HALSEY, SALEMI, MONTECALVO TOP RAIN-SHORTENED PDRA MARYLAND QUALIFYING
Maryland’s own Jim Halsey collected his third Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous low qualifier award of the 2023 PDRA season Friday night at the Fulton Racing Engines North vs. South Shootout presented by Penske Racing Shocks at Maryland International Raceway. He recorded his weekend-best 3.652-second pass during the first qualifying session, which was completed on Thursday night to get ahead of rain forecasted for Friday.
A severe thunderstorm moved into the Maryland International Raceway area Friday evening after just a few pairs of cars went down the track in WS Construction Pro Boost presented by P2 Contracting and Ty-Drive’s third session. Racing was put on hold for the evening. Pro Boost will complete its third session on Saturday. Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition will also get to run a third session on Saturday.
The four pro classes without a bump spot – M&M Transmission Pro 632, Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by Afco, and Afco Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports – will go into eliminations on Saturday after two completed sessions.
Along with Halsey, the confirmed low qualifiers in the pro classes are Doug Nicholl in Pro 632, Paul Gast in Pro Nitrous Motorcycle, Bill Riddle in Pro Street, and Blake Denton in Super Street. The provisional low qualifiers are Melanie Salemi in Pro Boost and John Montecalvo in Extreme Pro Stock.
“Our move to run the first qualifying session on Thursday put us ahead of the game today when the rain finally did roll in,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “We have some unfinished business in a couple pro classes, but otherwise we’re ready to roll into eliminations on Saturday. We’ll work on getting the track dried and rebuilt early in the morning so we can complete the North vs. South Shootout.”
After three qualifying sessions in the sportsman classes, the low qualifiers are Tim Molnar in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by PAR Racing Engines, Charles J. Careccia in Laris Motorsports Insurance Elite Top Dragster, Vonnie Mills in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Corbin’s RV, and Kent Newsome in Laris Motorsports Insurance Top Dragster.
The Jr. Dragster classes completed two qualifying sessions, with a final third session set for Saturday morning. The provisional low qualifiers are Chris Suppers in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by PRP and Carter Jackson in Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by PRP. Suppers was the first of two drivers to run 7.900 in Pro Jr. Dragster, then Jackson cut a .008 reaction time in Top Jr. Dragster.