2017 marked the 11th season of operations for the very successful and Canadian headquarted Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series…..

We are pleased to provide this salute highlighting the “top five” finishers in final season points for the popular regional circuit for
10.90 indexed cars which showcased some great cross border competition.

#1 Tom Coonly (Champion)

Tom Coonly from Blasdell, New York earned 605 points to take the 2017 season championship in the tightest points battle since 2009.

Not only did Coonly get a win on July 30th at Toronto Motorsports Park, he didn’t have a first round loss all year and he was deep in eliminations at most races in 2017. That plus earning qualifying points at all but two races is the kind of consistent performance that earns championships.

“Just getting a win in this series is extremely tough with all the talent that shows up for every race,” said Coonly. “To be able to be lucky enough to win the championship is amazing!”

This is Coonly’s first championship and he says he is honored it was with this amazing group of friends he races with. “I couldn’t do it without all the help from everyone that always gives whatever they can when they can – Jen, Jeff Gregoire, Jamie and Heather Stoneman, my family, Pete D’Agnolo and JJ Jablonski.”

“Have to thank Ted Barnes and Joe Boniferro for everything they do to keep the greatest series in the Northeast going as well as our long list of sponsors that help year in and year out,” he added.
Coonly was quick to thank the guys at Data Clutch, Phil’s Quality Auto and Autos Direct of Buffalo for all their support of his racing efforts.

At the year end TNTSS banquet, Coonly walked away with over $4000 in cash and prizes including hot rod parts from strong TNTSS supporters like Hoosier Tire Canada, MSD, VP Fuels, DRE, Competition Transmission, FAST EFI, Dan The Sign Man, Permatex and Autometer.

Coonly is a multiple TNTSS event winner and is a past REVS Full Throttle Powersports Race of Champions winner.

His weapon of choice is a 1975 Chevy Nova powered by a Jan-Cen Motorsports 461 BB capable of running the quarter-mile in the 9.70 range. He started his drag racing career in 2004 and acquired the Nova in 2008.

#2 Steve McCarrick

Anyone who has class raced in the northeast knows the 1956 Chevrolet of Steve McCarrick from Phelps, New York. In 2017, McCarrick earned a second-place finish in one of the most competitive sportsman drag racing series in the country, the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series.

He drove his wheel standing 1956 Chevy to 550 points earning him the spot near the top of the chart. McCarrick achieved it with a pair of semi-final finishes, two quarter finals and a couple of strong qualifying efforts. This is his best finish yet in TNT Super Series competition.

A long-time .90 sportsman drag racer, McCarrick has raced in and sponsored the TNTSS since it began back in 2006. “I started racing before most of the “KIDS” in the TNT Series were born,” said McCarrick. “Kinda neat to kick their butts this year.”

He bought the 56 Chevy in December of 1971 right after he got out of the service for $150 running and drove it on the street until 1974.  It was at that point he started playing with it.  It has had everything from a 301 small block with a stick shift to a big block Chevrolet with a turbo 400.  Over the years it got back-halved with ladder bars and coil overs.

“The car was parked on several occasions due to kids being born or sick, bad business years and college educations, but it didn’t cost anything to let it sit and collect dust.” he added.  “It has always been a fun thing to do and completely funded by that Steve’s Electric guy.” McCarrick says he has always enjoyed racing with the IHRA.

“When Ted (Barnes) came to me with his TNTSS idea a dozen or so years ago, it made me get involved. I’ve watched him, Joe and all the other sponsors grow this thing and it makes me proud that I’ve been able to participate and help out.”
He was quick to thank his family and his good friend, Larry Pulver “for convincing me that heads up, throttle stop racing was the way to go.”

“Most importantly My THANKS go to Ted Barnes, Joe Boniferro, the multitude of sponsors over the years and the great racers I have competed with over the years. I’m going to keep letting go of the button and supporting the series as long as I can.” He says If John Force can drive a funny car every weekend at over 300 mph, he can go 130 mph too! “We’re both the same age!”

#3 Chris Van Baalen

In third place in the 2017 Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series points chase is Chris VanBaalen from Wellandport, Ontario.

