• Category Archives Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA)
  • Hoosier Tire Returns as PDRA Sponsor for 2015

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    Industry support for the Professional Drag Racers Association has continued to increase since the organization’s inception one year ago. New companies have come on board and companies that were involved in the inaugural season are stepping up with greater commitment for 2015. Hoosier Tire continues their role and will again be supporting the PDRA in their sophomore season.

     

    “We are grateful for the commitment of companies like Hoosier,” stated PDRA’s Bob Harris. “They have a great reputation in the industry and it means a lot for them to back us as we grow in our reputation as the world’s premier eighth-mile drag racing association. We welcome Hoosier and their team back in 2015 and look forward to working with them.”

     

    The “Tires Designed for Champions” motto that Hoosier totes is well understood in the PDRA with many of the organization’s frontrunning teams sporting Hoosier Tires. In fact the majority of the 2014 PDRA Champions won their respective titles on Hoosier Tires: Bubba Stanton (PX), Jason Harris (PN), Todd Tutterow (PB), Dan Ferguson (TS), and Travis Harvey (TD). Other notable drivers include Jason Scruggs, Shannon Jenkins, Mike Castellan, Ronnie Davis, David Rampy, Frank Manzo and many others.

     

    “We are always trying to support any sanctioning body that promotes racing,” stated Hoosier Drag Racing and Pro Street Product Manager, Steve Hudspeth. “We love the ‘go fast’ classes because it challenges us  and our products to be the best. Hoosier Racing Tire only produces racing tires. This by itself demands that we produce the best performing product possible.”

     

    Hudspeth plans to attend all ten PDRA events in 2015, along with trackside service, to assist customers with their on-site needs. Pertinent to PDRA Top Dragster competitors, Hoosier will be introducing a new 15.0/34.5-16 C1500 Tire for the class this year.

     

    “Racers demand a tire that will repeat from run to run, as well as set to set… and it has to be fast,” Hudspeth concluded. It’s this type of tire that Hoosier will again be bringing to PDRA competition in 2015.

     

    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.


  • TOUGH DECISION FOR PDRA

    After much discussion and deliberation, the PDRA is saddened to announce the retirement of the Pro Stock class for the 2015 Season.

    Unfortunately, the expected team participation in the Pro Stock Class for the 2015 season fell short of the numbers to make the Pro Stock teams a viable class in the series.

    While PDRA has not excluded adding the Class back to the roster in the future, there are no present plans for renegotiation with the teams.

    Series Director, Bob Harris commented:  “The Pro Stock Class made a great showing in our inaugural season in 2014.  However, team commitments to other series has split the division.  For the good of the racing community the PDRA will not contribute to the further division of this class.  We wish them well in their racing schedule, and would be happy to consider their addition to the PDRA class line-up in the future.”

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  • Rick Jones on Quarter-Max, the PDRA and an Unbelievable Season

