“Final Fling” Crowns Season Champs

Eastern Canada’s very popular PMRA, Quick 32 and PBSS drag racing series’ held their final points race of the 2014 campaign during last weekend’s “Thunder by the Beach” event at Grand Bend Motorplex…

The event produced both some first time winners and declared the 2014 series points champions.

Going into the Thunder by the Beach race weekend at the Grand Bend Motorplex over the weekend, championship titles were on the line as racers took to the quarter mile in the Pro Modified Racing Association, the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series.

Jeff Roth drove his supercharged Willys to victory and with that claimed the 2014 PMRA championship

Jeff Roth drove his supercharged Willys to victory and with that claimed the 2014 PMRA championship

This was the final event of 2014 for all three series.

And when the tire smoke had settled late Sunday afternoon, 2014 season champions were declared in all three drag race series, two titles by the smallest of margins.

Going into this event, perennial PMRA racer Jeff Roth was second in Championship Point Award Series behind Bruce Boland. Roth, who qualified number three with his 1941 Willys Pro Modified, knew he and his team had to win the event to capture the championship.

The New Dundee, Ontario racer faced stiffed competition, but took not only the race win; he secured his first PMRA championship in the series’ 10th year of competition.

With his win, he beat Boland, of Stoney Creek, Ontario, by three points.

Roth eliminated Derek Hawker of Corbyville, Ontario in the first round, and then Boland in the second round to meet up with number four qualifier Sam Andreacchi of Toronto in the final. It was a close race, with Roth powering to a 6.241, 228.02 win over Andreacchi’s 6.240, 209.30.

Semi-finalists were Boland, who qualified second, and Jason Kalso of Clarkston, Michigan, who qualified in eighth.

Roth finished the season with 1310 points, Boland 1307. Third was Hawker with 1216 points, followed by Kalso at 1204 and Jack Grainy of Basom, New York with 1183.

Event Essentials – Pro Mod – Thunder by the Beach (Grand Bend ON)

PMRA NameE.T.MPH
Winner:Jeff Roth6.241228.02
Runner/Up:Sam Andreacchi6.240209.30
Low ET:Rob Atchison5.974
Top Speed:Rob Atchison237.46
Bump Spot:6.629
Event Entries:11 cars

Presented by NAPA Auto Parts, the final race in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series also determined this year’s champion as Jon Schmid and Tony Positano were the front-runners going into Grand Bend.

But Schmid, who races his Top Sportsman 2006 GTO out of Orchard Park, New York, went rounds on the weekend to capture his first Championship Point Award Series. It was also Schmid’s rookie year in the series.

Mike Everitt won for the first time in Top Dragster

Mike Everitt won for the first time in Top Dragster

The event final went to Top Dragster driver Mike Everitt, who took out Schmid with a 6.830, 189.79 run over Schmid’s losing 7.13, 189.31, as Everitt cut a strong .041 light at the start of the race.

The win was the first in Quick 32 Sportsman Series for Everitt, who is from Stratford, Ontario.

Qualifying number nine in Top Sportsman, Schmid made laps with his GTO to meet up with two-time Quick 32 Sportsman Series champ and number one qualifier Kevin Wicke of Stratford, Ontario. The Dodge Stratus driver cut a terrific .001 light in the final, but broke out at the strip with a 6.89, 193.88 pass giving the Top Sportsman win to Schmid with a 7.12, 190.59.

Semi-finalists were Dan Flanigan of Buffalo, who qualified fourth with his Camaro, and 2013 champs Wilson & Gray, who qualified third with their Cavalier.

On the Top Dragster side, Everitt, who qualified 11, met with number 10 qualifier Sam Christian of Amherst, New York in the final, beating him with a 6.776, 198.36 over Christian’s 6.866, 183.03.

Everitt eliminated Melanie Simmons Salemi of Orillia, Ontario, Positano, of Toronto, and James Litchy of Linwood, Ontario, to get to the final. Christian took out Scott Wildgust of Wartburg, Ontario, Travis Gueguen of Shakespeare, Ontario, and Jim Rubino of Buffalo to advance to the final.

Schmid finished his year with 927 points for the title. Positano took second with 853 points, and Everitt placed third with 826 points. Top Dragster driver Glen Vardy of Burlington, Ontario took fourth with 798, and Christian rounds out the top five with 784.

Jon Schmid won the Quick 32 points championship for 2014

Jon Schmid won the Quick 32 points championship for 2014

Going into the final PBSS race, there was little chance of catching Dan Cryderman for the championship. After the Thamesville, Ontario Pro Bike rider qualified number one in the field, his title was assured.

Cryderman, who also won the 2013 PBSS championship, met up with Pro Biker Mark Catanzaro of Kimball, Michigan in the final, and the two Suzuki riders had a close race with the win going to Catanzaro with a 8.713, 141.33 pass over Cryderman who broke out by .0005 seconds on his 8.005, 157.61 pass.

U.S. rider Mark Catanzaro won his first PBSS event title

U.S. rider Mark Catanzaro won his first PBSS event title

Catanzaro qualified 10th in the field, eliminating John Orfanidis of Toronto, Steve Stretch of Woodstock, Ontario, and Sperios Lazarou of Mississauga, Ontario, all Pro Bikers, to meet up with Cryderman. Meanwhile, Cryderman took a bye the first round, and then eliminated Pro Sled rider Jessica Tourloukis of Innisfil, Ontario, and Pro Biker Curtis Beck of Milton, Ontario. The series, presented by Wiseco Performance Products, has now finished its fourth season, Cryderman finished 2014 with 940 points, while Catanzano had 849. Third was Beck with 796, followed by Ted Glinny of Milton, Ontario with 794, and Tourloukis with 744.

The next race on the 2014 PMRA schedule is the International Pro Mod Challenge at the SuperChargers Showdown September 26 – 27 at the Maryland Int’l Raceway, Mechanicsville, Maryland. This non-points event will feature the PMRA racing against the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association (NOPMA).

The Pro Modified Racing Association (PMRA), www.PMRA.ca enters its 10th season of popular Pro Modified racing this year, while the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, presented by NAPA Auto Parts, www.Quick32.ca will begin its sixth season, and the Pro Bike & Sled Series (PBSS) presented by Wiseco Performance Products, www.PBSS.ca begins its fourth year of operation. Several times during the race season all three series compete at the same weekend events, offering a colourful, diverse, and exciting package of drag racing action.

Posted with files from Tim Miller and Bruce Biegler
Photos by  Brennan Shortall and Dave Erauw