After a 1-year absence, Mission Raceway’s popular late summer annual attraction event begins it’s comeback…..

The annual “Smoke, Fire and Thunder” event at Mission Raceway Park happened last weekend.  After a very sunny and hot summer, the weather was decidedly and pleasantly cool and cloudy – but also rainy at the wrong times.

This event is an occasion to combine the aspects of pure racing and entertainment, and it figured to be a good one after a summer of mixed results at MRP. With no American feature cars available (despite the Covid rules seeming to allow vaccinated Americans up here), it was left to the Canadians to put on a show. 

Leading that group, in the first appearance at Mission by an NHRA Big Show nitro car this century, was the Darkside Racing Top Fuel car, from Calgary, driven by Kelly Fedorowich, along with the Bone Shaker Jet Truck driven by Rick Kopp from Burlington  Ontario, doing an August tour of Alberta and B.C. tracks. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as planned.

Canada’s “fastest female” — Kelly Fedorowich — was on hand at Mission Raceway with her family’s Calgary-based Top Fuel Dragster. The team also welcomed Avery Shoaf (Rust Valley TV Show) as a special guest!

First off, the Friday night program that was to have seen runs by both those vehicles was rained out. Saturday dawned cool and dry, so Fedorowich was given an early-afternoon check-out pass, on which the crankshaft and block were damaged. That necessitated a multi-hour thrash to install a new block, and the first of two Saturday evening runs would not happen. It was looking possible for a late-evening pass, but after an entirely dry day, Mother Nature decided that was enough and started the rain at 9:15 pm, just enough of it that the track was too wet to get safely dried.

Meanwhile, the Bone Shaker jet did get its first run in the early evening, and it was an abbreviated one with more smoke than fire, as the afterburner malfunctioned, but the multitude of fans, the largest crowd of the year by far, didn’t seem to mind. The two feature vehicles ran again on Sunday, which wasn’t originally planned, so those who returned (at no charge if they had been there Saturday) would get to see them again.

At about 12:30 pm Sunday, the two vehicles hit the staging lanes. First up was the Darkside T/F car, and all looked pretty normal during the burnout and staging. But at the hit, the engine immediately gave up the ghost in a big burst of flame and smoke. It was an expensive weekend for the Darkside crew….

The Bone Shaker jet followed, and with all the thrust working, Kopp ran it hard to the eighth-mile, shutting off there and getting an 8.40 quarter-mile time slip.

Rick “Hollywood” Kopp brought in his “Boneshaker” Jet Truck from Burlington Ontario.

Five Pro Mod cars were on the property, not running as a West Coast Pro Mod series race. Most of them seemed to be treating it all as a test session in good conditions. It was nice to see Kelowna’s Keith Korecki out in his neat ’67 Shelby Mustang, and the crew looked very happy when he ran a 4.16 at 175. But the highlight, and low ET, came from  the dominant Firebird of Outlaw 10.5 runner Ken Sihota, who also hadn’t run at Doorwarz in July. He followed the lead of two-time WCPMA winner Nick Duda, putting bigger tires on his 10.5 car to see what she could do, and what came up was a 3.98 at 183.

Ken Sihota was the fastest “door car” for 1/8th mile racing at the Mission event – running a quick 3.98 secs with his Firebird.
The CWDS Camaro cars raced by Rod LeClaire and Kerry Stone were both running fast last weekend. Stone (far lane) hit 6.22 secs at 241 mph.

The Canada West Doorslammer Assoc. again put on a good show, with some two dozen cars racing in eliminations over the full quarter-mile. Along the way to the final, one highlight was the battle between the two very fast Camaros of Rod LeClaire and Kerry Stone. Stone’s black Camaro, a Pro Mod car most of its life, laid down an impressive  6.22 at 241 mph, believed to be the fastest run of the weekend. In the final, it was a close battle, with Paul De Bree Jr. In his cool ’66 Valiant running right on his dial at 8.36 with a .016 light, while Scott Robinson in his Camaro broke out by a hundredth at 8.41 after a .052 light.

Paul De Bree Jr. won season round #4 for the CWDS in his cool ’66 Valiant. He defeated Scott Robinson’s Camaro in the championship final round.

The Outlaw 275 gang also ran a full program, and it was no surprise to see local hitter Daniel Rodrigue take the victory in his evil all-black Malibu. Other winners included Jim Behnke in Hot Rod, Brad Vinje in Super Pro, and Craig Johnson in Pro bracket.

Daniel Rodrigue was the X275 class winner racing his evil looking Malibu!

Keeping the fans entertained during the down time were the motorcycle stunt riders of The Vanishing Ones, and the Hard Knox Stunts Crew along with the Dark Lotus Drift Team, performing some wild sideways and up-on-two wheels car chases at the head of staging and down the return road. The crowd, with a lot of young families, ate this stuff up.

Posted by Gerry Frechette 

Photos by Gerry Frechette and Les Puchala

To view additional photo highlights from this event visit the LMLCMedia gallery:  HERE

To view video event coverage check out Mission Raceway Park on Facebook : HERE