    RJWhen Rick Jones teamed up with Elite Motorsports a few years ago he probably never dreamed of the day he’d be sitting on the other side of an astronomical year with multiple race wins, records set and a Pro Stock Championship to the team’s credit. As co-crew chief for the Elite Motorsports Camaro driven by Erica Enders, Jones’ cup was overflowing in 2014. His RJ Race Cars and Quarter-Max businesses continued to thrive, Quarter-Max increased involvement to support the budding Professional Drag Racers Association throughout the season, and Rick and his team served customers across many genres of drag racing, all while helping Erica become the first female in history to win a Pro Stock Championship.
    While each of these endeavors keeps Jones always on the go, he is quick to recognize that each is beneficial for the other and has no plans to shy away from any opportunities in 2015. He and son Rickie will retain tuning duties for Elite Motorsports in 2015, they continue to expand Quarter-Max, and are increasing involvement with the PDRA once again.
    “When we can’t go to the PDRA I always follow the Motor Mania TV coverage,” told Jones. “When Brian Olson started doing the top end interviews at Rockingham I was impressed. I thought it would be cool to connect Quarter-Max with that part of the live feed coverage. The interviews add a lot to PDRA and really highlight the drivers themselves and not just the cars. We want to be a sponsor in the PDRA because it’s a two way street. They help us and we want to turn around and help them as well. It’s mutually beneficial. I truly believe in the PDRA and think it’s a great place to race. We need that. Everybody racing there obviously needs it. So we’re trying to do our best to support it.”
    For the final event of the inaugural PDRA season, Quarter-Max sponsored the ‘Top End Zone’ Live Feed interviews, just in time to catch driver reactions to Championship wins and losses. The interviews were such a hit among viewers that for 2015, Quarter-Max will also sponsor a ‘Starting Line Zone’ bringing candid driver interviews to both ends of the eighth-mile.
    On top of their sponsorship role, Rick and Rickie Jones have a strong commitment to supporting customers in the PDRA. Names like Pat Stoken, John Montecalvo and Billy Albert have driven RJ Race Cars for years and are a testament to the caliber of chassis produced by the Jones family and their team. Rick has been involved in every aspect of racing at one time or another and believes that staying involved with the fierce competition of Pro Stock pushes him to build a better product for his customers.
    “When you completely understand how to race a car I think it no doubt makes you a better car builder because you understand, thoroughly, the car inside and out,” Jones said of balancing his crew chief responsibilities with his businesses. “It’s something I think we get better at all the time. It helps our parts business, too, as far as building better parts for our customers. It’s a win-win.
    “We’re continually developing new products so our customers can have better products all the time. Our goal is to offer the racers a great product at a very fair price with a good delivery. I just want to take this time to thank everybody for their support in 2014. It enables us to run this business and sell cars and parts worldwide. We’re very fortunate.”
    Jones was especially fortunate in 2014. He and the team at Elite Motorsports had a season most racers only dream about. “It was truly a dream season,” told the Crew Chief . “It’s hard to put into words. For me, everything that we’ve done, being a single car team, we had very limited testing this year comparatively, there were times we were definitely under funded, but even with all those things against us and missing two races, to go out and win six races and the K&N Horsepower Challenge, set the ET and speed records and win the Championship in one year was definitely fulfilling. Sometimes it’s surreal to me, like did it really happen.”
    Throughout the season there was no denying Erica’s faith and how that affected her philosophy toward racing and her team. She was not alone in relying on God during the tough moments. Even down to the final round the Elite Team was assured that God was with them in their battle.
    “God is with us,” Jones reflected. “Everything that happened with the Championship – that was truly God’s hands that Sunday. On TV we were running good, but it was still a very difficult day. When you’re out there truly by yourself as a single car team, you have to fight, fight, fight. Rickie gets Bible verses on his phone every day. After the semi finals we were all concerned about having to race Jason and it all coming down to one run. All day long Rickie had never got his Bible verse message, but in between the semi and final rounds his phone beeped with the Bible verse. The verse was Exodus 14:14, ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’ The hair stood up on the back of our necks. It was the perfectly timed reminder that God is here to help us. Everything worked out. We’re blessed.”
    Being a part of that Championship team is something that Jones will take with him for the rest of his life. Across the board – from building championship caliber race cars and parts, to sponsorship endeavors to tuning and consulting duties – the hard work and proficiency of the Jones family is evident. Look for more good things from RJ Race Cars and Quarter-Max in 2015.
    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.

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  • Montecalvo Welcomes Crew Chief Tommy Lee

    jmcamaroFor the last three seasons John Montecalvo and his Championship caliber Extreme Pro Stock team have utilized the talents of Justin Belfance as Car Chief and Crew Chief. A young talent in the sport, Belfance has been busy not only as Montecalvo’s main hired hand, but also starting a family with his wife Ashley in their Georgia home.  With his growing family requiring greater time commitments Belfance has stepped aside from his race career and busy travel schedule. In his place, Montecalvo welcomes well known tuner and driver, Tommy Lee.

    Tommy Lee has been a fixture among both Mountain Motor and 500 cubic inch Pro Stocks for decades. With experience as both a driver and a crew chief, Lee is as well-rounded and knowledgeable as they come.  “We we are excited to have Tommy Lee on board with us; it’s a bad news/good news scenario for our team” told Montecalvo. “It’s tough to say goodbye to Justin. He was a good fit for our team and did an outstanding job for us and we wish him all the best.  We’ll miss him, but I feel very comfortable having Tommy join us as he knows his way around Mountain Motor Pro Stock.”

