2014 PDRA Georgia Drags Same Day Coverage From SGMP




It’s a little cooler this morning here in south Georgia for the second PRDA race this year. We are kicking things off with Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme qualifying after running up against the track’s curfew last night. There is a good turnout of cars this weekend and should be a great day of racing under partly cloudy skies.

As always, a big thanks to the presenting sponsor of our year-long same day event coverage, Comp Cams, and all of the COMP Performance Group brands. For more information on Comp Cams, log on to compcams.com!


Frankie Taylor is sporting a new wrap this weekend with Stupid Fast Racing sponsor colors. Taylor has the PDRA Pro Extreme record with a 3.485 but struggled a bit yesterday losing number three plug and creeping up on the set up with new rear tires with liners. The delay for their second session allowed the team to repair the damaged cylinder going into today’s qualifying. Taylor is looking for 3.50’s this morning.


John DeCerbo sits ninth in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous with a 3.889 at 192. Plans for 2014 include the PDRA tour and some local EOPM events. DeCerbo is trying out a new lockup converter from Neal Chance backed by a Bruno transmission with assistance from Todd Tutterow on converter tuning.


I stopped by number one qualifier in Pro Nitrous Jason Harris pits and spoke with crew chief and car builder Robert Hayes. This year Harris has run multiple 200 MPH passes making him the fastest Pro Nitrous car and current record holder for ET with a 3.770 set at the Rockingham event. The car is powered by a Pat Musi engine and the team is testing a new engine combo from Pat Musi and doing R&D on an Edelbrock fuel injection system. They are also testing a new fuel from Fuse which is a synthetic unleaded fuel which is clearly paying off in the performance so far this year.


Michael Neal is racing for Tom Ashley and has been with the team for several years. He is behind the wheel of a new car this year that was purchased from Tim Tindle and built by Tommy Mauney. “Anytime we qualify is a good day” says Neal and they will be looking to improve on his tenth spot today.


Larry Higginbotham had a bit of a scare last night after losing an oil line next to Kevin Fiscus in Precision/Pro Line Pro Boost. Higg got in his own oil and moved into the other lane just behind Fiscus, missing the Mustang’s wheelie bars by just a few feet. All is well this morning with the team buttoning things up before qualifying.

Brandon Pez drives the Corvette for Lethal Acceleration Racing and is part of a two car team with Todd Martin in the other car. Pez has no qualifying hits after and issue with the idle last night forced him to drive off the track after the burnout due to a high idle.

The Martin/Wante Racing team has two new cars out of Joey Martin’s shop for this year. Martin is currently qualified fifth. They were just firing up the engine this morning and you can be sure they are looking to move up the ladder in this morning’s session.

Pro Nitrous racer Jim Sackuvich is based out of Raymore, Missouri and runs a 2013 Camaro from Jerry Bickel with power from Reher Morrison. The car was new at the beginning of 2013 with the team running some XDRL and ADRL races last season. They are looking forward to running the entire PDRA this year as well as some division 5 races with their Top Sportsman car.

We wrapped up round two of Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme this morning and there was a lot of movement in the field especially the Pro Nitrous class.

Pat Stoken moved up the field two spots to third in this session with a 3.830 at 198 MPH. Pat has Brandon Switzer in his corner as one of the Switzer Dynamics test vehicles. Switzer has Jim Lauritta and Bob Rahaim as well with Rahaim in second so far. They work with Reher Morrison on engine combinations and intake manifolds development. John Meaney is also part of the program with ECU development. Pat has a new car this year from Rick Jones as well and this is the second race for the car.


Frank Cersosimo put his viper in at number thirteen with a 3.896 at 193 MPH. The Killer Instinct Racing team is based out of Lehigh, Florida and runs a Buck Racing Engines 855. Cersosimo is shown here with Robert Mathis who’s best run so far was a 3.98. He sits outside the field.


Bubba Stanton moved right up to third position in Pro Extreme with a 3.62 at 213 MPH blast for the Potts Camp Mississippi based team.


Eric Dillard took over driving for Jose Gonzalez for this session and put the car in fifth with a clean 3.643, earning top MPH with a whopping 217 MPH top end charge.


Frankie Taylor was one of several racers this weekend having trouble with broken blower belts.


Tommy D’April improved to a 3.66 at 207 driving the Mel Bush Racing Corvette though his position would not change this round. He is currently ninth.


There is a good crown on hand today with the stands filling up as the day goes on.


Todd Martin qualified with a 3.68 at 205 last night and wasn’t able to improve after breaking a rocker arm in the second session which caused a small fire going through the traps.

