Franklin, Full of Gratitude
PITTSBORO, N.C. (December 6, 2017): It was quite a year
for the Franklin family. Hot of his 2016 Pro Nitrous
Championship, Tommy Franklin continued his winning ways.
His eldest daughter, Amber, followed closely in his
footsteps and the youngest Franklin, Ashley, did
incredibly well in her first year behind the wheel.
While Tommy and Amber have often shared final round
appearances at the races - including three times in 2017
alone - a double-win has eluded them. There was something
bigger in store for them, however. The father/daughter duo
won it all together as the 2017 Switzer Dynamics Pro
Nitrous World Champion and the 2017 Campers Inn RV Pro
Junior Dragster World Champion.
Amber had such an incredible season, she wrapped her
championship up even before the second to last race was
“This season was, by far, my best season ever,” said the
15 year old Virginia native. “We started off the year with
a final round and then did it again at the second race. I
didn't qualify at Darlington, which didn’t necessarily set
us back, but it made us see how hard we needed to push. We
went to semis in Maryland and then we came to Indy. I
absolutely love Indy. That’s one of my favorite cities. I
was on my practice tree at home a lot before Indy, trying
to get myself ready for that race. I knew how special it
would be to win that race and then we did it. Winning at
Indy was a dream come true.”
Two races remained, but Amber only needed one more to
secure her championship. She had quite a distance between
her and the second and third place racers, already. As the
race went on, it became certain Amber would be the 2017
“It was the biggest
celebration when I knew I had the championship,” Amber recalled. “It was a
crazy moment. We were all freaking out. Our junior community is the best
racing family out there. Even though we compete against each other they
all came up congratulating me. People drove down there specifically to
come say congratulations.”
Amber ended up going to her fourth final at that event, putting a decisive
exclamation point on her championship. One race later, Tommy locked up his
championship as well.
“Witnessing my dad’s championship last year was a huge moment for us. That
was my dad’s first Pro Nitrous championship and he had been trying really
hard. I felt so proud of him and so happy for him and proud of our team.
Winning my own championship, I realize how blessed and thankful I am for
it because of the people that put in the work to get me here. I definitely
would not have been able to do it without our crew and my parents and all
those that support us.
“I want to thank my dad, for everything that he does for me. He’s taught
me everything I know about racing from the basics to all the skills it
takes to win. My mom, for always supporting and being there to run us when
my dad can’t. My sister, definitely. She’s always running around trying to
help. All of our crew - Chris Murray, Todd Wilcox, Chase Murray - for all
their help at the race track or between races. My boyfriend, Blake. He’s
always there supporting and helps if he’s goes out before me. My cousin,
Crystal, works for the PDRA but is always supporting and being a big help.
And all of our family and friends back at home. Our sponsors - Franklin
Electric, Smartcom Home Technologies, Nick Woods, Half Scale, Hoosier
Racing Tires. There’s a whole line of people that make it all worth it.
“Most of all, I give it all back to God, because He’s really the one that
brought us here. If he didn’t bless us with what we have, we would not be
able to do what we do.”
Amber dedicates this championship to her great-grandfather who passed away
in February of this year.
The Franklins can continue to try for their double - or triple! - win next
season as all three will continue in their current classes, but, for now,
they’re grateful for the incredible success of 2017.
“We’ve been trying so hard for that for last three years now to win at the
same time,” Amber continued. “We haven’t been able to get it. We had a few
races this year where we were both in the finals, but didn’t pull it off.
Then we won the championships together and we were like, ‘Wow, maybe God
had a bigger plan for us. Instead of just a race we got championships
together.’ It was pretty neat.”
ABOUT THE PDRA
Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, 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,
Pro Nitrous, Pro Boost, Extreme Pro Stock and Pro Extreme
Motorcycle along with several sportsman and various
exhibition categories. The 2017 PDRA schedule consists of
eight national events. For more on the world’s premier
eighth-mile drag racing organization visit
www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Instagram,
Photo: Gary Rowe / RaceWorks.com / PDRA660.com
PRESS CONTACT: Lisa Collier
Professional Drag Racers Association