Records were broken and championships were decided as the PDRA was back in action in North Carolina last weekend…

The “Drag Wars” event held at fabulous GALOT Motorsports Park, was the penultimate event for the 1/8th mile series’ 2017 racing calender.

Female star racer Lizzy Musi set the elapsed-time and speed national records on her way to the Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC win, while Cary Goforth secured the Extreme Pro Stock world championship along with his victory.

Also victorious in the professional classes were North Carolinians Terry Leggett in Pro Extreme and Brad McCoy in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle. Dillon Voss earned his second consecutive event win in East Coast Auto Transport Extreme Outlaw 632.

In the PDRA’s sportsman categories, Aaron Glaser drove his ’68 Camaro to the win in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman Elite, while Kris Gilbert won in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman Quick 32. Dennis Rinehardt claimed the Lucas Oil Top Dragster victory. In Campers Inn RV Pro Junior Dragster, Zach Pennington ran 7.92 on a 7.90 dial-in to defeat Amber Franklin, who secured the Pro Junior Dragster world championship earlier in the day. Arellyn Garner-Jones used a .003-second reaction time and perfect 7.92 to earn the MegaCorp Top Junior Dragster win over Wallace Wilson.

PRO NITROUS — the Pro Nitrous final round was bound to be one of the quickest and fastest side-by-side runs in class history, as the semifinals saw Tommy Franklin reset the elapsed-time record with his 3.658 and Lizzy Musi demolish the speed record with a 206.54. While Franklin encountered trouble in the final and ran a 3.741 at 195.99, Musi bettered the et record with a 3.656 at 206.42 in the Frank Brandao-owned AAP/Lucas Oil ’15 Dodge Dart.

“Running that 206 in the semis, everyone just flipped,” Musi said. “We never thought it would go faster than 205. We were hoping for a 206 maybe in Virginia with the cool weather, so it was very exciting to run 206 twice tonight. Running against Tommy, we knew we were going to throw everything we had at it because Tommy would be doing the same thing. We knew we just had to do our deal. He was probably on the same run – the early numbers were close.”

Lizzy Musi was on a record setting pace while winning the Pro Nitrous class title.

Musi qualified No. 2 and used a perfect .000 reaction time to defeat Danny Perry in the opening round, then posted a strong 3.679 at 204.48 to knock down points leader Jay Cox. She defeated Pro Stock racer Richie Stevens Jr in the semifinals. Franklin in his Pat Musi-powered “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro led the field in qualifying before beating Buddy Perkinson, Jim Halsey and Randy Weatherford on his way to the final round.

PRO EXTREME – Pineville, North Carolina-based logger Terry Leggett added a race win to his illustrious GALOT Motorsports Park history. Leggett, who was the low qualifier at the GALOT spring race, drove his screw-blown Leggett Logging & Trucking ’71 Mustang to a 3.548-second pass at 217.53 mph in the final round. His opponent, Mattias Wulcan, left before the tree activated.

“For some reason, we just really run good here,” Leggett said. “We just love the place. It’s a heckuva facility, the people are great, and we have a really strong following here. This is my home race, so we have lots of friends and family here. All of that just plays into making it a great weekend.”

In P/X class competition it was Terry Leggett’s Ford Mustang that prevailed

Racing out of the second spot, Leggett posted a 3.555 at 218.80 over Jose Gonzales in the first round, then a 3.570 at 217.95 over points leader and spring race winner Mike Recchia. Wulcan was the No. 1 qualifier and drove his “Black Bird” ’69 Camaro to round wins of 3.572 at 213.03 over fellow Swede Stefan Holmberg and 3.56 at 211.33 over Australian Pro Mod star John Zappia before facing Leggett in the final.

PRO BOOST — Jeremy Ray has raced with the PDRA since the series’ inception in 2014, and it took the best performance of his series career to earn his first PDRA Pro Boost event win. He ran his first 3.6-second pass, a 3.699, to qualify No. 4. After using a 3.762 to get around Jr. Ward in the first round, all of Ray’s eliminations runs were in the 3.6-second range.

“In the last five races we’ve run, this car has been very consistent,” said Ray, who reached the finals at those five races in a combination of PDRA and Carolina Xtreme Pro Mod competition. “The air was good tonight. I was able to go .68, .69, .68. We went in the sixties four times this weekend. I picked up the speed a bit, too. Just kept digging. I’ve been running PDRA since the beginning. This is my third car, and it’s one darn good car.”

Jeremy Ray drove his Covette past Canadian-native Melanie Salemi for the evemt’s Pro Boost class crown

Meeting Ray in the final round was Darlington winner Melanie Salemi, who qualified sixth and defeated James Linton Jr. and Pro Boost rookies Ty Tutterow and Brandon Snider to earn her spot in the final. Salemi left the starting line first in her “Purple Reign” ’68 Firebird, but Ray chased her down in his “Carolina Kingpin” ’63 Corvette, running 3.683 at 202.27 over Salemi’s 3.905 at 192.63.

EXTREME PRO STOCK – Past PDRA Extreme Pro Stock world champion Cary Goforth secured his second series title when he beat Jeff Dobbins in the final round. Both drivers ran identical 4.055s in the semifinals, but the final round would be decided on the starting line, as Dobbins left the line .007 too soon. Goforth was ready for a race, though, as he recorded low et of eliminations, a 4.051 at 177.95.

Cary Goforth won in Extreme Pro Stock class racing.

“It felt good to get the win because you know if you win the race, you’ll probably seal the deal,” Goforth said. “I’m happy. I’m tickled to death. I don’t jump up and down and go wild, but I’m awfully proud of this one. This is our eighth championship and second with the PDRA. We just took care of our business and let it all play out.”

Goforth qualified third in his Dean’s Casing Service/Dewayne Higgins Trucking ’14 Camaro. He took out spring race winner Chris Powers and No. 2 qualifier J.R. Carr before the final round. Racing out of the fourth spot, Dobbins used .014 reaction times and quick passes to beat defending world champion John Pluchino and low qualifier John Montecalvo earlier in the day.

Dillon Voss earned his second consecutive event win in Outlaw 632.

Brad McCoy won in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle

Posted by Nate Van Wagnen

Photos by Eric Embling & Roger Richards