British Columbia’s Dan Provost was one of three Canadian racers who earned prestigious NHRA Northwest Division Championship titles during 2014….
Provost, who is based from Abbotsford, will join Albertans Eddy Plaizier (Super Gas) and Rod Hymas (Top Sportsman) on stage this coming weekend during the NHRA’s Division Six banquet which will be held in Centralia, Washington.
This past season, Provost scored a hard fought divisional Top Dragster championship, a year which was ear marked with some special accomplishments. His success was also the end result of a Top Dragster class venture in relative infancy that produced rather rapid dividends.
“I got licensed in Houston Texas back in 2006 — but did not get my first dragster until 2008,” Dan revealed. “At first I raced local brackets (Super Pro) at Mission raceway. In 2011 I bought my Undercover dragster and tried my first TD event that year. It really wasn’t until 2013 that I started racing competitively in the Top Dragster category. That year I competed at 5 of 6 Division 6 races — so in reality I have only been in the TD class for 2 years.”
During 2014, some early and timely success resulted in a very valued “ticket to ride” for one of the most high profile Sportsman events of the year – the JEGS All Stars race held at Chicagoland’s Route 66 Raceway.
“We started off 2014 season with a very important win in Boise Idaho,” Dan continued. “That earned us a slot for the JEGS All Stars championship for our division. It was a great honour to represent our division. This was a once a year showdown featuring the top 8 drivers in all North America. We were the only Canadian team in the class (no pressure….LOL!). We won our first round, then we ran dead on our dial in the semi’s but I cut a rather average light (.021) and it cost us the round. That was some very tough competition.”
After that outing — Dan confirmed that his subsequent trek to the divisional championship was not without some hurdles.
“We had struggled a bit with our previous car but when we took possession in mid August of our new M&M blown Dragster – our season really tuned around,” he revealed. “That car was deadly and we picked up some much needed points towards the end of the season. We actually clinched the divisional title at the last race of the year held in Las Vegas. We had two other Division 6 drivers that could have caught us but when they both went out in the first round — and we won the first round – that secured the division. Boy were we excited!”
Provost’s M&M built dragster is a 245″ all carbon fibre body machine. He and his team employ a 515 CID all aluminum Big Block Chevrolet engine expertly built by Sommers. With a 8-71 supercharger that produces about 1500 available horsepower. Dan’s quickest and fastest season run in the new car was a 6.55 secs and 208 mph.
Overall the success that Provost’s team enjoyed in 2014 was probably somewhat unexpected — but it also holds well for the future.
“For our “Team RAD” — we are more than pleased with the year,” Dan reflected. “At the beginning I never thought in our wildest dreams that we would actually compete at the Jegs All Stars and win the division championship in the same year. In 2013 we finished 2nd in Top Dragster for our division – and since this was it our first full season competing at the divisional level — it was a huge accomplishment for us. I’m not sure we could ever top the 2014 race season — but we are already rebuilding our engine and adding some new components to our car and program. We don’t intend to change too much, and we are going into 2015 with great confidence in our program.”
Of course there are also many behind the scene factors that contribute to a successful season and Dan was quick to cite some of that support.
“Special thanks go to Peter Gibbs, Leo Grocock, Al Quigley and Gerry Waterman for all their efforts and contribution,” Dan added. “EXTRA thanks to Peter and Leo for having the patience to deal with me and to my wife Lynda for her tolerance of all our travel. And of course we couldn’t do this without RAD Extreme Torque Machines — who is our sole sponsor. We can’t thank them enough.”
RAD Torque Systems is an Abbotsford based manufacturer of heavy duty industrial pneumatic and electric torque guns who have been in business for 20 years and employ 90 people in British Columbia. For more information on that company visit: www.radtorque.com
RAD Torque Systems is also involved with sponsorship of other cars in Drag Racing as well as supporting Chief Dan George’s middle school Junior Drag Race program. For more information on that visit: www.raddragracing.com
Post and Photos by: Bruce Biegler