BENSON, N.C. — Defending world champion Jim Halsey picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2020 season by qualifying No. 1 in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous at the season-opening Professional Drag Racers Ass’n East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech.
Driving his Brandon Switzer-tuned ’68 Camaro, Halsey recorded a 3.65-second pass at 207.08 mph in the third and final qualifying session at GALOT Motorsports Park Friday night.
Halsey added yet another low qualifier award to his list of accomplishments in Pro Nitrous when he dropped a bombshell 3.65 at 207.08 to close out the final qualifying session. The defending world champion enters race day with the quiet confidence that helped him earn the last two championships.
“There’s no better way to start the season than qualifying No. 1,” Halsey said. “Our hard work over the winter paid off. It felt pretty good. In Wednesday testing, I was a little nervous. I hadn’t been in the car for a couple months and felt a little rusty. I think we knocked the rust off on that run.”
Ron Muenks, the 2020 Mid-West Drag Racing Series Pro Mod champion, qualified No. 2 in the Jeff Pierce-tuned Dave’s Claremore RV “Purple Gorilla” ’68 Camaro on the strength of a 3.67 at 205.04. Two-time Pro Nitrous world champion Tommy Franklin stepped up to a 3.687 at 204.94 in his Musi-powered “Jungle Rat” ’69 Camaro to qualify third.
Todd Tutterow (Penske/PRS Pro Boost presented by WS Construction), J.R. Carr (Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock presented by AED Competition), Jimmy Pelcarsky ($hameless Racing Pro Outlaw 632), Travis Davis (Drag 965 Pro Nitrous Motorcycle) and Jesse Lambert (Drag 965 Pro Street) also qualified No. 1 in the pro classes.
The PDRA’s sportsman classes completed two qualifying sessions, with a third session planned for Saturday morning. The provisional low qualifiers are John Benoit in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman presented by Tejas Borja, Michael White in Lucas Oil Elite Top Dragster, Zach Houser in MagnaFuel Top Sportsman 32 and Bill Earnest in Lucas Oil Top Dragster 48.
In the Jr. Dragster categories, Kaylee Love holds the provisional No. 1 spot in Coolshirt Systems Pro Jr. Dragster with a 7.901, beating out Chris Powers II’s matching 7.901 by speed. The current low qualifier in Classic Graphix Top Jr. Dragster is Troy Barton with a .009 reaction time in his Gray, Tennessee-based ’19 Halfscale dragster.