FRANKLIN, FISCUS AND McKINNEY WIN PDRA TEXAS NATIONALS
ENNIS, TX (Mar. 22, 2015) -- It looked for a time like Mother
Nature was going to be the only winner at the inaugural
Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) Texas Nationals,
but perseverance by PDRA officials and race teams overcame
persistent rain showers that completely eliminated Friday's
schedule and drastically shortened Saturday's action. In the
end, qualifying and a full day's worth of racing were
completed on Sunday, Mar. 22, highlighted by Mustafa Buhumaid
of the United Arab Emirates winning the first Pro Extreme race
of his career.
Also picking up pro class wins in the PDRA season opener at
the Texas Motorplex were polesitter Tommy Franklin in Pro
Nitrous, Kevin Fiscus with the second Pro Boost victory of his
career, and reigning Pro Extreme Motorcycle Champion Eric
Sportsman class victories went to current Top Sportsman champ
Dan Ferguson, local favorite J.R. Baxter in Top Dragster, and
Kendal Little and Aaron Jordan in Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr.
The official qualifying and eliminations sheets show Buhumaid
as a resident of Spartanburg, SC, but that's just where his
screw-blown '69 Camaro is housed and prepared between events.
The Dubai-based driver makes the 10,000-mile, one-way trek on
a routine basis to attend PDRA events and made this visit pay
off with the NAS Racing Pro Extreme win over Brandon Snider in
the final round of the PDRA Texas Nationals.
"This was not an easy win," Buhumaid's crew chief, Al Billes,
stated. "I came here with no practice on this car and we
struggled a little early trying to find the right tune-up, but
it gradually came together and Mustafa did a great job
driving. He made the difference in winning here."
After going 3.64 at 211.20 to qualify sixth, Buhumaid beat
2014 class champion Bubba Stanton, veteran Texas racer Gaylen
Smith and past class champ Todd Tutterow with a .051 holeshot
in the semis before meeting Snider.
On the opposite side of the ladder, Snider barely made it into
the field in the 16th and final slot with an off-the-pace
4.760 pass in his new '69 Camaro. He recovered with a 3.57 at
214.18 in the opening round of racing against top qualifier
Randell Reid, whose '07 Corvette broke on the starting line,
then ran low E.T. of the meet with a 3.55 at 215.31-mph win
over Buhumaid's NAS Racing teammate Badir Ahli in round two.
Snider slowed slightly to 3.57 at 213.60 in the semis, but
still managed to overcome a .011 starting-line advantage by
In the final round, Buhumaid got away first with a .031
reaction time, then posted his best run of the weekend at 3.57
seconds and 214.52 mph to defeat Snider, who ran 3.59 at
"We knew we were slowing down because the fluid in the
transmission was getting old, but everyone was rushing to get
the race done so we didn't have the time we needed between
rounds to take everything apart and refill the converter with
fresh fluid," Snider explained later. "I really think we
could've run another .55, so it's pretty disappointing, but
it's also our first time out with a new car so we can't be too
unhappy. I'm just glad we managed to qualify; that felt like
we won the race, to be honest."
The 2015 PDRA season could not have started better for
Franklin, who ran 3.71-seconds pass at 201.19 mph to qualify
number one and also reset his own official Switzer Dynamics
Pro Nitrous elapsed time record.
The Fredericksburg, VA, electrical company owner then ran his
'69 Camaro like a bracket car in eliminations, making a pair
of 3.76 passes to beat Blake Housley and Jay Cox before
improving to a pair of 3.74s to defeat Jeff Naiser in the
semis and Jeffrey Cummins in his first Pro Nitrous final-round
appearance. Plus, all four of Franklin's elimination-round
passes were at more than 200 miles an hour.
"It actually hurt an O-ring early, in the first round, so it
was smoking a little bit, but we managed to nurse it through,"
Franklin said after treeing Cummins by .032, then going 3.74
at 200.71 to take his second career Pro Nitrous title.
"I'm just glad we were able to get it all in. It was tough
waiting out all the rain, but everyone pulled together and we
got it done."
New Jersey's Anthony Disomma shattered both ends of the
Precision Turbo Pro Boost records in qualifying number one in
Texas with a 3.76-seconds pass at 211.89 mph. While he ran
another pair of 211-mph passes in eliminations, Disomma
narrowly missed backing up the E.T. mark within the required
one percent to make it an official record.
