The East coast’s traditional season opening major NHRA race again included Canadian race car and driver impact stories….

Quebec’s Daniel Mercier had a “dandy” event effort at Gainesville racing his new Dan Page-built injected nitro car. Daniel qualified #3 (5.230 secs) and ran career best math including a 5.220 secs at 282.30 mph (!) while advancing to the 2nd round in TAD.

The Ontario-based Kardiac Kids TAFC driven by Tyler Scott debuted with a great looking new ’17 Camaro body. The team did have some tuning issues however – losing out in round one.

Ayr Ontario’s Smax Smith lit up the starting line a bit during qualifying driving Bob Leverich’s Michigan-based dragster (Photo courtesy of  Tracy Waters)

Canadian Super Stock Hemi proponent Wendall Howes (from New Brunswick) qualified his ’68 Barracuda at .992 under but lost in round one of Super Stock.

“Independent Ike” Maier ran his popular “Freaky Fast” TF car for the first time in 2017. Ike (from Tottenham ON) had a very decent 3.929 secs lap in round one – but lost out to Doug Kalitta.

New Brunswick’s James Cowie had both his great looking Lobo Team cars entered in Super Comp and Super Gas classes respectively.

Jeff Veale (from Stoney Creek ON) was a surprising DNQ at Gainesville. His best run was a 5.567 secs came while his aspiring team was testing a lot of new tech and components.

Western Canadian class stalwart Kenny Lang (from Winnipeg) entered his first Pro Mod race of the season — but his best run of 5.953 secs – missed a record quick class cut.

That’s Nova Scotia’s Jim Morrison – who has been a regular Canadian participant for the Gatornationals for many seasons!

Shawn Reed and the Ontario based Paton Racing Top Fuel team had another very solid event. They qualified #12 (at 3.879 secs) but the car spun it’s tires in round one versus Steve Torrance.

Bill Clark (from Dartmouth NS) went a couple rounds in Super Gas with his great looking 2004 Corvette.

And needless to say (again) that NHRA national record setting effort by Eric Latino in Pro Mod — was impressive!

To view additional images from NHRA Gainesville visit our event photo gallery:  HERE

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Tracy Waters