last race, I beat myself up
every day since then. I gave that one away; you can’t race red, so I
really focused on going green tonight.”
Tutterow qualified sixth and defeated James Beadling, points leader José
Gonzales and GALOT teammate John Strickland before reaching the third
final round of his career. Ray qualified fourth and took down Larry
Higginbotham, 2016 Pro Extreme world champion Brandon Snider and No. 1
qualifier Todd Moyer to meet up with Tutterow in the final.
Chicago-area driver Mike Recchia became the first Pro Extreme repeat
winner of 2017 as he won on a holeshot over Sweden’s Mattias Wulcan.
Recchia and his family-based team faced several challenges over the course
of the weekend, but their efforts were met with reward in the form of a
3.578 at 213.70 victory over Wulcan’s 3.569 at 212.36.
“First of all, we did have mechanical problems,” Recchia said. “We
actually had to pull the engine a couple times. My son made all the right
calls; he read the track and gave it what he thought it could take.
Sometimes we were a little weak, sometimes we were a little strong, but it
all worked in the end.”
Recchia qualified fifth in his screw-blown Agrow Fresh ’69 Camaro in a
field of 15 cars, a season high for the PDRA’s quickest and fastest
“Even when it’s a small field, it’s still the baddest guys in the world.
Now there’s just a few more of them; 16 of them versus eight of them. It’s
just one more round of racing,” Recchia added.
“I just want to thank all of my family and friends who came out to support
us this weekend. This is like a home race for us, about three and a half
hours from home. Everybody came out to support us. To win in front of your
friends and family is just beyond special – there’s no words to describe
it,” Recchia concluded.
Wulcan in his “Black Bird” ’69 Camaro fought his way into the final round
from the seventh spot, posting round wins over John Stanley, José Gonzales
and Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor.
For the second race in a row, Jay Cox in his Clements Mechanical-backed
“Pumpkin” ’69 Camaro defeated the “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro of defending
world champion Tommy Franklin in the Pro Nitrous final round. Cox
uncharacteristically struggled in qualifying, while Franklin led the
field, but it was Cox who came out with the event win. The Buck-powered
“Pumpkin” used a holeshot to defeat Franklin’s Musi-motored “Jungle Rat”
in a 3.709-to-3.708 final-round decision.
“It feels great; I hope to make it three or four or five of these wins in
a row,” Cox laughed. “I’m just in a rhythm right now. We came here and the
barometer was down, which affects me because I really don’t have a good
tune-up for that. But it’s coming around. We made that one good run in the
heat, then the nighttime run I just got carried away with it. Then we
didn’t go down the track on Q3 today. When you don’t go down two
qualifiers in a row, it puts a lot of pressure on you. But I have a bunch
of good guys behind me who worked hard. We were able to pull it off.”
Entering eliminations from the 10th spot, Cox knocked down John Hall,
Randy Weatherford and Danny Perry en route to his third final round and
victory of the season. Franklin, whose daughter Amber won in Pro Junior
Dragster, beat Chris Patrick, Ron Muenks and Jim Laurita to earn his spot
in the final round.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
Points leader Cary Goforth padded his lead over the Extreme Pro Stock
field with his second consecutive event win. Even with the added challenge
of putting together and fielding a second entry for his father, Dean
Goforth, the Holdenville, Okla.-based driver managed to win the race from
the No. 1 qualifying spot. He recorded a 4.081 at 176.77 in the final
round against John Montecalvo, who lost traction and ran a 6.337 at 92.33.
“That’s the first time a No. 1 qualifier has won this year, and that was
on my mind a lot,” Goforth said. “We’ve runnered-up as No. 1, but we
haven’t won as No. 1 and no one else has either.
“I think the thing that sticks out in my mind today is the points
situation. Trevor (Eman) went out first round, we beat John Pluchino, then
we got a round on Montecalvo in the final. It’s very beneficial in the
points race to get stretched out there where you feel comfortable. I’m not
saying you can slack off and lose first round, because you honestly can’t
do that and win (a championship) with three races left. We need to stay
away from first-round losses and stay on offense instead of defense. We
can’t take our foot off the pedal.”
Goforth used progressively quicker performances to defeat John Konigshofer,
defending world champion John Pluchino and class newcomer Matt Giangrande.
Montecalvo, who was breaking in a brand-new Haas-built ’17 Camaro,
displayed incredible consistency in his round wins over Rick Cowger, Dean
Goforth and Jeff Dobbins.
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
Travis Davis continued his winning streak that began in March when he won
the second race of the season. He used his best pass of the weekend, a
4.029 at 174.64, to beat Chuck Wilburn’s 4.116 at 170.62 and win his
fourth consecutive final round aboard his Timblin-built Suzuki.
“They were all tough,” Davis said of his four event wins. “You have to be
changing and moving and doing something different at every race. We’ve won
rounds where we were down on performance. We struggled some when we ran in
the heat of the day, but I felt like the numbers would come back when the
cool conditions came back, and they did.”
Davis, who qualified second, eliminated Terry Schweigert and Eric McKinney
before facing Wilburn in the final round. Wilburn raced out of the fourth
spot and defeated the father-son duo of T.T. Jones and Chris Garner-Jones
on his way to the final round.
TOP SPORTSMAN/TOP DRAGSTER
The two most recent Top Sportsman event winners on the 2017 PDRA Tour,
Dewayne Silance and Randy Perkinson, met up in the Elite Top Sportsman
final round at Indy. Silance, a hog farmer from Jacksonville, NC, used a
.020-second reaction time and dead-on 4.08 to take the win over Perkinson
and his 3.972 on a 3.97 dial-in. Silance defeated Lester Johnson, Bruce
Thrift and Andy Johnson on his way to the final, while Perkinson
eliminated Glenn Butcher, Henry Underwood and Mick Snyder.
A total of 45 Top Sportsman cars attempted to qualify at the Mid-America
Indy Showdown, leading PDRA officials to add a Quick 32 field in addition
to the Elite 16 program. The Quick 32 event win went to Jeff Pittman over
a red-lighting Gary Wojnowski Jr.
Midwest Top Dragster standout Kathy Fisher continued her recent hot streak
with final-round win in the “Dragoness” ’15 American dragster. Her
ProCharged entry was ready for a race, but she won the final at the
starting line when opponent Matt Cooke left too soon. Both drivers coasted
down the track shortly after launching off the starting line. Fisher
defeated Jimmy Sackuvich, EmiLee Novak and Robert Pickens prior to the
final. Cooke’s previous opponents were Matt Sackman, Angie Travis and Chaz
The next stop on the PDRA 2017 Tour is the PDRA Summer Nationals at Osage
Casino Tulsa Raceway Park, Aug. 10-12.
ABOUT THE PDRA
With offices in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and Saltillo, Mississippi, the
Professional Drag Racers Association is the top sanctioning body in the
United States for the sport of eighth-mile drag racing. The PDRA’s
professional categories include Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Extreme Pro Stock,
Pro Boost, Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme, the quickest doorslammer class in
drag racing. The 2017 PDRA schedule consists of eight national events. For
more information on the PDRA, visit
Photo: Gary Rowe / RaceWorks.com / PDRA660.com