He earned it with a consistent run in 2017 both in qualifying and going rounds. At 532 points, he was only six points ahead of fourth place and only 18 points out of second. This is VanBaalen’s fourth time in the top five in the past six seasons.


“I have to thank my parents (Pete and Sherry) along with Matt and Sherri Devries at Matts Auto Service,” said VanBaalen. “And all the sponsors who make the TNT series the best sportsman series around.”

VanBaalen drove his 1989 509 cid Chevy powered Mustang in 2017. Word on the street is that the car has a new owner. Perhaps his Monte Carlo will see new life in 2018.

#4 Jim Thompson/Ryan Boniferro

It was a pair of familiar faces earning a fourth place finish in the 2017 Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series points chase, the team of Jim Thomson and Ryan Boniferro.

Both drivers are former Rookie of the Year winners and Thomson was last year’s series champion so it’s no surprise to see them in the top five. The 2017 season saw them top the field with two number one qualifiers and only one first round loss all season. They were deep in eliminations at most races.

The points battle was so tight this year, these guys only finished two points ahead of fifth place and only six points behind third.

Sponsored by Joe’s Transmission, the pair have no shortage tuning expertise. Ryan Boniferro is the son of series’ founding sponsor Joe Boniferro. And Jim Thomson is a long-time friend of the family. Both cars are tuned out of Joe’s shop.

#5 Jarrod Kolne

Southern Ontario’s Jarrod Kolne had an outstanding start to his class racing career. Not only did he finish in fifth place in this year’s Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series points chase, he also took home Rookie of the Year honours.

The Cayuga, Ontario based racer has had lots of success in the bracket racing ranks. In 2017, he set his sights on 10.90 index racing and found himself competing at the top of the field.
Along with earning a number one qualifier this year, Kolne was seen deep into eliminations many times and ended the season with his first TNTSS final round appearance, earning a runner-up to veteran Harry Phelps.

“I’d love to thank my dad Mike, my whole family, my girlfriend Adrienne Canfield, Chris VanBalen and Snow Mexican race cars,” said Kolne. “Then my sponsors Tim Orser Lift Services, Walter Baker and Blastall. It was my tenth year of racing in which I won my tenth championship in RCSS Super Pro. It was our first year with the race car and to get into the top five is pretty amazing to us.”

“I’d love to thank everyone who volunteers time with the series and all the tracks and sponsors of the series. Easily the toughest racing I have been a part of.”

Kolne’s weapon of choice is a 1984 Camaro powered by a 461 Chevrolet. It has run as quick as 9.99 at 134 mph.

About the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series (TNTSS):

Since it began in 2006, the TNT Super Series has grown into one of the strongest, most competitive sportsman drag racing series in North America and has catapulted many competitors to success on the national stage.

The TNTSS is a self-governing organization operating with input from its teams.  Based on NHRA’s Super Street & IHRA’s Hot Rod classes, competitors run on a 10.90 index in the 1/4 mile (7.00 in the 1/8 mile) and race for a guaranteed purse that pays back more than 100% of the racer’s entry fees.  The yearend points fund provides $15,000 cash & prizes to the top finishers.

The TNTSS is committed to providing the highest level of competition backed by solid media support to showcase its participants across North America.  Events are contested at various drag racing facilities in southern Ontario and western New York and put on a spectacular show for the drag racing fan.

About Joe’s Transmission

Joe Boniferro has owned and operated Joe’s Transmission Service in Niagara Falls, Ontario since 1984.  From the original single bay location, the business has progressed to a six bay, five employee automotive complex on Arthur Street.  The two storey building houses Joe’s Transmission (Commercial, Fleet and Performance Divisions) and Al’s Radiator Service.  They sell and install aftermarket high performance parts and accessories.  As a Firestone Dealer they sell and install drag racing tires.  Their specialty is building and repairing high performance transmissions.

Contact Joe and his team at (905) 374-6116 or visit them online at www.joestransmission.com

To learn more about the Joe’s Transmission TNT Super Series visit www.tntsuperseries.com or www.facebook.com/TNTSuperSeries

Photos by Bruce Biegler, Bryan Epps & Ron Rigby 

Posted by: Lewis Robinson