With a memorable 2012 American Drag Racing League season in the books, let’s take a quick glance at what made each class and champion so special.
Each champion and each class will get in-depth treatment in the coming weeks, so let’s set the table for that.
Mick Snyder was cool under pressure at the World Finals VIII presented by CarSafe in Dallas, doing what he had to do to win his first ADRL championship. He ended up in the semifinals to oust Jason Scruggs, wrapping up a season that saw three victories and a number of big memories.
What made it more impressive is the title came in a year where the PX class was amazing. At every race, it was 25-plus drivers delivering amazing performances, incredible times, unbelievable upsets and outstanding side-by-side races. It was exemplified in Dallas, where three drivers went in the 3.50s and the bump was in the mid 3.70s.
This was the year Bob Rahaim had waited his entire drag racing career for, and it was very much worth it. Everything came together and Rahaim reaped the benefits. Feeling fresh after off-season surgery, the team came into its own and especially when it mattered, winning two straight races and three out of four. It was a clutch performance by Rahaim, who treasured every moment of the title.
The class, one of the trademark categories in the ADRL, continued to show impressive diversity, as three different drivers – Rahaim, Rickie Jones and Doug Riesterer – chased the championship for most of the season.
MICKEY THOMPSON EXTREME 10.5
Alan Pittman has treasured every moment of his friendship with team owner Terry Leggett, and the icing on the cake was Pittman’s first world championship. Calling it the best season of his career, Pittman won three races and held off ADRL legend Billy Glidden to grab the title.
Pittman also helped Leggett to his best season ever in Pro Extreme, making it a year worth remembering in every aspect.
PRO EXTREME MOTORCYCLE
What more can be said about Eric McKinney’s amazing year? Well, we’re about out of adjectives after he won five straight races to end the year and seven overall.
McKinney, who has always been deadly on the tree, was amazing in that aspect yet again, and combined with an outstanding bike, the 2012 season turned into a rout.
Perhaps what was most amazing was doing it against the best competition the class has ever seen. That added to McKinney’s championship season, as did winning it with a family-led team who had fun every step of the way.
EXTREME PRO STOCK
When the best Pro Stock drivers in recent years are discussed, Cary Goforth has to be mentioned in the conversation. After what he has done the last two years, winning back-to-back championships, it would be foolhardy to do otherwise.
The Extreme Pro Stock class continued to amazing, with qualifying bumps sometimes going into the 4.00s. There was only one driver to win more than once in the loaded class, and that was Goforth, who used great driving talent and a team who worked tirelessly to succeed to continue his reign in this great class.
AEROMOTIVE FUEL SYSTEMS PRO MODIFIED
Mike Castellana showed that he is still one of the premier names in the sports, thanks to five wins and a second straight world championship. He was dominant, consistent and cool under pressure, rallying on the final day of the season to claim his title, a year after running away with the Pro Nitrous championship.
The class also showed its viability by attracting great fields and standout competition, giving racers another great alternative in the ADRL.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT TOP SPORTSMAN
The class was a booming success in 2012, and Marco Abruzzi was the biggest winner en route to his world championship. After winning the first event of the season, Abruzzi made huge strides late in the year, becoming the first driver to win two races in the class. That catapulted him to a championship in a class that was extremely exciting to watch.
The class ended up better and more intense than anyone could have expected, as qualifying fields dipped to the 4.10s and 4.20s. Without question, it was a great sign of things to come in this class.
(Photos by ADRL/Richards)