Last weekend’s 2nd NHRA national event of the season included four Canadian dragster drivers….

The province of Alberta had two racers entered in Competition for the NHRA Denso 4-Wide Nationals at Las Vegas.
Mike Quayle top photo(from Red Deer) had another go with his steadily improving injected nitro car — racing that for the first time on a 4-Wide basis.  Mike put up a nice 5.449 secs at 251.53 mph to qualify solidly #12 — but his 5.503 in round one was not quick enough to advance further.

Mark Simmons, one of Canada’s most devote proponents for our sport, had his pro-charger powered dragster entered in the Top Dragster eliminator.   Mark shook any off-season cobwebs in rather impressive style – he qualified with a 6.269 secs at 218.55 mph which was #10 on the 32-car T/D grid.  Mark, the owner and operator of Medicine Hat-based Spider Electric Ltd, then went on to two win lights before being edged out by Aaron Stanfield in the 3rd round
Transplanted Canadian favourite Todd Paton had another stint in a “loud & long” car at Las Vegas when he again took the controls of Terry Haddock’s machine.  For Todd, who now resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA., home of his thriving new PDS company, it was his first ever venture into the 4-wide racing mix.   He qualified the car #13 with a run of 5.272 secs.  In his first ever “competition quad” Todd got off to a pretty good looking start including some good short time numbers — only to have the tires unload.  “In my 30+ years of driving — this was my first ever 4-wide drag racing event,” he stated. “In that first round I felt a little better prepared knowing the procedure after my qualifying run. I left first with an .058 light, but the car hit the wheelie bar hard which then unloaded the rear tires. The motor instantly revved up and unfortunately knocked the burst panels out. I could only watch as both Billy Torrence and Clay Millican advanced.  Looking back, it was an interesting experience — but honestly not something I’d like to see more of in our sport. I think it’s unique and entertaining as a “one-off” event — but don’t think it should necessarily be part of the regular points series.”

Post race Todd did reveal that a strategy is being developed now to try to get his own race car (presently in Paris Ontario) across into the USA – hopefully sooner than later.  “We have two complete TF dragsters ready to run,” he added.  “Once the COVID restrictions (in Canada) relax a bit more — I’m looking forward to driving one of our own cars in NHRA competition.”
And of course we would be remiss not to mention again Shawn Cowie’s event effort at Las Vegas as the Langley BC star driver made history by winning the event — the first ever NHRA 4-wide presentation tried for TA class cars.  Shawn’s win in the Mundie’s Towing & Recovery supercharged car was in fact pretty much a rout — he qualified #1 (5.228 secs) and set both low ET and top speed (5.208 secs 277.37 mph) enroute to career NHRA national event win #21.

Posted by Bruce Biegler – Photos by Bob Johnson