Rain Halts PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown

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Tommy Franklin advanced to the final round of the Pro Nitrous category before rain stopped the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown Saturday. (Tara Bowker Photo)

DINWIDDIE, Va. – Rapidly approaching thunderstorms prevented Professional Drag Racers Ass’n officials from completing the final round of eliminations Saturday during the PDRA Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Modern Racing.

The Virginia Motorsports Park event will be completed at the PDRA North-South Shootout presented by Line-X May 30-June 1 at Maryland Int’l Raceway in Budds Creek, Md.

“Based on the PDRA rulebook, we’re deep enough into eliminations that we’ll carry those results over to the next race,” said Tyler Crossnoe, race director, PDRA. “I hate that we couldn’t get it done and crown champions here at Virginia, but we’ll crown the Virginia champions at Maryland at the end of the month.”

Crossnoe and the PDRA race officials will determine the run schedule for the remaining eliminations to run at the North-South Shootout, but the tentative plan is to run the final rounds during Friday’s second qualifying session.

“We definitely don’t want those guys to lose a nighttime run that they’re all going to want,” Crossnoe said. “We may put them in at Q2 to finish the finals for most of the classes, but we’ll see what makes the most sense once we get there. We’ll make the best decision possible for the racers that were still in the game here at Virginia.”

Racing progressed to the final round in nearly all of the PDRA’s professional and sportsman classes. Tim Williams (Top Dragster 32) and Noah Johnson (Edelbrock Bracket Bash) were crowned event champions in their respective categories before rain stopped the event.

In Pro Boost, Tommy D’Aprile will take on fellow Floridian Jerico Balduf in the final round at Maryland. Pro Nitrous points leader Jim Halsey will square off against two-time champion Tommy Franklin in the Pro Nitrous final round. Extreme Pro Stock record holder Jeff Dobbins will have lane choice over veteran Pro Stock driver and tuner Tommy Lee in the final round.

The first pair of the Pro Outlaw 632 semifinals was ready to pre-stage when rain drops started to fall on the Virginia Motorsports Park starting line. Young gun Jordan Ensslin was lined up alongside doorslammer drag racing veteran Tony Gillig, while defending world champion and low qualifier Johnny Pluchino was set to race Mike Oldham in the second pair. The semifinals and final round will be completed at Maryland.

Low qualifier Chris Garner-Jones will take on Travis Davis in the final round of Pro Nitrous Motorcycle eliminations. The Elite Top Sportsman final round will see an all-Ohio match between Glenn Butcher in his ’69 Camaro and Tim Molnar in his ’68 Camaro.

The Pro Jr. Dragster final round was set to feature Melanie Sheets taking on Connor McGee. The Top Jr. Dragster final round was going to be a battle between the No. 15 and 16 qualifiers, as Nathan Tanner was to face Ryan Harris.