Hometown stalwart racer Shawn Cowie shines at marquee annual Canadian Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series stop!….
Over the years, Canada’s only NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Mission Raceway Park has had more than its share of issues regarding weather, entries, and scheduling, but this year’s Lordco B.C. Nationals was one where almost everything came together to make for a very successful event, punctuated by a series of twists and turns that had the fans on the edges of their seats.
The two Top Alcohol classes have been down in entries the past few years, but rebounded with 9 TAD and 5 TAFC this time around. Local interest in TAD was high, with four Canadians led by local hero Shawn Cowie, who topped qualifying with 5.30-5.32-5.35 runs, all at 270+, but friend and rival Joey Severance was right there with low 5.30s of his own. Winnipeg’s Gord Gingles in Cliff Bakx’s “The Bull” A/FD put it together with a good 5.33 / 271, and two others were in the 30s as well, so race day promised to be good.
Severance fired the first big shot, driving through tire shake at mid-track to run Low ET and Top Speed at 5.28 / 274.97 (one of the fastest speeds ever for a blown car, and a surprise even to the team, in the 30 degree heat). When No. 8 qualifier John Leach and first alternate Greg Sereda both couldn’t make the Round One call, Cowie had the bye, and broke at the hit, idling through for the win. Gingles holeshot his way to a 5.37 win, while Garrett Bateman’s A/FD stepped up to a 5.30.
It was Cowie and Gingles to start Round Two, and the Winnipeger went up in smoke and had to watch as Cowie went out and broke the engine halfway in to his run, enough that a new one had to be installed. Severance stayed fast at 5.31 / 272.06.
So, most money in the final had to be on Severance, who had five runs between 5.28 and 5.34, but he struck the tires and Cowie motored down for a deserved victory at 5.43 / 268, his 12th LODRS Wally trophy.
If you thought TAD was unpredictable, TAFC was just wild. Sure, there were only five cars, but four of them were 5.50 (or better) capable, so anything could happen, and did. To start with, Clint Thompson didn’t get down the track under power once in qualifying, so had little data to go on. California hitter Mike Doushgounian led qualifying at 5.62, but couldn’t figure why the car wasn’t deep in the 50s or better. He had the single in Round One but got out of shape at 6.24.
Then came Thompson up against Greg Hunter in Geoff Goodwin’s Synoil car from Alberta. Hunter ran a good 5.68, but it was negated by a .004 red light, and Thompson not only advanced with another off-the-pace 6.26, but would have the bye run in the semis!
Of course, Thompson, still with little data from the top end of the track, went out in the semis and proceeded to run Low ET and Top Speed of the meet, a great 5.60 / 260.26 in the heat of the day. Mike D. kept pace at 5.65 in beating Brian Hough. In the final, Thompson left on Mike D. and ran a 5.77 / 253 to a loss-of-traction 9.17 shutdown. It was a most unlikely victory.
Four other Wally trophies stayed north of the border. Frankie Giroux from Slave Lake, AB took home the Top Dragster trophy, with her day including running exactly on her dial-in in Round 4, getting the semis bye, and parlaying her third .01 light and running closer to her dial-in to beat veteran Paul Nero in the final.
Mission’s Martin Jackman took home the Super Street title in a wild final, as his opponent, Josh Dalrymple, had him covered by three feet after a .005 light, but ran a 10.899 to lose against Jackman’s perfect 10.900.
Dan Provost from Abbotsford entered cars in both Top Dragster and Top Sportsman (and sponsored several others), and won both “Shootouts” on Saturday, but then proceeded to lose first round in both on Sunday. He bought into the Super Pro race at that point with his dragster, and the six-second car went all the way to the title.
It was no surprise to see Mission’s Jim Behnke win again, as last year’s Super Pro winner went home with the Pro trophy this time around, taking out the track’s PA announcer John Tabak in the final. The other Canadian runner-up was Maple Ridge’s Bruce Perkin in Competition Eliminator.
So, this latest version of Canada’s biggest NHRA race went into the books as a great success on all fronts, as the weather was clear if a bit hot all three days, the entries in TAD and TAFC (but not Comp unfortunately) were up, and there were surprise outcomes aplenty with very few incidents.
WDRL Pro Mods Log In First Event
The fledgling Western Drag Racing League Unique Concrete Pro Mod Series has had a tough time with the weather and other factors. The race at Mission last August got winded out, the first race this season at Seattle was cancelled and moved to Mission on May 28-29, but it got rained out, and then it was moved to be part of the show at the Lordco B.C. Nationals. Out of 12 cars originally entered the first weekend, only six showed up then due to the lousy forecast, and then only six could come back for the make-up date. So, it was a bit of a subdued start to the season.
Alberta’s Paul Glandon in his turbo Camaro led qualifying at 6.24, but he lost to Ken Sihota’s fast 10.5-tire nitrous Firebird first round. Sihota got the semis bye, while the two five-second cars of Joe Delehay (blown Camaro) and Garrett Richards (blown Mustang) tangled. Delehay fouled away (by .001) a 6.35, but the American had him covered anyway with a Low ET 6.13. The final went to form, with Richards running a 6.30 to a shut-off 10.82 for Sihota.