    Montecalvo’s car, hauler and equipment have already been relocated to Tommy Lee’s Statesville, NC based shop. The team will operate from that central location, rather than Montecalvo’s New York home. “Tommy’s shop is closer to Sonnys for us and close to some good test tracks,” said Monte. “An added bonus is that he’s an excellent driver if we need him behind the wheel to test.

    “It won’t just be Justin that we’re missing this year,” Montecalvo continued with a decidedly somber tone. “One of our long time friends lost his battle with cancer just after Christmas. Donnie Crowder was a great man, and we will all miss him terribly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Debra and family. There is some solace in knowing he is with Shirley, Hank, Bert and all of our racing family that have passed. For sure he will still be watching over us, but from a much better view.”

    Donnie Crowder, former IHRA and PDRA official lost his battle with cancer on December 26th at the age of 63. He was laid to rest Monday, December 29th. He will be missed by many in the racing community.

    “We hope to honor Donnie’s memory throughout the 2015 season. We’re really looking forward to getting back on the race track and taking some win lights.  We want to wish all our friends a healthy and safe Happy New Year. We’ll see you soon.”


  • Huddleston Performance Increases PDRA Presence with Purchase of Infamous “Lowmad”

    Several companies took the leap with the Professional Drag Racers Association as they stepped out for their debut in 2014. One of those companies was Huddleston Performance, who sponsored both the Pro and Top Junior Dragster categories. Huddleston Performance is one of the frontrunning companies for Junior Dragster racing, providing turn-key cars, engines, clutches and a full line of components for racers all over the world. Now Huddleston Performance mastermind, Bo Huddleston, and his team are ready to increase their PDRA involvement by debuting a new Pro Boost team and increasing their sponsorship involvement.

    Bo’s son Thomas, a former junior driver himself, will pilot the Pro Boost car, which will be strikingly familiar to professional eighth mile followers. A few short days ago, the Huddleston family purchased the famous “Lowmad,” a 1955 Chevrolet Nomad machine, previously campaigned by David Elsberry’s team.

    Thomas Huddleston, now 28, was a proficient Junior Dragster driver in his day, racking up quite a list of awards, race wins and championships. After his Junior Dragster days, Thomas focused on schooling, earning his college degree before coming back to Huddleston Performance where he now works as their main engine builder. Prior to this new chapter, Thomas piloted a number of bracket dragsters and spent time behind the wheel of a nitrous-breathing Outlaw 10.5 ride.

    “We started off looking for a car to compete with in the PDRA,” Bo began, explaining how the Pro Boost team came to be. “We were thinking one of the sportsman classes, but the appeal of those classes wasn’t there for us personally The PDRA is all about heads up racing, and we’ve spent many years in different heads up arenas. So then we started thinking that if we are going to heads up race we want to do it with something unique. That led us down the road that ended with a meeting with Mr. David Elsberry, new owner of Montgomery Raceway Park.”

    Huddleston continued, “We originally went down to look at a pair of cars Mr. Elsberry had for sale. The first being a ‘63 Corvette he had and the second being the original Lowmad. After some discussion we had pretty well settled on the ‘63 ‘vette, even though in our eyes it lacked the ‘curb appeal’ of the older Lowmad. That was when Mr. Elsberry pulled back the cover on the newer Lowmad we’ve all seen compete in Pro Extreme. After some discussion about it, he was kind enough to offer her up to us as the next ‘Caretakers’ in its storied history. As a family we knew immediately that this wasn’t an opportunity we could pass up. We certainly want to take the chance to thank Mr. Elsberry for giving us the opportunity to carry on the Lowmad for years to come.”

    Huddleston bought the car nearly turn-key and had a mostly ready made Pro Boost operation within a few hours. “I literally thought I was going to buy a rolling car and have to go get a motor and transmission and all the other stuff. By the end of it, I had purchased the majority of the car. We went from Sunday morning not having the main piece needed to run a race team to Sunday evening having the majority of what we needed in one purchase. And for that to happen three days before the PRI starts – well, some of us work well under pressure, so here we are.”

