Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 2, Page

Neal, Martin, Barfield Victorious at Valdosta

Words and photos by Ian Tocher

Doug Palmer thought perhaps a wishbone broke in the rear suspension of his car in the first round of Pro Extreme competition at Valdosta. Track photographer Phil Hubbard captured a great shot of Palmer’s ‘Vette just before having to abandon his post as it hit the wall in front of him.

ecord speeds, Elapsed Times, historic firsts  and a rain delay that forced final eliminations to be ran on the same time as NASCAR’s Daytona 500 all served to make this race a historic drag racing event anyway you look at it. Highlights included Jason Scrugg’s all time 194+ pass during Pro Outlaw testing on Friday, Shannon Jenkin’s making the first ever three-second nitrous pass in ADRL history during eliminations of Pro Nitrous and  Harold Martins winning the Pro Nitrous title at the first ADRL event he has ever attended  were just a few of the highlight of the ADRL season opener at Valdosta, GA.   

What was supposed to be a two-day event had to be stretched over to Sunday when rain started falling shortly after elimination rounds began Saturday evening. It was a disappointing end to the day for more than 5,000 enthusiastic fans packed into South Georgia Motorsports Park for the eighth-mile SpeedTech Winter Drags.

After enjoying balmy mid to high 70-degree temperatures during testing and qualifying, fans faced low 40s combined with a biting wind throughout Sunday. Track and air conditions changed drastically for the teams, too, with track temperatures at more than 90 degrees on Saturday, but down to below 50 on Sunday and corrected altitude dropping from about 1,800 feet to below sea level in less than 12 hours, causing many tuners to overpower the track or take too much power away on raceday.

“These are the toughest kind of conditions for making decisions,” said Howard Moon, crew chief for Joshua Hernandez. “When the weather changes this much from day to day almost everything you’ve done doesn’t mean anything. You have to start all over.”  


On this pass, Saltillo, MS’s Jason Scruggs steered his family-run ’63 ‘Vette to the quickest ADRL pass in history and the first to dip below 3.90 over the eighth mile. The incrementals were: 60 feet - .980; 330 feet - 2.610; and 3.893/192.96 at the finish.

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