Scary Top Alcohol Incident
Kenny Gilmour out of Calgary has a new driver this season. John Leach had worked on his and Geoff Goodwin’s cars, and wanted to race. His final licensing pass was Friday, and his good 5.69 / 240 was enough to get signed off. He backed it up with a 5.62 on Saturday’s first run, which looked like enough to be in the show. But then came the last run Saturday. He staged up, and before the other driver had even pre-staged or the tree was activated, he was away on what looked like a 5.50 run. He got the car slowed down normally, but chose to take the second-last turn-off instead of heading to the very end of the track. The car tipped on its side as it turned, and slid into the pit area of another team. One man there was seriously cut and bruised and had to be transported, but Leach was reportedly okay. He didn’t race on Sunday despite having qualified No. 8, the car having sustained damage to wing and engine externals.
Post and photos by: Gerry Frechette
Final round Results Summary:
TOP ALCOHOL DRAGSTER
Shawn Cowie, Surrey, B.C., ’10 , 5.437, 268.17 def. Joey Severance, Woodburn, Ore., ’13 , 17.977, 46.64.
TOP ALCOHOL FUNNY CAR
Clint Thompson, Klamath Falls, Ore., ’16 Chevrolet, 5.775, 253.37 def. Mike Doushgounian, San Martin, Calif., ’13 Monte Carlo, 9.179, 91.13.
Brian Hyerstay, Eugene, Ore., ’09 dragster, G/D, 9.133, 129.32 def. Bruce Perkin, Maple Ridge, B.C., ’96 Beretta, F/A, 8.318, 162.33.
Joe Sorensen, Woodburn, Ore., ’69 Camaro, SS/GA, 10.442, 127.87 def. Troy Olsonawski, Federal Way, Wash., ’66 Malibu, SS/NA, 11.202, 112.24.
Brad Burton, Snohomish, Wash., ’72 Formula, D/SA, 10.783, 118.51 def. Ryan Warter, Olalla, Wash., ’75 Firebird, J/SA, 11.729, 107.25.
Marc Heritage, Spanaway, Wash., ’06 Mullis, 8.901, 171.88 def. Yeshua Wilcox, Bonney Lake, Wash., ’10 Corvette, 8.878, 168.60.
Rob Willis, Edmonds, Wash., ’92 Firebird, 9.923, 166.54 def. Steve Laskowske, Tigard, Ore., ’63 Corvette, 9.890, 163.36.
Martin Jackman, Mission, B.C., ’71 Acadian, 10.900, 124.96 def. Josh Dalrymple, Sunnyside, Wash., ’67 Camaro, 10.899, 155.44.
Mike Ferderer, Buckley, Wash., ’06 Grand AM, 7.369, 179.10 def. Rod Andreas, Silverton, Ore., ’63 Corvette, 7.764, 177.90.
Francesca Giroux, Slave Lake, Alb., ’07 Mullis, 7.216, 178.78 def. Paul Nero, Eugene, Ore., ’14 Undercover, 7.116, 187.46.
SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE PRESENTED BY HARLEY DAVIDSON
Jake Havens, Seattle, Wash., ’08 Hayabusa, 8.707, 147.03 def. Doug Schumann, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., ’98 Suzuki, 8.529, 138.54.
Dan Provost, Abbotsford, B.C., ’13 M & M, 6.807, 194.30 def. Zachary Liston, Mt Vernon, Wash., ’55 Chevy, 8.785, 153.29.
Jim Behnke, Mission, B.C., ’67 Cuda, 10.309, 124.20 def. John Tabak, Maple Ridge, B.C., ’89 S-10, foul.
TOP SPORTSMAN SHOOTOUT
Dan Provost, Abbotsford, B.C., ’00 S-10, 7.790, 173.31 def. Joe Mellof, Maple Ridge, B.C., ’97 Camaro, 7.997, 169.45.
TOP DRAGSTER SHOOTOUT
Dan Provost, Abbotsford, B.C., ’13 M & M, 6.781, 200.00 def. Geordie Castle, Sherwood Park, Alb., ’14 TNT, 6.848, 196.80.
SUPER COMP SHOOTOUT
Tom Clark, ’06 Undercover, 8.888, 178.89 def. Ed Hauter, Lynnwood, Wash., ’02 Spitzer, 8.650, 170.19.
SUPER GAS SHOOTOUT
Mike Shannon, Kelowna, B.C., ’57 Corvette, 9.887, 154.93 def. Ken Heard, Ridgefield, Wash., ’86 Mustang, foul.
Josh Dalrymple, Sunnyside, Wash., ’67 Camaro, 10.948, 147.01 def. Steve Laskowske, Tigard, Ore., ’67 Nova, 10.963, 133.39.