Canada’s Todd Paton has and will have a very interesting conclusion to the 2013 drag racing season…..
Todd, who now lives in California and who is the Pro Systems & Sales Manager for Racepak, has done his best to balance his racing career with business demands. In recent times he was behind wheel of a very cool Nostalgia Funny Car and this weekend will once again assume the cockpit of his family’s Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster when qualifying begins for NHRA’s AAA Auto Club Finals at Pomona.
In October, Todd did another stint driving the McIntire Racing “Crusher” Camaro Nostalgia Funny Car during NHRA’s California Hot Rod Reunion event at Bakersfield.
He qualified for that very competitive field #16, won in an upset in round one and then made like a great NHL goalie in round two — with a terrific save!
“Driving the McIntire Family’s “Crusher” nostalgia funny car was a blast!,” said Todd. “With over 30 teams entered — it was an honor just to make the field. That 5.87 was the first ever 5-second run for Bob McIntire and his son Steve. We dodged a bullet in the first round when #1 qualifier, Tim Nemeth, went red against us. The car didn’t run well, and we completely tore it down after the first round. Unfortunately, in the second round against Frank Ousley’s “Crop Duster”, number one and two connecting rod broke as soon as I stepped on the throttle, throwing oil under the tires. The resulting ride was a pretty wild one. I know that several photographers used it as a prime photo opportunity. I narrowly missed the Christmas Tree, and was fortunate enough to get it gathered up enough to miss the opposite guardrail.”
The next weekend Todd was at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas where he helped to manage Paul Noakes’ Top Fuel class debut in his and Barry’s dragster. After that race was over on the Monday Quebec’s Daniel Mercier was in the car and completed his licensing upgrade process. (More on that – coming later!)
Fast forward to this weekend and Todd will drive the TF car himself and he is optimistic about his chances.
“I am looking forward to running our Top Fuel car in Pomona,” he stated. “It’s only 45 minutes from my house, so I look forward to having some of my friends and co-workers with me in the pits. The car has been running really well; Paul Noakes ran a 4.01 at 310 mph in Vegas and Daniel Mercier ran 3.99 at 311 mph during testing after the Las Vegas event. So if we can start the event with that kind of a performance and work from there, hopefully we can put it solidly in the field.”
Posted by: Bruce Biegler
Photos by: Marc Gewertz