Canadian drag racing during last weekend’s NHRA 4-Wide Nationals was rousing & plentiful…..

While event wins by Shawn Cowie (TAD), Grant Singer (Super Stock) and Aaron Steinkey (Top Sportsman) grabbed the Las Vegas event limelight (as deserved!) — participation & some performances from “North of the 49th” elsewhere there were impressive too.

Top Dragster class racing featured a “just missed” from Alberta’s Stan Essery – driver for Bob Ebertz’s AFD Petroleum dragster team.  Stan (after qualifying #11) advanced all the way to the championship round only to lose by a heart wrenching close margin (.006 secs!) to winner Cody Webber.

NHRA Pro Stock class racing included more impressive progression for Canada’s two class racers – Eric Latino and Sienna Wildgust. Eric qualified a career high #5 (6.634 secs) and was the quickest car in his “quad” to advance to round #2.  But regrettably he then experienced a red-light and severe tire start in that frame. 17-year old Sienna did earn her career best qualifying slot too — rolling to an impressive #14 with a 6.675 secs effort.  Sienna lost however in “quad #1” on Sunday.

Calgary’s Bob Gullett was the #1 qualifier overall for Stock eliminator racing at Las Vegas. Bob ran his F/S ’68 Nova to the pole with an 11.009 secs ET which is .991 sub his class index.  Bob could not however turn that solid accomplishment into an event victory this time out.

Western Canada’s “Man of Many Mopars” Darcy Clarke (Spruce Grove AB) had two of his classic machines in action at Las Vegas.  Darcy qualified his B/SA ’64 Fury very quick at #4 for the field (.967 under).  He got the SS/EA Savoy into the show mid-group — but both machines fell during early eliminations.

Alberta’s Aaron Steinkey (who won in TS at the event with his Camaro!) also campaigned his potent T/D at the race – and finished in the 3rd round with that car.

Tom Nolan (from Lacombe AB) was the top finishing Canadian in Super Stock racing. Tom qualified his GT/EA G5 #19 and advanced all the way to the fourth round before losing out.

The Manitoba-based husband and wife duo of Tom and Donna Patterson continued their impressive NHRA West touring.  Tom qualified his team’s TS Camaro #6 but had a red-light in round #2.  Donna drove her dragster to a strong 3rd round finish after qualifying #10 at 6.227 secs.

2nd generation driver Matt Mellof campaigned this now very evil-looking 2009 GXP in Top Sportsman.  The Maple Ridge BC-based racer qualified 12th with a 6.897 secs but lost out in round two of class competition.

Making his first ever Las Vegas national event racing appearance in NHRA T/S was Alan Hiebert’s Pro-charger Camaro from Selkirk Manitoba.  Alan did qualify with a 7.027 secs but could not outrun TS class veteran Greg Lair in round one.

James Cowie (Surrey BC) who is nephew to TAD winner Shawn Cowie won two rounds of competition in Super Comp driving his Mundies Towing & Recovery-backed dragster.

Dale Dryden had a rather impressive effort in his topless ’57 Corvette at Vegas.  Dale (from Stettler AB) advanced all the way to the fourth round for S/Gas.

“Top Dragster” class racing did include strong representation from within Alberta’s Top Eliminator Club ranks. That list included this new machine raced by talented rising young lady driver Jenna Michard – who qualified mid pack at #21.

Canadian “Top” class proponent and affectionado Mark Simmons (Medicine Hat AB) entered two TNT Supercars at Las Vegas. Mark (President of Spider Electric) drove the red car while Arizona’s Kevin Kleinweber campaigned the other (photo below). Kleinweber sped to a very quick 6.112 secs — to qualify #1 over the 32-field!

Will Yakimetz was the fastest Canadian T/S car present — roaring his (now supercharged) Camaro (from Vegreville AB) to a 6.774 secs ET which grabbed #5 on the qualifying grid.

To view more Canadian racer photos from Las Vegas link to the LMLC Media event gallery:  HERE

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by David Ostaszewski