2019 PDRA NORTH-SOUTH SHOOTOUT - EVENT PAGE
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK - WE CROWN THE WINNERS
SECOND TIME IS THE CHARM - The final round in Pro Nitrous was one of two final rounds that had to be rerun due to debris blowing through the eighth-mile sensors. The win light came on in Jay Cox’s lane during the first running, though his scoreboard posted an invalid time next to Lizzy Musi’s 3.655 at 206.95. Around an hour later, Cox turned on the win light again, this time with a 3.677 at 206.48 in his Buck-powered Butner Construction ’69 Camaro. Musi was aggressive off the starting line, but slowed to a 5.878 at 79.52.
“It’s really rewarding any time you can win,” Cox said. “This is a max-effort racing class. It isn’t something you can take lightly. Pat (Musi) stood on his and I stood on mine. That’s all that motor had. My guys work hard, they deserve every chance to win. I hate that the deal ended up like that, but at the end of the day it is what it is.”
Cox and his Smithfield, North Carolina-based “Pumpkin” Camaro stepped up in each round leading to the final, beginning with a 3.759 at 204.23 over Mike Gondziola and a 3.698 at 206.39 to defeat Billy Albert and his 3.817 at 201.94. In a tight semifinal battle, Cox unloaded a 3.674 at 206.80 to take down Chris Rini’s game 3.685 at 205.57 and earn his way to his second final round of the season.
Musi in Frank Brandao’s Edelbrock/Lucas Oil “King Kong 7” ’19 Dodge Dart started eliminations with a 3.747 at 206.23 over Chris Patrick before pedaling to a 4.049 at 160.96 over Ed Burnley. She recorded low ET and top speed of the event, a 3.651 at 207.88, to defeat Todd Fontana and his 3.713 at 204.05 in the semifinals.
GUESS WHO’S BACK? - Todd Hoerner’s triumphant return season to Extreme Pro Stock continued in a big way when he lit up the final-round win light, adding an accomplishment to go along with his runner-up finish at the East Coast Nationals and No. 1 qualifying effort at the Mid-Atlantic Showdown. Hoerner steered the Brian “Lump” Self-tuned TT Motorsports ’14 Camaro to a 4.073 at 178.73 next to John Montecalvo’s 4.107 at 176.84 in the final round.
“Man, it feels awesome to get this win,” Hoerner said. “I’m so tickled and I’m so happy for (car owners) Tommy Zarella and his wife Paula and his daughter Tiana. Without them, I couldn’t be out here. I’m doing everything I can to take him back that trophy. I’m just tickled pink and we’re very thankful. Any of these guys out here can win. It was brutally hot and humid and it sucked the life out of you this weekend. Fortunately, the car worked good and we were able to get the win.”
Hoerner qualified No. 2 in his Sonny’ s-powered entry and ran a 4.105 at 178.14 to beat JR Carr in the first round. He slowed to a 9-second pass in the semifinals, but opponent Chris Powers went red by .008 seconds.
After getting into the eight-car field in the third and final qualifying session in his Tommy Lee-tuned ’18 Camaro, Montecalvo used a 4.137 at 176.21 to dispatch No. 1 qualifier Jeff Dobbins and his 4.164 at 175.50 in the first round. A consistent 4.121 at 176.30 followed to take out defending world champion Steven Boone in the semifinals.
SMITH DELIVERS - Defending world champion Ronnie “Pro Mod” Smith picked up his first win of the season, but his event victory was practically overshadowed by his record performance in the final round. Smith shattered the Pro Nitrous Motorcycle ET national record – his own 3.973 set at the 2018 North-South Shootout – with a 3.958 at 176.28, defeating Brunson Grothus and his 9-second pass in the final round.
“You don’t understand how big of a deal this is,” Smith said. “I owe a lot to my tuner (Shane Smith) and FuelTech. The round before the final, we ran a 3.97. We knew the weather would come to us, so we didn’t change much on the bike – we just sent it. When it went a 3.95, I couldn’t believe it myself. I looked up and almost fell of the bike.”
Smith, of Pasadena, Maryland, rode his Innovative Performance Hayabusa to a 4.053 at 174.66 over TT Jones in the opening round. His 3.977 at 175.46 defeated Chris Garner-Jones’ 4.021 at 174.93 in the semifinals and served as the backup run for his final-round record.
Grothus slid into the eight-motorcycle field on the bump spot and capitalized on the opportunity, using a holeshot advantage and 4.051 at 176.70 to take out No. 1 qualifier Paul Gast and his 4.025 at 177.91. The Iowa-based rider hopped up his Indocil Art Suzuki to record a 4.007 at 177.16 over three-time world champion Eric McKinney and his 4.076 at 173.36.
MAJOR PULLS OFF THE MAJOR - The two quickest Outlaw 10.5 cars on the property squared off in the final round, as No. 2 qualifier Paul Major in his twin-turbo ’01 Corvette fired off a 3.97 at 210.77 to defeat No. 1 qualifier Ken Quartuccio’s 4.006 at 198.44 in his twin-turbo “Serial Killer” ’17 Corvette.
Major eliminated Joe Newsham and Steve Woolley before taking a semifinal single pass to the final round. Meanwhile, Quartuccio started eliminations with a single pass, followed by round wins over Joel Wensley and Jesse Lambert.
