Reid, Harvey and Rivenbark Lead PDRA
Spring Nationals Winners
April 10, 2016 - Kevin Rivenbark raced
to the Galot Motorsports Pro Boost
victory Sunday at the PDRA Spring
Nationals in Rockingham, NC. the
second of nine events scheduled for
the all eighth-mile drag racing
Rivenbark shared the winners circle
with Randall Reid (NAS Racing Pro
Extreme), Travis Harvey (Switzer
Dynamics Pro Nitrous), Chuck Wilburn
(Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle), and
Richard Penland (Extreme Pro Stock).
Rivenbark was the only driver to run
the table at the event, winning both
the weather-delayed PDRA Nationals
from Tulsa, as well as the weekend’s
event. He won both events from the No.
1 qualifying position.
Sportsman winners included Cody Moore
(Lucas Oil Top Sportsman), Dan
Ferguson (Magnafuel Top Sportsman),
Kendal Little (Talbert Pro Junior
Dragster), Brandon Lively (Megacorp
Top Jr. Dragster) and Ava Lawler
Final eliminations for the event were
postponed until Sunday following an
accident on Saturday where defending
Top Sportsman champion Ronnie Davis
and Drag Illustrated Senior Editor Ian
Tocher were severely injured after a
racing accident. Davis succumbed to
his injuries Sunday evening.
Tocher, who was struck by debris from
the car driven by Davis, remains in
stable condition at UNC Medical
Center’s Trauma Unit in Chapel Hill,
North Carolina, where he suffered
numerous injuries to his legs, pelvis
Randall Reid knew there was no margin
for error in the finals of the NAS
Racing Pro Extreme division. The Iowa
Park, Texas-based driver was scheduled
to face Jason Scruggs, a challenge
which ranks right up there with
climbing Mt. Everest.
And in an example of pure will, Reid
found a way to make it to the peak of
the elimination ladder beating Scruggs
on a holeshot.
“I knew I had to be real good in the
final round,” said Reid. “He’s fast,
and one of the best there is in this
class. I’m just glad it all worked out
in my favor.”
Reid ran a slower 3.550, 215.96 to
fend off Scruggs’ quicker 3.501,
222.66. The tale of the tape was a
starting line advantage of .017 to
.082 in Reid’s favor.
Making it to the finish line in a Pro
Extreme car on a consistent basis is a
challenge to even the most seasoned
driver. However, when you do it and
win on a holeshot is the stuff where
legends are created.
“Winning a race on a holeshot in one
of these cars means a lot to me,” said
Reid. “I knew I needed to get out on
him early because we had experienced
our fair share of issues this weekend.
I’m just glad I was able to turn the
misfortunes into positives.”
Scruggs was strong all weekend,
establishing low elapsed time in
qualifying with a mark of 3.498.
“I never heard him, but I knew as I
went down the track and didn’t see
him, he was back there,” Reid
explained. “I kept looking for the
stripe, because as strong as he runs,
he’s liable to catch you at any time
with that big mile per hour of his. He
was close, just didn’t get there.”
When you have a hot hand you
definitely keep rolling with the
And Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous racer
Travis Harvey has been dealt a sizzler
with his new Pro Nitrous entry, thanks
to team owner Vaughn Myles.
Four times he’s entered Pro Nitrous,
and four times the Elon, NC-based
driver has reached the final rounds.
Two of those final rounds came this
weekend at Rockingham.
Harvey was able to rebound from a
Friday evening loss from the
weather-delayed Tulsa final to beat
Jay Cox in the final round of the
“I’m really glad to get this win,”
said Harvey. “My team needed this win
bad. I did my best driving to
compliment all of the hard work they
did in preparing this car. I cannot
thank my team owner Vaughn Myles
enough for this great opportunity.
“When you line up against a murderer’s
row of racers like Jay Cox, Tommy
Franklin and Stevie Jackson, just to
name a few people in the class, every
round counts in this class.”
Harvey isn’t being modest in his
assessment, either. In beating Cox, he
took a tenth on the starting line to
score a 3.763 to 3.751 decision,
roughly an eighth-inch decision at the
Harvey’s performance was not a bad
effort for a team which came together
a little over four months ago and in
addition to the two final rounds this
weekend had one win in two finals at
the Snowbird Nationals as well as the
U.S. Street Machine Nationals.
“The team has just gelled in an
awesome way, and Sonny Leonard
provides us with excellent horsepower.
We put this team together late last
year, and it has already been in four
finals since December.”
Momentum is important in Pro Nitrous,
“It gives us more momentum going into
the next race,” said Harvey. “No one
wants to go out and get beat up all
the time, so winning like this creates
a big swing in our favor.
“I won by .002, but it could have
easily gone the other way. Jay did a
good job all day. I got lucky that the
win light came on in my lane.”
Harvey paused to reflect in winning to
remember two of his fellow PDRA
friends involved in Saturday’s tragic
accident. Top Sportsman racer Ronnie
Davis and Drag Illustrated Senior Ian
Tocher suffered severe injuries an
accident during qualifying. Davis
later succumbed to his injuries.
