Someone in the Pro Nitrous class will get their first ADRL win, and it will be either Bob Rahaim or Rickie Jones.
Both advanced during the semifinal round of CarSafe Dragpalooza VIII at Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, and will meet in the finals in what is the first finals appearance for both drivers.
Mike Castellana broke before reaching the starting line, but might not have mattered as Rickie Jones went 3.82 in what was the best pass of the weekend in the class.
Bob Rahaim knocked off Jamie Hancock in his semifinal race, going 3.905 to advance to his first ADRL final.
In Pro Extreme, Von Smith and Alex Hossler will meet in the finals after both made impressive passes in the semifinals. Hossler went 3.67 to knock off Bubba Stanton, while Smith, on a solo run, made the quickest pass of the class for the event, going 3.655 to get lane choice.
The biggest upset of the semifinal round took place in Mickey Thompson Extreme 10.5, where Dan Myers went 4.113 to advance to his first ADRL final, knocking off class legend Billy Glidden in the process.
Glidden spun the tires off the starting line and Myers was more than ready to take advantage.
He’ll have another big challenge in the finals, where Alan Pittman will meet him. Pittman put together a superb pass in the semifinals, where his 3.97 will make him the favorite and give him lane choice.
The Aeromotive Fuel Systems Pro Modified final will be a rematch of the Pro Nitrous final at the U.S. Drags last August, as Mike Castellana meets Jeff Naiser.
Castellana put together a brilliant run, easily one of the top ones of the entire event, running 3.85 at 197 mph to beat Rickie Smith in an awesome duel.
Jeff Naiser went 3.93 and is now in the finals in his first Aeromotive Pro Mod event.
In Extreme Pro Stock, John Pluchino’s top-notch run continues, topped off with a great performance in the semifinals against Cale Aronson. Pluchino had a remarkable .004 reaction time and then kept the momentum going on a marvelous pass, running a career-best 4.106 to advance to his first career ADRL final.
To get his first ADRL win, he will have to beat Brian Gahm, who is back in his first ADRL final since 2010. Gahm continues to get better as the event goes on, running a 4.086 in the semifinals to run down and pass Scott Hintz.
Casey Stemper continues to impress under the lights, as did Eric McKinney in Pro Extreme Motorcycle. McKinney appears to have a bracket bike, running 4.09 in the quarterfinals and topped it with a 4.085 in the semifinals.
He’ll meet Stemper in the finals after he went 4.086 to beat Billy Vose in the semifinals.
The finals in Summit Racing Equipment Top Sportsman will feature Marco Abruzzi and Randell Reid, who had a dynamite .002 reaction time in his semifinal victory.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)