Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 54

Special Section
THE PDRA TOP 3 LIST IS AN EVER-CHANGING LIST OF THE BIGGEST NEWSMAKERS AND POWER PLAYERS IN THE PDRA ’ S PROFESSIONAL CLASSES . THIS EDITION , REPRESENTING PERFORMANCES FROM THE SEASON-OPENING EAST COAST NATIONALS PRESENTED BY FUELTECH , APRIL 7-9 AT GALOT MOTORSPORTS PARK , DOES NOT REFLECT THE CURRENT POINTS STANDINGS , THOUGH MOST OF THE DRIVERS WHO APPEAR ON THIS LIST CAN ALSO BE FOUND NEAR THE TOP OF THE POINTS STANDINGS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSES . PHOTOGRAPHS BY TARA BOWKER
PRO NITROUS
PRO BOOST
EXTREME PRO STOCK
PRO OUTLAW 632
PRO NITROUS MOTORCYCLE
MIKE ACHENBACH JAY COX JIM HALSEY
TODD TUTTEROW STAN SHELTON MELANIE SALEMI
CHRIS POWERS JUSTIN KIRK TOMMY LEE
ALAN DRINKWATER WALT LANNIGAN JR . AMBER FRANKLIN
CHRIS GARNER-JONES JEFF HOUSE TRAVIS DAVIS
Defending Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous world champion Jim Halsey suffered an uncharacteristic first-round loss after qualifying No . 1 in his Fulton-powered “ Daddy Shark ” ’ 68 Camaro , but tuner Brandon Switzer was able to get redemption when he tuned “ Mountain Man ” Mike Achenbach to his second win in the class . Achenbach in his Buck-powered “ Deep Purple ” ’ 69 Camaro threw down a 3.668-second pass in the final to defeat Jay Cox , who lifted to a 4.366 . Cox , from nearby Smithfield , was the No . 3 qualifier in the Musi-powered Butner Construction “ Pumpkin ” ’ 69 Camaro and ran a pair of 3.69s before the final .
WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive veteran Todd “ King Tut ” Tutterow started 2022 on a mission in his screw-blown P2 Contracting ’ 20 Camaro . He qualified No . 2 and charged through the field , running a 3.588 to beat Stan Shelton in the final . Shelton ’ s screw-blown Culp Lumber ’ 67 Mustang qualified ninth but came alive in eliminations , helping Shelton beat Stevie “ Fast ” Jackson and No . 1 qualifier Melanie Salemi on holeshots . Salemi ran the five quickest passes in class history , but her 3.57 in the semis wasn ’ t enough to drive around Shelton ’ s . 010 light .
PRO STREET
Chris Powers , the defending world champion in Liberty ’ s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition , came into the season with a chip on his shoulder , and it showed . His new Chuck Samuel-tuned Sonny ’ s Racing Engines ’ 21 Camaro set low E . T . of all but one round , including a 4.014 over Justin Kirk in the final . Kirk in his family ’ s Sonny ’ s- powered ’ 12 Mustang won the second and third rounds on a holeshot , beating a 4.01 with his 4.06 both rounds . Driving a brand-new car , veteran tuner and driver Tommy Lee was the second quickest on race day , but fell to Kirk in the semis .
While new to the PDRA scene , Alan Drinkwater started the $ hameless Racing Pro 632 season with a familiar combination : Johnny Pluchino as his tuner and the same Kaasebuilt engine that carried Pluchino to two world championships . Drinkwater picked up where Pluchino left off winning the final three of four rounds on a holeshot . Walt Lannigan Jr ., driving Wes Distefano ’ s Musi-powered $ hameless Racing ’ 68 Camaro , qualified No . 1 before slowing to a 4.208 in the final to Drinkwater ’ s 4.213 . Amber Franklin , who went to back-to-back finals in her 2021 debut , fell victim to Drinkwater ’ s quick lights in the semis despite a 4.12 .
TIM ESSICK | NICK AGOSTINO | TOMMY YOUMANS
Second-generation Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle standout Chris Garner-Jones backed up his 2021 world championship with a season-opening win on his T . T . Jones Racing Hayabusa , posting a 4.08 to Jeff House ’ s 4.086 in a side-byside final round . House and his Texas-based Fast by Gast Hayabusa raced past multitime world champions Eric McKinney and Travis Davis on his way to the final . Davis qualified No . 1 aboard his Timblin-built Davis Transport Hayabusa and set low E . T . of race day in the opening round , but he missed the tree against House in the semis .
The second Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by AFCO championship season saw new competitors join the fold , but defending world champion Tim Essick maintained his consistently quick performance . Essick in his ProChargerboosted “ Brown Sugar ” ’ 18 Mustang was the second quickest in qualifying , but was the quickest of every round on Saturday . He used a 3.966 in the final to beat No . 1 qualifier Nick Agostino , who lifted to a 4.849 . Agostino ’ s turbocharged ’ 69 Camaro was just a couple numbers behind Essick in the opening round . Tommy Youmans was another promising newcomer , qualifying No . 2 and running low 4.00s in his turbo ’ 70 GTO .
54 PDRA660 . com