After a one-month break from the track where GDB had a career event weekend at the Professional Drag Racing Association (PDRA) Memphis drags, where they were the number one qualifier, set low elapsed time of the event with a 4.05 at 175 mph, and took out the PDRA points leader Chris Jones in the final, GDB loaded up and headed east for the biggest PDRA event of the year - Dragstock XIII at the brand new Galot Motorsports Park in Benson, NC. The GDB crew was excited to arrive at the world class eighth mile facility and get to work; however, they were delayed for several hours near Dayton, OH when they unfortunately had a flat tire during the all-night 1,000 mile trek. After multiple phone calls and getting the spare tire mounted on the rim and back on, GDB was full steam ahead in an effort to be able to make the first round qualifying call.
GDB rolled through the Galot gates at 11:30 AM Friday morning, just in time to park and watch the first round of Pro Extreme Motorcycle (PXM) qualifying. PDRA points leader, Chris Garner-Jones of Huntsville, AL took the top spot in round one of PXM qualifying with a solid 4.111 at 172 mph. After teching and watching the temps climb over the 90 degree mark, Brunson rolled up for first round of qualifying and busted off a trailer unloading 4.118 at 173.58 mph for the number three spot behind multi-time PDRA champ Eric McKinney’s 4.070 and Chris Garner-Jones’ previous 4.111.
After reviewing the data from their first hit ever at Galot, GDB pushed up for the final qualifying session of the day in front of the bleacher packed facility. Brunson clicked off a slightly improved 4.111 to remain in the number three position and just ahead of the slower 4.11s of Q80 rider Meshal Al-Saber and Road End Farms rider Terry Schweigert. The Saturday morning session brought the last opportunity for the 13 qualified riders to improve upon their positions heading into eliminations. Tuner and team owner Ed Grothus made a small change and netted the 2015 Indocil Art painted Grothus Dragbikes Suzuki GS a slightly improved 4.106 at 172 mph to remain solidly in the number three qualifying spot and gaining more valuable on track data.
First round paired GDB rider and number three qualifier, Brunson, against number twelve qualifier John Collins of the DTM Performance camp. Brunson led from start to finish and clicked off another extremely consistent 4.114 at 174 mph to Mr. Collins game effort of 4.294 at 163 mph. The second round matchup paired Brunson against number three in PDRA points and multi-event winner, Chuck Wilburn of Tupelo, MS. Brunson and team GDB notched another round win by leading from start to finish with a much improved 4.071 at 175.55 mph to Wilburn’s solid effort of 4.22 at 166 mph.
After facing number three in PDRA points, Brunson and the GDB team took on the number two man in points and multi-time defending PDRA PXM champ Eric McKinney. Brunson’s previous 4.071 would give him lane choice over the 4.116 from the McKinney Motorsports team based out of Hammersville, OH. Brunson took the preferred right lane and turned his stage lights on, Eric was in no rush himself but eventually pushed in as well. Just as in the order the two riders staged they left the starting line, Brunson first with a salty .019 to Eric’s .057 and Brunson never looked back for the win aboard the Indocil Art painted machine stopping the clocks with a 4.092 at 173.54 mph to Eric’s 4.118 at 173.23.
The semi-final win slotted Brunson aboard his Grothus Dragbikes machine in a rematch of the previous PDRA event final against number one in PDRA points, Chris Garner-Jones of Huntsville, AL. Chris earned lane choice with his previous 4.05 to Brunson’s 4.09 and stuck Brunson in the less desirable left lane. With a Dragstock tittle on the line, the young riders staged them up and laid down the quickest side by side PXM laps of the weekend with a weekend best 4.061 elapsed time at 175.43 mph for Brunson to Chris’ consistently stout 4.054 at 174.82 mph. Brunson of team GDB got the hole-shot victory by a mere .005 margin via a .012 starting line advantage (.027 for Brunson to an .039 for Chris).
This win marked arguably the biggest of Brunson’s Pro Extreme Motorcycle career by picking up his first ever Dragstock event win as well as the first three races his newborn son Graham attended with him. Brunson had the following to say immediately following the winner’s circle interview, “I’m so impressed with the performance that we picked up from the semifinals. We went 4.09 then clicked off a 4.061 in the final. I don’t really have a whole lot to do with the tuning, my dad Ed and Shane Eperjesi are the ones turning the knobs. It’s always fun to win on a holeshot, but to pick up the performance and win on a holeshot is almost indescribable. It’s like a dream.”