THE TOP SPORTSMEN - In a final round that showcased the intense competition in the PDRA’s sportsman classes, Scott Moore used a .002 reaction time and 4.075 on a 4.07 dial-in to eliminate fellow Virginia native Randy Perkinson and his 4.019 on a 4.01 dial-in. Moore drove his ’08 Mustang to round wins over 2017 world champion Dewayne Silance, Tim Molnar and John Prime before the final. Perkinson’s ’55 Chevy dispatched Ken Ellison, Bruce Thrift and defending world champion Donny Urban on his way to the final.
Glenn Teets III managed to grab the Top Sportsman 32 victory despite breaking out with a 4.17 on his 4.18 dial-in in his ’08 Pontiac GTO. Opponent Robbie Crenshaw ran a 4.545 on his 4.54 dial-in, but he negated the run with a .026 red light at the starting line in his ’89 Olds Cutlass.
Just two weeks after Camrie Caruso earned her first NHRA regional event win in Top Alcohol Dragster, the 2018 Elite Top Dragster championship contender scored her first PDRA “660 Man” trophy at the North-South Shootout. She piloted the supercharged “Lola” dragster to a 3.823 on a 3.79 dial-in over Brian Bednar and his 3.726 on a 3.70 dial-in in the final round. Caruso eliminated 2018 championship runner-up Nick Hamilton, Kellan Farmer and William Brown III along the way to the final round. Bednar’s prior round wins came over Alan O’Brien, Angie Travis and Brian McHattie.
A superior reaction time allowed local racer Marty Martin to secure the Top Dragster 32 event win, as he went 4.862 on a 4.86 dial-in in his ’04 Racetech dragster in the final round next to fellow Maryland native Jason Kirby’s 4.552 on a 4.55 dial-in.
FRIDAY NOTEBOOK - A LONG DAY KICKS OFF WEEKEND IN MARYLAND
THORNE GETS TO THE POINT - Florida native Kris Thorne continued his strong debut season in Pro Boost with his 3.707 at 216.55, a pass that stood as the quickest of the day after 19 Pro Boost entries attempted runs down the Maryland eighth-mile strip.
“I’m very impressed with the way we’re running,” Thorne said. “We’re finally starting to get a handle on this thing. We’re struggling a little bit, but all around we’re doing pretty well with it. We have Proline Racing Engines on board – they kind of make everything fall into place.”
Defending world champion Tommy D’Aprile continued his run for another title in Al Billes’ roots-blown ’69 Camaro, posting a 3.715 at 199.23 to take the No. 2 spot. Drag radial star Daniel Pharris in his Jamie Miller-tuned, twin-turbocharged ’17 Mustang ran 3.725 at 216.48 for the No. 3 slot.
DOBBINS SETS THE PACE - Extreme Pro Stock veteran Jeff Dobbins entered the North-South Shootout with the chance to win two events, as he was set to face Tommy Lee in the final round from the Mid-Atlantic Showdown during Q3. He prepared by running a 4.064 at 177.51 in his Bear’s Performance ’14 Dodge Avenger in the second session.
“We felt like that was a pretty good lick,” Dobbins said. “We struggled a little bit earlier today when the track was hot. We actually caught a break when, unfortunately, Dave Hughes crashed in front of us (Hughes was uninjured). (PDRA) went out and dragged the track again and we were able to get back in the (clutch) can, made a little adjustment and that probably had a lot to do with it. I think that run would’ve been hard to outrun and I’m sure it will stick for tomorrow.”
Lee, who was filling in for John Montecalvo in Montecalvo’s ’18 Camaro at the Mid-Atlantic Showdown, might sit out the final round. While he would forfeit the event win to Dobbins, he would give Montecalvo one final chance to qualify for the eight-car North-South Shootout field. Montecalvo is the only driver outside the field, aside from Hughes.
East Coast Nationals runner-up Todd Hoerner qualified No. 2 with a 4.08 at 178.24 in the Zarella family’s Sonny’ s-powered ’12 Camaro. Johnny Pluchino, son of 2016 Extreme Pro Stock world champion John Pluchino, recorded a 4.09 at 177.63 in the Kaase-powered Strutmasters.com ’13 Mustang to hold the No. 3 spot in his Extreme Pro Stock debut.
OUTLAW 10.5 - The North-South Shootout is the second of three PDRA races for the wild and unpredictable Outlaw 10.5 class in the Atomizer Racing Injectors Outlaw 10.5 National Championship Series. Connecticut’s Ken Quartuccio finished a tricky day of qualifying in the provisional No. 1 spot with a 4.078 at 198.85 in his turbocharged “Serial Killer” ’17 Corvette. Maryland native Tim Essick took his self-built “Brown Sugar” ’18 Mustang to the No. 2 spot with a 4.181 at 183.59. Chris Cadotto in his supercharged Dodge Ram qualified third with a 4.283 at 179.88.
TWO IN A ROW, SO FAR - John Benoit drove his Buck-powered ’17 Camaro to a 3.817 at 199.17 to lead the Elite Top Sportsman field for the second consecutive race. Elkton, Maryland’s Erica Coleman is second with a 3.972 at 192.55 in her nitrous-assisted ’68 Camaro, followed by Travis “the Carolina Kid” Harvey in third with a 3.991 at 178.52 in his ’12 Camaro.
BEDNAR PACES DRAGSTERS - Continuing the trend of consistent top performers in the PDRA’s sportsman classes, Brian Bednar piloted his supercharged Spitzer dragster to the provisional Elite Top Dragster top spot with a 3.722 at 196.13. Camrie Caruso in the supercharged “Lola” Nelson dragster qualified No. 2 after running a 3.831 at 192.85. Kathy Fisher rounds out the top three with a 3.873 at 184.47 in the ProCharger-boosted “Dragoness” American dragster.