Nitro versus Watermelon (?)

Canada’s Paton Racing Top Fuel camp was the focus recently for a Discovery Channel television crew.   That team, along with driver Ike Maier will be the subject of a TV segment later this season….

During the recent Stratford Spectacular Hot August Nationals at Grand Bend Motorplex, the Maier-driven and Paton-owned dragster was being filmed for a piece for Discovery Channel Canada’s highly popular Daily Planet program.   Alan Nursall, who hosts the Daily Planet’s “Alan Nursall Experience”, was on hand diving into some of the science and technology involved with Top Fuel dragster racing.

Discovery Channel TV crew with Ike Maier

“Normally my program involves going to the street and doing science experiments with everyday people,” Nursall explained.  “But in this case I went to the drag strip.”

“We are going to touch on a number of aspects,” he continued.  “The chemistry of nitro methane, the durability of the vehicle under all that stress, and we are even going to compare racing a dragster against a watermelon (?) – acceleration versus gravity.”

Alan Nursall

Nursall, who lives in Sudbury and who has degrees from both the University of Alberta and Brock University was very pleased with his first ever drag racing experience.

“The folks at Grand Bend Motorplex and everyone at Paton Racing were very accommodating.” he added.  “We had a blast.  Barry even put me on the crew and I got to move a few nuts and bolts around there.”

Nursall and the crew also focused on the clutch department and will show the brutal effects that a 4-second run has on clutch discs – before and after.

Another program highlight will be an interesting scientific take on the overall “feel” of Top Fuel racing.

“At one point we set up a small table right beside the starting line and I sat there with Ike’s wife Debbie,” Alan added.  “We had various instruments set up for sound and vibration.  I can tell you that every meter we had went off the end of the scale!  Top Fuel racing was really amazing.”

An exact air date for the Daily Planet segment has not been announced just yet.  But it is likely for the fall of 2011. will provide an exact date and time when known.

The Paton Racing TF Dragster will be on a Discovery Channel show this fall

For more information on Discovery Channel Canada and Alan Nursall programming visit: HERE

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler

Bruce Biegler Photos