It was certainly a display of due diligence and dedication for this far Northern BC based race team….

By our calculations — the driving distance one way between Fort St. John BC and Joliet Illinois — is in the range of 3380 KM (2100 miles).  And that was just part of the story for dedicated Top Sportsman class racers Mike and Jackie Lucas.

So by circumstance, this race team won the unofficial long distance driving award for this year’s NHRA Route 66 Nationals event held south of Chicago.   They were invited to and participated in the 2019 edition Jegs Allstars event — where they proudly represented not only Canada but also their home NHRA Northwest Division Six — for that elite competition.

Jackie & Mike Lucas

For Mike Lucas, who was the 2017 NHRA Lucas Oil Northwest Division points champion for Top Sportsman, this appearance at the Chicagoland area event was in fact a bit of a surprise.

During the spring last season at Mission Raceway the team had an incident with their championship winning 2000 Chevy Camaro which most certainly was a setback.

“As you know Jegs Allstars points are determined within a wrap around season formula,”  Mike explained.  “We were sitting #2 in points when the car took that hit at Mission and that in effect took us out of competition for the rest of last season.  We spent most of last year then putting our new car together (a ’68 model Camaro) and then got to testing and tuning it late last year and over the winter.”

“Then in early 2019 we were racing it at Boise — and I got the call there,” he continued.  “I was sitting 7th in division points at that time — so really we didn’t have any aspirations about coming back to the Jegs event at Chicago.  But as circumstance would have it — no one else above us in points could make it — so we received the invite.  Jackie and I had such a great time at the Jegs event last year — so it was just something we could not turn down.  We also felt it would be a nice positive turnaround opportunity for our team after all we went though when we lost our other race car.”

Mike and Jackie now race a very cool Camaro which was in fact a former Pro Mod car originally built by David Monday.   They converted the car for TS and transferred their 632 CID motor program into it’s frame rails.  This is an all throttle motor – no nitrous injection is used.

“In retrospect we did need a quicker car overall because these TS fields are getting more and more difficult just to qualify for,” Mike revealed.  “We did update our motor to dual carburetors — so now we have bigger power in a better chassis.”

At Joliet Mike did lose out in the first round of the Jegs Allstars event — but to his credit did win his first round within the over NHRA Route 66 Nationals TS class event.  

“We didn’t come away with any trophy — but we’re proud of the effort we made to get here, race with the best of the best, and support our division,” Mike added.

Mike and Jackie’s new Camaro is very potential ridden.  It does have a very clean “Pro Street” look to it and odds are high that it will be serious and consistent contender within NHRA TS class racing going forward.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler