Latino Scores at PDRA Michigan

Whitby’s Eric Latino earned his first ever 1/8th mile Pro Mod class genre victory when he won during the PDRA’s Summer Drags event held at Western Michigan’s U.S. 131 Motorsports Park last Saturday…

Racing his GESI-sponsored ’69 Camaro, the former PMRA circuit powerhouse stopped a very competitive Pro Boost class field at Martin MI.  PDRA Pro Boost class racing features a unique combination of racers running either supercharged or turbocharged engine combinations.

Eric Latino (from Whitby Ontario) prevailed to win the Pro Boost class during the PDRA's Summer Drags in Michigan

Eric Latino (from Whitby Ontario) prevailed to win the Pro Boost class during the PDRA’s Summer Drags in Michigan

Latino, after qualifying #2 with at 3.870 secs mowed down Randy Bryan, Larry Higgenbotham and Kevin Riverbank before being scheduled to face off again Todd Tutterow in the final.  And it was just before that when things took a turn for the bizarre….

As the final rounds began with the Jr. Dragster classes, both drivers were waiting in the staging lanes at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park when Tutterow suddenly dropped to the ground, writhing in pain and begging for help to relieve a sudden, stabbing headache. Track medical personnel quickly ran to Tutterow’s side, where they discovered some sort of insect had burrowed into the driver’s ear, causing severe pain and affecting his equilibrium.

They were able to extract the bothersome bug with water and after Tutterow’s balance quickly returned, PDRA officials decided he could still compete, but delayed the Pro Boost final to the last race of the event.

“I had never felt pain like that before in my life. It felt like someone was drilling straight into my ear,” Tutterow said before leaving the track to visit a local hospital for a check-up as a precaution.

“King Tut; what can I say? Todd Tutterow has been racing for so long and he’s one guy that I really look up to. He really is like a hero to me,” Latino said. “So to be racing him in the final was so exciting. And then, I hate to see what happened to him, it’s just such a bizarre thing. I’m just glad he seems okay now, but man, that was a pretty scary scene.”

Latino also gave credit to chassis consultant Joe Lepone Jr. for a turnaround in performance after struggling with power application problems early this year.

“The car drives like a Cadillac now,” Latino said. “It’s my team, though, they got the job done,” he added. “I’m happy to have won this for them.”

Posted with files from Bruce Biegler & Ian Tocher

Photo by:  Bruce Biegler