Canada’s premier and legendary Top Fuel dragster operation is poised for a 2022 season debut….

The Paton Racing Top Fuel dragster is scheduled to make its 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing series debut at this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida — with Canadian Ike Maier at the wheel.

“We got to chatting in the off season and Ike expressed his interest in hopping in the seat sometime this year” said team co-owner Todd Paton. “While we continue to pursue marketing partners for our 2022 season this seemed like a great opportunity for us to build on the success we had at the conclusion of the 2021 season and get to one of our favourite events on the schedule.”

“My brother Tony and his partners have a great brand they’ve developed called Fast Eddie Speedwear that offers all kinds of cool designs for race fans and gearheads who love the performance industry,” Todd added. “They’re going to ride with us this weekend as our primary sponsor and get some incredible exposure with the NHRA experience.”

Additional support will come from Performance Data Systems, Smokies Garage and 3FP.

The Canadian-based team (Paris ON) attended the final three events of the 2021 season with Cameron Ferré at the controls, qualifying for all three races and recording the team’s first 3.7-second elapsed time en route to a semi-final finish at the World Finals, where they came up just short against World Champion Steve Torrence by .004 of a second.

“With all the Covid restrictions in place over the last two years, it made it difficult to keep up with the latest technology,” Todd admitted.  “As a result, we ran last year’s events with an older 5-disc clutch while most of the other teams were running the 6-disc setup. This will be our first event running the 6-disc, so we’re hoping that transition goes smoothly and allows us to pick up where we left off at Pomona last November.”

Ike Maier has driven at the NHRA Gatornationals numerous times – entered both in Top Fuel and Pro Mod

“Cameron is still working on getting back out there, but in the meantime, running the car with Ike behind the wheel will allow us to continue to work on our combination and get more data for the 6-disc setup,” Todd added. 

“Gainesville Raceway holds a special place in our hearts. I won this race in 1999 driving our family-owned alcohol funny car and then we made it to the final round here in 2018 with Shawn Reed driving. Hopefully we can combine our recent success from last year with our rich history at this event for a successful weekend for Ike, Fast Eddie Speedwear and the rest of our Paton Racing team.”

Barry, Todd and Tony Paton have won at Gainesville before. They scored the then “FMFC” title at the 1999 Mac Tools Gatorntionals.

Posted by Paton Racing

DragRaceCanada File Photos by Bruce Biegler