PDRA releases 2019 schedule as 2018 season counts down

The final events for the 2018 PDRA season will be Oct. 4-6 at Darlington Dragway and Oct. 18-20 at Virginia Motorsports Park. The class with the tightest championship points battle is Pro Boost, where Pro Modified veteran Tommy D’Aprile (shown) holds a 15-point lead over Pro Boost rookie and former 10.5 racer Chuck Ulsch. 


The eighth-mile Professional Drag Racers Association has eight events on their 2019 schedule including a new stop at Ohio’s Dragway 42.


2019 PDRA Schedule

April 5-6: GALOT Motorsports Park

May 3-4:  Virginia Motorsports Park

May 31-June 1: Maryland International Raceway

June 28-29: South Georgia Motorsports Park

July 19-20: Dragway 42

Sept. 6-7: GALOT Motorsports Park

Oct. 4-5: Darlington Dragway

Oct. 25-27: Virginia Motorsports Park 

Plott takes Wednesday win at Rockingham Super Bowl of Drag Racing

Rockingham Dragway regular Tommy Plott used a perfect .000 reaction time and .008 package to draw first blood Wednesday in the SFG Super Bowl of Drag Racing which culminates with $100,000 to win races on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Plott, a former Hoosier Tires Carolina Coalition champion, waded through a first day field of 251 to reach the final where he beat T.G. Paschal of McLeansville, NC, to claim the initial $10,000 winner’s share of the purse.  

Hall of Famer ‘Jet Car Bob’ Smith dies

Drag racing legend “Jet Car Bob” Smith died in Simpsonville, SC, on Sept. 25 at age 80.


Born in Iowa, after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, Smith settle in San Jose, CA, in the late 1950’s where he discovered the drag racing scene. He got his first ride in the Master & Richter gasser and later drove dragsters for owners Sid Waterman, Tom Prufer and Romeo Palamides.


Palamides was a pioneer in the use of jet engines and he offered Smith the seat in his “Untouchable” jet dragster (above at left) in 1962. On Jan. 13, 1963, Smith drove the dragster to a pass of 287.704 mph at Kingdon Dragstrip in Lodi, CA. It held the Guinness Book of World Records for 13 years.


Smith purchased his own Top Gas dragster in 1967 but in September of the following year he suffered life-threatening burns after a top-end explosion and crash. He recovered and finished his racing career at the wheel of the Aumack Brothers’ “Mustard Gasser” Top Gas dragster.


Smith is survived by his wife of 51 years, Cora Margherita Smith, and daughter Claudia Hennigan Simica. A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, at the Dolly Cooper VA Cemetery, 140 Inway Dr., Anderson, SC 29621. “Jet Car Bob” will also be remembered at the upcoming California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield, CA.    

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