The prolific history for an Ontario-based index racing specialist has earned a new opportunity…coming in 2021….

Let there be no mistake, within Canadian ET Bracket racing circles the name — Andrew Stirk — is truly formidable.  This second generation racer (son to David Stirk – founder of DSE Automotive) has let his on track racing results speak for itself at various drag strips and for a long period of time.

In recent seasons and at present, when Andrew goes racing he is usually equipped with a couple of very proven machines.  He has a 1989 Ford Mustang which is powered by 472 CID BBC that is set up to run in Modified ET (No Box), Super Pro ET (Box) and or NHRA Super Street/IHRA Hot Rod (10.90 index racing).   He has also made his presence felt in a 1963 Corvette Roadster.  Also equipped with a similar 472 BBC motor program, Andrew can enter and focus on some quicker index racing included Super Pro, Quick 32 and/or NHRA or IHRA Super Gas/Rod 9.90 secs competition.

Andrew Stirk is afforded great racing versatility while competing with both his 89 Ford Mustang and 63 Corvette — within a variety of available Sportsman classes.

With this type of event versatility on his side, Andrew has honed out a truly impressive list of career accomplishments — (including early successes within Junior Dragster racing) that is 115 final rounds and 90 (!) visits to victory lane.  Andrew has racked up track championships on a regular basis including at Toronto Motorsports Park, St. Thomas Dragway and Grand Bend Motorplex – 9 in total.  During his journey he became a 2X IHRA Summit Super Series track champion and a IHRA Summit Super Series divisional champ (for No Box) class racing.  Andrew has won four different IHRA national events — all coming at Grand Bend Motorplex’s Mopar Canadian Nationals.  Andrew is also very proud of his TNT Super Series “Race of Champions” win which came in 2017.  

“When I think back it’s very difficult to pick out one win or one title over another,” he reflected.  “Every one has its own set of memorable accomplishments or hurdles that we had to overcome — so they have all been special to me.”

“But for sure the 2014 and 2015 seasons do specifically stand out,”  he continued.  “They were probably the two best seasons overall I have had to date.  In 2014 we managed to race our way into 15 final rounds — winning 14 of them.   Over one 7-day Stretch (June 22-June 29) we raced to 5 final rounds — winning all 5 which included both an IHRA Ironman and a NHRA Wally.”

Just one of Andrew’s many visits to victory lane at Ontario’s Grand Bend Motorplex !

Andrew Stirk’s racing career does includes some deep DNA from within – benefiting from the accomplishments and motivation that his drag racing proponent father David provided.   Andrew has now thus assumed and is “carrying the family torch” forward in the sport. 

“My Dad has had a passion for cars and racing for his entire life,” Andrew affirmed.  “Growing up the entire time I listened to stories of all his racing adventures with his buddies. From trying to find people to give them a ride (before they could drive) over to the old Toronto International Dragway in Georgetown, their exploits hauling out to Sanair for the Grand Nationals and to limping tow vehicles home from the NHRA US nationals — and everything in between.”   

As Andrew grew older one of the most influential and famous cars he was involved with with his Dad was a 1982 Chevy Cavalier – built by Canadian Alan Marsh and which was a clone of Marsh’s Pro Stock Car.  At first David Stirk campaigned that car with BBC with a 4-speed Lenco running it in Pro Gas.   Later on the team updated the body to a 1988 Oldsmobile Firenza and began using nitrous and raced it mostly in Quick 8 and Quick 16 eliminators at Cayuga Dragway Park.  That car was then reconfigured again (to a Pontiac) to become a NHRA legal Super Gas car and it would go on to win Super Gas title at the 1996 NHRA Western Auto Nationals at Topeka KS — while being driven by close family friend Ted Cordingley.

This car — originally built by Alan Marsh – morphed a lot — but it was a major influence for Andrew’s future passion for drag racing.

When not at the drag strip itself – Andrew Stirk remains deeply entrenched within the sport pretty much on a day to day basis as his role of being Business Manager within his family owned and operated DSE Automotive (Orangeville ON).  That company, along with his father Dave also includes wife Jessica and mother Elaine.

DSE Automotive started in 1979 providing service to all types of muscle cars and race cars as well as general automotive repairs.   By the mid to late 1980’s DSE Automotive grew to the point where Dave was building Pro Street cars from the ground up as well as doing ET bracket car modifications and custom motors and components.

The reputation for sponsorship support from DSE Automotive to within the Ontario drag racing scene is highly notable — including the DSE Automotive Sportsman Racing Series which ran at TMP and St Thomas Raceway Park (2011-15).  DSE played an intricate part within reviving the local bracket racing scene and thus giving the race tracks themselves a product for assured future success.  

Andrew Stirk

“That was a fun 5-year run for the series,” Andrew reflected.  “We organized a lot of very exciting events and made many great memories bringing a successful bracket racing series back to our region.  Eventually we had to make the difficult decision to stop operating the series, but we were thankful that another group (Race Cayuga Sportsman Series) led by Charlene Lepp, Lui Ramundo and Steve Hayward, picked up the concept and have continued the progress we had made promoting bracket racing.”

DSE Automotive to this day continue their support within Southern Ontario — selling performance parts to a vast many racers as well as providing contingency sponsorship programs for Grand Bend Motorplex, St Thomas Raceway and the Race Cayuga Sportsman Series.

But now as the dawn of this new 2021 drag racing season begins to emerge – so will a newer chapter for Andrew Stirk as a racer.  His experience as a seasoned and very capable racer has landed him an additional stint — as driver of a very impressive new Super Stock Chevy Camaro entry – poised for debut.

Andrew has been pegged as designated driver for a new pet project owned and operated by Bill and Stacee Richards (Kitchener ON) and including Dave Stirk and Jerry Simson.  

Together that group has just recently completed a remarkable rebuild of the very rare “ragtop” 69 Camaro* formally raced by Quebec’s Yves Perigny (Lafontaine & Perigny).  That car was restored in all aspects featuring the expertise of FJ Smith and including a fantastic paint by Andrew’s brother — Iain Stirk.  It (racing a Super Stock) will be a new first time experience for Andrew.

Andrew will drive his stunning new Super Stock Camaro this season! That’s Dave Stirk, Jerry Simson and Bill Richards included above.

“I’m excited — I have never raced in Stock or Super Stock,” Andrew added.  “We have a few Can-Am Stock/Stock series races on the calendar, along with Ian Hill’s Smackdown event which has a large Stock/Super stock show as part this year.  We also want to target Mike Ferstl’s Beavers Big Buck event in August at GBM which also has a S/SS race taking place. I still haven’t quite figured out how we will mix the car into the rotation with the other two — simply because we can’t predict our season until the lockdowns are lifted.”

(*DragRaceCanada will post a more comprehensive feature on this Camaro – a bit later this season).

For more information on DSE Automotive – link to their FB:  HERE

Posted by Bruce Biegler

Photos by Stacee Richards — Bruce Biegler — Rob Potter