ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Some of the most remarkable race cars in the world, among them a 1953 Studebaker replica capable of zero-to-200 mile-an-hour acceleration in 3.5 seconds, will descend on Steve Earwood’s Rockingham Dragway next week (Sept. 4-7) for Dragstock XI, the seventy event in the eight-race Professional Drag Racers Assocation national Pro Mod drag racing series.

“There’s no doubt that Pro Modified is the most exciting thing that’s happened to drag racing since the Funny Car,” Earwood said. “I think a lot of the fans can relate to Pro Mods as cars. The Funny Cars have gotten so sophisticated that they all look alike.

“In Pro Mod, though, you have late model Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs racing alongside ’53 Studebakers, a ’41 Willys or two, ’57 Chevies and whole bunch of 1968 and 1969 Chevies and Pontiacs – and all of them are capable of running 200 miles-an-hour in just an eighth of a mile.”

In fact, champions will be crowned at The Rock in three different Pro Mod classes. Pro Extreme features supercharged engines not unlike those in Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters; Pro Nitrous features cars with massive 900 cubic inch engines augmented by fuel injection and nitrous oxide; and Pro Boost is for primarily cars using turbocharged engines.

Put those vehicles on a high-traction surface like the one at Rockingham and the results can be record-setting. In fact, 11 of the current 14 PDRA performance records for eighth-mile time and speed were set at Rockingham in last April’s Spring Open. In addition to the official records, which require a representative back-up run for certification, The Rock also yielded the quickest run in eighth mile Pro Mod history when Texas Frankie Taylor stopped the timers in 3.485 seconds in his late model Corvette.

While Taylor, the veteran from Dickinson, Texas, Jason Scruggs of Saltillo, Miss., Bubba Stanton of Potts Camp, Miss., and Eric Dillard of Ball Ground, Ga., are among the dominant racers in Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous and Pro Boost have a decided Carolina flair, 34-year-old Jason Harris of Pittsboro having already sewn up the Nitrous championship while Todd Tutterow of Yadkinville and Kevin Rivenbark of Wallace battle out the Boost title.

In addition to the featured Pro Modified categories, champions also will be crowned in Extreme Pro Stock, Extreme Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, MAC-FAB 275/28 Drag Radial, Pro Jr. Dragster and Top Jr. Dragster. The event also will include exhibition runs by a jet-powered dragster.

Racing actually begins Friday with a single pro qualifying session at 6 p.m. following a day of testing by races in all categories. Qualifying continues Saturday with three more pro sessions. Racing begins with Sportsman eliminations at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Tickets are free on-line at or at

“We’ve had the IHRA Series, we were host to the old Winston All-Star events and several other major races,” Earwood said, “but this show is amazing. These cars are about as easy to control as one of the old fuel altered. It’s short wheelbase cars with big power motors.”

Harris, the son of former Piedmont Dragway owner Bob Harris who now serves as one of the promoters of the PDRA Series, has been to the final round of every Pro Nitrous race this season in his 1968 Pontiac Firebird. He’s won five of six finals, losing only to 23-year-old Lizzy Musi, who beat him at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond.

The aforementioned hot rod Studebaker is driven by veteran Joe Baker of Milton, Fla., who opted for the one-of-a-kind body style to set himself apart from his rivals. However, it wasn’t just a cosmetic move. Baker has been to the finals three times this year. He’ll try to finally break through this week in Pro Boost.
Rockingham Dragway is looking to hire parkers for the PDRA DRAGSTOCK XI, September 5-6-7. Please contact The Rock at 910 582 3400 if you are interested in part-time work.
The Professional Drag Racers Association DRAGSTOCK XI, the flagship event of the eight-race tour, returns to the famous Rockingham Dragway on September 5, 6 and 7.

Anticipation of the return of drag racing’s most exciting series is at an all-time high with RV Camping sites filling up daily. If you plan to stay with us in your RV it is highly recommended you reserve your spot today as we expect a full capacity. Call our office at 910 582-3400 to reserve your spot.

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Four-time former NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson and reigning NHRA motorcycle champion Matt Smith were among the touring pros who tested in advance of this week’s 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis on the high-traction course at Rockingham Dragway.

Anderson, the Mooresville, N.C., resident who is battling for a spot in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship after recovering from off-season surgery, was joined by Pro Stock rivals Dave Connolly of Elyria, Ohio, and Shane Gray of Denver, N.C., currently sixth and seventh in NHRA Pro Stock points, respectively, and by former national speed record holder Vincent Nobile of Dix Hills, N.Y.

Smith, the son of four-time IHRA Pro Stock Champ and reigning NHRA Pro Modified champion Rickie Smith of King, N.C., tested his Buell along with teammate John Hall of Hamden, Conn., to whom he lost in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final at last year’s U.S. Nationals.

The three-day test also involved Pro Modified racers Bob Rahaim of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Jim Laurita of Morgantown, West Va., along with Super Stock contender Gary Coccaro of Panama City, Fla.
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