Feisty 2nd Edition Nitro Nationals

Cayuga Dragway at Toronto Motorsports Park hosted its first really major event since renewing sanctioning with NHRA – presenting version 2.0 of the Canadian Nitro Nationals last weekend….

By:       Bruce Biegler

A very significant crowd witnessed a terrific variety of drag racing over the 3-day holiday weekend event, a program that included an appearance by some NHRA Full Throttle drag racing series Nitro Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters.

The Nitro Nationals drew in a huge crowd
Racing brothers Cruz and Tony Pedregon were the event headline attractions.  The popular duo brought in their Snap-On Tools Toyota and STP Chevy Impala for a rare Canadian appearance.    The fuel Funny Cars of Jack Wyatt and Dale “Peanut” Creasy as well as the Top Fuel dragsters driven by Ike Maier and Fred Farndon rounded out the nitro racing program.
While it is true that none of the above drivers exactly rotated the earth from a performance perspective, the action was entertaining and seemingly sent away the fan masses happy  with obligatory singed nostrils and covered in rubber fragments.
Cruz and Tony split their Saturday evening showdown with each driver winning from the right lane.  Jack Wyatt took two of three from Dale Creasy as did Ike Maier, (driving for car owner Barry Paton) over Fred Farndon (driver of John LaPorte’s machine).

Cruz and Tony Pedregon split their Saturday evening showdown

Fast rising name Ike Maier was the quickest of the fuel cars at Cayuga

Ike Maier, who is currently on a serious mission forward within Canada’s drag racing scene, was the quickest of all the cars present to the 1000’ mark this weekend – recording a best of 4.227 secs on Saturday. 

The Canadian Nitro Nationals also featured some solid action in Pro Modified class racing as Eastern Canada’s thriving PMRA held its 3rd race of the 2011 season in conjunction with the event.

Manitoba’s Kenny Lang, a 2X IHRA World Champ and a current regular on the NHRA’s Get Screened America Pro Mod Series, attended his first PMRA event and came away the winner.

Lang’s win was anything but easy.  His team, which now again includes Al Billes as a tuner and consultant, worked hard to overcome some initial issues while settling down the Summit Racing-sponsored Chevy Camaro.   When Lang rolled to a final round 6.035 secs at 239.57 mph to beat feisty independent Derek Hawker, it was in fact Lang’s first event win with his all new race car.

Lang, who qualified 4th had overcome some tough competition in earlier action too, beating Jeff Roth and pole qualifier Vito Montesano.   

Western Canadian invader Kenny Lang won in PMRA Pro Mod action

The Pro Mod show drew 15 cars entered for the 8-car field.  Montesano’s #1 qualifying effort of 5.907 secs and 245.54 mph driving his automatic transmission and supercharged Camaro, proved to be low ET and top speed of the event.

The event also included some exhibition runs by jet-powered dragsters, mountain-motored Pro Stockers and Super Street 10.5 cars.

In fact the series of runs by Toronto-based Super Street racers and teammates Mike Yedgarian and John Carinci may have proven to be the overall event highlights for purist drag racing fans present.

Racing very high tech turbocharged machines, both drivers ran career best numbers — and dipping below 6.6 secs.   Yedgarian, driving for car owner Steve Lazzaro, wheeled his ’69 Camaro to the quickest and fastest Super Street times ever seen on Canadian soil with laps of 6.521 secs 231.74 mph and 6.519 secs 231.08 mph, on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Super Street racer Mike Yedgarian ran some truly awesome numbers

Those spectacular times may have provided just a preview for Cayuga’s next biggest event of the season, Joe DaSilva’s Canadian Street Car Nationals which comes up August 26-28th.

For DragRaceCanada’s very extensive Canadian Nitro Nationals gallery click:  HERE

Photos by:  Bruce Biegler