For the 3rd consecutive season, NHRA’s Northeast Division One touched down at fabled Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park….

The now annual NHRA National Open level event (which is presented by PC drew in some NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series class car competition, but was showcased again by the 2018 edition Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame Stock/Super Stock Shootout.

Another very good field of Stock and Super Stock cars from all across Eastern Canada as well as neighbouring Northern US states were present and those racers vied for a very handsome event purse offering – $25,000 (US$) — put up by event host John Scotti from Montreal.  Some 50+ Stock and Super Stock class cars passed NHRA tech and were entered for that lucrative tournament.   

Saturday’s race was unfortunately an abbreviated one as some ill-timed rain storms prevented what was to have been the first of two complete weekend events.   After the CDRHF Stock/Super Stock field was ground down to seven cars – that race was rained out.  But in a class move, John and his group, with the approval of all remaining competitors, decided to still declare an event winner.   That was done by a random elimination drawing – and that went to a highly deserving Canadian icon racer Wally Clark, driver of his familiar and hard running Niagara Falls-based GT/GA Pontiac Grand-Am.

Canadian sportsman racing icon Wally Clark was a popular winner at Cayuga’s NHRA National Open.

Two Quebec based Pontiac cars made the final round on Sunday with Alain Cauchon (top & middle) defeating Rudy Costernaro.

Sunday’s race tournament went without a hitch however and that championship final round featured two Quebec-based racers, both in Pontiacs, Alain Cauchon (Drummondville PQ) and Rudy Costernaro (from Montreal).    

Cauchon, driving his 2005 GT/MA Sunfire, took the win over Costernaro’s ex-FJ Smith GT/FA Firebird.   Cauchon, whose reputation does include some strong event showings within the NHRA Division and National event level too —  pocketed for sure the biggest payout of his career.  In the final he got the win light when Costernaro, who was also a recent winner at the NHRA Division One National Open event held at Mirimachi NB., went .014 red.

To the man (and lady) the sentiments were typical about the event itself and for the support these class racers receive courtesy of John Scotti and his group.  That was clearly voiced by Saturday’s winner (and 2016 CDRHF inductee) Wally Clark.

“All of us racers here keep in mind and recognize the efforts of John and Bob (Aubertin) do in presenting this event,” Wally confided.  “The money we can run for here is the best in North America for these classes of race cars and that really encourages the competition.  It’s a very good deal and program and we all hope it will continue.”

John Scotti

Cayuga’s NHRA National Open also provided local racers the opportunity to win one of drag racing’s single most coveted prizes, an official NHRA “Wally” and that also produced some very fierce competition.

In Sunday’s NHRA Super Combo eliminator (which melded Super Comp/Super Gas/Super Street classes) it was Kirk Parry from nearby Niagara Falls NY who prevailed in the final round.   In the all S/G final, Kirk drove his ’78 Pinto to victory over Lance Pinto’s Chevy Cavalier, winning a 9.934 secs to 9.971 secs decision.

New York’s Kirk Parry won the event’s Super Combo with his ’78 Ford Pinto

Pete “Fun lovin’ Criminal” Maduri picked up a “Wally” with his S/ST class S-10.

Cayuga Dragway’s very own RCSS (Race Cayuga Sportsman Series) was also highlight filled with big wins going to Sportsman racing expert Andrew Stirk and his Corvette (in Super Pro), Shawn Booth’s Arrow (Modified) and to Mike Newman’s dragster in the Quick Sportsman class.

The RCSS Modified title went to Shawn Booth’s Arrow.

Mike Newman’s great looking dragster prevailed in the RCSS Quick Sportsman class.

Expert Canadian motorcycle racer Mike Konopaki came and conquered in the Pro Bike/Sled category racing his Oshawa-based ZX10.  JC Hutchinson raced his classic ’66 Coronet to a win in Street and it was Madisson Zonta (from Binbrook ON) who prevailed in the event’s Junior Dragster class program.

Canadian drag racing motorcycle standout – Mike Konopaki — prevailed in the tough RCSS Bike/Sled eliminator on his Kawasaki.

We really like this vast “up and coming” crew pool available for Jim Wildgoose’s Stock eliminator car!

Posted with files by Bruce Biegler & Rob Potter

Photos by Bruce Biegler and Stacee Richards 

Editors Note: We will add a photo gallery for this event – coming soon!