Canada’s drag racing fans are beaming today following the news of a very successful weekend for Edmonton area racers during yesterday’s conclusion to NHRA’s Carquest Auto Parts Nationals….
Northern Alberta-based cars earned two victories and one runner-up finish within that event’s Lucas Oil Sportsman drag racing series eliminations held at Phoenix area – Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
In Top Dragster, Sherwood Park’s Trevor Ritchie scored his first ever NHRA national event title when he wheeled his Chevy-powered TNT chassied machine to a very convincing title.
After qualifying #20 for the stout 32 car field – Ritchie prevailed during five gruelling rounds of competition which was cumulated by a razor thin double break out final round decision over John Taylor III. The Albertan ran a 6.815 secs (6.82 dial in) at 191.81 mph in the championship round which broke out by .005 compared to Taylor’s -.006.
Edmonton car owner Ken Reich, with super skilled Nevada based driver Justin Lamb at the controls, put his Speciality Auto Chevy Cobalt into the victory lane for the national event winners circle for the second time when they won in Competition eliminator.
Lamb combined a great .013 RT with a final round 7.972 secs at 172.43 mph with his B/SMA classed machine which held off the defending World Championship A/AP raced by California’s Alan Ellis.
Lamb who qualified #8 with a 8.008 secs duplicated the team’s other victory which came during the NHRA Las Vegas II event last fall.
Spruce Grove’s Don Thomas nearly completed a Canadian racing “hat trick” with a superb runner-up placing in Super Stock.
Racing his reliable GT/EA 2004 Pontiac Grand-Am Thomas was denied his first ever NHRA national event title after a double break out final round loss to Phil Unrah’s Chevy Camaro. Thomas ran a 10.078 secs (10.09 dial) at 131.56 which was slightly more of a violation then Unrah’s -.005 final round run.
Don’s trek to the final round came from the #26 qualified position and included round wins over some very tough opponents including the names (recent Winternationals winner) Cody Lane, Mark Faul, Jimmy DeFrank and Thomas Fletcher.
Post by Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Bob Johnson