At their morning PDRA press conference, held in the series' booth at the PRI Show, the world's premier professional eighth-mile organization announced a new membership program. More than just a racing organization, the PDRA views itself as a family made up of those passionate about drag racing. The membership program, optional to fans and racers alike, helps PDRA "family"쳌 members stay connected. The program also comes with many special perks available only to member card holders.
The first 1000 members will receive a GOLD level membership, a lifetime elite membership to the PDRA. In addition to the benefits included in the regular membership, GOLD members will receive a free digital subscription to Drag Illustrated and an option to purchase a vastly discounted subscription for print copies. Once the first 1000 memberships are taken GOLD level memberships will no longer be available. Detailed information, including how to join the PDRA membership program will be available after the holidays.
The PDRA and Drag Illustrated partnership will continue to grow for 2017, even beyond the membership program. Drag Illustrated Editor in Chief, Wes Buck, announced that the industry-leading publication will feature a dedicated PDRA section in every digital and print issue and at www.dragillustrated.com. Drag Illustrated has provided timely news for every PDRA event to date. The team will build upon this for 2017, providing PDRA Power Rankings before each race for all professional categories, upping their commitment to make stars out of the PDRA drivers and "Make drag racing great again."
Along with these major announcements, the PDRA also announced two new sponsors. Penske Racing Shocks will be the Official Shock Supplier of the PDRA and Precision Racing Suspension (PRS) has come on board as the Official Chassis Specialist for the series. PDRA's Bob Harris also hinted to additional sponsor announcements coming soon, including new class sponsors in Pro Extreme and Pro Boost.
The weight limit for Pro Extreme has been changed to 2350 pounds for 2017. Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC will continue to build upon its strength as one of the strongest classes of the series. The dynamic Flatout Gaskets Nitrous Wars will return for a second straight season. Although rumors circulated about both Pro Boost and Drag965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle, both of those classes will build upon the continuity of their respective programs for 2017. Extreme Pro Stock will return to as a full-schedule class with the PDRA next season.
In the sportsman ranks, the PDRA welcomes new Pro Junior Dragster class sponsor, Campers Inn RV, and welcomes back the other sportsman sponsors: Megacorp (Top Junior Dragster), Lucas Oil (Top Dragster) and MagnaFuel (Top Sportsman). Top Sportsman will receive the biggest face lift in 2017, making room for the tremendous amount of racer support the class receives. The doorslammer category will qualify either 32 or 48 cars at each event, with the top 16 qualifiers separating out into a semi-pro Elite Top Sportsman class for eliminations so that the top 16 and bottom 16 or 32 will compete as separate classes. A distinct points structure is also set for both Top Sportsman and Elite.
At the Sunshine State Shootout this past fall, the PDRA welcomed Outlaw 632 as a guest class. In 2017, Outlaw 632 will make four appearances with the series with stops at both GALOT Motorsports Park events, Darlington Dragway and the World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park. Outlaw 632 will be sponsored by Eastside Auto Transport. Harris also noted that the series is actively working toward including a drag radial class for 2017.
The Bracket Bash, introduced this year, will continue for next season, but will allow cars to dial 6.99 or quicker instead of the 4.99 required this year. This class highlights local racers and is also available for Top Dragster and Top Sportsman competitors who fail to qualify in their respective categories.
The PDRA celebrates its 2016 champions at the PDRA Championship Awards Saturday evening at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Tickets can be bought at the door.
Look for additional announcements and more detailed information on the PDRA membership program coming soon at www.pdra660.com.