Canadian Nitro Nationals (Version 3.0) Report  

Canada’s single largest independent drag race played out in pretty impressive style last weekend as Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park hosted its 3rd Annual Canadian Nitro Nationals…..

Cruz Pedregon, driving the Snap-On Tools Toyota, was very convincing while prevailing to win the overall title in the Chicago-style shootout format event.   Pedregon went 3-0 over the weekend while besting the 4-car field that also included his brother Tony, Iowa’s Jack Wyatt and Chicagoland’s Dale “Peanut” Creasy.

The Championship final round on Sunday saw Cruz spot Jack Wyatt an advantage off the starting line but ultimately he was able to run him down to take a 4.570 secs to 4.955 secs victory that capped the event’s 1000’ racing program.

Cruz Pedregon's 2nd appearance at Cayuga saw him go undefeated

Pedregon had qualified for the final on Saturday evening when he recorded a 4.310 secs,  which was low ET of the event for the fuel FC class.

The Canadian Nitro Nationals featured for the first time in history a best-of-three match up between Western and Eastern Canadian Top Fuel drivers.  Star driver Tim Boychuk raced against fast-rising Eastern Canadian name, Ike “Oscar” Maier.  

Maier was behind the wheel of Barry Paton’s Tim Hortons-backed dragster, while Tim flew in from Edmonton to drive John LaPorte’s TF dragster for the very first time.  Both cars were tuned by Jimbo Ermalovich during the event.

Maier won round one easily when Boychuk smoked the tires hard at the hit – however LaPorte’s team then delivered a major comeback story by winning the next two rounds conclusively.   Boychuk drove the car to consecutive and identical laps of 4.125 secs to win the match.  Those are the quickest that LaPorte’s fast-improving “Nitro Express” car has run to date.

Invading Westener Tim Boychuk took John LaPorte's new TF car to it's quickest runs yet

The event also featured an appearance by the NDRA Top Alcohol Funny Car circuit which is the new brainchild this year for visionary organizer Dale Boeru and his valued series sponsor Ohsweken Speedway. 

That 8-car qualified field featured a truly dominating performance byLondon’s Paul Noakes who was driving his recently revamped and newly sponsored Ford Mustang at the event.  Noakes reset both ends of the Cayuga Dragway track record while enroute to victory lane.

Paul Noakes reset both ends of the Cayuga TAFC records while winning the NDRA feature

Noakes’ Meritor Driveforce/Euclid sponsored team qualified #1 with a 5.70 and followed that up with a 5.67 secs (low ET) in the first round.  Paul then finished off the field with a 5.69 secs in the final round to defeat Cicero, NY-native Brian White.  His 256.75 mph was also top speed of the meet for the category.

Included within the weekend racing program was round #3 for the PMRA, Napa Quick 32 and PBSS circuits. 

Hamilton’s Bruce Boland returned to his winning ways capturing the PMRA title while Michael Hinbest (Orangeville) scored his first Q32 win driving his Top Dragster, and Pete Stewart (Toronto) took another win in the PBSS.

Wily Pro Mod driver Bruce Boland would not be denied in PMRA action

Boland, driving his supercharged 1941 Willys, coaxed his first win of the season beating  Kenny Lang’s Manitoba-based Summit Racing Equipment Camaro in the final round.  

Boland surged to a winning 6.005 secs 238.05 mph while Lang’s machine struggled after leaving the starting line.   Boland had set low ET of the event in earlier action at 5.931 secs. 

Hinbest first marched past a very a strong event field of Top Dragster entries (it took a run of 6.960 secs to qualify). Then in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series final he outmatched Top Sportsman driver Spencer Hyde.

Mike Hinbest topped a very impressive Q32 field with his supercharged dragster

Hinbest prevailed with his supercharged ERD-powered Mike Bos dragster, with a better RT and taking a 6.551 secs 198.09 mph to 7.043 secs 196.82 mph win over the TS 1968 Camaro.  

After qualifying 13th in the field, Pete Stewart rode his Pro Bike Suzuki GSXR to the PBSS win over Milton, Ontario’s Ted Glinny with his Pro Bike Kawasaki Ninja. Stewart, ran 9.47 secs at 145.67 mph to best Glinny’s 8.46 secs at 154.74 mph — and that was his 2nd win of 2012.

To view DragRaceCanada’s Canadian Nitro Nationals event photo gallery click:  HERE 

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler 

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler, Steve Embling & Brennan Shortall

The Canadian Nitro Nationals featured a capacity crowd on Saturday