Quarter Mile Classifieds

06 Apr


Derek Ward knows how to make an impact out of the gate. That’s exactly what the Friendship, Md.-based Pro Boost driver did during qualifying for the PDRA East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park. The event kicks off the 2024 Red Line Oil Drag Racing Series. 

Jim Halsey (Pro Nitrous) and J.R. Carr (Extreme Pro Stock) joined Ward on the various leaderboards.

Ward’s run wasn’t just the quickest run of the day at Galot but also a new Pro Boost elapsed time. His 3.555-second pass at 211.76 MPH marked his first No. 1 qualifier. 

“It’s incredible,” said Ward, who backed up the record with his 3.587 in the second session. “We’ve got a race car right now, and I’ve got to give props to G-Force Race Cars and Resolution Racing Services – Jon and Jim [Salemi] – and MSR [Mike Stawicki Racing] for the motors. They’ve got a killer package. It’s one of the best cars out here. It runs great out the back. It’s just a very powerful car we have right now. I knew if it goes down, we were gonna put up a number. I wasn’t expecting a .55.”

Not to be outdone by the boosted division, diehard nitrous racer Halsey also lowered his division’s national record by running a 3.608 at 208.84 to qualify No. 1. The four-time champion will need to run within 1% of that performance to back up the record during eliminations. 

“The new car showed in testing and at Bradenton that it was going to be pretty good,” Halsey said. “We just need to figure it out all the way. We probably had 800 runs on the other car, and we may have 10 or 12 on this one. So, it will take a while, but it’s going to be a good car.”

Carr wasn’t planning on running this weekend’s event until he got a call from crew chief Frank Gugliotta for a chance at Extreme Pro Stock’s three-second zone. 

Carr climbed behind the wheel of the car he formerly owned, now belonging to Bo Butner. Though he didn’t get the three-second pass, his 
his 4.029 at 180.07 in the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage entry was as close as anyone and the No. 1 run of the three sessions. 
“This is really special,” said Carr, who thanked team owner Richard Freeman, Bo and Randi Lyn Butner, Gugliotta, and the team. “We struggled a little bit getting there, but it’s a testament to Frank again. He’s been working like always – working on power, working on the cars. Bo and Randi Lyn have been out here and they’re doing awesome. We’re just kind of a part of the deal a little bit – more support, so to speak.”

No. 1 qualifiers in the PDRA’s additional pro classes are Amber Franklin in PDRA Pro 632, Chris Garner-Jones in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle, Ron Green in Menscer Motorsports Pro Street presented by Afco Racing, and Derek Mota in Afco Racing Super Street presented by Menscer Motorsports. 
After three qualifying sessions in the sportsman classes, the No. 1 qualifiers are Tim Molnar in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by PAR Racing Engines, KC Ingram in Laris Motorsports Insurance Elite Top Dragster presented by Greenbrier Excavating & Paving, Thomas Brown in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman presented by Corbin’s RV, and Danielle Gonzalez in Laris Motorsports Insurance Top Dragster presented by Younce RV. 
The PDRA’s Jr. Dragster classes completed two qualifying sessions, with a final third session set for Saturday morning. Angier, North Carolina’s Lane Morgan is the provisional No. 1 qualifier in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster presented by Philadelphia Racing Products with a 7.901, leading five other drivers that recorded 7.90s. In Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster presented by Philadelphia Racing Products, which qualifies off of reaction time, Jason Geryes is the provisional No. 1 qualifier with a .007 reaction time. 

The East Coast Nationals will continue Saturday morning, starting with Jr. Dragster final qualifying at 9 a.m. Pre-race ceremonies and pro eliminations will begin at 2 p.m.