Photo by Danny Stogner
(April 9, 2019) BENSON, NC — After a thrilling qualifying run and momentarily setting the Pro Nitrous record, the weekend – and the start of the season – didn’t end the way the Musi Racing team wanted on Sunday at the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) East Coast Nationals presented by FuelTech.
Following an impressive first-round victory on Saturday at GALOT Motorsports Park, Lizzy Musi went red by .017 on the starting line a round later, abruptly ending the team’s solid weekend in Frank Brandao’s Edelbrock and Lucas Oil-backed Pro Nitrous 2018 Dodge Dart.
Musi went a strong 3.646 seconds at 207.91 MPH on the run, but the early start on the tree took away a likely victory against Randy Weatherford, who ran a 3.847 at 192.74 MPH.
Pat Musi chalked it up as a learning experience, noting his daughter’s strong track record on the starting line, and remained excited with how the car performed throughout the weekend.
“It’s just one of those deals,” Musi said. “We’ll learn from it and move on to the next race. We have a lot of data from Virginia Motorsports Park and several wins there over the last few seasons, so we should be strong right out of the gate again.”
If nothing else, Musi put together a pair of strong highlights to open her 2019 season, including her No. 3 qualifying effort thanks to a 3.675 at 206.86 MPH. It was the fastest run in qualifying and also one of five runs in the 3.60s.
Once the first round of eliminations rolled around, Musi went to another level, posting a then-record run of 3.643 at 207.21 MPH. But the record was short-lived as it was broken on the next two passes, first by Pat Musi Racing Engines customer Tommy Franklin (3.641, 205.57 MPH) and then by No. 1 qualifier Jay Cox (3.637, 204.26 mph). Still, becoming the first driver of the night to set the record was a memorable moment for Lizzy and the team, with everyone hopeful it’s the first of many records they set – and hang onto – throughout the course of the season.
“We said we would go for the record if conditions were right, and that’s exactly what we did,” Pat Musi said. “The fact that the next two cars behind us lowered the record just shows the level of competition we’re up against. Everyone has stepped up, and we feel that we have stepped up as well. The car is consistent and that matters the most when it comes to winning races and championships, which is our ultimate goal in 2019.”