Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 54

Special Section
WITH TWO JR . DRAGSTER CLASSES AND ALMOST A DOZEN PROFESSIONAL AND SPORTSMAN CATEGORIES , THE PROFESSIONAL DRAG RACERS ASSOCIATION ( PDRA ) PROVIDES PLENTY OF PLACES FOR THE SPORT ’ S NEXT GENERATION TO LEARN , DEVELOP SKILLS , AND SHOW OFF THEIR ABILITIES . FROM DRIVERS AND TUNERS TO CREW MEMBERS AND MEDIA MEMBERS , SOME OF THE MOST PROMISING PERSONALITIES IN THE PDRA ARE UNDER 30 . ¶ SINCE THE FIRST DI 30 UNDER 30 LIST IN 2015 , NUMEROUS PDRA PARTICIPANTS HAVE EARNED 30 UNDER 30 HONORS . AND WHILE THESE FIVE INDIVIDUALS JUST MISSED THE CUT THIS YEAR , THEIR PAST PERFOR- MANCES AND POTENTIAL FOR EVEN MORE SUCCESS SUGGEST THEY ’ RE WELL ON THEIR WAY TO A FUTURE SPOT ON THE LIST .

ALAN DRINKWATER

DRIVING KENNY FLOYD ’ S Kaase-powered ’ 04 Ford Escort , Alan Drinkwater came out swinging in his $ hameless Racing Pro 632 debut at the seasonopening East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park . With bracket-like consistency in terms of reaction times and elapsed times , Drinkwater won the event , winning three out of four rounds on holeshots .
With a car prepared by past 30 Under 30 honoree Johnny Pluchino and using the same engine that powered Pluchino to two Pro 632 world championships , Drinkwater went on to reach the semifinals at four of the other six races that the series contested this season . The Florida native also qualified in the top 5 at every race and finished third in championship points .
Drinkwater will be back out in 2023 , but he ’ ll be in a new car and a new class . Along with a possible championship run in Pro 632 , he ’ ll take what he learned in the naturally aspirated , clutchequipped Escort and apply it to his rookie season in Liberty ’ s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by
AED Competition . He ’ s once again teaming up with Pluchino , the newly crowned Extreme Pro Stock world champion , for the move up to the Mountain Motor Pro Stock class in a Kaase-powered Mustang .

LEXI TANNER

ANOTHER DRIVER WHO made up the youth movement in Pro 632 this season is Lexi Tanner , driver of her family ’ s Oakley-powered “ Thunder ” ’ 15 Camaro . After getting her feet wet in the class in 2021 , Tanner was a serious threat all season in the nitrous-fed , Jeff Pierce-tuned entry . She raced to her first final round at the Doorslammer Derby at Beech Bend Raceway Park , where she was in the other lane to see best friend Amber Franklin claim her first win in the class .
Two races later , Tanner claimed a first win of her own , defeating Franklin in the final round at the North vs . South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway . A month later , the 2015 Top Jr . Dragster world champion grabbed another huge win at the second annual Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars race during Virginia Motorsports Park ’ s Night of Fire . She beat Franklin on a holeshot to collect the $ 7,500 prize .
Tanner and Franklin lined up against each other numerous times this season , perhaps more than any other two drivers in the class . They had some fierce battles on track , but they were each other ’ s biggest cheerleaders all season . That will continue in 2023 as the two former Jr . Dragster standouts chase more victories .
“ Amber and I met when we were running Jrs . and have been close friends ever since ,” says Tanner , who finished fifth in points . “ Our friendship has been a blessing and we can relate on many levels . I love that we are now following our dreams of racing Outlaw 632 together and continue supporting each other .”
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