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‘Madman’ Wins Dragpalooza

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, June 11 2020

RacinToday.com

Texan Frankie “The Madman” Taylor earned one of the strangest Pro Extreme victories in American Drag Racing League history at Billy Meyer’s Texas Motorplex in Ennis during the 2020 season-opening Dragpalooza.

Taylor made four uncontested passes down the all-concrete surface Saturday during a race that was the first sporting event in the Lone Star State to host spectators since the COVID-19 quarantine was enacted in mid-March.

Pro Extreme showcases some of the nation’s quickest eighth-mile drag racing. Taylor’s E1 opponent, Michael Neal, fouled out by 0.005-seconds. Taylor was to race Jeffrey Cummins in Round 2 but Cummins was unable to compete after a scary crash in the opening round with Randy Merick.

Round 3 was potentially the match of the weekend, with Taylor facing top qualifier Wesley Jones. Unfortunately, a parts failure prevented Jones from making it to the staging lanes. Taylor was scheduled to face Jason Hamstra in the final, but Hamstra’s ’69 Chevrolet Camaro was on the wrong end of an event-ending issue during his semifinal win over Adam Flamholc.

“I’d rather be lucky than good,” a smiling Taylor said in the Winner’s Circle. “We got lucky in the final _ we couldn’t have beat him anyway because we broke either the driveshaft or the rear end or both. We tore something up. We just had a real good weekend. I would’ve liked to have put on a better show for the fans _ we wanted to go low ET _ but it just wouldn’t do it. We tried and tried and tried.”

The event was halted for more than 90 minutes during E1 when Merick’s 1979 Chevy Corvette took a hard-right turn at the finish line, got airborne and hit Cummins’ 2019 Ford Mustang, causing extensive damage to both machines. Both drivers walked away from the incident thanks to cars produced by master chassis builder Larry Jeffers.

“That’s the hardest part of what we do,” ADRL President Mel Roth said. “You hate to see that happen to anyone, but thankfully they are both OK and the only damage was to their race cars. Cars can be replaced; racers can’t.”

Jones earned top qualifier honors with a pass of 3.667-seconds at 211.36 mph Friday night in his stunning Batman-themed ’41 Willys. The run not only put him at the head of the field, but also put $1,000 in his pocket thanks to former ADRL national event winner and native Texan Thomas Meyers and Meyers Automotive. Jones also earned a bounty of $500 and two cases of cold beer Thursday night courtesy of Motorplex General Manager Andy Carter and ADRL CEO Kenny Nowling for being the first car to run in the 3.60s during testing.

With guidelines instituted by the facility and ADRL to promote social distancing and spectator safety, the event was open to fans in accordance with an executive order issued by Gov. Greg Abbott and protocols laid out by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). That order limited attendance to 50 percent of listed capacity of 36,800.

As is ADRL tradition, fans mingled with drivers at a post-race party held near the starting line, many of them leaving with $100 bills and free ADRL merchandise.

Next event on the schedule is the ADRL Gateway Drags July 10-11 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., outside of St. Louis. As always, ADRL tickets are free and can be found at a number of area businesses or be printed at home by visiting ADRLDrags.com.

Further information on the American Drag Racing League and breaking news can be accessed via the official page on Facebook at Facebook.com/ADRLDrags and on Instagram and Twitter at @ADRLDrags. Fans also can visit the official ADRL website at ADRLDrags.com. 

 

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, June 11 2020
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