No . 2 and had a pair of singles to start the day , beginning with a 4.246 at 168.24 when Sylvester Barnes couldn ’ t make the first-round call , followed up by a 4.206 at 170.26 . She then eliminated No . 3 qualifier Daryl Stewart in the semifinals with a 4.192 at 170.64 to Stewart ’ s 4.215 . That sent Franklin into her third final round to meet Tanner in a dream scenario for the two young women .
“ We ’ ve been to a couple finals now and we keep saying , ‘ When is it our turn ?’ but God has a plan and a purpose , and I know that it was to run against [ Tanner ],” Franklin said . “ We ’ ve been best friends for 10 years now and we ’ ve talked about this day for a long time . It felt really , really good to run with her in the finals .”
Tanner , the sister of Pro Boost runner-up Preston Tanner , entered eliminations from the No . 8 spot in her family ’ s Jeff Pierce-tuned , Oakley-powered ’ 15 Camaro . But her whirlwind race day started much earlier than the first round .

AMBER

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