Bakersfield DQ Ripe With Controversy

Aftershocks continue to circulate from within NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage drag racing circuit following the very unexpected disqualification of Tim Boychuk and the Troy Lee Designs Funny Car…..

That team’s apparent huge victory in the Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car during Bakersfield’s March Meet (March 4th) has now been declared null and void following a post race investigation and process.   Event class event runner-up Chad Head has been declared the victor.

Here is the official announcement from NHRA which was issued nearly two weeks after the event’s completion.

NHRA Penalizes Nostalgia Top Fuel Driver and Nostalgia Funny Car Driver for Rules Violation:

NHRA has disqualified both Nostalgia Top Fuel driver, Rick White and Nostalgia Funny Car driver, Tim Boychuk from the 2012 Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series March Meet for a rules violation. Following a post-race inspection both drivers’ fuel pumps exceeded the maximum allowance for fuel delivery.  These disqualifications will result in a loss of all points earned toward the Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series and a loss of the purse money from the event.

DragRaceCanada was as shocked as anyone to hear this news and we have been in contact with driver Tim Boychuk.  During that exchange it became apparent very quickly that Tim and his team strongly disagree with both the NHRA ruling and also the process that was followed.  

The team is adamant that there was absolutely no mal intent with their fuel delivery system and are frustrated by the entire situation.

Tim Boychuk’s recent event win at Bakersfield has been withdrawn by NHRA rules makers
“As far as our team is concerned, we ran fuel pumps that were flowing the right amount of fuel and the charts on our computers show that,” said Tim.  “Because NHRA has made our DQ un-appealable — there is nothing that I as an owner, nor my team can say that will now make a difference.”

“It is our opinion that going forward, NHRA needs to revisit how they tech fuel pumps in the future,” Tim emphasized.  “Almost all the parts on a racecar are SFI documented so why not fuel pumps?”

“As a matter of fact my pump was removed, sent to a tech to be flow tested and not one part of that testing was documented.  After that was done it (pump) was sent to a 4th party who had access to it – but again nothing was documented!  These pumps have no serial numbers or any way to identify them.”

Tim added that he could not even confirm 100% that the fuel pump returned to him was in fact the one that was taken away originally.

The team was also very concerned about how the DQ was handled both internally and then released publically.  Why it took so many days to bring this charge to light — remains a major unanswered question.

“How did my daughter know about this infringement before I did?” Tim frustratingly added.  “Obliviously, NHRA did not feel that I needed to be notified before the public.  It’s pretty difficult to defend yourself without any opportunity for a trial or hearing.”

There is also no denying that there is a wide perception by racers within the nosltagia circuit that NHRA’s rules making for the series needs a lot of work.  Other racers we have contacted did cite past cases that were both controversial and difficult to interpret  

As further information – the NHRA has since amended it’s rule book (March 19th) – undoubtedly as a consequence of this unfortunate situation.   Here is that amendment:

SECTION 8: NOSTALGIA FUNNY CAR, ENGINE:1, FUEL SYSTEM (Page 43) (3RD Paragraph) (1/6/2012) (3/19/2012)

Single fuel pump mandatory. Fuel pump must be NHRA accepted. NHRA-accepted fuel pumps: Enderle 1200, 1270, and 1380, Settles Nitro Gerotor, Waterman 320950N or 320950, and Rage Racing 1400N-FC. All new fuel pumps must be submitted to NHRA for acceptance. Fuel pumps must retain as-manufactured gear or rotor outside diameter, depth, and tooth/lobe count. Fuel pumps with a second outlet must have one of the outlets capped or routed back to the fuel tank or return system. Fuel pump restricted to a total fuel delivery limited to 21.0 gpm at 4,000 rpm pump speed measured through a 0.300-inch orifice. All competitors must submit their fuel pump(s) to the an NHRA-accepted testing facility (KJ Crawford Inc. Fuel Injection, Phone: 707-542-9551) for certification prior to competition. Pump must be driven 1/2 crankshaft speed. NHRA reserves the right to confiscate fuel pumps or uphold competitor(s) protest request regarding fuel pumps at any time during or after the event for further inspection.

Posted by:  Bruce Biegler

Photo by:  Marc Gewertz