All Canadian FC Final @ IHRA Salt Lake

It was a final round showdown between Canada’s top two Nostalgia Funny Car drivers during the IHRA’s Nitro Jam in Salt Lake City last weekend….

Todd Lesenko and Tim Boychuk, both natives of “The City of Champions,” better known in Canada as Edmonton, Alberta where the Nitro Jam tour will head next weekend — left their hometown and traveled over a thousand miles south to Salt Lake City, Utah.  There they participated in the 2nd annual Salt Lake Nitro Jam and met again in the Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car championship in front of another sold out crowd at the beautiful Rocky Mountain Raceways facility.

Not only was it a battle of native Canadians, native Edmontonians and two good friends, but the pair can also trace their heritage to the Ukraine where both Lesenko and Boychuk’s parents are from. But on Saturday night someone had to prove different and walk away a winner and on this night that man was Lesenko.

Todd Lesenko & company celebrate their first IHRA Nitro Jam victory

“Both Tim and I can trace our past back a long way and tonight this was a battle of Canada, the Ukraine, whatever you want to call it and thankfully we were able to come out on the winning end,” Lesenko said. “Tim had another great run, but unfortunately he left a little too early and we were able to take the win.”

Lesenko, who earned the right to compete in the final when Mark Sanders broke, made the most of his opportunity on Saturday when the fastest man in nostalgia drag racing went red allowing Lesenko, better known as Todd “The Pirate” to his fans, to earn his first career IHRA Nitro Jam Ironman in front of a packed house at RMR.

Todd Lesenko's 1970 Mustang-bodied Nostaliga Funny Car

In the Prostalgia Nitro Funny Car final Lesenko knew he had to be on his game to get a win against the always tough Boychuk, but in an unexpected twist it was Boychuk who actually went red giving the pilot of the “Jolly Rogers” Mustang-bodied Funny Car his first career Ironman.

Unfortunately for Boychuk, the red-light also negated the best run of the weekend as Lesenko coasted across the line with a 6.798, 183.56 knowing the victory was well in hand.

Joining Lesenko in hoisting an IHRA Ironman was Bruce Litton who finally got the better of Bobby Lagana to claim the Top Fuel crown and Jason Richey who piloted the “Pure Hell” Nostalgia Fuel Altered to a win over Ron Maroney’s “Nanook.”

Other winners from Saturday’s Salt Lake Nitro Jam finale were Sheldon Gecker (Top Dragster), Frank Santarosa (Top Sportsman), Russ Stevenson (Quick Rod), Ed Olpin (Super Rod), Les Norton (Stock/Super Stock Combo), Nathan Kemp (Top ET), Bryan Sylvester (Mod ET), Kirk Walton (Motorcycle), Dan Pratt (RMR Pro), Shawn Hart (Top Junior) and Shante Henderson (Junior All Run).

Posted by:  Larry Crum