Jacksonville, FL's Fiscus also eclipsed Disomma's prior speed
record of 208.20 mph in qualifying second at 3.85 and 209.49
mph, and though he never ran faster in eliminations he did
make it through teammate Jim Bell, Jeremy Ray and Kevin
Rivenbark in order to meet class rookie and number-five
starter John Strickland in the final round.
It was an anticlimactic finish, however, as Strickland left in
his roots-blown '69 Camaro before the starting tree was
activated and Fiscus motored to an easy 4.78-seconds, 110-mph
win in his twin-turbo'd 2012 Mustang. It marked his second
PDRA Pro Boost victory after scoring last spring at Valdosta,
"I don't know what happened but he (Strickland) left way early
so I knew we had won it at that point," Fiscus said of the
final round. "We had it set up to run an .80, but it shook so
I had to shut it down. It's not the way we want to win, but
it's a W so we'll take it and go on from here."
It was a familiar face in victory lane for Drag 965 Pro
Extreme Motorcycle in Dallas, as defending class champion Eric
McKinney took the win with a 4.06 pass at 169.93 mph in the
final over teammate Ashley Owens. McKinney also reset his own
PDRA elapsed time record with the series' first three-second
pass on two wheels as the Hamersville, OH-based rider made a
3.99-seconds solo run at 179.54 mph in the opening round of
"Making that three-second run almost felt like winning the
race," said McKinney, whose 4.00 in qualifying number one
officially backed up the record. "My hat's off to my team. My
dad (Scott) put all this together, we have the best tuner and
motor builder in Ashley, and I just can't thank everyone
enough that helps us out."
Despite his own success, McKinney also expressed concern for
the health of his chosen class after only five entries made up
the field in Texas.
"I want to thank our class sponsor, Drag 965, and Vance &
Hines for sponsoring the top qualifier. I mean, thank goodness
for those people; they've kept this class going," McKinney
pointed out. "The (bike) count was just horrible this weekend.
I know it's a long drive and people were looking at the
weather, but we got it done and you can't look at stuff like
that when it comes to racing. You need to support the class or
it just isn't going to be here."
Class rookie Tricia Musi qualified her '09 Dodge Stratus on
top of an all-run, nine-car Magnafuel Top Sportsman field in
Dallas with the only three-second pass in the class all
weekend. In the same car campaigned by sister Lizzy Musi in
Pro Nitrous last season, Tricia ran a career-best 3.983
seconds at 188.36 mph in qualifying, but after making a 4.11
solo pass in round one of racing she lost in round two against
Chanse Bulloch and his '63 Corvette.
It was defending class champion Ferguson in his '02 Firebird,
however, who drove from a number-two start to a final-round
victory over Bob Gulitti and his 2011 Camaro at the PDRA Texas
Nationals. After both drivers dialed in at 4.15, Ferguson won
with a 4.16 pass, deliberately backing off at the stripe to
avoid breaking out after Gulitti shook the tires and had to
shut off early.
"I didn't get to win a race last year so this feels great,"
said Ferguson, a student and part-time auto dealer in
Harrisburg, NC. "I heard people say I won the championship on
luck, so I had to show them it wasn't all just that."
The Dart Top Dragster trophy went home with J.R. Baxter, who
hails from Waxahachie, TX, just a few miles away from the
track. Qualifying in the 16th and final position after 21 cars
made qualifying attempts, Baxter benefited from a red-light
start by number-eight starter Shane Eperjesi in the first
round of racing, the beat Jimmy Sackuvich and Jon Bradford,
who broke out in the semis.
In the final round, after Baxter and number-one qualifier Wade
Pennington left with identical .022 lights, Baxter ran 4.30 at
158.54 on his 4.27 dial in, while Pennington went 3.88 at
173.36 after dialing in at 3.82 seconds.
Running against a 7.90 index, Little, of Harker Heights, TX,
ran a near-perfect 7.902 in the Huddleston Performance Pro Jr.
Dragster class to beat a breaking out 7.898 by Preston Tanner
in the final. The Huddleston Top Jr. Dragster trophy went to
Ft. Worth, TX, with Jordan, who ran 8.96 on an 8.91 dial in to
beat Mia Schultz.
The PDRA returns to action Apr. 9-12, when it visits
Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina, for the 2nd annual PDRA
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