Alberta-based Funny Car team owners David and Edna Brant add an innovative spin to their drag racing program….

This husband and wife team, who have been local favourites for a number of seasons within Western Canadian drag racing with their series of “Reaper” themed index class Funny Cars – completed a major move during 2019 — when they graduated up to nitro. 

Based from Onoway, AB., after acquiring a car and chassis (originally the Tachman Racing Mustang) back in 2017, the team made their debut last season with a vintage 1971 Mustang-bodied car that is now dubbed “Warchief”.

The “Warchief” Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car made it’s maiden runs during the 2019 season.

David and Edna, who had already a strong reputation for marketing with all of their previous racing ventures are continuing that strength — but this time with arguably more of a purpose. 

Team driver David, who is very proud of his aboriginal ancestry has designed a team and a look to help commemorate some very deep rooted family heritage (which includes his 5X great grandfather Joseph Brant who was actually a Mohawk War Chief).

Team driver – David Brant

Not only was the race car impressive within some limited first ever outings last year (a 6.40 secs at 222 mph) the team’s introduction of an ancestral aspect was needless to say creative too. The Mustang’s very cool “Warchief” scheme was complimented with some very real and legit Pow Wow dancing as part of their race team event presentations.

“First and foremost — we had a lot of help from various people to get our Nitro car up and running,” said David Brant.  “Mike and Ed Grekel have been there for us from day one and I can honestly say that they have been the biggest help during this step up in classes.”

In addition to his wife Edna (who oversees the race team marketing), this race team also is comprised of his son Jordan Brant (who is also diligently  chasing a Pro hockey career). The team is rounded out by Kayleen Deemers (back up girl) Greg Strilchuck, Kayla Dame, Mason Dube, Joey Hebert and Serge Dion, who all provide hands-on support and valued racing expertise. 

The team’s creative and very historical vision, the likes of which are seldom seen in motorsports, is designed to both embrace some important North American history and also spread awareness.

“We are very proud of our Mohawk aboriginal ancestry and being a descendant of Joseph Brant,” David emphasized. “During the American revolution Joseph Brant led the Mohawk Loyalists and other indigenous people within their cause.  He was both a leader and a commissioned solder that was greatly admired by our people, and who remains an inspiration.”

During 2019 the Brant Family Racing team welcomed some very special guests to the events they attended.  David and Edna credit new sponsors Jason Delaire and Laurel Sapp, who own Life Designs concepts (from Little Pine First Nations in Saskatchewan) for assistance with authentic aboriginal programs.

Traditional Pow Wow dancers are part of the “Warchief” Funny Car event presentation.

“Life Design Concepts aligned us with Saskatchewan dancers Laurel Sapp (Little Pine First Nation) Dustin Moosomin (Mosquito First Nation) and Dianne Chief from Onion Lake First Nation,” he continued. “Without them — the Warchief really wouldn’t be the Warchief.”

After getting year one with nitro under their belt, the Brant Family Racing team plans to continue on in 2020.  This year’s schedule will feature more event appearances at their home track (Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway) as well as some other Western Canadian drag strips.  The team is also hopefully eying entry to the 2020 edition NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion event at Bakersfield.

“In 2020 our plan is to continue entertaining the fans and showcasing our Nostalgia Nitro Car and our aboriginal heritage — including authentic POW WOW dancers at each venue,” David added.  “We are very grateful to have them as part of our team.”

The team’s other current associate partners include — United Rentals and BCS Limited.

Prior to going Nitro – The Brant Family Racing team campaigned their popular  “Reaper”series of alcohol burning Funny Cars.

Post and photos by Bruce Biegler