    On the business side of things, Huddleston Performance will increase their sponsorship level and maintain a greater presence at PDRA events.

    “We’ve been a supporter of various series and races for a long time,” Huddleston explained. “While we always want to be a major sponsor of in the Junior world, we really wanted to branch out in a way that didn’t feel like we were ‘preaching to the choir’ so to speak. We still want to support those races, but we want to hit the untapped markets as well. With the PDRA’s ticket model, it draws a person that maybe can’t purchase a new Pro Mod, but very well may be interested in a Junior Dragster for their young driver. It seemed like it would be a good fit for us. And it turns out that’s correct. We get asked questions that only those who haven’t been around the sport a lot would ask. The truth is you want those questions to be asked because that tells you the guy you’re talking to is new, and we just get inundated with that when we go to PDRA events. So it’s been a really good fit for us. One thing I’ve got to say is that we’ve really been welcomed by the PDRA bunch. I feel like we’re a very small fish in a very big pond and nobody treats us that way. They’ve put a good organization together. This one is the real deal.

    “For 2015 we have upped our sponsor level. We’re now sponsoring one of the TV spots next season. I can speak for everyone in the shop when I say we’re excited about this opportunity to grow our exposure through the PDRA. To be able to take Junior Drag Racing to a place it has never been before is thrilling for all of us at Huddleston Performance.

    “I feel like it’s a great connection,” Bo added. “Many of the junior racers we come in contact with hope to one day compete in a professional class with the PDRA. They have the dream of growing up to be a Pro Mod driver. That’s a big part of the draw for starting out with the PDRA for them. So to now have a former junior driver in Thomas living the dream, so to speak, is pretty cool.”

    The Huddleston family plan on testing the Lowmad in February in preparation for the PDRA season opener at Texas Motorplex March 20-21.

    For more on Huddleston Performance, visit their website: http://www.huddlestonperformance.com/ or check them out on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HuddlestonPerformance.

    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.


  • All Nine Classes Return to PDRA in 2015

    The Professional Drag Racers Association is hard at work planning the 2015 season. Although it will be tough to top their inaugural season, the owners and staff feel confident that 2015 will be even bigger and better than this year. The nine classes that began the PDRA series will also carry them into their sophomore season. Pro Extreme, Pro Nitrous, Pro Boost, Extreme Pro Motorcycle, Extreme Pro Stock, Top Sportsman, Top Dragster, Pro Junior Dragster and Top Junior Dragster will be contested at all ten 2015 events.

    “We had a great turn out of racers for our inaugural year,” stated Bob Harris on behalf of the PDRA owners and staff. “All classes are a big asset to the PDRA and we look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2015. We want to thank all our sponsors, racers and fans for a great 2014 season, as well as the media for their great coverage and support.”

    Drag Race Central covered the PDRA Finals this season and will be back covering every event in 2015, posting round by round, up-to-the-minute results at www.dragracecentral.com.

    “We’re excited to have results posted on Drag Race Central next season,” added Harris. We’re glad to be with them, because all the racers love going to the central place for drag racing results online. We look forward to the upcoming PRI Show and our 2014 Awards Banquet where we’ll make further announcements for the 2015 season.”

    The PDRA’s first Awards Banquet will be held in conjunction with the PRI Show on Saturday, December 13 at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis, Ind. For more information visit www.pdra660.com.

    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.


  • Bradenton Motorsports Park Replaces Tulsa Raceway Park on PDRA 2015 Schedule

    The PDRA is happy to welcome Bradenton Motorsports Park to their 2015 schedule. BMP will be the second to last stop on the PDRA’s sophomore tour, October 2-3, 2015. Originally, Tulsa Raceway Park occupied this spot, but due to unavoidable schedule conflicts will not be a host track for the PDRA in 2015.

    “We’re looking forward to going to Bradenton in October,” told PDRA Race Director, Bob Harris. “It will be a great market for Pro Mod racing and for our fan base. We’re proud to welcome Alan and his team to the PDRA tour and expect a great event.

