Mopar Nitro Jam Preview – Includes Canadian Star Power!

This weekend’s Mopar Nitro Jam event at Grand Bend Motorplex will include the return of a Canadian defending champion and the first visit ever for a most potent Western Canadian Funny Car racing team…..

It was exactly one year ago at the annual summer spectacular known as the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex that Todd Paton piloted his Tim Horton’s backed Top Fuel dragster to a victory over former champion Bruce Litton to claim the very first Top Fuel victory by a Canadian at an IHRA Canadian event.

Todd Paton

This weekend Paton hopes history will repeat itself once again.

With the 11th annual Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals just a few days away, Paton will be back in action at Grand Bend this weekend looking to once again put his familiar red and black nitro machine in victory lane against a trio of very tough Top Fuel opponents at one of Canada’s premier drag racing events.

“We were a late addition to the show last year and we surprised even ourselves by coming out on top and finally getting a win in this thing,” Paton said. “Hopefully we will have the same kind of success in Grand Bend and win another Ironman for Canada.”
Paton, whose car is based and owned by Barry Paton (Paris ON), and which has been driven by Ike Maier within some NHRA circuit races this season, will be looking for career Top Fuel victory number two versus the likes of former world champions Bruce Litton and Bobby Lagana and Top Fuel newcomer Kyle Wurtzel.

A highly anticipated Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car eliminator will include for Grand Bend,  the first time a Canadian race team has been in the mix. 

Team owner Ron Hodgson, who is from Edmonton Alberta, will field his record-setting Troy Lee Designs Pontiac Firebird Nostalgia Funny Car at the Ontario event.  It will be the first ever Eastern Canadian appearance for that machine which is driven by Tim Boychuk, tuned by legendary Roland Leong and maintained by Bob Papernik.

Tim Boychuk

“All of our team is really looking forward to coming to Grand Bend Motorplex – it’s our first Eastern experience ever with this car,” said Tim Boychuk who had driven previously at GBM in Top Fuel.  “Ron’s valued partnership with Castrol is a big part of why we are coming East – we wanted to support them and our Canadian fans as much as we could.”

Boychuk and his team are coming in hot.  They had a rather resounding victory with their race car at Edmonton just two weeks ago.  They won the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam in dominating style — setting both low ET and top speed of the event while doing so.

Expectations are too that this team could clobber the GBM track record if conditions are right.  They have to their credit runs in the low 5.6s at near 260 mph – which puts them in a very elite group and at the head of the pack for this Funny Car class racing genre.

Both the Top Fuel and Prostalgia NFC program at Grand Bend will be a “Chicago Style” Shootouts with the two low ET cars meeting head on for the Championship title.

Filed by:  Larry Crum and Bruce Biegler  —  Photos by: Bruce Biegler

Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals Fact Sheet

 The International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Nitro Jam series returns to the Grand Bend Motorplex in Grand Bend, Ont. on July 16-17 for the Mopar Nitro Jam Nationals.

This year’s edition of the annual summer showdown on the beaches of Lake Huron promises to be the biggest yet with an event record four nitro classes including Top Fuel, Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car, Nitro Harley and Nostalgia Fuel Altered, a full field of Pro Modifieds, a huge sportsman race plus a spectacular show featuring the Grave Digger monster truck battling the 30,000 horsepower Super Shockwave jet semi.

This is the eighth race of nine events on the 2011 IHRA Nitro Jam season.

In sportsman competition 11 classes will be contested including Top Sportsman, Top Dragsters, Super Stock, Stock, Quick Rod, Super Rod, Hot Rod, Box, No Box, Junior Dragsters and a special Harley Destroys class.

Gates open at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday:

SATURDAY: Sportsman Qualifying at 9 a.m.; Sportsman Eliminations at 5 p.m.; FanFest at 5:30 p.m.; Nitro Jam Round 1 at 7 p.m.; Nitro Jam Round 2 at 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY: Sportsman Eliminations at 9 a.m.; FanFest at 11:30 a.m.; Nitro Jam Round 1 at 1 p.m.; Nitro Jam Round 2 at 2:30 p.m.

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