Grand Bend Motorplex’s Stratford Day Spectacular was weather plagued — but still very much included important aspects…

This much anticipated annual event feature, originally billed for last June and then rescheduled because of rain for last weekend — again had to endure the woes of mother nature.    The wet stuff bookended both the beginning and the end of the event – but in-between that – some notable things did happen.   The final major feature drag race of the season within Ontario did manage to determine the overall points champions for the newly formed for 2019 PSDS (Pro Sportsman Dragster Series) and we acknowledge that as well as some other late season racing tidbits — below.

Racing his Prime Shine Auto Spa-sponsored supercharged 2006 model Mustang — the name Al Martorino will go into the history books as the PSDS ‘s first ever Pro Mod champion. Al (who is from Coburg ON) clinched the title by just qualifying for the event in his very much improved machine.  Martorino was still in the running for the event win too on Sunday prior to the rain hitting.

Few can argue that Wes Goddard’s “Hell Billy” Nash is not one of the coolest Top Sportsman cars ever concevied out there.   Wes (from Guelph) clinched the 2019 PSDS Top Sportsman points championship by just breaking the beams for round one.  Wes too remained “still in the mix” for the event win before the skies got dark at Grand Bend Motorplex.

2nd generation driver Austin VanDerGeld mathematically clinched the PSDS’s Top Dragster championship on Sunday. The Cambridge-based driver for the Lowdown Hot Rods team enjoyed a great season and was (like Al and Wes) still alive in event completion — one of four cars that remained.

Kudos go to Spencer Hyde and the Napa Auto Parts/Ideal Supply Pro Mod Camaro racing team for their inspiring weekend effort. This Stratford-based race team looked fully primed for a win after they qualified #1 (5.943 secs) and then ran a career best 5.851 secs (!) while winning  round one. Spencer finished 2nd in final points to Al Martorino.

Fort Erie’s Keith McKellar really did turn some heads within the Top Dragster class during the final PSDS event. After qualifying #1 he got progressively quicker — including a 6.097 secs run in round #2 while advancing to the “final four” in the class. DragRaceCanada will post a feature on this very innovative race car (which features a Koffel’s Mopar motor!) coming a bit little later this season!

After enduring some recent internal team turmoil (See most recent Hot Cars/Hot Topics subsection post) — Canadian icon Larry Dobbs was in full comeback mode at Grand Bend. Larry’s weekend did include a reunion of sorts with some former team members — including non other then the other original “Kardiac Kid”  Fred Speight (above).  And just for good measure — his very talented team driver Tyler Scott did take full advantage of the very tight GBM track surface.  Scott reset the ET record for TAFC to a 5.607 secs while testing on Saturday evening!

And to help to close the curtain for drag racing feature races in Eastern Canada for 2019 – Russ Lethbridge brought the house down with his truly awesome HellFire jet-powered Kenworth. Russ’s final lap of the season was a very low/career best number — which because of limitations we are swore to secrecy to protect…..

DragRaceCanada has also posted a photo gallery from the 2019 Stratford Day Spectacular event – you can view that now over at our site.

Photos by Bruce Biegler – Brennan Shortall – Darwin Kent