BENSON, N.C. – Pro Extreme driver Terry Leggett made a triumphant return to competition Friday when he earned the provisional No. 1 qualifying spot at the PDRA East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park.
He drove his Leggett Logging & Trucking ’71 Mustang to a 3.527-second, 217.56 mph blast during the second session of the day’s rain-shortened qualifying schedule.
Other professional-class low qualifiers are Lizzy Musi in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC, Jose Gonzales in Andy McCoy Race Cars Pro Boost, John Pluchino in PDRA Extreme Pro Stock, Burke Forster in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle, and Ken Quartuccio in East Side Auto Transport Extreme Outlaw 632.
The leaders in the PDRA’s sportsman classes are Randy Perkinson in Magnafuel Top Sportsman and Matt Cooke in Lucas Oil Top Dragster. Alexcis Schultz tops the Campers Inn RV Pro Junior Dragster qualifying order with a 7.909-second run, while Arellyn Garner-Jones used a perfect .000 reaction time to qualify No. 1 in MegaCorp Top Junior Dragster.
After missing the PDRA’s season-opening race in Valdosta, Ga., earlier this month to recover from major health issues over the winter, Leggett jumped to the top of the Pro Extreme qualifying order with his 3.527 at 217.56 during the night session.
“The fat lady ain’t sung yet,” Leggett said. “We have one more session. Another red car [past world champion Jason Scruggs] down there will be swinging for the fence in the morning. Right now, it feels really good, though. We’ll take it like it is.”
A humble logger from Pinetown, N.C., Leggett was admittedly just glad to be back at the racetrack behind the wheel of his Terry Coyle-tuned, supercharged ’71 Mustang.
“This is our first race back,” said Leggett, who underwent multiple operations over the offseason. “I’ve personally been through a lot. This crew is flawless. It’s just great to be back, great to be around everybody you love. To come out here and run as good as we have and be number one right now, it’s great. Just to be here would be great – this is icing on the cake.”
Texan Frankie Taylor enters Saturday’s final qualifying session as the No. 2 qualifier with his 3.546 at 212.73, followed by Valdosta event winner Tommy D’Aprile with a 3.577 at 213.23. Swedish FIA Pro Mod champion Mattias Wulcan is fourth with a 3.58 at 211.89.
The stars of the ultra-competitive Pro Nitrous class were shining bright Friday night as it took a 3.6-second run to qualify in the top three. Musi and Tommy Franklin recorded a pair of side-by-side 3.675-second passes; Musi earned the provisional top spot via her 205.07-mph speed.
“It’s crazy how close we were,” Musi said of her run against fellow Pat Musi Racing Engines-powered driver Franklin. “On the run, the car actually made a little move toward the center line. I saw the scoreboards light up with two 3.675s and thought, how is this even possible? I didn’t even know who got the number-one spot until one of my crew guys said we got it by speed.”
The run, which is quicker and faster than the official PDRA elapsed time and speed records, was a redemptive run for the driver of the AAP ’15 Dodge Dart.