Talk about ending a racing season on a high! Canada’s left coast Lucas Oil TAD powerhouse team accomplished exactly that!….

After just missing out on their primary season objective of winning their first ever NHRA Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster World Championship — British Columbia’s Shawn Cowie and his talented team shrugged off that disappointment with a highly convincing win during the ’17 season ending NHRA AAA Auto Club Finals at Pomona.

At that event the Mundie’s Towing race team, which is owned by Shawn’s father and patriarch Ron Cowie, ran up their single season winning record to it’s highest level yet. By winning at Pomona, they collected their 8th NHRA circuit win of the season, including 4 wins within their Pacific Northwest Region and 4 wins in NHRA national event competition.

Ron and Shawn Cowie

At the AAA Auto Club Finals, Shawn qualified #3 (5.230 secs) for what was a truly spirited and extremely fast TAD class program. His team which is now choreographed by California-based tuning legend Norm Grimes, then showed great consistency while running 4 more consecutive 5.2 secs elapsed times to take out the competition and secure Shawn his milestone 10th career NHRA national event title.

Cowie handled upstart and invading young lady racer Julie Natass (from Norway – who had qualified #1) in the final round winning decisively with a 5.272 secs at 274.72 mph effort. Shawn had taken the measure of Ashley Sanford, Garrett Bateman and Randy Eakins in rounds prior to that.

Shawn Cowie collected his 8th (!) NHRA Wally of the season during the AAA Auto Club Finals.

For Shawn, the victory was for sure gratifying as it helped to alleviate the fact they had lost out on the overall NHRA 2017 Lucas Oil World Championship to primary rival Joey Severance by a heart wrenchingly narrow margin – just two weeks prior.

“Falling just short of winning the world hurt,” Shawn admitted. “I messed up a bit in the final round at Las Vegas (versus Joey) and that cost us that race and the title. But we needed to accept that as a learning step and get better from there. Our effort at Pomona caps off what was definitely my best year of racing. In addition to all the wins we got — we laid down a whole bunch of track records this season. In particular that 5.165 at 280. 54 mph (@ Woodburn in July) really got my attention and it’s something we’re all very proud of.”

Shawn’s season did reap the benefits from a major strategic move the team made at the end of 2016 – when they swayed and signed Norm Grimes to their team equation. Grimes had been the tuner for rival Joey Severance prior.

“There’s no argument that Norm isn’t the best around,” Shawn added. “When he came to our team we made a lot of changes to the car that included a new engine program. But I think the biggest change was the weight we took out — about 85 lbs. But I would also emphasize that in addition to Norm the people that work on this car and team are the best available too. My Dad Ron and wife Taylor, Nick Yates, Thom Cole and Jon Phillips — they give me nothing but faith about our team and going forward.”

We think that 8 event wins – a NHRA West Regional Lucas Oil title and 5.165 at 280. 54 mph in a blown alcohol car – all speak for themselves!

The season ending winning flurry by the Cowie/Mundie’s Racing team should not be overlooked. Norm Grimes is resigned for 2018. Scoring victories at both the last Lucas Oil Regional event (at Las Vegas) and the final NHRA national event (at Pomona) of the season — is not only a momentum builder but also a clear and present danger to the rest of North America’s TAD class competition for 2018.

Posted by Bruce Biegler
Photos by Bruce Biegler & Randy Anderson