Years of fast bracket racing in Top Sportsman prepared Bill Riddle for a move up to Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by Afco Racing, the Professional Drag Racers Association’s (PDRA) version of Outlaw 10.5. In just his second full season in the class, Riddle raced to one win in three consecutive final-round appearances to earn the 2023 Pro Street world championship. He also qualified No. 1 three times in the seven-race Pro Street season.
“We’ve been racing for years and been chasing this type of dream,” Riddle said. “It means a lot to us. I love the heads-up stuff. The last few races we’ve been getting a lot of cars here, which really made it fun. I’m hoping we get a lot more cars next year.”
Riddle qualified No. 1 in his roots-blown Corrigan Race Fuels ’89 Camaro at the season-opening Summit Racing Equipment East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park, where he was runner-up to two-time and outgoing world champion Tim Essick. The two traded places at the next race, the Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Classic Graphix at Virginia Motorsports Park, where Riddle qualified No. 2 and beat Essick in the final. He then qualified No. 1 and lost in the final to rookie and championship runner-up Scott Kincaid at the DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies at Summit Motorsports Park.
The Michigan-based driver qualified No. 1 again at the Fulton Competition Engines North vs. South Shootout presented by Penske Racing Shocks at Maryland International Raceway, but lost in the first round of eliminations. His first-round struggles continued at the next two races.
“We had a bunch of issues the last three races and I was a little worried about it,” Riddle said. “It was little things. It was like I had this black cloud over me. I want to say thank you to Lee White. He helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and told me what to do. Just having some guidance was really nice.”
The championship came down to the Pro Line Racing Brian Olson Memorial World Finals presented by ProCharger at VMP, where Riddle ended up facing points leader Bill Lutz in the first round of eliminations. In the battle between Michigan and Ohio, Riddle left first and won with a 3.95-second pass over Lutz’s 3.96.
“At that point it was do or die,” said Riddle, who reached the semifinals to hold off Kincaid. “Let’s do it right now and get it over with. I wouldn’t want it in anybody else’s hands but my own.”
Like many teams in the PDRA, racing is a family endeavor for Riddle. He gets help from his wife, Leslie, and daughter Brooke, who competes in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP.
“Thank you to my wife, my daughter, Chris Yates, my buddy Dan at home, and my sister back at home,” Riddle said. “Corrigan Race Fuels, Motorsports Unlimited, Mickey Thompson Tires, and SSI Superchargers all help me out. I appreciate everyone.”
Riddle and the rest of the 2023 world champions will celebrate their accomplishments at the annual PDRA Championship Awards Banquet on Friday, Dec. 8 in Indianapolis.