After first bursting on the scene in 2014 – Ontario’s Tyler Scott continued positive momentum during 2015….
With his 2015 racing season now fading ever so slightly in the rear-view mirror NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car competitor Tyler Scott has begun reflecting on his second season behind the wheel of the Napier/Harman HVS/Jim Scott Enterprises Funny Car, owned and tuned by accomplished veteran competitor Larry Dobbs.
“When we started the season we were full of confidence. I had a year of learning under my belt and we had purchased a new body for the car,” noted Scott. “On top of that we had sponsors returning who were eager to chase another championship.”
Despite high expectations and a driver who quickly adapted over the course of his first season behind the wheel, reality quickly took hold during the team’s first outing at the NHRA East Division regional race in Gainesville, Florida in late February. “The first race at Gainesville was a quick reminder of how new I am to this class. I took out some timing cones on the first qualifier and again in the first round, ultimately costing me the win,” said a reflective Scott.
The next event on the schedule, the Amalie Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida, provided an opportunity for redemption on Scott’s part and produced better results for the team, marking the beginning of a steady improvement in performance throughout the remainder of the season. “When we returned to Gainesville for the Gators we had a much better weekend, qualifying 14th and losing to Mickey Ferro in the first round, which still spelled success for us,” said Scott.
The teams next outing was the NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina where they took a minor step backwards in performance. “At Charlotte we didn’t qualify for the show but were inserted as an alternate after one of our competitors withdrew from competition,” explained Scott. Running championship hopeful Ulf Leanders in the first round, Scott led until nearly half track, in a match that saw both drivers experience issues throughout the run, before ultimately losing the round.
After three months away from the NHRA circuit, the team returned to competition at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, where they would face a familiar foe in round one of eliminations, after qualifying 15th. “I recorded my first national round win at Norwalk, beating the higher qualified Ulf Leanders,” said a proud Scott. Not only did Scott beat Leanders, he did so with a sizeable reaction time advantage on the starting line and an elapsed time improvement from his qualifying effort. In round two he faced fellow Canadian competitor Paul Noakes, again the higher qualified of the two, and put up a strong fight, leaving the starting line even with Noakes and again making an improvement over his previous personal best elapsed time. That effort was however, not enough, as Noakes went on to collect the round win.
The team carried its performance based momentum to the next event in Columbus, Ohio, where Scott’s driving talent was again on display. A reaction time advantage in the first round, combined with some skillful driving to navigate the tricky National Trail Raceway racing surface, gave him the win against the higher qualified and quicker running Lance Van Hauen, setting up a rematch against fellow Canadian and Norwalk adversary Paul Noakes. Scott again was on his game at the starting line and led the race until just before halftrack when his Napier/Harman HVS/Jim Scott Enterprises Monte Carlo just couldn’t navigate the uneven surface in the right lane, forcing Scott to lift out of the throttle and watch Noakes cruise to the victory.
The team took a second extended hiatus from the NHRA tour over the summer months, using that time to put the wraps on Scott’s second consecutive NDRA championship, and the fourth in a row for him as a member of the Kardiac Kids team, for which he was a crew member prior to taking over the driving duties in 2014.
The final two events on the schedule for the team again provided some major milestones for Scott in a year that had already delivered on improved performance and results. On the strength of the team’s best qualifying run of 5.68 seconds, a career personal best for Scott, they found themselves in the number eleven starting spot for the NHRA Carolina Nationals, in Charlotte, North Carolina, in mid-September. Facing off against former NHRA champion Jay Payne in the first round, Scott again put his starting line skills to work but was unable to hold on for the round win when his mount was unable to match the performance of Payne’s.
The final event of the 2015 season for the team was the NHRA Keystone Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania, October 1-4. With cold and rainy conditions throughout the weekend, qualifying was shortened to just one session for the event, leaving Scott in the number fourteen starting spot, for the first round, after an early shutoff attempt. Starting from this position paired him against number one qualifier Paul Noakes, setting up the third match of the season in NHRA competition for this pair. Looking for a little redemption, Scott made a major move towards the round win with a considerable starting line advantage, but was unable to hold on for the win when his car, despite a very respectable performance, was unable to match that of the much quicker Noakes.
Of course, all of the success and personal best achievements wouldn’t be possible without the help of a great group of sponsors. “I just want to say a huge thank you to all of my sponsors for all of their support. Napier, Harman Heavy Vehicle Specialists, Jim Scott Enterprises, Huron Produce, Hamill Machine, OK Tire Burlington and Jawzys all contributed to our efforts this year. It means the world to me that they are helping me live my dream,” said an appreciative Scott. “I could not do it without any of them.”
“I’ve also got to thank my crew for working their tails off all summer. It was hot, cold, rainy and everything in-between and they kept on showing up eager to work and win. And I especially have to thank Larry and Kevin Dobbs. They are giving me this incredible opportunity to drive for them and together we are going to be a force next year. We have a new combination and that will spell even more success for us at a higher level,” concluded Scott.
About Tyler Scott:
In only his second season competing in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class, Tyler Scott won his second consecutive NDRA Funny Car Championship in 2015, advancing to every final round during the course of the season, taking home the event winner’s trophy on two occasions.
In NHRA competition he won his first round of national event competition at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio during the month of July and followed that up with a semi-final finish at an NHRA regional meet in Columbus, Ohio later that same month. He also established new personal best markers in speed and elapsed time covering the quarter-mile racing distance in just 5.68 seconds at more than 251 miles per hour during the penultimate event of his 2015 season in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In 2014 Tyler Scott took on the driving duties for one of drag racing’s most legendary Top Alcohol Funny Car team’s, The Kardiac Kids. Since that time, the twenty-four year old driver from Exeter, Ontario, Canada has followed a strong development path, led by veteran owner, driver and tuner, Larry Dobbs.
For more information about Tyler Scott and The Kardiac Kids visit www.kardiackids.ca.
Posted by: Jory Elliott
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