For the second time in track history — super scenic Miramichi Dragway played host to a NHRA P.C. National Open….

The 2017 NHRA PC National Open unfolded this past weekend at Miramichi Dragway, in Miramichi New Brunswick.

This event has been excellent news for the fast growing Atlantic Canadian Stock Super-Stock Association (ASSCA) as they actually welcomed other NHRA class racers from all over eastern Canada, United States and Quebec to join in the excitement of a dual event weekend. The race teams actually started arriving on Wednesday as a large contingent of racers was expected to chase down those coveted NHRA Wally’s and as an added bonus, it was a double event NHRA weekend.

By Friday morning some thirty six class racers passed through their tech inspection and when qualifying ended the field was set at thirty four entrants. When the qualifying list was officially completed Jerry Hatch and his D/SA ’70 Duster was in top spot with an ET of 10.19 on a 11.55 index. Second position went to Guy Dejardins SS/EA ’67 Camaro with an 9.26 et on a 10.35 index. Third was claimed by local hot-shoe Trevor Ervin B/SA 1970 Nova with an ET 10.16 on a 11.25 index.

Racing his reliable Plymouth Duster – Jerry Hatch (from Maine) enjoyed a lucrative weekend taking two Stock/SS Combo events!

A couple of brief but powerful weather systems rolled through but the Miramichi track crew went right to work and brought the track to life very quickly. They really wasted no time getting through many rounds and classes and the clocked continued on a busy race day.

As the rounds progressed Into the quarter finals, Trevor Ervin B/SA ’71 Chevy II had to drive around Jeremy Keans in his G/SA ’85 Camaro to advance. Fred Thibault with his B/SA ’69 Camaro lost a tight one to Jerry Hatch D/SA 1970 Duster, the margin of victory in that race was a tiny 0.0012. While Wendell Howes SS/IA ’68 Cuda enjoyed a bye run to the semi-finals. In the semi’s, the #10 qualifier Wendell Howes faced #3 Trevor Ervin with Ervin advancing via Howes red light. Then it would be Jerry Hatch’s turn to ride his bye run into the finals. In the final, Ervin was .005 early and handed the victory to an always tough Jerry Hatch in his D/SA ’70 Duster.

The Atlantic Pro Tree Series also completed their three classes with Tony MacNeil in his Mazda RX7 claiming his second Wally with his SUPER STREET 10.90 victory over Charles Coughlin and his Camaro. In SUPER GAS 9.90, Vita Bosca and his Camaro defeated the Camaro of PEI’s Glenn MacLean. MacLean would quickly rebound when he defeated New Glasgow, NS racer Jason MacNeil in the SUPER COMP 8.90 Class.

Vitro Bosca was the Super Gas 9.90 winner on Saturday at Miramachi’s NHRA National Open

The Super Street 10.90 title went to Tony MacNeil’s Mazda on Saturday.

A real treat for the spectators and racers was the arrival of Quebec’s Luc Angers with Top Sportsman Pontiac GTO. Angers laid down several clean mid six second passes. The final class to complete the first event of event was Top Dragster-Sportsman. In the finals Dave Anthony in his Newfoundland based Dan Page dragster would claim his first NHRA Wally with his victory over David Powell of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland.

Newfoundland’s Dave Anthony won the Top Dragster title eliminator on Saturday.

Quebec’s Luc Angers made a special appearance with his 6-secs capable GTO TS Car.

On Saturday the conditions were ideal and the sun gods were everywhere as another complete event was set to unfold. As qualifying began it was clear that it was going to be a special day for racing, since three records would be reset by mid-day. Jerry Hatch with his 1970 D/SA Duster, would set the record in round one, and then lowered it again with his 9.99 in round two. Number two qualifier Trevor Ervin, with his B/SA Nova set the bar at 10.052 on a 11.25 index, also a record. Blair MacDonald qualified his 1982 Camaro GT/JA in the sixteenth position and also set the record at 9.94992 on a 10.80 index, for the third record of the day.

Peter Hobatt’s great looking Chevy II collected the event’s “Best Appearing” award

Under excellent track and weather conditions, the rounds rolled through smoothly and In the quarter finals on Saturday, once again it was number one qualifier Jerry Hatch that faced and defeated Shaun Paul Thibeault in his K/SA 1984 Camaro. Then Mike Ingram with his F/SA ’68 Chevelle defeated Jeremy Kean’s Camaro in a real close duel. The 15th qualifier, Tommy Coughlan driving his 1988 C/CM Mustang, would advance with bye run into the semi-finals where he would line up with Mike Ingram. Then, a better reaction time would see Ingram victorious over Coughlan. Also, the only other run of round five Jerry Hatch only needed to stage his car because of his bye run into the finals. In the finals, a .006 reaction by Hatch proved to be just too much for Ingram, in spite of running dead on his dial in.

Trevor Ervin was one of the new NHRA record setters during the event.

The victory for Hatch was his second in days and the third Wally he has claimed at Miramichi Dragway in three events.

The Atlantic PRO-TREE classes also held a double event weekend and Saturday’s class clowned three new champions. In SUPER STREET 10.90 it was New Glasgow, NS racer Faber Mackie claiming his Wally over Mike Burns of Sydney, NS. Next up was SUPER GAS 9.90 where James Cowie’s Corvette Roadster defeated Kandy Mitton from Sussex, NB. The SUPER COMP 8.90 class was claimed by Jason MacNeil as his Spitzer dragster over powered the dragster of James Cowie.

In Super Gas on Sunday, James Cowie’s Corvette Roadster defeated Kandy Mitton in the final round.

Top Sportsman-Dragster saw too long time friends and racing rivals meet in the second final round in just less than twenty four hours. Over their racing careers they are about even and on Saturday David Powell’s and his Thunderbird would claim top spot and his first Wally. Close battle but Dave Anthony have to settle for second position in this event.

Dave Powell claimed victory in the TS/TD runoff on Sunday.

Congrats to everyone at Miramichi Dragway for what appears to be a very well run operation. Such a great event and well attended by both racers and spectators. Almost like a racers Woodstock. Nice work by the NHRA for promoting such a great series in Atlantic Canada.

Post and photos by Gerard Bryden