Martin has a spare engine but also has the next three weekends booked for other events including at his own track, Tulsa Raceway Park so they will not be repairing the car here. He runs the billet Chuck Nuytten blocks with a new Pro Mod cylinder head from Allen Johnson built specifically for Martin that is under development. Sponsorship includes Trick Titanium, Slick Rick Racing Heads and LAT Oil


Alton Clements is here driving the new car for Ed Rice in Pro Boost. The car was a nine year build process with a Brad Anderson 521 fed by a pair of 88 MM turbos from Precision. The Racecraft built car has been a best of 4.68 at 171 MPH. Gary Rohe Racing also helps out with chassis work. This is basically a test session for the team before heading to the next NMCA event in Madison, Illinois.

Final Qualifying Results

 Round One Eliminations Results

Richard Penland (near lane) put a hole shot on Extreme Pro Stock number one qualifier John Montecalvo with both drivers off pace on reaction times. Penland went on to a 4.26 at 167 MPH.


Number two qualifier Cary Goforth (far lane) moved past John Pluchino with an .047 reaction and 4.12 at 176 through the traps while Pluchino shut it down early.


Texan Jeff Naiser took the starting line advantage going on to earn a spot in round two of Pro Nitrous as Jim Sackuvick was in the field as an alternate and smoked the tires.


Bob Rahaim put up a 3.74 to David Janes 3.91 driving around him after a poor .151 reaction time, he will advance to round two and face off with Tim Savell.


Jason Scruggs set low ET in eliminations with a 3.590 at 213 on a bye run as Neal Wantye was unable to make the call for the round.


Wesley Jones face off with Don Wooten and took a .02 advantage at the tree. Wooten was inserted as an alternate and put up his best run of the weekend by far with a game 3.76 at 200, it just wasn’t enough for Jones’ 3.72.


Badir Ahli earned the win over Eric Dillard putting up a .034 reaction time, right at .03 quicker than Dillard who puffed some smoke out the right bank near half track and moved left out of the groove to keep any oil off the racing surface.

John Stanley and Frankie Taylor were paired up for round one in what would be an interesting though uneventful match. Taylor shut off after the burnout and when Stanley left the car sputtered and spit before shutting off. Stanley will face Joey Martin in round two.

Mike Valerio (left) from MVM inspects the track surface with son Frank in between rounds. They are here offering support to teams running their carbon wheelie bars this weekend.

Round Two Results

We are on a holding pattern currently due to a light rain. Round two is completed though we had to stop during Top Dragster and the plan is to resume at 9 AM Sunday morning.

Joe Baker from Medicine Man Racing with face off with Kevin Rivenbark in the Precision Turbo Pro Boost class this morning after a rain delay last night has us here an extra day. Baker is a former Pro Extreme racer with a win here in 2007. He has been running this car for owner Steve Mecklenmore for three years and is a full partner in the racing operation for 2014. He plans to run the full PDRA series pending on schedule with his home building business in Milton, Florida. He has a slight ET advantage for lane choice this round after his 3.934 win over Todd Tutterow in round two.

Top Sportsman racer Dan Ferguson hails from Harrisburg, North Carolina with his 2002 Firebird built by Jeff Soylan for NHRA Top Sportman. Ferguson purchased the car in 2011 and ran the car with a 565 cubic inch big block Chevy running 4.60’s after moving up from a street driven 1997 Trans AM that ran 10.80’s. The current engine is a 765 Chevy purchased from Dale Pittman and the fifth time out with this combo which has a best run of 4.12 at the Rockingham PDRA event. Dan would like to thank John Williams for the help getting the car set up and help with tuning, his crew, Marty Noir, Ron and Jeff Soylan, Ed Steffy, his mother and father and grandparents.

Lester Cooper got past Brian Gahm in round one with a 4.17 and will face off with Team Aruba driver Trevor Eman in the Aruba Extreme Pro Stock semi final. Cooper has a new engine from Jon Kaase for this year and they are still working on getting the car set up for the added power. He came from the grudge racing ranks and has been in Extreme Pro Stock for about three years now.

Semi Final Results

Danny Payne took the win over Melissa Hutson in Top Dragster running a 4.137 on a 4.12 dial. Hutson left first by .004 but fell off pace running a 3.955 on her 3.90 dial. With just three cars left Brian Bedman would have a single running a 4.253 in a 4.20 dial in the KillerRons.com dragster.

