It was a year ago at Maple Grove Raceway when the ADRLâ€™s Pro Extreme class went to new heights.
Now, 12 months later, what will the class do for an encore?
The ADRL comes to Maple Grove Raceway on Friday and Saturday for the Northeast Drags II presented by Penske, and the Pro Extreme class seems to be better than ever.
Through two events, thereâ€™s already been two different winners and unbelievable passes, especially considering the conditions.
Now, headed back to the place where Frankie Taylor went a record 3.581 a year ago, there is plenty of anticipation as to what could happen next.
No matter what happens, the winner will be a deserving one in a class that continues to impress in 2012.
The list of who hasnâ€™t qualified in 2012 is remarkable â€“ and full of ADRL wins â€“ in its own right, and thatâ€™s not even diving into the top 16 at both Bristol and Houston.
â€œWith this competition, any win you get is more special,â€ Scruggs said. â€œThereâ€™s never any ducks in Pro Extreme. Everybody is good. All 16 who qualify are more than capable of winning.
â€œEvery round is going to be touch. In Bristol, I had (Alex) Hossler and you know what he can run. Then we had Von (Smith), and we know what they can run. Then, you get (Tommy) Dâ€™Aprile in the finals and he had been laying down 3.67s and 3.68s all day. You donâ€™t know youâ€™ve won until they hand you the trophy.â€
Scruggs and Hossler hold the two wins thus far, but theyâ€™ve hardly separated themselves from the pack in the points standings.
In fact, they arenâ€™t even leading, as Von Smith and his 777 points are two and four ahead of Hossler and Scruggs, respectively.
Bubba Stanton (199 points behind), who went in the mid-3.60s for the first time in his career in Bristol, Mick Snyder (201) and Tommy Dâ€™Aprile (218) are the next three on the list while Todd Tutterow is only 300 points â€“ three rounds â€“ back of Smith.
Along with Stanton, it was Dâ€™Aprile who made the biggest move in Bristol, advancing to the finals with a series of outstanding runs in the 3.60s.
By taking his racing and performance to another level two weeks ago, Dâ€™Aprile simply added another marquee name to the mix at Maple Grove Raceway.
“What a weekend we had in Bristol, the car was great and we went to the final round against Jason. While he was able to take the win, anytime you go toe-to-toe with him itâ€™s a victory for your team,” said D’Aprile. â€œOur team has really meshed well this year.”
Of course, the class has a lot to live up to heading to the historic and notoriously quick track in 2012.
A year ago, both Joey Martin and Taylor went 3.58, with Taylorâ€™s 3.581 becoming the quickest eighth-mile run in North America in doorslammer history.
It wasnâ€™t just those two runs, either. In a loaded class, Hossler, Snyder and Tutterow were three of the four semifinalists before rain halted the action.
Each went in the mid-3.60s, with Snyder running a career-best 3.65. Hossler went more than 209 mph, which means everyone could be capable of performing at a high level this weekend.
Hossler has already shown that driving KH Al-Thaniâ€™s Al-Anabi Racing Camaro, while Snyder continues to be consistent in his Powersource Transportation Corvette.
â€œWe feel that we have a car that can win, so now it is just a matter of putting everything together,â€ Snyder said.
It takes that and a little luck these days to win in Pro Extreme.
Since switching to a turbocharged set-up, Taylor is still looking for some luck of his own.
It could certainly come this weekend in Maple Grove, the site of such a magical run in 2011.
Someone doing something amazing wouldnâ€™t surprise anyone, thatâ€™s for sure â€“ and especially when the ADRL and its Pro Extreme class is at Maple Grove.
â€œThe competition is just so tight. Anyone is capable of stepping up,â€ Scruggs said.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)