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Several recently crowned world champions of the Professional Drag Racers Association backed up their titles with season-ending wins at the PDRA Brian Olson Memorial World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park, Oct. 20-23.
NAS Racing Pro Extreme champion Brandon Snider defeated defending world champion Jason Scruggs in the final round, while Tommy Franklin (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC), Kevin Rivenbark (GALOT Motorsports Park Pro Boost), and Eric McKinney (Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle) ran world-record performances en route to their victories.
PDRA Extreme Pro Stock winner Buddy Perkinson scored an emotional win for team owner Enoch Love. DiSomma Racing Engines Outlaw 10.5 number one qualifier John Carinci swept the weekend, also winning the event.
In the PDRA’s sportsman classes, Jeff Pittman was the winner in Ronnie Davis Top Sportsman presented by MagnaFuel after more than 85 cars attempted to qualify. Junior Houston scored the win in Lucas Oil Top Dragster. Dalton Hayes won in Talbert Pro Junior Dragster, while Jackson Williams won in MegaCorp Top Junior Dragster.
Points leader Brandon Snider went into the World Finals knowing that he would only need to win one round in order to lock up his first PDRA world championship. The Atmore, Alabama-based driver qualified number one for the sixth time this season, setting up a favorable ladder position against number eight qualifier Monte Grace. A 3.542-second pass was more than enough for Snider to win the round and the championship.
“It was tremendous,” Snider said of the round win. “We knew we had to win that round to seal the deal. Going into eliminations as the number one qualifier helped out. I didn’t try to push the tree or anything, just needed to go down the track. That round win took a lot of pressure off.”
Snider’s Q80 Racing 1969 Camaro ran a 3.552 at 217.11 to defeat Swedish racer Mikael Lindahl in the semifinals. Waiting for Snider in the final round was outgoing world champion Jason Scruggs, who pushed his ScruggsFarm.com Camaro to a 3.492 at 220.66 pass in his semifinal victory over Frankie “Mad Man” Taylor. With a wounded rear end, Snider was unsure if he would be able to overtake the “Mississippi Missile”.
“We had some rear end problems all weekend, and it hurt the rear end again in the semifinals. I figured Jason would go another 3.49 or quicker, and I knew we couldn’t do that. We just hoped the rear end would last another pass without destroying itself, and fortunately it ran a 3.52 and Jason didn’t make it down the track,” Snider admitted.
One of the strongest competitors all season long, Snider was rightfully proud of the accomplishments of his team, made up of crew chief Jimmy Crenshaw and crew member Michael Elsberry.
“This championship is huge for us,” added Snider, who tunes his screw-blown Camaro. “People don’t realize how hard we’ve worked. People see that we race once a month or so, but they don’t realize how much time, effort and money is funneled into this car. We worked hard the last couple years to develop a good program. To be rewarded with this championship is just huge for me, Jimmy and Michael. It says a lot because we have one of the smaller teams and smaller budgets. This just proves that it can be done.”