Manitoba’s Scott McVey has quietly and effectively become a formidable class player within NHRA’s Lucas Oil TAFC category…

And the Winnipeg-based racer is poised to make his upcoming 2016 drag racing season possibly his best ever.

McVey’s rise to prominence is a testament to dedication. After first emerging on the TAFC class scene back in 2000, he has certainly paid his dues while continuing to overcome some serious geographical barriers inherent to being a Canadian-based racer in this tough category. His race machines have seen many modifications and upgrades over the past 15 seasons, but for 2016 he may well be in his best competitive position yet .

Scott McVey has made some serious enhancements to his Chevy-bodied TAFC for this season.

Scott McVey has made some serious enhancements to his Chevy-bodied TAFC for this season.

“Since I started racing in 2000 I’ve had three different bodies on the car – Oldsmobile Cutlass, Dodge Avenger, and the current Chevy Monte Carlo,” Scott revealed. “Since last season this current car got front halved over the winter and the cockpit has been rebuilt to modernize it to a more current design for Top Alcohol. The motor we run is a BAE block with Noonan cylinder heads – a 521 CID. We starting using a Leanders Clutch assembly last year — which we really like. We run a 3-speed Lenco transmission but have upgrading ourselves to the 10″ rear gear for the fabricated Ford rear end housing.”

With those important chassis and driveline enhancements, Scott’s team is certainly on the cusp for improvements. That notion is buoyed too by some very impressive performances which came last season, including a pretty stupendous 265.22 mph terminal speed recording. (2nd only to Paul Noakes as Canada’s all time fastest TAFC).

Scott McVey has been racing TAFC class cars for 15 seasons.

Scott McVey has been racing TAFC class cars for 15 seasons.

“The whole class has stepped up in the last two years and you need to run 5.5’s anywhere you go to be in the hunt,” he affirmed. “Our best last year was a 5.54 secs but I believe we will run some 5.4’s this year in the right air conditions. In the TAFC class the MPHs have also gone way up in the last couple of years — and you need to see 260+ MPH to stay in the game. We think that with the changes we have made we can stay in that range too.”

McVey’s biggest and most memorable win so far was his first ever NHRA national event victory — winning Brainerds’s Lucas Oil Nationals event back in 2014. His team is looking to add some more accolades like that in 2016.

“Our focus and season goal is to win the NHRA Lucas Oil Central regional championship and do well at every race we attend,” he stated. “We’re going to be pretty active this year with plans to race at three nationals (Topeka, Chicago, Brainerd) along with five regionals.”

Scott’s team is an independent race operation without major sponsorship who self fund their racing ventures.

“I own an auto repair shop that pays for most of the expenses and the crew helps out with some of the supplies we need when racing,” he admitted. “We do receive some support from Lucas Oil Products – which really does help out our cause.”

Early in his career McVey raced this Dodge Avenger bodied car.

Early in his career McVey raced this Dodge Avenger bodied car.

Scott’s crew is an international Can-Am effort consisting of Mark Turner (from Minnesota), Pat Boon (from Winnipeg) and the highly knowledgeable and experienced for the TA class, Will Hanna (from Houston Texas).

“I think Scott’s 5.54 and 265 at our last race in Dallas last year was pretty impressive,” Will Hanna added. “We ‘only’ went 2.499 on the 5.54 to 330′ mark compared to some of the front runners going 2.43 & 2.44 (secs). That came with a 1990 chassis that had never been front halved or updated.  We are hoping that some fresh pipe a few updates in the design area will lead to even better front half numbers this season.”

The hash reality of what Scott’s team is trying to accomplish while being based north of the 49th does create some additional challenges compared to his competition.

“The fact of living in Manitoba but racing in the USA makes for very long driving trips everywhere we go,” he continued. “This means the crew has to take extra time off from work to travel. We typically leave on Thursday morning and don’t get home until Monday evening from the races and for some events we need to leave on Wednesday and that means even more time off work. But the biggest barrier is the U.S.$ exchange. As most of the parts for these cars are sold in US$ — that can get crazy expensive when the exchange is so bad.”

“At times we feel like the little fish in a big pond when it comes to racing in this money driven class,” he added. “But as you know a piranha is a little fish that carries a big bite! We feel we can run with the best of them and have as good a chance as anyone. When we pull into the track we are there to win.”

Posted by Bruce Biegler
DragRaceCanada file photos by Bruce Biegler & Jim Kampmann