2017 PDRA INDIANAPOLIS - EVENT NOTEBOOK
FINAL NOTEBOOK - TUTTEROW FOLLOWS IN FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS; RECCHIA, COX AND GOFORTH LAY DOWN WINS
A FAMILY TRADITION - Pro Boost rookie Ty Tutterow appeared in his second consecutive final round after red-lighting in the Maryland final round last month. This time, the 22-year-old wheelman left the starting line on time and reaching the finish line first. He drove the GALOT Motorsports “Tomcat” ’69 Camaro to a 3.729-second elapsed time at 199.49 mph over Jeremy Ray in the “Carolina Kingpin” ’63 Corvette, who posted a 3.751 at 198.32 in the runner-up effort.
“I’m racing against the tier-one cars of Pro Boost,” Tutterow said. “Everyone knows our GALOT Motorsports cars are really good cars. This is my job; my job is to drive a race car and I have to perform. After giving away the 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.
THE FIRST TWO-TIMER OF 2017 - 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 category.
“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.
DO IT AGAIN - 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.
FAMILY TRADITION, PT. 2 - 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.
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK - BUBBA'S NEW RIDE DELIVERS THE PROVISIONAL PRIZE
THAT NEW CAR NO. 1 SMELL - Bubba Stanton didn’t show any signs of “new-car blues” when he went to the Pro Extreme provisional No. 1 qualifying spot during the second session, posting a 3.546 at 214.21 mph. The 2014 world champion has made just a few passes on the screw-blown ’69 Camaro he recently acquired with the help of Young Racing.
“It feels pretty good to come out here and go to the top spot,” Stanton said. “I struggled in testing, then everything came together on that last run. Now we can work off of that and maybe be a little more consistent so we can win some rounds.”
Jason Scruggs ended up second in Pro Extreme after recording a 3.562 at 215.10 in a special grudge race against Dave Hirata’s nitro-injected A/Fuel dragster, which pedaled to a 4.454. Multi-time low qualifier Terry Leggett also ran a 3.562, though his 213.98 speed gave him the third spot. Wesley Jones and Mike Recchia are fourth and fifth with their 3.594 and 3.595, respectively.
HANGING BACK, JUMPING TO THE FRONT - Defending Pro Nitrous world champion Tommy Franklin sat near the back of the staging lanes as he watched pair after pair of his competitors ripping off mid-to-low 3.7-second passes. Though he had his “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro set up to qualify safely in the field, Franklin was ready for a chart-topping number – 3.692 at 202.82.
“I knew where Lizzy (Musi) was at and she went a .71, so I felt a little more confident after that,” Franklin said. “We didn’t get down the first session; I just made a bad tuning call. I was a little conservative on the second pass, but I wanted to take advantage of the night air. We might’ve left a few numbers on the table. But it went out there and made a nice run; the track was awesome and the Musi power was running good.”
Pat Musi-powered entries claimed the top three spots, as fellow Virginian Randy Weatherford followed Franklin with a 3.693 at 201.34, then Lizzy Musi sits third with her 3.712 at 203.55. Jim Laurita’s Reher-Morrison/Switzer Dynamics-equipped ’69 Camaro is fourth with a 3.738, followed by past world champion Jason Harris’ “Party Time” ’69 Camaro at 3.743.
GOFORTH CONTINUES QUALIFYING DOMINATION - If Holdenville, Oklahoma’s Cary Goforth can maintain his No. 1 qualifying spot through Saturday’s final qualifying session, he will have claimed the top spot at over half of the races so far this season. Goforth drove the Dean’s Casing Service/Dewayne Higgins Trucking ’14 Camaro to a 4.068 at 176.30 in the night session.
“The air was terrible, so I was happy with a 4.06,” Goforth said. “We were gunning for a 4.05. If we could go back and do it again, I think a 4.05 might be there. It’s just exciting to run that well when the conditions aren’t perfect.”
Veteran mountain-motor Pro Stock driver John Montecalvo is second in his brand-new Sonny’s-powered, Haas-built ’17 Camaro with a 4.096 at 175.66. Jeff Dobbins and Trevor Eman both posted 4.097s, with Dobbins earning the third spot by speed. GALOT race winner Chris Powers is fifth with a 4.107.
STILL CHASING - Chris Garner-Jones is chasing his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season. The Harvest, Alabama-rider took his ’15 Hayabusa to the provisional top spot with a 4.022 at 172.72 after an engine change for the second session.
“It feels great to be No. 1 because our first qualifying pass didn’t go as planned at all,” Garner-Jones said. “We just put this motor in and the first pass on it was that 4.02. It’s showing a lot of potential.”
Travis Davis, winner of the last three races on tour, is second on his Timblin-built Suzuki at 4.064 at 171.16. Three-time and defending world champion Eric McKinney is in the third spot with a 4.078 at 173.87 on his McKinney Motorsports entry. Chuck Wilburn is fourth with a 4.09, followed by T.T. Jones’ 4.098 in fifth.