Two prominent and deserving Canadians in the running for NHRA’s Professional Rookie of the Year honours!..

NHRA officials have announced the five NHRA Camping World Drag Racing competitors in contention for the 2023 NHRA Rookie of the Year award – including two drivers from North of the 49th.

Eric Latino, hailing from Port Perry, Ontario, drives for the KB Titan Racing juggernaut and is also a co-owner of the team. Latino made his NHRA Pro Stock debut in Norwalk this season and has qualified for six NHRA races.

Pro Stock racer Eric Latino from Port Perry Ontario.

Top Fuel driver Dan Mercier hails from Saint-Michel, Quebec. This season he has qualified for six national events, including the Norwalk race where he picked up a round win over Top Fuel veteran Doug Kalitta.

Top Fuel racer Daniel Mercier (with daughter Mia!)

Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Chase Van Sant is one of the five candidates for the annual award that names the sport’s top rookie in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Currently sixth in points, Van Sant has advanced to four semifinals and four quarterfinals this season. Van Sant rides for the White Alligator Racing led by former champ Jerry Savoie.

Pro Stock driver David Cuadra not only joined the Pro Stock ranks this season but also his family. Father Ferando Sr. and brothers Ferando Jr. and Cristian are all competitors in the class. Cuadra made his Pro Stock debut at the Four-Wide race in Charlotte where he joined his family in a Cuadra-Quad.

Jerry Tucker competes for Pro Stock giant Elite Motorsports. Tucker has qualified for all 2023 Pro Stock events this season while advancing to one semifinal and four quarterfinals. He has round wins over Pro Stock stars Erica Enders, Bo Butner and Troy Coughlin Jr.

Last season, Camrie Caruso was awarded the 2022 Rookie of the Year title. Other recent winners include Pro Stock’s Dallas Glenn in 2021, and Top Fuel drivers Justin Ashley in 2020 and Austin Prock in 2019.

The NHRA Rookie of the Year award recognizes the top rookie competitor who also represents the future of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. The nation’s leading auto racing journalists select the winner through a voting system based on the following criteria: number of events competed in, performance on and off the racetrack, participation in NHRA promotions, and relationships with fans, sponsors, and media.

Posted by NHRA Communications
DragRaceCanada file photos by Dave DeAngelis & Steve Embling