Words Nate VanWagnen/Photos Geoff Sculley

Competitors from the Tar Heel State nearly swept the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA) East Coast Spring Nationals as Jay Cox led a host of fellow North Carolinians into the winner’s circle at GALOT Motorports Park.

Cox, from nearby Smithfield, recorded a string of 3.6-second passes to secure the season-opening win in Switzer Dynamics Pro Nitrous presented by MoTeC over 2014 Pro Nitrous world champion Jason Harris. Joining Cox in victory were Pinetown’s Terry Leggett in Bryant Industrial Pro Extreme presented by Pro Line Racing, Jacksonville’s Elijah Morton in Liberty’s Gears Extreme Pro Stock and Bahama’s Rodney Williford in Drag 965 Pro Extreme Motorcycle. Lugoff, SC’s Jeremy Ray was the winner in Moroso Pro Boost.

Second-generation drag racer Johnny Pluchino scored the event victory in East Side Auto Transport Pro Outlaw 632, while Canadian John Carinci earned the Atomizer Injectors Outlaw 10.5 win.

The winners in the PDRA’s expansive offering of sportsman classes were Donny Urban in MagnaFuel Elite Top Sportsman, John Prime in Top Sportsman 32, Kevin Brannon in Lucas Oil Top Dragster and Josh Duggins in Top Dragster 32. In Coolshirt Pro Jr. Dragster, Anthony Suppers used a superior reaction time and a 7.919 to defeat No. 1 qualifier Noah Cornatzer’s 7.905, both on a 7.90 dial-in. The Gilbert Motorsports Top Jr. Dragster final round was also decided on the starting line, as Logan Westmoreland drove his Half Scale dragster to a 9.109 on a 9.05 dial-in to take down Chris Hancock and his 8.949 on an 8.83 dial. Smithfield’s Jason Stowe won the Edelbrock Bracket Bash competition in his ’92 Chevy S-10.