Pharris among top qualifiers in Norwalk PDRA trials
Daniel Pharris dominated PDRA Pro Boost qualifying on Thursday at Summit Motorsports Park (Photo by Roger Richards)
NORWALK, Ohio – Small tire racing star Daniel Pharris climbed to the provisional first place in Penske / PRS Pro Boost presented by WS Construction in a proactive qualifying session Thursday to kick off the PDRA DeCerbo Construction American Doorslammer Challenge presented by Callies.
Driving the GALOT Motorsports Camaro 69, Pharris completed the eighth mile at Summit Motorsports Park in 3.649 seconds at 207.05 mph.
With rain forecast for Friday and Saturday, the PDRA and track officials decided to play the first qualifying session on Thursday evening.
Racing in cool conditions, Jim Halsey (Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous), JR Carr (Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition), Jimmy Pelcarsky ($ hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632, Eric McKinney (Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle) and Tim Essick (Drag 965 Pro Street) also dominated the fields in their respective professional classes.
The PDRA athlete classes also completed an early qualifying session, with provisional low qualifying spots going to Buddy Perkinson (MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by Tejas Borja), Michael White (Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster), Donny Urban (MagnaFuel Top Sportsman 32) and Mike Knott (Lucas Oil Top Dragster 32).
In the Jr. Dragster classes, Macy Underwood is the provisional bass qualifier in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster with a 7.905 second pass in her dragster built by 21-year-old Mike Bos based in Quinton, VA. McKenzie Hogan, a native of Youngsville, NC, dominates the Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster field with a reaction time of .015.
As the weather forecast indicates rain for most of the day on Friday and Saturday, PDRA officials will attempt to initiate a second qualifying session during any windows of opportunity that open.
“We’re all watching the weather and we’ll do our best to give everyone another qualifying session,” said Tyler Crossnoe, Race Director, PDRA. “If that happens on Friday or Saturday, so much the better. Otherwise, we will organize a second session on Sunday and start racing. We will keep everyone updated on the PDRA Facebook page and PDRA660.com. “
Pharris teamed up with the GALOT Motorsports team for a PDRA Pro Boost World Championship race earlier this year. It took one of his best big-tire Pro Mod car races to beat the 19-car Pro Boost qualifying order at Norwalk. His run of 3.649 seconds at 207.05 mph in the ’69 Camaro GALOT Motorsports set by Steve Petty was the fastest of eight passes in the 3.60.
“Honestly, we tried to keep it as safe as possible,” Pharris said. “Could we have gone faster? Probably. Have we been faster? Yes. It’s a kind of double-edged sword. You want to become # 1 but you also want to do the field too. We were going to do whatever it took to get off the trail. If it was shaking and I had to get out of it, I would try to get back in and try to run it over there just so we could put a number in. But it’s a bit like Russian roulette. We swung as hard as we thought we should swing and it stuck. We are satisfied with it. “
Johnny Camp, who won the PDRA season opener in his ProCharger-boosted Camaro Hells Bells ’69, qualified No.2. Kurt Steding in his P2 Contracting ’20 Screwed Camaro is third.
A good assist in Thursday’s practice indicated that Halsey and his Brandon Switzer Camaro “Daddy Shark” 68 had what it takes to qualify well in the evening’s solo session. Sure enough, the reigning Pro Nitrous world champion registered a pass of 3.65 seconds at 208.04 mph to take the provisional first place by a considerable margin.
With 10 solid Extreme Pro Stock entries in the prep lanes for the first qualifying session, Carr knew he had to do a representative race to at least get into the eight-car field. Team leader Frank Gugliotta gave it enough power to do just that, pushing the Camaro 20 to a 4.048 second run at 180.26 mph to lead the field. If Carr remains in the top spot, it will be his fourth consecutive No.1 qualifying award dating back to the 2020 World Finals.
After some rule changes affected the Pro Outlaw 632 class after the last race on tour, Pelcarsky was determined to keep his Camaro Racing ’15 Racing ’15 fueled by a small block in the front of the field. The Sagamore Hills, Ohio-based driver accomplished that, registering a 4.187-second pass at 168.87 mph to lead the 18-car qualifying order.
Three-time champion McKinney climbed to No. 1 in Pro Nitrous Motorcycle thanks to a 4.01-second pass at 178.35 mph aboard the McKinney Motorsports Hayabusa usually ridden by his teammate and tuner, Ashley Owens. The Ohio pilot hopes to dive into the 3-second zone before the event ends.
Pro Street, PDRA’s new Outlaw 10.5 styling class, upgraded to 10 cars in the opening qualifying session for the second leg of the circuit. Essick had what it took to top the list in his home-built “Brown Sugar” Mustang, posting a 4.013 second run at 186.74 mph.
Perkinson, the reigning Elite Top Sportsman world champion, drove his Musi-powered Camaro LAT Racing Oils ’69 in a pass of 3.808 seconds at 195.53 mph to sit atop the Elite Top Sportsman portion of the Top Sportsman qualifying sheet.
White, who often dominates the Elite Top Dragster field with his centrifugal supercharged Maddox 15 dragster, is in first place with his 3.745 second pass at 193.24 mph.