During the latter part of the 2017 racing season – there was a pretty significant personnel shift within one of Canada’s most prominent racing camps….

For Calgary-based Kenny Gilmour Motorsports, their recently completed Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster racing season did include some shifting sands.

Overseen by team patriarch Kenny Gilmour, who has been active within Canadian drag racing since the 1960’s in various capacities as crew chief or team owner, racing a wide variety of cars, this most recent season did include some continued evolution. After beginning the season with rookie driver John Leach at the controls for his potent Omega 2000-sponsored supercharged machine, his season did end with veteran Ken Webster (Red Deer AB) in the dragster cockpit.

That move was made due to some circumstance, when Leach, who had also been a valued crew member for the race team too prior, moved from Alberta to Canada’s east coast.

Kenny Gilmour and Ken Webster

“When John advised us that he was moving East, the result was that it made it very difficult for us to run the car as often as we would like,” Gilmour revealed during the recent NHRA Finals at Pomona. “We hated to see John go but the difference in geography made things impossible. So we reached out to Ken Webster who already had his TAD licence. Ken then did some shakedown runs in the car during a NHRA divisional event (at Woodburn Oregon) and we really liked what we saw there — so we put him into the car as our new driver for the balance of last season.”

Ken Webster then drove the team race car for the final two NHRA national events of the season and qualified it at both Las Vegas (#14) and Pomona (#16).

Ken Webster qualified the Gilmour Motorsports TAD at both of NHRA’s 2017 season ending events.

Webster brings a very seasoned and also very versatile background with him to the race team. During his career he has piloted a wide variety of drag racing vehicles, including both nitro Nostalgia and alcohol fuelled Funny Cars, a series of his own dragsters, and even an exhibition wheel stander. Webster is also very well known within Alberta’s provincial racing scene for his racing ventures outside of drag racing, most notably for Sprint Car racing.

“For us it’s nice to have someone with that kind of experience involved,” added Gilmour. “Our team remains very focused on the future and Ken shares that vision and he is also helping us out with other areas of our dragster. While the mid-season change was a bit of a struggle – it’s also something we overcame.”

While the exact plans and racing schedule for 2018 for the Kenny Gilmour Racing season as still TBA, a continuation of this new team formula including Webster as full time driver — is likely.

Ken Webster’s vast experience in drag racing even includes a stint in nitro Nostalgia FC class racing!

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler