Racers in a range of Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) pro, sportsman, and Jr. Dragster categories will be fighting for the final spots to race at the upcoming Summit Racing Equipment PDRA ProStars race when the series returns to Virginia Motorsports Park (VMP) this weekend, June 14-16. The Drag 965 Summer Shootout presented by Classic Graphix is the final race for drivers to earn ProStars points toward a spot in the eight-car ProStars shootouts during VMP’s Night of Fire later this month.
“Along with being the fifth race of our eight-race 2022 world championship season, this weekend is the final opportunity for drivers to lock in spots to race for big money at the Summit Racing ProStars event,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “We’re paying out nearly $70,000 to the ProStars winners, with no entry fee, so this is a valuable opportunity to race for a solid payday and help us put on a show for the K95 Richmond Night of Fire fans.”
Like the last race on tour, the North vs. South Shootout presented by Line-X and Iron Man Quick Connect Push Bar at Maryland International Raceway, the Summer Shootout will feature every class the PDRA has to offer, from longtime fan favorites to new programs.
In Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous, defending world champion Jim Halsey is chasing an unprecedented fourth consecutive title with a solid points lead in his Fulton-powered “Daddy Shark” ’68 Camaro. His win at Maryland propelled him to the lead over season opener winner “Mountain Man” Mike Achenbach and Norwalk winner Tommy Franklin, who had to sit out the last race due to an off-track accident.
Despite a second-round exit at Maryland, Todd “King Tut” Tutterow holds the points lead in WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive. The doorslammer legend won the first two races of the season in his screw-blown P2 Contracting ’20 Camaro and has held off challengers like record holder Melanie Salemi, Maryland runner-up Robert Gallegos, and young gun Preston Tanner.
Just two ProStars spots are left in Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost, which will each race for $15,000 at the ProStars race.
Past world champion Johnny Pluchino is the only repeat winner in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition so far with two wins. The driver of the Kaase-powered $hameless Racing ’13 Mustang holds the points lead over back-to-back runner-up Tony Gillig and Norwalk winner JR Carr. Three ProStars spots are still on the table in Extreme Pro Stock.
The $hameless Racing Pro 632 championship battle is currently developing between two past PDRA Jr. Dragster world champions who also happen to be best friends. Amber Franklin is the points leader with two wins in her Musi-powered “OG Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro, while Maryland winner Lexi Tanner is chasing her down. Rookie and season opener winner Alan Drinkwater rounds out the top three in championship points. Five drivers will have the chance to lock in ProStars spots this weekend.
Two classes that will race at the Summer Shootout without the pressure of the ProStars points chase are Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle and Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by AFCO. Paul Gast is the current points leader in Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, while defending world champion Tim Essick is the Pro Street leader. Both classes have seen different winners at all three of their 2022 appearances so far.
The Summer Shootout is the second of four races for the PDRA’s new small-tire class, AFCO Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports. The class turned heads at its debut in Maryland, and even more entries are expected to join in on the action in Virginia.
“Our new Super Street class exceeded expectations at the North vs. South Shootout,” said Crossnoe, who’s also the VP of Virginia Motorsports Park. “We saw drivers with numerous different combinations from different small-tire classes come over and bolt on 28×10.5-inch slick tires. Word is spreading that this is an exciting new challenge, a new playing field, and a great place to race if you have a small-tire car. We’re excited to see even more Super Street racers this weekend.”
The PDRA’s sportsman stars will also be racing for the last remaining ProStars positions during the Summer Shootout in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by US Rail, Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance, MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers, and Lucas Oil Top Dragster presented by Laris Motorsports Insurance.
Perhaps the most competitive battle for ProStars points is set to take place in the Jr. Dragster classes, Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP and Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by PRP, which will both also compete at the Summer Shootout.
The Summer Shootout will also include Edelbrock Bracket Bash presented by COMP Cams, featuring local bracket racers as well as drivers that don’t qualify in Top Sportsman and Top Dragster.
Spectator tickets are available for $15 on Thursday, $20 on Friday, and $20 on Saturday, while a weekend pass is available for $50. Kids 12 and under get in free. Public suite seats are also available for $60 per day. Tickets can be purchased at PDRA660.com or at the gate.
A Thursday test session will precede the Summer Shootout from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Jr. Dragster classes will kick off Friday qualifying at 9:30 a.m., with the pros starting qualifying at 2 p.m. Friday Night Fire, featuring two consecutive pro qualifying sessions, will start at 5:30 p.m. A final qualifying session for sportsman and Jr. Dragster classes is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, followed by their first round of eliminations. Pro eliminations are set to kick off at 3 p.m.