It was a mix of first-time winners and past world champions during the 2nd PDRA event of 2018….

Drag racing’s marquee 1/8th mile format Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) held it’s North-South Shootout at Maryland International Raceway. The series crowned winners in six professional categories and seven sportsman classes at the second stop on their eight-race 2018 tour.

Moroso Pro Boost low qualifier Tommy D’Aprile swept the weekend when he scored the victory, while Adam Flamholc (Bryant Industrial Pro Extreme presented by Pro Line Racing), Randy Weatherford (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC), Steven Boone (Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock), Eric McKinney (Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle) and Dillon Voss (East Side Auto Transport Pro Outlaw 632) also earned professional class wins.

The sportsman class victories went to Billy Albert in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman, Vonnie Mills in Top Sportsman 32, Nick Hamilton in Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster and Kevin Roof in Top Dragster 32. In the PDRA’s Jr. Dragster classes, Nicole Zuccarelli ran 7.903 on a 7.90 dial-in to defeat Jarrod Kissinger’s 7.969 on a 7.90 dial-in to win Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster. Local racer Kaiden Groves used an 8.985 on a 8.98 dial-in to claim the Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster victory over Brooke Miller, who broke out with a 7.957 on a 7.97 dial-in. Dennis James defeated Mike Reavis in an all-dragster Edelbrock Bracket Bash final round.

PRO NITROUS — Randy Weatherford and his WS Construction team have been consistently dialing in their clutch-equipped ’69 Camaro over the last few seasons in Pro Nitrous competition. He’s qualified No. 1 and raced deep into eliminations, but he had yet to reach the winner’s circle before he piloted his Musi-powered entry to a 3.882 at 163.57 over John Hall’s 3.899 at 155.17 in the North-South Shootout final round.

Randy Weatherford received a rewarding first time win in the Pro Nitrous class

“This is my first PDRA win, and it’s been a long struggle to get to this point,” said Weatherford, a past champion in various regional series. “The car was always real good. All the parts and pieces worked right. I had a good program last year, I just couldn’t put it together right. This year I’ve got a better program together. I’ve always said clutch cars are faster and I think the scoreboards showed it.”

Weatherford recorded three of the best passes of his career on his way to the final round. He posted a 3.699 over Tommy Mauney, a 3.701 over Johnny Camp and a 3.675 over Chris Rini. Hall also experienced a career-best weekend in his Clayton Murphy-tuned ’68 Camaro, as he ran a 3.745 over Tony Wilson, a career-best 3.704 at 205.19 over past world champion Jason Harris, and a 4.017 in the semifinals.

PRO EXTREME — Racing in just his second Pro Extreme event since 2015, Adam Flamholc earned the North-South Shootout event win when he recorded his third consecutive 3.6-second pass and defeated No. 1 qualifier Terry Leggett in the final round. Leggett, who fired off a 3.552 at 216.97 on his first-round bye run, slowed to a 4.063 in the final round, while Flamholc ran 3.63 at 214.62 to take the win in his 5-Day Plantation Shutters & Blinds ’63 Corvette. Flamholc, a Swedish native, qualified No. 2 and defeated Scott Farley before facing Leggett in the final round.

Invading European racer Adam Flamholc (from Sweden) scored in P/X with his Corvette

PRO BOOST — Former Pro Extreme star Tommy D’Aprile further solidified his status as a serious threat in Pro Boost this season when he and tuner/car owner Al Billes fired off one of the quickest supercharged passes in class history to win the event. D’Aprile recorded a 3.66 at 203.31 to beat Chuck Ulsch’s 3.75 at 198.58 in the final round.

“This win was all about teamwork,” said D’Aprile, the No. 1 qualifier for the second time this season. “This team is amazing. If I had an unlimited budget and I could go anywhere and pick my team, I couldn’t pick it any better than this. God has put this team together. I make no bones about my faith. I’m a man of faith; I walk that, I talk that and I’m proud of that. I love this team. We have a brotherhood here that is just amazing. We’re blessed.”

Tommy D’Aprile rode the tuning expertise of Canada’s Al Billes to victory in the Pro Boost class.

D’Aprile dodged a bullet in the opening round when his Roots-blown ’69 Camaro slowed to a 3.874 over Eric Donovan, but his performance picked up again with a 3.701 over Raymond Commisso and a 3.67 over Brazil’s Roderjan Busato in the semifinals. Ulsch was running right with D’Aprile throughout eliminations, posting a 3.716 over Junior Ward, a 3.707 over Marc Caruso and a 3.715 to beat Jerico Balduf on a holeshot in the semifinals. Ulsch was appearing in his second consecutive final round.

XPS winner – Steven Boone

Dillon Voss drove his C7 Corvette to the event’s Pro Outlaw 632 eliminator title.

Posted by Nate Van Wagnen  – Photos by Tara Bowker