    “We enjoyed going to Tulsa,” Harris continued, “and hope they’ll be back with us in 2016. The circumstances that led to the schedule change were beyond our control. We had a great turnout and a great event in Tulsa.”

    To see the entire PDRA 2015 schedule visit www.pdra660.com.

    “We worked very hard to put together a schedule that will be beneficial for our sponsors, racers and fans. Bradenton Motorsports Park will be a great fit for us in 2015.”

    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.

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  • RACE TO THE 3.90s

    jmcamaroPDRA Extreme Pro Stock teams have been waiting for their perfect chance to break the 4 second barrier. They have been as quick as 4.024 (Cary Goforth, Rockingham Dragway, April 2014) and as fast as 180.81 MPH (John Montecalvo, Rockingham Dragway, April 2014), but the elusive 3.99 has avoided these fierce naturally aspirated machines.

    This weekend the PDRA heads to Virginia Motorsports Park for the Championship Finals. Temperatures will drop down into the 50s for the evening sessions, making for prime record-setting conditions. A 3.90 elapsed time in Pro Stock has never seemed closer.

    John Montecalvo, current MPH record holder, is hoping he’ll be the first to capture the title of First in the Threes. “We feel we have all the right ingredients and believe that the conditions at Richmond will warrant a 3 second run,”stated the two time Champ. “There are several teams out there capable of doing that and we hope to be the first. We’ve got good Sonny’s power and a good RJ car. Justin’s been doing a great job of tuning the car. William Cavallo is on data acquisition and we’ve got Jeff Owen on the clutch. Of course, Lois Anne will be there putting her touch on the car as well. We’ve got a great team. Hopefully we hit it right and we’ll be the first ones to hit that 3.”

    Sonny Leonard Racing Engines, besides powering the quickest and fastest XPS machines in the PDRA, is also sponsoring the Sonny’s 3-Second Club. The first three competitors in XPS to run a 3.99 or quicker will receive a monetary reward, commemorative plaque and a personalized Sonny’s 3-Second Club ring.

    “We appreciate Sonny stepping up to sponsor the 3-Second Club,” continued Montecalvo. “He is a huge part of our success and we hope to be the first to join his club.”


  • FireAde Taking PDRA Safety to the a Higher Standard

     FireAdeThe Professional Drag Racers Association always puts racer safety first. In a greater effort to keep racers safe both on and off the track, the PDRA has purchased the latest technology in fire safety from FireAde and Enforcer.

     

    “FireAde 2000 is the magic that really puts out the fire,” explained company representative Joey Cudmore. “But if you didn’t have a fire truck you couldn’t deliver it. So now we’ve developed the Enforcer line of equipment that delivers the FireAde. They have to work hand in hand. And we make everything from a 16 oz cannister to three gallon units, all the way up to a 500 gallon system. So we can work with any company’s need.”

     

    FireAde is the leader in fire fighting technology, using a three part system to combat each side of the fire triangle.

     

    “In order to have a fire, you have to have heat, fuel and oxygen,” continued Cudmore. “If you get rid of one of those three sources you can’t have a fire. A typical fire extinguisher takes away oxygen. So you still have heat and burning oil or whatever fuel source. What our product does, being a water-based foam, we rapidly cool whatever that heat source is. That’s the first thing we do that makes our products work more effectively than any others out there.

     

    “The second thing we do is we neutralize the fuel spill. Our technology separates the fuel from the oxygen so they can’t get to one another and reignite. For instance, if a driver is trapped upside down in a burning car and the first responder smells gasoline or alcohol or sees it running on the ground he may be hesitant to respond, knowing it could explode. But if that area is sprayed with FireAde, you could literally go in there with a torch and you couldn’t relight that fuel. So now the responder has confidence that he can go in there and rescue the driver.

     

    “Then the third thing is the foam-structured blanket that goes over top of it. Once that’s over top of the hazard we’re literally separating the oxygen. So FireAde tackles all three sides of the fire triangle- heat, fuel and oxygen. No other product does that.”

