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Pro Extreme veteran Tommy D’Aprile (shown) and Pro Extreme Motorcycle rider Eric McKinney earned their first Professional Drag Racers Association wins of the season July 15-17, joining repeat winners Tommy Franklin (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC) and John Strickland (GALOT Motorsports Park Pro Boost) in the PDRA North-South Shootout winner’s circle. The fifth race on the PDRA 2016 tour was finished on Sunday due to rain that moved into the Maryland International Raceway area near the end of first round on Saturday night.
Maryland’s own Mo Hall claimed the DiSomma Racing Engines Outlaw 10.5 win in the class’ second stop with the PDRA. Number one qualifier John Montecalvo won in PDRA Extreme Pro Stock, adding to his event titles in two other major series.
In the PDRA sportsman classes, the titles went to Glenn Butcher in Ronnie Davis Top Sportsman presented by MagnaFuel and Travis Laster in Lucas Oil Top Dragster. Second generation driver Cory Gulitti scored the Talbert Pro Junior Dragster win and half-scale dragster phenom Mia Schultz added another win to her tally in MegaCorp Top Junior Dragster.
For the first time since the PDRA’s inaugural season in 2014, Florida’s Tommy D’Aprile scored the win in Pro Extreme, the PDRA’s quickest and fastest category.
“Big relief, I can tell you that,” D’Aprile said of breaking through for the win. “What was really exciting for me is that the guys who work on the team right now never had a win in any category. It was a first for them, so it was really special to be able to see that.”
Racing out of the third spot, D’Aprile used a .001 reaction time and 3.64 at 211.39 to defeat Mike Recchia’s 3.67 at 210.44 in the first round. He and opponent John Stanley struggled with the hot conditions in Sunday’s second round when D’Aprile’s 3.75 at 194.16 beat the 3.78 at 191.41 out of Stanley’s Cadillac CTS.
“In that left lane, I can tell you I probably came within less than a foot from hitting that wall when I was running John Stanley. I actually had to lift and pull the ‘chutes. Luckily I stayed in front of John. He was on a good run but ran into problems of his own. To me, that was the scariest and most exciting and crazy round,” D’Aprile recalled.