Canadian Sportsman drivers shined during the NHRA New England Nationals – collecting two big wins and two runner-ups within the event’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing series eliminators….
Kingston Ontario native Al Kenny, who was the 2012 NHRA Lucas Oil World Champion – showed “the right stuff” again in the event’s Super Comp 8.90 class. Driving his reliable Dan Page built dragster – the veteran Canadian racer earned the 7th NHRA national event win of his career.
After first winning five gruelling rounds, Kenny prevailed in what was in fact an all Canadian class final – beating first time national event finalist Jason MacNeil who is from Stellarton, NS.
Al managed to overcome a perfect .000 RT (!) from MacNeil in the final round winning a double break out confrontation; 8.870 secs 180.77 mph to MacNeil’s 8.865 secs at 159.21 mph.
And Al’s big win was almost duplicated by his son Jason – who placed runner-up in the Super Gas class driving his familiar 2003 Corvette.
After qualifying 5th, Jason’s only round defeat of the event came in the final when he was edged out by NHRA Division One rival Ray Sawyer. Ray’s 9.911 secs effort took the title when Jason went too quick at 9.890 secs.
“It was a great weekend with a pretty darn good ending,” said Jason Kenny about his team’s event effort. “Dad got the win in Super Comp just a couple minutes before I ran the Super Gas final. I could hear his final, but couldn’t see the scoreboards, so I actually watched my friend Mike Sawyer for his reaction so I knew Dad had won.”
“Overall, it’s a good time for Dad and I to get hot — we are in the midst of a 7-races-in-7 weeks stretch!”
“That Girl” – is Fast!
The New England Nationals also featured a demonstration eliminator for the Pro Stock Snowmobile category which is showcased only a couple times each season at the NHRA national event level. At Epping, 8 incredible machines represented that unique genre of racers.
And for the second year in a row — Canadian female racer Tiina Duncanson prevailed — and did so this year in dominating fashion.
After qualifying #5 with a 8.802 secs, Duncanson, who is from Acton Ontario, for sure saved her best effort of the event for the championship final.
In that race, versus opponent Heath Smith, Tiina guided her “That Girl Racing” 2012 Ski Doo to both low ET and top speed of the meet with a stunning 8.112 secs at 159.17 mph lap.
With that, Tiina collected her 18th career NHRA “Wally” (including all her previous wins at the LODRS level in NHRA Divisions 1 and 3).
“We have been running Pro-Stock Sled since it became an official NHRA class in 2010,” Tiina revealed. “The rules are similiar to PS Car and Bike because the body and motor must match. We are limited to 1000 cc, normally aspirated, spec fuel and oil and 650 lbs at the end of the run.”
“At this race we had to overcome a gremlin that was hiding in the sled most of the weekend,” she added. “That held us to a number five qualifier but my crewchief/husband Peter found the problem before the semi final round and we picked up to a 8.29 secs ET. For the final we adjusted the suspension and the sled ran a blistering time. That could have been a class record but because it was the final — we did not have a chance to back it up.”
Tiina and Peter were the only Canadian team entered in that field of 8 Pro Stock Snowmobiles. Prior to the final they beat John Evan and Mark Wakem.
Posted by: Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Steve Embling