After winning the ADRL’s Summer Drags in July Pro Extreme star Jason Scruggs said it wasn't enough to create a championship race between teammates; even though Scruggs' win ended teammate Mick Snyder’s spectacular 3-race winning streak.
Now, after notching his third win of the season, the latest in Memphis, Scruggs’ tune has changed.
"It's a race now," admitted Scruggs, who went as quick as 3.61 to claim his third victory.
Entering the final two races of the action-packed Pro Extreme season in the ADRL, one of the biggest showdowns could be between teammates Scruggs and Snyder.
Snyder’s once seemingly insurmountable lead has been cut to 104 points, 2,809 to 2,705, over Scruggs, which means they are just one round and qualifying points apart.
Championship races are nothing new to Scruggs, a two-time ADRL world champion, or Snyder, who finished third in Pro Extreme last year and is a three-time Alcohol Funny Car division champion.
Going neck-and-neck with your teammate heading into this weekend’s Ohio Drags VI at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio is definitely a new experience for Scruggs and Snyder.
“It’s a little bit different,” Snyder admitted. “Obviously you want to win, but at the same time it’s nice because we’re 1-2 in the points standings. We hope it’s our car that finishes on top and he hopes it’s his.
“I guess there’s a little more pressure going into this race than the first race of the year. Every mistake matters now, but I like the position we’re in.”
Everyone is still chasing Snyder, but it’s not the wide margin it was after Snyder won at Maple Grove, St. Louis and Richmond in May and June.
Still, there’s six wins in eight races between Scruggs and Snyder, an unbelievable number considering the talented competitors in Pro Extreme.
No matter how tight the race gets, Snyder and Scruggs will continue to be teammates in every sense of the word.
"We're in a points battle with them and here they are over in my pits trying to get me going for the last qualifying session," Scruggs said in the winner’s circle at Memphis. "We're a team and I'm just thankful for them."
Said Snyder: “It’s definitely worked out well and the results show it, too. We’re always there to help him and he’s the same way with us. It’s pretty unreal to have six wins in eight races.”
Scruggs has had a tremendous 2012, which continues his hot finish in 2011. After immense struggles with a new converter combination led to a dismal start a year ago, Scruggs got it figured out to advance to three finals in the last four races, winning two of them.
Now, Scruggs has erased some poor mid-season luck with two wins in the past three races, giving him plenty of momentum heading into Norwalk and Dallas.
"We're both lucky to be in this position. I want to beat him and I'm sure he wants to beat me, but if I'm going to get beat and if someone else is going to win the championship, I want it to be him,” Scruggs said.
“Of course, I would be happier if it was me who won, but if it's not, then I hope it's Mick. It's really a win-win situation for us."
This weekend will be special for a variety of reasons for Snyder, who won his first ADRL race in 2010 at Summit Motorsports Park.
His son, who has joined him in a number of winner’s circle celebrations this year, will have his first birthday on Thursday, which will only add to the excitement.
After some rare car trouble in Memphis earlier this month, Snyder also thinks his Corvette, once driven by Scruggs, will be back to its consistent self.
“We would have liked to run away with it, but this way we keep it more exciting for the fans,” Snyder said. “Norwalk is going to be a lot of fun and we’re excited to see what happens.”
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