Quebec’s Mercier to Run Select Top Fuel
One of Canada’s absolute skilled racers is making plans to try his hand within drag racing’s ultimate category next season. Quebec’s Daniel Mercier recently completed his Top Fuel license upgrade, an important next step for his drag racing evolution….
Daniel, who is based from Lapraire PQ, attended NHRA’s penultimate season event at Las Vegas last October where he raced his injected-nitro TAD for the first time in the West and had a strong quarter-final placing. After that he stayed over and took the controls of the Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster on the Monday where he completed his TF license with a best run of 3.91 secs at 311 mph.
That process has now set the stage for the future. While Daniel plans to continue racing his potent TAD within NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Eastern conference — he has also confirmed plans to run a few NHRA Mello Yello series events in Top Fuel – again driving Barry’s Paton’s dragster.
“Having done my licence in Top Fuel was such a great experience — and I couldn’t imagine a better team to have done it with,” Daniel said. “Barry Paton’s team is incredible and Mr Paton himself was very nice, calm and so professional. He took the time to explain everything to me and being able to do 3 runs during the same day — was unexpected. I also had my team present; Martin Riendeau, Robert Mercier, Denis Choquette, Andy Good and Sebastien Gauthier, who all were there to assist and help make this happen.”
Mericer’s licensing runs came during not exactly ideal or typical conditions for Las Vegas. It was in fact a cold and windy day on that Monday.
“Barry was a bit concerned but ultimately let me decide if I still wanted to do it or not — because the conditions were going to make it a little harder and dangerous,” Daniel continued. “I told him — I didn’t sleep too well the night before — but I’m here and I’m going to do it.”
In the end, Dan was also very impressed by the ride and the performance of the car.
“It was so different than my A/Fueler — the sound, the vibration, the acceleration and especially the speed!” he added. “My first run I dropped just before the 1/8th mile mark because a cylinder went out and it was really windy on the left side. On the second run things went well with the E/T and speed being sufficient but i dropped between 1/8 and the 1000’ because my vision was not good and i didn’t want to take any chances.
On the final pass I did a full pull and the car ran 3.99 at over 311 mph — what a feeling — and just like that — I had my license.”
John Force and Spencer Massey were at the session and they signed off on Daniel’s TF license.
“John and Spencer both told me that it looked like I’ve always driven this car. That was a nice compliment coming from two of drag racing’s biggest stars.”
While the exact plans and the particular events for Daniel racing in Top Fuel next season are still in the planning stages — things are now going into motion for that to happen.
“Right now it may be possible for me to run about three national events in Top Fuel next year,” Mercier concluded. “I really enjoy racing Top Alcohol — but I’d be lying if I didn’t say my eyes are now open wider. I will continue within TAD but If I can find some good sponsorship – who knows?”
Photos and posting by: Bruce Biegler