First Posted: 4/7/2015
Special to the Daily Journal
ROCKINGHAM — Regardless of what happens during Sunday eliminations, track owner Steve Earwood knows he’ll be welcoming at least two new champions this weekend when the Professional Drag Racers Association returns to Rockingham Dragway for the second running of the PDRA Spring Nationals, known colloquially as “The Roar at the Rock.”
That’s because Todd Tutterow and Travis “The Carolina Kid” Harvey won’t defend their titles in Pro Boost and Top Dragster, respectively.
The two Carolina racers haven’t lost interest. Far from it. They simply have opted to move up in class and confront bigger challenges. Tutterow, the Yadkinville pro who last year was PDRA champion in Pro Boost, is competing this season for the ultimate prize, a world championship in Pro Extreme, at the wheel of a 1969 Chevy Camaro replica.
Harvey, meanwhile, is throwing all of his effort into a Pro Nitrous Camaro he will campaign as teammate to long-time friend and reigning series champ Jason Harris of Pittsboro.
“Jason and Travis basically grew up together at Piedmont Dragway and have been friends and competitors for many years,” acknowledged Bob Harris, father of the reigning champion, former owner of Piedmont and one of the principals in the PDRA. “They’ll work well together and we expect great things.”
Jason Harris won six of the eight Pro Nitrous races contested a year ago and was runner-up in the other two. Harvey, who makes his home in Elon, split his time last year between a Pro Nitrous car and his Top Dragster. He finished eighth in the Pro Nitrous driver standings.
His new ride is a nitrous-boosted Camaro that, with Harris’s 1968 Firebird, will run out of Robert Hayes’ shop in Pittsboro. Hayes will tune both cars starting this week at The Rock where champions will be crowned in the aforementioned Pro Extreme and Pro Nitrous classes plus Pro Boost, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Pro Outlaw and two Jr. Dragster categories.
Two qualifying sessions Friday and two more Saturday will set the fields and one round of Pro Mod racing on Saturday night will cut them in half in advance of Sunday’s resumption of eliminations at 11 a.m.
A downloadable $5 off coupon will reduce adult gate admission to $20 a day. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Parking also is free in Rockingham’s main lot and a limited number of preferred parking spots inside the track are available on a first come, first served basis for $40 a day.