Former two-time ADRL Pro Extreme (PX) champ Jason Scruggs wasn’t surprised to take over the number-one position in qualifying for Dragstock IX with a 3.677-seconds pass at 206.67 mph in Friday’s second session at zMAX Dragway, but it was a little quicker than he anticipated.
“We just set it up to make sure it went down the track and I thought it would run a 3.69 and it went a .67, so I was pretty happy with that,” the Saltillo, MS-based driver said. “Really, I was just happy to go from A to B because we just wanted to get in a position where we could come back tonight and see if we could run fast instead of just trying to get it in the show. We didn’t want to be behind the eight ball at night.”
Unfortunately, just as the third and final scheduled qualifying run was about to be preempted by a 10 p.m. curfew for the Concord, NC, racing complex, a late-night rain shower took the decision to postpone out of officials’ hands. Qualifying was scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with Extreme 10.5, Pro Nitrous and Pro Extreme, along with several Pro Extreme Motorcycle teams still to complete their third qualifying sessions with one more qualifying round to go for all classes.
“Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be just a little cooler, maybe cloudy but with no rain. If we can run early tomorrow we’ll at least try to run a little faster,” said Scruggs, who like most ADRL competitors was racing at zMAX for the first time.
“This is the nicest facility I’ve ever raced at, but today it was real hot and it seemed like the rubber was having a little bit of trouble sticking to the track,” he said. “I think the track is just so smooth and there’s just something with the heat and all the moisture in the air—because there was something like 110 grains of water in the air—that the rubber was kind of moving around on the track.”
Rounding out the top five behind Scruggs and his Garret-built ’63 Corvette was Tommy D’Aprile at 3.706 and 203.40 mph, followed by Frankie Taylor, Brandon Pesz and current points leader Mick Snyder.
On the bubble in 16th place after 22 entries made qualifying attempts was 2009 PX champion Todd Tutterow in Harry Hruska’s twin-turbocharged ’70 Duster, who ran 3.900 seconds at a class-leading 210.54 mph, marking the fastest official pass by a turbo car in the eighth mile, though Tutterow ran as fast as 216 in testing the car earlier this summer.
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