Show Me The Money Tour Crowns Champions
Arnie Malcolm - September 8, 2005
BENSON APX SHOW ME THE MONEY TOUR 2005 COMPLETE AND CHAMPIONS CROWNED
Who would have guessed 9 years ago when we heading North to do our first airport race that things would evolve as far as they have this day. In 1996 when we did the first race up North it was mostly local Ottawa and area racers and a number of Northern cars that at that time where not as competitive as the guys who where racing every weekend at home. Well my how things have changed and in 2005 Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario drivers dominate what is the richest Bracket Racing Program in Canada, the Benson Auto Parts Extra Show Me the Money Tour. When the season kicked off in North Bay back in June I really don't think anyone would have imagined just how big this thing has gotten, and how many new face's would not only make there way to the winners circle but to the Championship podium also. Brian Lingenfelter is probably one of the best example's of a Northern driver who has become one of the best Semi Pro drivers out there, and he proved it this season with a number of good showings and victories and by capping it all off with the overall Points Championship making him the first Northern Driver to do so. Brian who has also been instrumental in bringing drag racing to the North has used his time on the circuit to improve every year. Brian is not the only driver to benifiet from the ability to have more oppurtunity to race, as was proven this year by Louise Morden Semi Pro win in North Bay making here the first lady to win a $2000. payout on the tour, Louise is from Timmins, Ontario. And just this past weekend Denis Topolinski also showed that a little extra racing makes it all worth while as he took his Sudbury based Ford Cobra to the winners circle. I think that all of the Northern racers would certainly agree that the whole sport of NHRA Drag Racing has evolved very quickly in the last 9 years, and the drag racing community is certainly very proud of it. Just take a look at the top ten drivers in the points standings for Semi Pro and you quickly see what we are talking about, and things are only going to get tougher for everyone.
Super Pro did see a Ottawa native take the championship, but it came right down to the last runs of the weekend to have that happen. Denis Souliere who was leading the points heading into the second and last race of the year, when the engine expired in his car leaving him with nothing but a spectators view of the points crowning. Both Jamie Tupper of Tiltsonburg, Ontario, Bill Smith of Kingston, Ontario and last years champ Brian Clayton, where well with in distance of overtaking Denise, and with nothing to do but watch you can only imagine what was going on in Souliere's mind. As things started to unfold and the contenders dropped by the way side, heading into the Semi Finals of the last race Bill Smith was the only driver who could still overtake Souliere, and that came to an end when he lost to $5000. winner Rock Lafontaine in the semi's.
Another sign of the evolution of the sport of NHRA Drag Racing in the North is the Championship win for Tiffany way in the Jr. Dragster Class. Brad Boltz also kept the Northern string alive when he claimed the Drag Sled championship on the last day of the year holding off former Sled Champion, Bob Bergeron of Ottawa. With all of the Northern venues indicating that things are looking good for 2006, and with a lot of discussion taking place surrounding the possibility of a track in eastern Ontario becoming part of the tour, things have never looked better.