Top Dragster has erupted with speed and competitiveness in recent seasons, and the PDRA has taken things to the next level with its Elite 16 Top Dragster program that brings in the fastest cars the class has to offer. Former Top Sportsman racer Robert Bauer III will be joining the mix as he jumps to Top Dragster at the PDRA Northern Nationals in West Salem, Ohio.
Bauer has been climbing his way up the racing ladder ever since his Jr. Dragster days. Since then he’s wheeled several different vehicles, including a Super Comp dragster and a wild Top Sportsman Pontiac with a blower motor. Making the transition to Top Dragster is something Bauer has always wanted to do and he’s finally ready to make some laps with the PDRA.
“We haven’t been to any PDRA races yet this year because we wanted to get some testing in with the car first. Our plan was to go to the first race of the year but then we got busy with our business and we didn’t want to go there with no testing. We don’t like going to events unprepared and since we finally got laps in the car we made the decision to make the Northern Nationals our first PDRA event,” Bauer says.
Bauer’s weapon of choice is a 255-inch American Race Cars chassis that was finished by Chrome-Worx. Powering the dragster is a big-block Chevy filled with top-notch parts assembled by Jan-Cen Racing Engines. Atop of the engine is a Mike Janis supercharger and hat. Rounding out the driveline is an R&R transmission and FTI billet bolt-together torque converter. Controlling everything is an MSD ignition system that features a Grid unit, while a RacePak system tracks all of the data.
One of the biggest factors attracting Bauer to the Top Dragster class is the level of competition. Trying to make the field at any event can be a challenge and that’s one thing that Bauer enjoys.
“The decision to switch classes was based around the hype and competitiveness of Top Dragster. There are some really good racers in the class and making the field isn’t easy. I like being competitive and trying to qualify — it’s fun to know you have to run your best each pass if you want to make the field,” Bauer explains.
Bauer is looking forward to making his PDRA Top Dragster debut at Dragway 42 during the Northern Nationals. In the past, his team has raced with the PDRA in Top Sportsman and have enjoyed how the organization operated an event.
“Racing with the PDRA is great because it’s so family-friendly. They try to make the series as structured as possible when it comes time for you to run. I like how the Elite Top Dragster program is set up and how it meshes with the regular 32-car field. I’m looking forward to going to the Northern Nationals because it will be a tough field to get into. There are going to be a lot of good cars there from what I’ve heard and it will be a fast field. Just to make the field will be a plus for us — we have enough power to qualify, but with only seven passes on the car we need to make sure everything is ready,” Bauer says.
You can see Robert Bauer III take on the best Top Dragster racers at the PDRA Northern Nationals July 18-20. All of the PDRA racing from Dragway 42 will be broadcast live on SpeedVideo RIGHT HERE. This broadcast is brought to you by presenting sponsor Lunati along with Brodix, COMP Cams, Driven Racing Oil, Flying A Motorsports, and Jerry Bickel Race Cars.