A premier Canadian Pro Mod driver wades into PDRA racing waters for first time….

The entry list for last weekend’s season ending PDRA (Brian Olson Memorial/ProCharger) World Finals event most certainly included an unexpected participant — Red Deer Alberta’s Dean Bettenson.

Bettenson, who had prevailed as the points champion for the 3X this year for the WCPM series — ventured into the very swift undercurrents for PDRA level racing — arguably the world’s premier 1/8th mile drag racing circuit.

Alberta’s Dean Bettenson tried his hand within the PDRA circuit brand for the first time.

Dean was the only Canadian racer at the East Coast USA event – hosted by Virginia Motorsports Park (Richmond VA).

Following what was a 3000+ mile haul — Dean entered his Bel-Air Power Pro-Charger assisted Camaro in the event’s Pro Boost category. His best run came in qualifying at 3.83 secs 194 mph to get into the elite 16-car field 15th — but he was then eliminated by PDRA powerhouse Daniel Pharris in round one of competition.

“I had a few reasons for making this trip,” Dean said. “My car needed some modifications and it’s now at Robert Hayes Race Cars (in NC) getting that done and Proline (in Georgia) is updating our engine program. For a while I’ve really wanted to run it on some higher level track surfaces where I could work on going faster and applying more power.”

Dean Bettenson

“Also (with my wife and family) we wanted to plan and include some vacation time. From my business’ perspective — it does makes more sense for me to race during our off-season instead of the busy summer in Western Canada. This World Finals event was a good fit.”

Dean confirmed that his racing rig was first sent to Great Falls MT with a commercial carrier and that he then flew in from Alberta to Great Falls to meet it and begin the trek to Virginia. 

Bettenson had nothing but positives to say about his initial PDRA circuit experience.

“Overall it was amazing – the PDRA and VMP were a very welcoming group,” he continued. “That track was prepped from wall-to-wall. That’s something we’re not necessarily always used too — in the past quite often we have to remove power. The quality and level of racing there is bar none.”

Dean has revealed too that his plans may include more racing at a higher echelon going forward into the future. His rig and race car will remain in North Carolina over this coming winter. 

“With my family — I am planning entry for the two upcoming Florida races (Snowbird Nationals and US Street Nationals),” he added. “In 2022 I have the first two or three PDRA events on my radar too. I’d also like to maybe run some MWDRS and Outlaw events. All of the car and engine updates we are making are designed to put us into the 3.60 (secs) range — and to be even more competitive. Overall that is our goal before coming home for next season.”

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Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Steve Embling & Les Puchala