PITTSBORO, N.C. – Dreams do come true, and this year Tommy Franklin proved that old adage correct by capturing the PDRA Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous championship.
The championship for Franklin, as it turns out, came down to the final two runs of the season.
After finishing second the first two seasons of the PDRA, Franklin nearly resorted himself to forever holding that number two badge. Jay Cox led the points for much of the year and Franklin sat in his familiar number two spot. But when do-or-die time came, Franklin turned up the heat.
Franklin and Cox were neck-and-neck in points going into the final race of the year. Both qualified well at the PDRA World Finals and worked their way through the rounds. As fate would have it, the two met in the semi-finals. With just a handful of points separating Cox and Franklin, whoever won that round would be the World Champion.
“I joked about that round before we ran, saying, ‘Why couldn’t somebody take care of it before it got to this point,’ but afterwards I realized there was no better way: everything coming down to that run and having it all in your hands,” Franklin said. “That’s the way you want to have it. I went into that round feeling really confident. We were running really good and at that point I knew all I could do was go in there and do my job. Somebody comes out a winner and somebody comes out a loser. There wasn’t any pressure at that point, because I’ve already finished second twice.”
Franklin was clearly up for the task. He took a slight starting line advantage and never looked back. Cox ran into trouble, slowing to a 5.761 while Franklin powered to an impressive 3.699. In just less than four seconds the championship was determined and Franklin would wear the number two no more.
“It feels really good. It’s something you dream of – to be able to win a world championship. To race against the competition level that we have, it’s very gratifying to win the championship. I was starting to question whether I would, but we had a storybook day at Virginia Motorsports Park. The car was perfect, the Pat Musi engine was perfect. My crew and everybody did great. Everything just came together. I just thank the Good Lord for blessing us with what we have.