“This win is dedicated to Ian Tocher
and Ronnie Davis,” said Harvey. “I
could be in that hospital bed right
now. Anything can happen out here at
Last season, Kevin Rivenbark finished
second to Kevin Fiscus in the Galot
Motorsports Pro Boost championship
point standings. This weekend the
Galot Motorsports driver was second to
Rivenbark was a two-time winner in
Rockingham. A day after beating
Melanie Salemi for the postponed Tulsa
title, he made a clean sweep of the
weekend by beating first-time PDRA
finalist Steven Whiteley.
“As John Force would say, ‘this is one
bad hot rod,” said Rivenbark. “It’s
unbelievable that we could double-up
here this weekend. We were able to
claim the maximum points for two races
in one weekend. This is a dream come
true and I really couldn’t ask for any
Rivenbark was clearly the driver to
beat all weekend after qualifying No.
1 with a 3.761 elapsed time. He ran a
3.751 to tie his newly established
Tulsa world record. In the final
round, he saved his best run of the
weekend for last, a 3.732 elapsed
time, to beat Whiteley, who lost with
“After we won Tulsa, I knew it was
going to be hard to beat us,”
Rivenbark admitted. “In this sport,
you can fall as quickly as you rise to
the top. We are on top, and the car is
really running well. Right now,
everything is falling into place, but
that’s not to say it might not be this
way next race.”
Rivenbark said his confidence is at an
all-time high, but feeling this way
isn’t much of a challenge when you
have a team led by Todd Tutterow.
“I always feel confident because Todd
and the team give me a car that will
go from A to B,” said Rivenbark. “When
your car goes to the finish line under
power 99-percent of the time it’s easy
to have a high level of confidence.”
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle racer
Chuck Wilburn had plenty of confidence
all day Sunday in Rockingham.
Wilburn was confident he DIDN’T have
the bike to beat. This time, he didn’t
mind being wrong.
Wilburn saved his best for last as he
overcame a holeshot from Ashley Owens
to score his second career PDRA win
with a 4.043, 173.01. For his part,
Owens recorded a 4.116, 176.26 to
Wilburn entered eliminations as the
No. 4 qualifier and advanced to the
finals with wins over Burke Forster
and low qualified Chris Garner-Jones.
“It all goes back to Tulsa when we
hurt an engine after going 4.02 and
qualifying No. 2. We broke a crank and
scrambled just to get here. We hurt a
lot of parts we could not duplicate.
We just got the thing together and
never really ran good.”
The second round win over Jones was a
turning point in his bid to reach the
“Second round we ran Jones and knew we
were going to have to run really well
against him and put a big tune-up in
it, and luckily he broke on the
burnout,” Wilburn explained. “We just
spun the tire all the way down the
track. We only ran a 4.11.
“We got back to the trailer, regrouped
and got a four out of it. We should be
on the right track with this
combination, I hope.”
Wilburn’s previous win came at
Rockingham Dragway last fall.
“I never felt it was my race to win. I
thought we were beat in round one,
round two and in the semis, Ashley
only went a .13. I felt like if we
could just run a 4.09, we’d have a
chance to win. We just softened
everything up and the track came
around. It worked out; he put a big
holeshot on me and we were lucky
enough to beat him to the finish
Defending Drag 965 Pro Extreme
Motorcycle champion Eric McKinney lost
in the first round.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
After two winless Pro Stock final
rounds at Rockingham, Clover, South
Carolina’s Richard Penland emerged
victorious after No. 1 qualifier John
Pluchino fouled in the final round.
The victory marks the second career
PDRA title for Penland.
The Extreme Pro Stock division
returned to the PDRA following a
one-year hiatus. Penland was
impressive in his return, entering
eliminations as the No. 3 qualifier.
He reached the finals by opening with
a single when Lester Cooper couldn’t
make the call, and then took out Brian
Gahm in the semis.
“This is as close as you can get to
being a home track for me,” said
Penland. “I’ve wanted to win here for
a long time and this time, the
opportunity finally worked out. Been
shooting for a win here for a while,
and this time finally hit it.”
Penland returned to racing this
weekend after a year off to serve as
caretaker for his father Oliver
Penland, who passed away last Friday.
“This win is dedicated to him,” said
Penland. “I think it is great to be
back at the PDRA. I told Jason and
Bob, we are happy to be back here with
the family we love. It’s a
continuation of a family that has
stuck together through many different
associations. This is what we call our
home. It was great to come back home.
In Lucas Oil Top Dragster, Cody Moore
won a final round battle of alternates
as he beat Chaz Silance in the final
Moore, who entered Sunday’s
eliminations at the No. 17 qualifier,
beat the No. 23 seeded Silance with a
+.011, 4.071 run. Silance was
competitive at the stripe as well,
recording a +.019, 4.129.
Moore beat Matt Sackman, Jimmy
Sackuvich and Don Hall to reach the
A battle of sportsman titans
determined the winner of the Magnafuel
Top Sportsman division.
Dan Ferguson used a .003 reaction and
a +.011, 3.981 to take the measure of
multi-time IHRA Top Dragster champion
Scott Duggins, who now races a 1963
Ferguson’s road to the finals included
victories over Bruce Thrift, Dwayne
Silance and Cheyenne Stanley.
Ava Lawler won the all new 2016 ET
Bracket Bash class.
Kendal Little won the Pro Jr. Dragster
Mia Schultz won the Top Jr. Dragster
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