Castrol Raceway’s 2019 version Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals once again presents it’s special flavour…..

The words originality and uniqueness come to mind when reflecting back on the past weekend’s event presentation at Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway.  The story lines were many — and here is a highlight reel summary for just some of it.

As is pretty much the case for every version Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals — the Nitro Nostalgia FC final round showcased Canada’s top two talents in that category when crosstown Edmonton rivals Tim Boychuk and Ryan Hodgson faced off.  Using a slight better RT — this year’s title went to Hodgson who emerged the winner by a 5.85 secs 246.71 mph to 5.84 secs 250.84 secs count.  The actual winner declaration was delayed a bit as race officials reviewed the math to insure the accuracy of that decision because of a timing system program malfunction.

There was no doubt that the appearance at Edmonton by legendary lady Shirley Muldowney was a high echelon event feature.  Shirley first took the time to reflect on her amazing career and answer fan questions (with Rome Awde – top) before joining Mopar Canada’s Jon Camilleri to sign many autographs for adoring fans at Mopar’s impressive event display.

Mission BC’s Jay Syvertsen scored his first career win within the WDRL’s event circuit of racing. Driving his JS Motorsports ’57 Chevy — Jay won the BelAir Power presented Pro Mod eliminator event portion at Edmonton. Jay singled for the title when his opponent (Gary Urlacher) broke and could not make the round.

The race event included an Eastern Canadian invader – with Russ (I’m not from Lethbridge) Lethbridge’s rather incredible HellFire J-79-powered Freightliner — closing the show each day. This was the first ever Western Canadian racing event appearance for Lethbridge, a very colourful individual who is based from Fisherville Ontario.

The race event at Edmonton did include a gratifying return appearance for the Sitko Racing team who ran their pretty new “Arctic Traveller” Mustang at the event. Driver/Owner Nathan Sitko hit a couple of solid 6.1 secs ETs in the machine which showed some great initial promise. (DragRaceCanada will post a more in-depth feature on this team’s come back – coming a bit later).

The 2019 version Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals included another repeat appearance for the AA/FA circuit headed by Nevada’s Dave Hough. Needless to say the six car show was well received by the fans and entertaining to watch!

Gord Gingles — the new designated team driver for Winnipeg’s Doucette Racing was the quickest and fastest of the 4-car TAD class exhibition at Edmonton. Gord had an impressive best of 5.41 secs at 266.27 mph.

Attending Edmonton event fans got a look at a couple of new emerging Pro Mod configuration cars for Western Canada.  Both Dean Bettenson (Red Deer AB)  in his Camaro and Eric Horvath (Kelowna BC) in his Firebird made runs with their wicked looking expertly built RH Race Cars built machines.

This year’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals did include the return of a real Western Canadian Sportsman racing legend with Allyn Lee (from Red Deer) entering his Dodge Drag Pak for the first time ever in competition. Fans will recall that Allyn and his brother Dwight frequently decimated the SS/A national record with their ’68 Hemi Barracuda in years gone by.

We always like this unique aspect to Castrol Raceway events – the appearance of ominous looking Diesel powered big rigs!  Once again these members of the NHDA provided a great added attraction as they helped rid of some mosquitoes.

The event’s Pro 6.90 Index Funny Car show produced a first time winner with Phil Hicks (far lane) defeating Norm Kolwich in an all Alberta-based final round. Hicks drives the “Nightmare” Ford Mustang which is owned and tuned by Phil Ferguson.

To view more photo highlights from the 2019 Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals – you can link to our LMLCMedia photo gallery: HERE

Editor’s Note:  We will be posting a separate summary from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing series portion from last weekend’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals – that will be coming soon!

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler