The last major event on the United States drag racing schedule that was still hanging into a scheduled spot has been postponed. PDRA series officials announced the other day that their season opening East Coast Nationals at GALOT Motorsports Park would be postponed for the same reasons every other drag race in the country has been put off. Health concerns for the racers, fans, and track workers, as well as compliance with governmental regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic have ended any chance of getting the race run on its scheduled date in early April.
This is an incredibly difficult time for the motorsports industry and frankly every industry in the country. As such, we applaud the decision makers at PDRA for doing the right thing and the hard thing to protect their fans and racers. We’ll keep you posted on when this event gets rescheduled and to what date. The PDRA series is packed with hardcore competitors in hardcore machines.
We wish them all the best.
Here’s the release from the PDRA –
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (March 23, 2020)– In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) has decided to postpone the series’ season-opening East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson, N.C, series officials announced today. Originally scheduled for April 2-4, the race will be made up at a date to be determined later.
“We waited an extra week to see if things would calm down, but at this time we feel it’s best to postpone the East Coast Nationals,” said Tyler Crossnoe, series director, PDRA. “Without knowing what’s going to happen next with this coronavirus, it’s hard to lock down a make-up date. As time passes and we get closer to knowing when this will be over, we’ll look at our options and we’ll announce a new plan as soon as it’s safe to get back to racing.”
The second race on the eight-race 2020 PDRA schedule is the Mid-Atlantic Showdown presented by Modern Racing, May 7-9 at Virginia Motorsports Park. It’s yet to be determined how the coronavirus pandemic will affect that event, but PDRA officials are now turning all their attention to this event as the hopeful season-opening date.
“We stay in touch with the CDC, the state government agencies where our races are held, and we keep in mind our racers who have to travel to and from those events,” said Lonnie Grim, competition & tech director, PDRA. “We continue to look for updates that will inform our decisions regarding when we can start the season. The whole PDRA staff – Tyler, myself, Tommy and Judy [Franklin, PDRA owners] – we all stay in constant contact and try to stay as positive as we can.”
On the positivity note, Grim added that PDRA officials are continuing to work with racers as they prepare for the PDRA’s seventh season to begin.
“As much as we look forward to getting the season started at whatever point it will be safe to do so, we’re carrying on with business as usual behind the scenes,” Grim said. “We’re still taking care of PDRA license requirements, providing medical physical forms and answering any rules questions that racers might have. We encourage racers to take this time to make sure they’re ready to go racing: check over cars front to back, take care of any maintenance issues and check certification dates.”