Kaplan’s Quick Evolution — Scores First TA Win!

Calgary’s Jirka Kaplan’s venture into the ranks of NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car class racing has shown fast progress and has now produced an early dividend….

Despite entering the highest echelon Sportsman class only recently — the versatile racer along with his tuning guru Les Davenport earned their first victory yesterday – taking the TAFC title during NHRA’s Kansas Nationals at Topeka.  The win came in what was only the team’s 3rd start at the NHRA national event level and after only graduating to the category late last season.

Driving his Bearspaw Petroluem Ford Mustang, which features automatic transmission technology — Kaplan slayed the field when he used holeshot to beat class powerhouse Tony Bartone in the final round.   Jirka got out first (.038 RT) and his run of 5.644 secs at 252.95 mph held off Bartone’s Mustang which ran 5.640 secs at 255.29 mph.

Prior to that Kaplan, who qualified for the program #3 with a 5.625 secs at 256.60 mph, beat Charles McLaws, Mark Billington and Sean Bellemeur in earlier rounds of competition.

Jirka Kaplan's defeated Tony Bartone in the TAFC final at Topeka yesterday.

Jirka Kaplan defeated Tony Bartone in the TAFC final at Topeka yesterday.

While Kaplan’s victory may be surprising to some — in reality it should not be.    He and Davenport (Acceleration Enterprises – DeWinton AB) have a number of success stories to their credit prior to fielding their new TAFC — winning and setting records in both NHRA Competition eliminator and within NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage Drag Racing Series.

Jirka Kaplan won his 2nd career NHRA "Wally"

Jirka Kaplan won his 2nd career NHRA “Wally”

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler

Photos courtesy of Auto Imagery

To view DragRaceCanada’s previously posted background feature on the team click :  HERE