Championship Battles Return at Fall Nationals
PDRA Racers Return to Championship Battles at Fall Nationals presented by $hameless Racing
The tense championship battles in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) will tighten up this weekend as the all-eighth-mile series heads to Darlington Dragway for the penultimate race on the 2019 Road to the Finals, the Fall Nationals presented by $hameless Racing, Oct. 3-5.
SATURDAY – ELIMINATIONS
Cool weather conditions and a tightly prepped track helped Paul Gast set and reset the Pro Nitrous Motorcycle elapsed time record on his way to the event win in just his second PDRA appearance of the season. In the final round, Gast’s Fast By Gast Hayabusa was ahead of Chris Garner-Jones and his Jones Racing Hayabusa from start to finish. Gast ran a 4.234 at 169.88, while Garner-Jones went a 5.794 at 84.08.
“First of all, Darlington Dragway could be my new favorite track,” Gast said, who also won at a motorcycle-only race at the South Carolina facility one week ago. “We had a stellar field here. My bike was outstanding until the final. I did still win, so I’m happy, but I wanted to really throw one down there. Setting the record was probably the highlight. To go a 3.94 on a bike is really, really good.”
Gast got a feel for the track with his first-round 4.029 at 178.36 on a single. He lowered the class ET record by six thousandths in his 3.952 at 178.71 victory over Ashley Owens and his 4.089 at 173.54. The drag bike veteran lowered the record again in the semifinals, riding his Suzuki to a 3.949 at 179.43 to eliminate Brunson Grothus and his 4.055 at 171.89.
Garner-Jones started race day with a 3.995 at 176.61 to beat Ricardo Knights, then stepped up to a 3.984 at 176.06 next to a red-lighting 2017 world champion Travis Davis in the second round. He managed a 4.047 at 169.88 to get around Terry Wynn’s 4.136 at 167.54 and into the final round.
The 2019 PDRA season will conclude in two weeks at the sixth annual Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by Pro Line Racing and $hameless Racing, Oct. 17-20 at Virginia Motorsports Park in Dinwiddie, Va.
SATURDAY – ELIMINATIONS
FRIDAY – QUALIFYING
THURSDAY – TESTING
The PDRA had to cancel their most recent event, because of Hurricane Dorian. Racers with a solid points lead breathed a sigh of relief, while competitors trying to move up in pursuit of the 2019 PDRA world championships will be feeling the pressure as they have just two races left to gain ground on the points leaders
The tightest battle in the pro classes can be found in Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, where defending world champion Ronnie “Pro Mod” Smith leads 2017 world champion Travis Davis by 55 points. Smith hasn’t lost first round all season, grabbing a decisive win at Maryland. Davis lost first round at Maryland, but won the Mid-Atlantic Showdown and was the runner-up at South Georgia. Perennial championship contender Chris Garner-Jones is third with just under two rounds behind Davis.
ABOUT THE PDRA
Based in Fredericksburg, Va., the Professional Drag Racers Association is the top sanctioning body in the United States for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The PDRA’s professional categories include Pro Boost, Pro Nitrous, Extreme Pro Stock, Pro Nitrous Motorcycle and Pro Outlaw 632. The series also features sportsman racing in Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster. The 2019 PDRA schedule consists of eight national events. For more information on the PDRA, visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.