Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 - Page 67

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 REPRESENTS PERFORMANCES FROM THE NORTH VS . SOUTH SHOOTOUT PRESENTED BY LINE-X AND IRON
MAN QUICK CONNECT PUSH BAR , JUNE 23-25 , AT MARYLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY . PHOTOGRAPHS BY TARA BOWKER
PRO NITROUS
PRO BOOST
EXTREME PRO STOCK
PRO OUTLAW 632
PRO NITROUS MOTORCYCLE
JIM HALSEY FREDY SCRIBA BUDDY PERKINSON
KURT STEDING MELANIE SALEMI ROBERT GALLEGOS
JOHNNY PLUCHINO TONY GILLIG CHRIS POWERS
LEXI TANNER AMBER FRANKLIN ALAN DRINKWATER
PAUL GAST TRAVIS DAVIS MESHAL AL-SABER
It didn ’ t take long for Jim Halsey to get back to the winner ’ s circle , as he picked up a home state victory to go with his win at Bowling Green . He set low E . T . with a 3.778 in the opening round , then was quickest of the following three rounds with 3.60-second passes . His closest challenge came from another Maryland native , Fredy Scriba , in the final round . Scriba threw down a 3.697 in his “ Sorcerer ” ’ 69 Camaro to take runner-up behind Halsey ’ s 3.691 . Elite Top Sportsman star Buddy Perkinson hopped in Tommy Franklin ’ s “ Jungle Rat ” ’ 69 Camaro and proceeded to qualify No . 1 and reach the semis .
After fixing a knee injury last season , Kurt Steding is back on his game in the driver ’ s seat of his Todd Tutterowtuned , screw-blown P2 Contracting ’ 20 Camaro . He qualified No . 1 and made stout laps through eliminations , including a 3.618 to beat Melanie Salemi ’ s 3.619 in the semis , and a 3.612 to beat a red-lighting Robert Gallegos in the final . Salemi ’ s 3.638 over Johnny Camp ’ s 3.646 was the quickest of the second round . Gallegos in his ProCharged ’ 22 Mustang threw down a couple low 3.60s of his own in the second and third rounds after qualifying No . 2 , but went red by . 171 in his first final .
PRO STREET
There ’ s no denying Johnny Pluchino is hungry for another world championship . The 2020 Extreme Pro Stock champion and two-time Pro 632 champion earned his second win of the season , running a 4.156 , a pair of 4.08s , and a 4.071 in the final round . Driving his father ’ s Kaase-powered $ hameless Racing ’ 13 Mustang , he beat No . 2 qualifier Tony Gillig , who ran into trouble and slowed to a 5.309 in the final . Defending world champion Chris Powers was chasing his second win of the year , but he came up short to Gillig in the semis . Powers is still breaking in his new Sonny ’ s Racing Engines ’ 21 Camaro , but it ’ s a proven winner .
In a rematch of the final round from Bowling Green , best friends Lexi Tanner and Amber Franklin squared off for the Maryland win . This time , it was Tanner scoring her first “ big car ” win in her Oakley-powered “ Thunder ” ’ 15 Camaro . She used a 4.213 to beat Franklin ’ s 4.282 . Franklin , the points leader , qualified No . 2 and laid down a 4.222 and a pair of 4.17s on the way to her third final of the year . Season opener winner Alan Drinkwater was there to shake up the nitrousheavy class in Kenny Floyd ’ s naturally aspirated ’ 04 Escort , reaching the semifinals , where Franklin beat his 4.222 .
TIM ESSICK | TY KASPER | BILL RIDDLE
Surprisingly , multi-time world champion Travis Davis had to wait until the third Pro Nitrous Motorcycle race to pick up his first win aboard his Timblin Chassis / Davis Transport Hayabusa . He ran in the mid-4.00 range in the first two rounds , then stepped up when it mattered , firing off a 3.996 to beat Paul Gast ’ s 3.994 on a holeshot . Gast had half a tenth on the class in the first two rounds with his 4.005 and 3.982 on his Fast By Gast bike . Kuwait ’ s Meshal Al-Saber continued his steady quest for a win , taking Brad McCoy ’ s to the semifinals for the third time this year .
Defending world champion Tim Essick looked like he was on his way to a second consecutive home-track win after qualifying No . 2 and setting low E . T . of the first two rounds . But Ty Kasper ’ s holeshot advantage and a 4.067 put a stop to that , as Kasper ’ s turbocharged Victus Sports ’ 05 Mustang finished ahead of Essick and his 4.053 in the side-by-side final round . It was the 23-year-old ’ s first win in the class . Norwalk winner Bill Riddle carried some momentum into Maryland , qualifying No . 3 and racing to the semis , where Essick sent him home .
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