Long & Loud Leasing!

By:  Bruce Biegler

For any drag racer that has ever dreamed of doing it – the opportunity to actually drive a Top Fuel dragster — may not necessarily be as remote as first thought.  For some, Canada’s Paton Racing does offer up an interesting and viable option….

Over the past few racing seasons now, team owner Barry Paton (who is based from Paris Ontario), has provided a platform.  His racing operation has helped to introduce a number of drivers to their first ever Top Fuel driving experience and has also helped to train and develop others.  It is in fact an important service to the sport of drag racing overall, that is probably not given the recognition it deserves.

Barry Paton oversees an important service to the sport of drag racing

The team does offer its solid running McKinney-chassied car, which is ably tuned by Barry and Jimbo Ermalovich on a lease basis to anyone that is seeking a future within the ultimate drag racing category.

To date the team has helped propel a number of driver careers.  Most notably would be Edmonton’s Tim Boychuk who actually won a number of IHRA event titles over a couple of seasons.  European drivers Stig Neergaard (Denmark) and Joran Persaker (Sweden) have both come from overseas to race in the car.  Other recent drivers were  Americans Ron August and Dom Lagana and the newcomer list of drivers includes Erica Walsh-Credeur, Carson Lev and Ike Maier (Pro Mod driver from Tottenham Ontario) who have all made licensing attempt stints. 

According to Barry and Todd Paton the costs associated with “renting the ride” do vary by the event type, number of events and sponsorship commitment.

“It costs us $5000 to make one 4-second (1/4 mile) or 3-second (1000 foot) run,” they reported. “That is including crew expenses, traveling, truck, trailer, fuel, etc. Typically, we charge around $30-35,000 per event.  For licensing, it depends on the number of runs that are required.  But overall our program is cheaper than other similar programs based in the U.S. – which can get up to $50,000+ per event.”

Tim Boychuk padded his racing resume with some highly successful leasing stints driving the Paton Racing dragster.

“To help put that into perspective,” added Todd Paton “When I obtained my Nitro FC license in 1999 at Paul Smith’s Drag Racing School – it was $5000 per run.”

The Paton Racing plan is to continue to make this opportunity and very important service available for potential candidates out there who are serious about feeling the adrenaline rush of nitro methane-fueled racing at a fraction of the cost.

Sweden's Joran Persaker leased the Paton TF car during last year's NHRA Finals.

Interested parties can e-mail direct to:

Barry Paton:  barrypaton@rogers.com or Todd Paton:  toddpaton@toddpaton.com

(Bruce Biegler Photos)