Some early season updates as Canada’s 2024 drag racing season shakes into action…..

Bakersfield AA/FC! — Canadian drag racing participation during the infamous March Meet at Bakersfield (66th Edition) included three drivers for that event’s primary feature nitro nostalgia FC eliminator.  Toronto native Jeff Arend (centre photo) raced this ’78 Firebird bodied machine all the way to the final round only to loose out to event winner Cory Lee – Arend’s best career finish at the fabled race.  Alberta racers Nathan Sitko (top photo) and Tim Boychuk also qualified for the eliminator. Sitko @#8 in his first event driving the Hodgson Racing/Bubble Up Firebird and Tim #16 driving his fan favourite Happy Hour Chevy Camaro.

(Editor’s Note: link to complete event March Meet AA/FC results:  HERE)

A Mountain Movement — Bolton Ontario’s Tony Pontieri was on the entry list for last weekend’s Drag Illustrated WSOPM event at Bradenton Florida.  Following a rekindling of his association with backer Rob Sporring (Quality Plus Compressors) Tony raced this new Camaro acquisition for the first time during the event’s Mountain Motor Pro Stock feature.  The skilled Canadian driver qualified the 825 CID machine #10 but lost out in round one to eventual event runner-up John Pluchino.

Eyes to the Centre!Scott Wildgust (Sebringville ON) raced this new look/configuration Smokies Garage presented Chevy Camaro during last weekend’s Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod event.  Wildgust did qualify the car #14 for the world class 32-car field but lost out in round #1.  The eyes of the Canadian drag racing community will now turn to NHRA Gainesville this coming weekend where both Scott and his daughter Sienna will run at the NHRA national event level for the very first time!  Scott is entered in Pro Mod (car below) and Sienna in Pro Stock.

Cash is King Chase — High aspiring and versatile driver Spencer Hyde did attempt to win $100G again last weekend during the Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod race.  The defending 2023 event champion however came up short racing his Stratford ON based supercharged Camaro.  Spencer did run strong – qualifying #6 and winning his first round before succumbing to Jim Halsey in second frame by a 3.657 secs to 3.694 secs count.

HellBilly in the House!  — Wes Goddard (from Ayris ON) towed into Bradenton’s WSOPM event with his uber fan favourite ’58 Nash!  Wes competed in the event’s “2nd Chance” TS/TD Shootout feature and had some good results there – going went to the final round  before losing out to opponent Freddy Perkins.

Kudos to John! — A sincere tip of the hat and hardy congratulations to Canada’s John Waldie who earned some much deserved recognition on Feb 17th (during Canadian International AutoShow (CIAS) in Toronto’s John Bassett Theatre) when he was inducted into the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.   John’s long list career reputation of both participating in and supporting drag racing at all levels for Canada is well known — truly earned Canadian Ambassador to our sport.  

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Phil Hutchison, Dave DeAngelis, Marc Gewertz & Bruce Biegler