Last weekend’s Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals included ferocious but also abbreviated Sportsman class car racing….

The 2019 edition Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals included a “double header” NHRA National Open featuring some of the best racing talents from within Western Canada’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing series as well as the area’s most elite ET Bracket racers.

Saturday’s scheduled eliminators were run to a conclusion – however Sunday’s final rounds were incomplete when some wicked and ill timed rain storms (once again) proved to be problematic for this annual event.

Saturday’s Sportsman class car racing included (much to the delight of event presenting sponsor Mopar Canada!) two Mopar brand winners within the Lucas Oil Stock and Super Street eliminators.

Darcy Clarke (from Spruce Grove AB) who runs very popular cars in both Super Stock and Stock won with his A/SA ’64 Plymouth Fury in Stock while 2nd generation driver James Pahl, son to Castrol Raceway track legend Harvey Pahl (from Spruce Grove AB), scored in Super Street with his equally classic ’66 Dodge Coronet.

Mopar brand racers James Pahl (top) and Darcy Clarke emerged winners at the 2019 edition Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals

Saturday’s Lucas Oil Series category winner’s list also included local track Super Stock “hitter” Mike Semeniuk in his ’81 Chevy Malibu GT/MA as well as Jason Mercier (Chestermere AB) in S/G and Len Mayer (Vegreville AB) in Super Comp.

Mike Semeniuk raced his ’81 Malibu to the NHRA National Open Super Stock title on Saturday.

Len Mayer celebrates his Super Comp win.

Castrol Raceway’s enormously progressive Top Eliminator Club provided most of the entrants for the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes – with feature wins going to Rod Belsham (Prince George BC) and to Joe Graves (Edmonton) in those classes respectively.

Joe Graves (near lane) defeated James Rutherford for the Top Sportsman title on Saturday.

The ET Bracket race winners included Ford fanatic James Rutherford (Wembley AB) in Super Pro and Robert Arndt (Sherwood Park) in Pro.  Junior dragster titles went to Kyle Wagenaar (Medicine Hat) and to Faith Loblick (Gibbons).

James Rutherford – who’s team entered four cars at the event – won in Super Pro with this Mustang.

Sunday’s race schedule featured wins by Saskatoon’s Sheldon Erfle in Super Stock with his GT/FA Olds Achieva, and Sherwood Park’s Norm Lapointe in his reliable K/SA Chevy Wagon in Stock eliminator.  Brianne Durie, who placed runner-up in Super Comp the day before, won it all in that class on Sunday.  Carey Borchuk (Beaumont AB) scored in Super Gas with his Chevy Camaro.

After winning recently at the NHRA National Open in Mission BC – Saskatoon’s Sheldon Erfle (on Sunday) won again in Super Stock.

Skilled young lady driver Brianne Durie (Vegreville) advanced to both days Super Comp final rounds.

Racing this Camaro –Carey Borchuk (Beaumont AB) scored in the Super Gas class event.

Junior Dragster racing was run to a conclusion with Tanner Gaetz winning in Jr. Lightning and Faith Loblick repeating in the Jr. Thunder category.

Racing within Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Pro and Pro did get to the semi final rounds before storms washed out those conclusions.   Those titles will be decided at a future event at Castrol Raceway.


Posted with files by Bruce Biegler and Matt Levonas

Photos by Bruce Biegler & Rome Awde

To view additional Sportsman racing photos from the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals visit LMLCMedia gallery: HERE