DRC Hotzone:  Canadian All-Star Accolades!                                       

By:   Bruce Biegler

 Canada had very strong representation during last weekend’s Jegs All-Stars event held in conjunction with the NHRA Route 66 Nationals at Joliet IL.

A total of six Canadian racers participated in the event which showcases the best Sportsman class drag racers in the world within a lucrative and very prestigious feature race.   Top drag racers in ten different categories from each of NHRA’s seven geographical divisions were represented.

 Second generation driver Jason Kenny, from Kingston ON, scored what was arguably his most significant victory to date.  Representing his home Northeast Division 1, Kenny rode his Accelerated Travel-sponsored “topless” Corvette roadster to a huge win in the Super Gas 9.90 category.  In the final round he spotted his opponent Mark Resen a slight starting line advantage, before sticking to his plan which ultimately pushed Resen to a too quick run of 9.875 secs.  Jason’s 9.914 secs at 149.18 mph took the win-light.

Super Gas Winner Jason Kenny

 “I know it’s a cliché – but it really was just an honor to qualify for this race,” said Jason, only son to beaming parents Al and Carol Kenny.  “It’s hard to get here and once you do you have to face the best in the nation in your class.  I was actually missing the tree a bit early – so I added some “box”.  In the final I knew I could catch him — but I let him go and that pushed him out (too quick).  When I saw my win light – the party was on.”

 Kenny, the defending 2009 NHRA Division One Super Gas champion, had defeated Val Torres and Bart Nelson in earlier round competition.

 No less then four Canadian drivers raced within the Top Alcohol class categories during the Jegs All-stars event. 

In Top Alcohol Dragster, Richmond, BC’s Shawn Cowie and Richmond Hill, Ontario’s Ken Perry made the exclusive field.  Cowie beat the very formidable injected nitro cars driven by Bill Reichert and Dwayne Shields to make the final round only to lose out to Jim Whitely.  In that battle, Cowie earned a slight starting line advantage but his 5.429 secs at 260.16 mph could not hold off Whitely’s 5.370 secs at 265.48 mph.

Shawn Cowie placed R/UP in TAD

 Ken Perry qualified his unique Fontana-powered “Iceman” dragster in the #6 TAD slot and beat Malcolm Wahle in round one.  He did however lose out to eventual winner Whitely during the second frame.

 Western Canadian drivers Roger Bateman and Ken Webster were part of the star-studded TAFC program.  Bateman, from Alberta, represented NHRA Division 5 and Webster, also from Alberta, driving for car owner Geoff Goodwin, was the Division 6 rep. 

Both drivers lost in round one of competition.  Bateman, driving Brian Friesen’s Mustang, which is now part of Y-Not Racing, lost out after a good battle versus Mickey Ferro while Webster fell in a very close 5.713 to 5.701 secs decision to Andy Bohl.

 Webster summed up the experience which was very representative of all the Canadian Top Alcohol participants. 

 “It’s probably the most prestigious thing we’ve ever been involved with,” said Webster.  “You are essentially racing against the top 8 cars in your class in the world. That’s a level of competition we all like.”

Ken Webster in the Synoil Fluids TAFC

 Also making the trip to Joliet was Alberta-based Top Sportsman driver Barry Daniluk, whose event winning flurry during recent times qualified him for the event.

 Driving his spectacular ’68 Camaro which is “all throttle – no bottle” Daniluk (from Red Deer) qualified #1 with a swift 6.706 secs at 206.57 mph (low ET/top speed).   Daniluk’s first trip to the All-Stars ended early however when a superior start by Nebraska’s Josh Vettel ended his day in round one.

“It was both exciting and a bit intimidating,” said Barry about the event.  “But it was definitely worth the long haul.”

 (Bruce Biegler Photos)