     

    FireAde is the choice of numerous motorsports divisions, as well as fire stations, oil fields, military and more.The product not only works more effectively than other extinguishers, it is also non-toxic.

     

    “Typically, if a driver is trapped in a car and you spray a bunch of Purple K or dry powder, you will take away the oxygen, but he’s still melting because his seat’s still hot; he’s now inhaling the toxins you just put in there with the dry powder. This is old, outdated technology. Our product is environmentally-friendly, it’s biodegradable and it’s non-corrosive. So we basically put the driver in a foam bubble. He could still breathe and have that protection while you’re fighting the fire beside him.”

     

    The PDRA will have FireAde and Enforcer equipment in place for their final event of this inaugural season, the World Finals at Virginia Motorsports Park, October 9-11. Cudmore will be on hand to train PDRA safety officials in using FireAde. The PDRA will also have the FireAde 16 oz extinguisher for sale at the registration trailer. Cost is just $20.

     

    For more on FireAde and Enforcer, visit their websites: www.fireade.com and www.enforcerone.com. Also see FireAde in action here.

     

    For more on the world’s premier eighth mile drag racing organization visit www.pdra660.com. Follow the PDRA: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube.


  • Team Aruba Overcomes Adversity to Compete in Dragstock XI

    treveremanIt’s probably safe to say that of all the PDRA Extreme Pro Stock teams, Team Aruba always has the farthest to travel. As the only international entry, driver Trevor Eman and part of his crew must first fly from their home in Aruba to Charlotte, N.C. before making their way to their Union, S.C. race shop. From there they start leg two of their journey in driving to the event.

    Last week, it was this second part of the journey that nearly kept them from making it to their home stop on the PDRA tour. The team’s motorhome suffered a major parts breakage that would not be fixable in time to get them to Dragstock XI in Rockingham, N.C.

    “Getting to Rockingham was a big struggle,” told Eman. “With the motorhome out of commision, we  were unable to leave our shop on the day we wanted to travel to Rockingham. Shawn Scruggs with the Greenville, S.C. based Scruggs Transport and Towing towed our motorhome to a shop, but we were still left without a way to tow our trailer to Rockingham. After having spent some time with Shawn while he was hooking up our motorhome to his tow truck, we discussed the possibility of getting our race trailer to Rockingham, which he was kind enough to offer to help us with.

    “Sure enough, the next morning he transported our race trailer to Rockingham and both him and his son, Blake, spent the entire weekend with us, where we became better acquainted and developed a friendship.”

    Eman qualified the Aruba.com Mustang in the sixth spot with a 4.126 elapsed time at 175.64 MPH. However, when race day dawned, Mother Nature was the only winner, stealing the show and any hope of eliminations. The remainder of Dragstock will be completed at the upcoming PDRA Championship Finals, October 9-11 at Virginia Motorsports Park.

    Despite the difficulties incurred over the course of the weekend, Team Aruba was happy to participate in the event, which boasted one of the largest car and spectator counts of the year. The event was even more special for them as they welcomed special guests from Aruba.

    “With this being the track closest to our hometown location of our race shop in Union, SC, it is also the race that is easiest to get to from Aruba with a straight flight to Charlotte,” Eman explained. “Therefore, we had the pleasure of having both my uncle (father’s brother) and my great uncle join us for this race, after having spent a couple of days with us at our house and shop in Union.

    “My father was very excited about having them both join us, because my great uncle is the reason why my father and his brothers got involved in racing. So in essence, all that we have done racing wise in the U.S. is my great uncle’s fault. This was the first time my great uncle got to see what our operation consists of, and I take it he was very impressed.”

    After the rain out, Shawn Scruggs transported the Team Aruba race trailer back to their Union shop. “Team Aruba cannot thank Shawn enough for his kindness in helping us get safely to and from the track. If it wasn’t for his help, we would not have been able to even show up in Rockingham.

    “We look forward to completing the Rockingham event in a few weeks at Virginia.”

    Keep up with Team Aruba on Facebook and Twitter. Find race results, team updates, videos and photos. Also leave your comments to cheer on Team Aruba!

    For more on your Aruba vacation visit www.Aruba.com and www.Destination-Magazines.com.