Dylan Stott earned the win in the Stott's Ford Mustang over Billy Albert running a 4.338 on his 4.24 dial after putting up a .004 reaction time. Both drivers were off their dial significantly. Dan Ferguson did his job on the tree with a .004 reaction with Ed Haddock getting loose and shutting it down early.

Pro Boost had Joe Baker in the Medicine Man 1953 Studebaker matched with Kevin Rivenbark. It was a close race with Baker leading early. At the stripe it would be Baker with a 3.94 to Rivenbark’s 3.968. The other pair was Kevin Fiscus and Larry Higginbottham with Fiscus putting a tree on Higg and running a 3.952 at 200 MPH earning a spot in the final.

Trevor Eman and Richard Penland met in Extreme Pro Stock with Penland leaving first. Down track it turned into a pedal fest with both drivers getting crossed up. Eman pulled out the win with a 5.19 at 154.


Cary Goforth and Lester Cooper were the other pair in the class. Cooper was out first but could not hold off Goforth’s 4.17 at 175. This makes it seven for seven final round appearances with this new car.

Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous had Travis Harvey and Jason Harris one side of the ladder and Bob Rahaim and John Camp on the other. Harvey did his job on the tree with a .012 reaction but shook early in the run. Harris went on to a 3.83 at 200.23 MPH. Rahaim and Camp left with near identical reaction times but he also shook the tires while Rahaim went on to a 3.86 at 197.

Brandon Snider met with Mick Snyder in the first pair of NAS Racing Pro Extreme. Brandon left first with an .024 light but slowed to a 3.88 at 201 in the heat allowing Mick to get around him running a 3.68 at 208 in the Powerhouse Transportation Corvette.

The other pair was Joey Martin and Bubba Stanton. It would be Stanton from start to finish with a3.70 at 212 as Martin got out of shape near half track.

Final Results

Bubba Stanton took the win for car owner Roger Henson in NAS Racing Pro Extreme over Mick Snyder who was out first but lost traction down track. Stanton also slowed from his earlier times running a 3.88 at 194 in the final. This was a match of the same cars in the final round at the PDRA season opener in Rockingham with Stanton winning both matches.


Jason Harris ran the table in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous for his second PDRA win this year. He faced Bob Rahaim in the final round in the afternoon as the track temperature was climbing to well over 140 degrees, giving the racers very tricky conditions. Both racers were off pace some with Harris taking the win with a 3.91 at 196 to Rahaim’s 5.08 at 99 MPH shut down run. Harris is running well this year and has run no less that ten 200 MPH runs using the latest technology from Pat Musi Racing Engines.


Aruba Extreme Pro Stock had eight cars in class here at South Georgia Motorsports Park, matching the count at the PDRA season opener. He faced off with Trevor Eman, the number five qualifier putting up a .086 to Eman’s sleepy .104 reaction. At the stripe it would be Goforth first with a 4.153 at 175.84 to Eman’s 4.167 at 175.30. Goforth is another PDRA repeat winner this weekend and has won six of seven finals since running this car late in 2013.


Precision Turbo Pro Boost number two qualifier Kevin Fiscus met up with Joe Baker who was qualified in the number eight spot. Baker took a slight advantage at the start but wasn’t able to keep the car hooked up and fell behind early. Fiscus also had trouble down track as both racers were working the throttle during the race. Fiscus was able to hold on for the win with a 4.16 at 194 MPH earning the win for the Fiscus/Klugger racing Pro Line powered Mustang in his first PDRA appearance.


Georgia’s own Travis Davis qualified number one in Pro Extreme Motorcycle with a 4.09 at 172 MPH and took home high MPH for the event in the final round with a 175.14 MPH blast. He needed every bit of that top end charge to get by Ronnie Procopio’s .005 reaction time. At the stripe is would be Davis with a 4.113 at 175.14 over Procopio’s 4.198 at 171.93.


Magnafuel Top Sportsman winner Dylan Stott got his start racing Jr. Dragsters at Piedmont Dragway. He qualified eleventh in the field and met number eight man Dan Ferguson in the final round. Stott took a big advantage at the starting line with a .017 light and held it down track running a 4.311 on his 4.25 dial to earn the win.


Ocala based racer Brian Bednar took home win the in in Top Dragster over Danny Payne. Just .001 separated them at the start with Payne going over his 4.12 dial by .044. Bednar ran just .022 over his 4.25 dial in running a 2009 Spitzer chassis.


About the author

Rob Cossack

Rob has had an interest in photography since he was young, but didn't get started until 2007, when he started shooting at the local tracks. After that, he started doing local video coverage of heads-up events and began working with Power Automedia shortly after.
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