Halsey & Davis Headline PDRA World Finals Winners

Jim Halsey claimed the PDRA Pro Nitrous championship with a win during the PDRA World Finals Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park. (Tara Bowker Photo)
Jim Halsey claimed the PDRA Pro Nitrous championship with a win during the PDRA World Finals Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park. (Tara Bowker Photo)

DINWIDDIE, Va. – Newly crowned world champions Jim Halsey and Travis Davis capped off their championship seasons with victories at the Professional Drag Racers Ass’n Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by Pro Line Racing and $hameless Racing Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park.

Halsey won and secured his first Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous world title, while Travis Davis won and claimed his second Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle title.

Halsey and his Fulton-powered ’68 Camaro held a firm grip on the Pro Nitrous field all season long, and the Maryland native added an exclamation point to his career-best season by clinching the championship, setting the ET record and winning his fourth race of the season. Final round opponent Jason Harris, the outgoing world champion, went red by .004, while Halsey sailed on to a record 3.613-second pass at 207.37 mph.

“For as long as I’ve been in it, it’s a lifetime goal to be a champion in a national organization like this,” Halsey said. “We ran IHRA for years, we ran ADRL. I’ve won Indy, I’ve won Shakedown, I’ve won Yellowbullet Nationals, but I’ve never won a big series championship against competition like we have here. It’s just awesome.”

“It’s just the best feeling in the world right now,” added Halsey, who thanked his team led by tuner Brandon Switzer and crew chief Eric Davis. “We’ve had an excellent year to start with, and to finish it off with the win, the championship and the record going into the winter, it’s pretty awesome.”

Davis went into the World Finals with a shot at a second world championship, but he sat third in points behind defending world champion Ronnie Smith and Chris Garner-Jones. Smith lost first round and Davis beat Garner-Jones in the semifinals, allowing Davis to clinch the championship. He didn’t back down in the final round, riding his Timblin Chassis-built Suzuki Hayabusa to a 3.991-second pass at 179.09 mph alongside Terry Schweigert’s 4.02-second run at 156.57 mph.

“A lot of people that know me know I don’t really get caught up in the championship deal,” Davis said. “If it plays out, it plays out. I just wanted to win the race. If we won the race, then we’d win the championship. I’ve been doing this so long that it don’t really bother me that bad. We don’t even really study the points. We just try to win the race.”

Davis shared the winner’s circle with his son, Brayden, who won in Pro Jr. Dragster for the first time. The father-son duo won dual world championships in 2017.

“We’ve tried to get both of us in the winner’s circle, and one of us would win and the other would runner-up,” said Davis, who thanked Timblin Chassis, Drag 965 and the PDRA. “For him to win and me to win was a big highlight in our racing this weekend.”

Also claiming professional class victories at the World Finals were Mike DiDomenico in Moroso Pro Boost, Chris Powers in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock and Jeremy Huffman in Schwing America Pro Outlaw 632 presented by Precision Chassis. Jesse Lambert picked up the win in Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5 presented Drag 965.

The World Finals also featured intense competition in the PDRA’s sportman classes, where the winners were Erica Coleman in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman, Chad Tilley in Top Sportsman 48, Michael White in Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster and Mike Reavis in Top Dragster 32. Tyler Rudolph defeated JB Donati in the Edelbrock Bracket Bash final round.

In the Jr. Dragster classes, Brayden Davis joined his father, Travis, in the winner’s circle after using a superior reaction time to win the Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster presented by Thornton Motorsports final round, as he and James Paylor both ran 7.915 on a 7.90 dial-in. Mallory Logan scored the Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster win, as opponent Connor Shields couldn’t make the call.

Over the course of World Finals competition, the PDRA also crowned its 2019 world champions. The professional class champions are Kevin Rivenbark in Pro Boost, Jim Halsey in Pro Nitrous, John Montecalvo in Extreme Pro Stock, Johnny Pluchino in Pro Outlaw 632 and Travis Davis in Pro Nitrous Motorcycle. In the sportsman classes, the champions are Scott Moore in Elite Top Sportsman, Kellan Farmer in Elite Top Dragster, Chris Nyerges in Top Sportsman 32, Kimberly Messer in Top Dragster 32, Melanie Sheets in Pro Jr. Dragster and Connor Shields in Top Jr. Dragster.